Considered one of the brightest youngsters in Guyana’s footballing fraternity, Curtez Kellman has always been dedicated, hardworking and humble in his growth.
Now 22-years-old and well aware of what it takes to succeed, Curtez firmly believes in this quote by track and field legend Jesse Owens; “”We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, discipline, and effort.”
In an exclusive sit-down with The 592 Dugout, the outspoken footballer shared his journey thus far, a fascinating story of positivity and discipline.
Kellman who made his international debut for the Golden Jaguars back in 2017 at just 19-years-old in a friendly against Indonesia revealed that football was not his first love; “I started playing football as a teenager, I was already 13 or 14-years-old. The first sport I loved to play was cricket, I always used to prefer cricket over football”.
However, as he got into ‘Jogo Bonito’, the ‘Beautiful Game’, his preference quickly changed; “I believe I was meant to play football, it was always in my genes because my dad used to play and many other family members. I eventually joined the Georgetown Football Club (GFC) in 2014 and that’s where my football journey all started”.
The persons that he credits with his development are no strangers to Guyanese football; “After Vurlon Mills and Faizal Khan took over at GFC after the death of Coach Peter Lashley, under their guidance I quickly developed into the player I am today”.
The guidance of Mills and Khan along with the support of his mother, father and many other relatives has meant alot to the youngster.
Mills who has been one of Guyana’s best footballers until his recent retirement from international duty has always been Kellman’s inspiration. “I have always looked up to Vurlon Mills due to the fact that he’s disciplined and gives good advice. He’s a mentor and has always been with me helping to ensure that I make good decisions. He has played a pivotal role in my development in the sport”.
Curtez who admires the football of Sergio Busquets and Paul Pogba has played numerous positions in his career thus far and spoke about his role in football; “I’m a utility player but my preferred position is that of a Defensive Center Midfielder, I’m more of a player to break up plays, make passes going forward and also in keeping possession”.
Reflecting on his first call up to the Golden Jaguars, Guyana’s National team, Kellman revealed that it was a strange experience; “I first got called up to the National team at age 17 against the Canada U-23 side in 2016. Being the youngest in the camp was an odd feeling because I was not accustomed to being with more mature players, but gradually practicing with them I gained more confidence and I got used to it. It’s always an honour to represent your country and I want to continue working hard, to be in the best shape and the best of my ability so that I can be a main call up for the national side, that requires consistency which I always strive for”.
Presently, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Kellman who was on a scholarship to the Eastern Florida State College explained that budget cuts caused the College not to have a football program anymore which meant he was out of a scholarship. However, as good fortune would have it he was offered another scholarship from Daytona State College which he accepted with pride.
“I’ve gained a full scholarship from Daytona State and I will be completing my associates degree there, I have one more semester to do so. On the professional side of things I’m fully focused and I think this is the right opportunity now for me to be in a professional environment. I’m fully confident that I can and will succeed at the next level with the attributes I possess, the discipline that I have is key”.
Looking at the future, Curtez is full of ambition; “I’m working on getting a few tryouts with some professional teams and hopefully everything works out in my favour. I have realized that having a certified agent is very important and that’s what I’m currently working on. I don’t want to divulge any details as yet because it is not confirmed, but the agent that I’m in talks with had a professional career in the USA Major League Soccer (MLS) and he currently works with a lot of the MLS players”.
In a resounding statement, Kellman spoke of where he came from; “I grew up in East Ruimveldt and when people hear about that area, they always view it as a ‘bad’ area but we have a lot of good that comes out of our community and I am one of them. It is because of that perception of my community, I want people to look up at me as an inspiration to do good things and as a mentor”.
“In life you will always face challenges and that’s reality but it always depends on how you face them as an individual”.
Speaking directly to any youngster who has ambitions in sports, Kellman dropped this gem of advice; “Youths once you have aspired to do something, focus on following your dreams, do not let anyone tell you that you can’t do it or that you can’t make it. Always believe in yourself and work hard to achieve your goals”.