SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – “The Dream Starts Now” was how Concacaf kicked off 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League Qualifying last September, but you could forgive Grenada for thinking that it felt more like a nightmare.
The Spice Boys fell 10-0 to Curacao in their first match before suffering a 2-0 defeat to Cuba. Yet since then, Grenada have reeled off four straight wins in Concacaf competition and find themselves atop Group B of League B in the CNL.
“The key has been our hard work,” said Grenada FW Jamal Charles in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com. “We got stronger in defense, guys are focused and the mood in the team is very good. Players are comfortable and we have a very strong bond.”
Charles has played a major role in that turnaround by scoring the winning goal in Grenada’s 2-1 win versus Saint Kitts and Nevis and then again in the 2-1 win at Belize, with both scores coming in the final 10 minutes of the match.
“I am in a very good moment. I was focused and took advantage of my opportunity,” said Charles, who has one goal in six games this season with club side Real Espana of Honduras.
With another pair of wins during the League B matches in October against French Guiana, Grenada would be in a great position to clinch a 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup berth in the final group matches in November.
Nothing would mean more to Charles and to his Grenada teammates than to “Follow The Dream” and qualify for a Gold Cup.
“The Gold Cup would be a dream come true for me, my family, my teammates and for all of Grenada. We walk about it a lot,” said Charles.
Seeing other Caribbean nations like Curacao, Bermuda and Guyana go toe-to-toe with Concacaf’s best in the 2019 Gold Cup has also given belief to Grenada.
“Seeing what those teams did, it gives us inspiration, it motivates us. It shows nothing is impossible,” concluded Charles.