FOOTBALL: Caribbean calling for Ciren striker Nat Jarvis

Cirencester Town striker Nat Jarvis

Cirencester Town striker Nat Jarvis

First published in Sport Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor

CIRENCESTER TOWN striker Nat Jarvis will miss the side’s next three Southern Premier games after being called up to represent Antigua & Barbuda in the 2014 Caribbean Cup which starts next week.

Antigua and Barbuda are hosting Group Five of the cup’s first round matches and will play the Dominican Republic, St Vincent & the Grenadines as well as Anguilla over the space of eight days.

They are favourites to advance to the second round in October when Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti and Guadeloupe are added to the competition. The third and final round in November sees the top two seeds, holders Cuba and Jamaica join the tournament. Among familiar names to have played for Antigua in the last couple of seasons include former Reading player Mikele Leigertwood and Dexter Blackstock of Nottingham Forest.

Jarvis, whose grandfather came from Antigua, was asked to play for the side in 2011 while still with Cardiff City but his manager then Malky Mackay refused to release him.

There are no such problems this time from his current bosses, Tim Harris at Gloucester City and Brian Hughes at Cirencester Town.

Jarvis has made an impressive start to his career as a dual registered player at Ciren, adding a fresh dimension to last year’s championship-winning side as he boasts the sort of electric pace to put defences on the back foot while he is very strong with his back to goal too.

The bottom line with any No.9 though is the end product and a brace of headers in the 5-0 win at Banbury on Saturday took him to four goals in six games.

“I’m enjoying my football now more than at any previous stage in my career,” said Jarvis, who travels to games with fellow Welshmen in the Ciren squad, keeper Glyn Garner and centre back Gethin Jones.

“They are a good bunch of lads at Ciren, a good manager and there is no pressure. I’m really enjoying it.

“Not since I was 18 or 19 have I played 90 minutes regularly and it is no coincidence that I have found some form because of that.

“I did enjoy my time at Newport County (on loan from Cardiff) and played in an FA Trophy final for them at Wembley. But even there I was played out of position, wide in a front three. I like to play down the middle.”

Jarvis admits to falling out of love with the game at Cardiff where he appeared on the bench in the Championship on six occasions under boss Dave Jones.

“I had scored plenty of goals for the Academy and was looking to kick on and make some first team appearances when the manager was sacked in the summer and I had to start all over again,” said Nat.

“I did turn out for Cardiff twice in the League Cup the year they made it to the final at Wembley only to lose to Liverpool on penalties. I also played for them in the FA Cup against Macclesfield and scored a couple of goals in those games.”

Still only 22 he has not given up hope of a return to full-time football and believes the Caribbean Cup could raise his profile.

But he’s also looking forward to resuming with Cirencester Town next month.

“We have turned over a couple of the lesser teams and we should have got more out of the matches against two or three of the supposed favourites,” he said.

“We were a match for all those teams on much bigger budgets.”

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