Hanover’s top striker, Oliver ‘Bubbu’ Sewell, 22, began playing football at age five with his cousins and neighbours in a large open lot in the community of Prosper in Lucea, Hanover, where he still resides.
Sewell scored 16 goals in the Hanover Division One competition this season, where he represented Central Strikers and Pedro FC during the latter stages of the competition, and was the competition's leading goal-scorer.
A graduate of the Rusea’s High School, Sewell said that he was spotted at age13 by Rusea’s football coach, Emerson Henry, who expressed an interest in drafting him into the Rusea’s Dacosta Cup squad. However, he did not represent the school at the Dacosta Cup level, due to his mother insistence that he ‘study his book’, and pass his CXC exams, before dedicating his time to schoolboy football.
Sewell made his debut at age twelve in the Hanover Division Competition in 1994 for the Waterworks Football Club, and scored his first goal in that competition one year later. He was also the leading goal scorer for the Waterworks FC in the 2002 West Confederation Super League, up to the time of that team’s withdrawal shortly before mid-season, because of financial problems.
“From I was a little boy, I liked scoring goals,” Sewell told the Gleaner. “I was always a forward but I played midfield on a few occasions, though, for the Rusea’s under-14 team.”
“I started playing in the Hanover Division One Competition at age 12”, he said. “I used to get my ‘little run’, back then. I scored my first goal in the competition at age 13 against Grand Lido Football Club,” he added, laughing. “Waterworks won 1-0 that day, so I was the spectators’ hero, and the talk-of-the-town, because they saw me as the little boy who scored against these big men.”
Adding that from birth he was surrounded by footballers, Sewell said that more than five of his family members were on champion teams at different levels.
“My father was a forward at the Negos Premier League team in the 1970s,” he said. “My brother Ornaldo ‘Percy’ Sewell and my cousins, Stanley Sewell and Steve ‘Tickarus’ Edwards were top Rusea’s defenders. They, along with Leo Sewell, represented Waterworks at Division One and Super League, and Legend FC in the National Premier League. Edwards was also drafted to the All DaCosta and Jamaica’s under-23 teams,” he added.
A vegetarian for the past nine years, Sewell is sturdily built at 162 lbs and 5 feet 8 inches tall. He noted that he maintains a balanced diet with plenty protein-rich foods.
“As a very active sportsman and a vegetarian, I have to pay special attention to my diet. I eat lots of fish, iron-rich vegetables, fruits and nuts, and a lot of proteins which I would get from eating meat. I always have a balanced diet,” he stressed. " I drink a lot of porridge and this helps to keep my legs strong. The porridge gives me the strength to kick the ball powerfully. I drink all kinds of porridge: banana, cornmeal, oats, even carrot porridge."
Sewell, who is also a firefighter at the Lucea Fire Department, told the Gleaner that he is able to balance his time between work and football, as his supervisors were flexible and very supportive, and as a result, he is able to compete on match days. He noted, however, that he had had disappointing performances while competing for the brigade in the sport.
“My worst performance as a ‘baller’ has been in the Fire Brigade Competition,” he said. “I was ‘in form’ but maybe I did not take the competition seriously, as most people did not train and when you are playing football you must train.”
Sewell is a fan of Onandi Lowe, because of what he says is the player’s superb strength, and Brazilian football superstar, Ronaldo, because of his ‘technicality.’
Sewell commented that footballers in Hanover suffer from underexposure. “It is every footballer’s dream to play international football," he contended. "The issue, however, is that we footballers in Hanover tend not to get any exposure. I believe that if I were in Kingston or another eastern parish, a lot would have happened for me where football is concerned."