Posted on April 28, 2012
By Michael Lewis
He’s getting into an age where many players think of calling it a career, but New England Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph certainly has not retiring thoughts these days.
In fact, the Grenada international intends to keep on playing for many, many more years if his body has anything to say about it.
Joseph turns 34 on May 24.
“As long as my body holds up, I think I will continue to play until I’m 39 or 40,” he said on Friday. “There are guys in Europe who are playing until they’re 40 and they have been successful and be very good at it. They’re great players in their own right. I don’t stand a chance of being next to them. They’re playing at a high level. I would love to continue to play.”
Joseph realized he might have to change positions in his later years. He has dabbled at center back a few times in games and in training sessions with the Revs, so he felt moving back should not pose many problems.
“I played center back some time this year and I think I played well. You never know. If the midfield isn’t working for me, I might be able to slide back as a center back. Right now, I love being at midfield, I love running all over the field and creating chances, just getting on the offense and keep going.”
When he played at St. John’s University, Joseph switched from forward to midfield to defense and back again when coach Dave Masur felt the team needed him the most.
“I thank coach Masur for that,” Joseph said. “I was fortunate enough to play all those positions. It’s not easy for me, but it would be a smooth transition for me. I dealt with it in college and I will deal with it a little later on, playing for Stevie [Nicols, former Revs coach] in practice and here and there.
“I feel good. I am at a great point right now. My body is healthy. I have been doing a lot of stretching and strengthening work, trying to get a strength and conditioning coach whose help me ane extend my careeer. Anywhere they put me I will be comfortable. I think it will be a smooth transition.”
Joseph, who took a lot of flack for not playing for Grenada at last year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, said he still wants to play for his native country.
“Yeah, there’s always a possibility to play for the Spice Boyz again,” he said.
But Joseph realized know where his priorities lie — country over club. The next qualifying series for the Gold Cup — the Digicel Caribbean Cup — will be played later this year.
“It’s only April,” Joseph said. “I am not thinking about the Caribbean Cup. I can’t concern myself with it. Last year I declined to play to play with the Revolution. It’s my island. I grew up there. I love representing it. But I am more concerned helping the Revolution get three points.”
Joseph was referring to the Revolution’s road game at the New York Red Bulls at Red Bulls Arena on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
“I got some nasty comments about me from the island,” he said about not playing in the Gold Cup. “People don’t understand that it is important to be part of the Revolution, representing this team an be the captain of the team. Grenada has provided me with a lot of opportunities. But my focus is playing with the Revolution and making sure I’ll be there every day in practice and in games and I’ll be the captain and the leader this team needs me to be.”
Photo: Sharlie Joseph says he would play on defense to extend his career. Scott Bales/YCJ
Categories: Caribbean, Grenada
Tags: CONCACAF Gold Cup, Digicel Caribbean Cup, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Shalrie Joseph, Steve Nichols