Non-League football: Mickleover Sports striker Jacob Hazel’s summer with the Sugar Boyz IT has been a busier than normal summer for Mickleover Sports striker Jacob Hazel.
The former Chesterfield front-man had planned a fairly quiet close season before the call came from head coach Jacque Passy, asking if he’d like to represent St Kitts and Nevis in their World Cup and Olympic qualification matches in the Caribbean.
His dad, Des, is a former St Kitts international and represented them on four occasions.
“It was a great experience and I was glad to be involved with St Kitts,” said Hazel, whose first stop was a training camp in Mexico with his St Kitts team-mates before he moved on to El Salvador to play in the World Cup qualifying game.
“It was an honour being involved in the World Cup matches and then I got the chance to help the Under-23 St Kitts side qualify in Haiti.
“I have been out in the Caribbean for a month and I then moved on to Miami before flying home a few days ago.
“I have had a manic month but met some great people.”
St Kitts, known as the Sugar Boyz, are ranked outside the top 100 by FIFA and their exit from the World Cup qualifiers – they were beaten
6-3 by El Salvador on aggregate in their final group match – will have done little to boost that.
They did, though, have better luck in their bid to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio with Hazel playing his part in a 2-1 defeat of Barbados and a 6-0 thrashing of the Cayman Islands.
Sports joint manager Craig Hopkins said: “It’s a great honour for the club and a great honour for Jacob himself.
“It couldn’t have happened to a nicer lad and he has deserved it for all his hard work and application.
“It shows that players do still get noticed at Evo-stik level and it will show others at this club what is possible if you set your mind to it.”