Kemar Reid can’t wait to make his debut for Malta on one of the biggest stages of international football as the national team face England in a Euro 2024 qualifier at Wembley Stadium on Friday (kick-off: 20.45).
The Floriana striker has gone through a very positive fortnight in his football career as late last month it was announced that the 29-year-old was handed a Maltese passport through naturalisation and a few days later he was immediately drafted into the senior national team squad by coach Michele Marcolini for Friday’s clash against the European Championship finalists.
Reid said that being given the opportunity to form part of the national team was a huge milestone in his career.
“It’s an honour for me and my family to be given the opportunity to represent Malta,” Reid told the Times of Malta.
“I have been living here in Malta for some time now and to be honest I always wanted to represent this country. I have followed closely the development of the national team and the progress they made and it feels like I have reached an important milestone in my career to be given this opportunity.
“I have been living in Malta since 2016 and since then I have started a family here with my wife, and during this time I have brought over my mother and sister here so I really feel like Malta is my home.
“No doubt, becoming a Maltese citizen is the icing on the cake for me as it can open more doors in my football career and I’m just grateful for what has happened.”
Having made Michele Marcolini’s final squad for tomorrow’s trip to Wembley Stadium presents a unique opportunity for the powerful striker to make his debut for his adopted country against a top side like England.
“I am really excited at the prospect,” Reid said.
“My family knows well that I have been an England supporter since I was a kid and to be given this opportunity to play against this top team at the highest level is something I am really excited about. I have always dreamed of playing at the highest level and for me will be something I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
Asked what he can bring to the team in terms of his football qualities, Reid said: “Attacking-wise I like to go forward, I can play on both wings and try and use my physical power to burst through and score goals.
“The national team already boasts some great forwards such as Luke Montebello, who is enjoying a great season at Ħamrun Spartans, and my team-mate Kyrian Nwoko at Floriana. I am confident that I can be a great addition to the team and bring something different to the team.”
Reid said that he has been impressed with the progress shown by the national team in recent years and is confident the team can reach its present goals.
“As I said, I have been following the national team for many years and there is no doubt that football movement here is moving and growing,” he said.
“There is a professional set-up and although results in the Euro 2024 qualifiers were not what we wanted, it’s clear that the team is progressing well. I am happy to be part of the process now and hopefully I
can help the team reach higher objectives.
“The coach Michele Marcolini has been very welcoming. I had never met him before but he expressed his excitement at having me in the team. He told me that he had been following me since last season and appreciates me a lot as a player and that is very important for a player.”
‘Room for improvement’
Reid has enjoyed a great start to the season, scoring six goals and helping the team to go top of the Premier League alongside joint-leaders Ħamrun Spartans. But Reid believes that he can play much better and is committed to working even harder to reach a higher level of performance.
“Honestly, I think I can play better than I did so far,” he said.
“I may have scored six goals but I have missed many scoring opportunities. Football is a process and I am committed to working hard and becoming a better player. I believe that there is more room for improvement for me. At Floriana, there is a good team and the spirit in the dressing room is great so there is everything in place for me to become a better player.”
Tomorrow, the national team is set to be followed by a huge group of Maltese fans as around 1,500 supporters are set to attend the Euro 2024 qualifier at Wembley Stadium and Reid had a clear message for them.
“I am really looking forward to seeing the Maltese fans at Wembley Stadium,” Reid said.
“I believe they should come and push the team in such a difficult match. The team has worked hard to prepare for the match in the best possible way.
“We know that we are playing against top quality side but we are raring to go and try and get the best possible performance and result.”
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