Hines hoping for Kingston call

Zavon Hines is desperate for the next step in his remarkable career to be on the international stage with his beloved Jamaica.

Last Updated: 21/02/13 at 15:52

Zvaon Hines: Hoping to face Swansea on Sunday

Zvaon Hines: Hoping to face Swansea on Sunday

The Kingston-born winger emigrated to England with his parents when he was a child, graduating from the West Ham academy without quite making the impact many expected.

However, his brave step to drop down into npower League Two with Bradford has been vindicated by the starring role he has played in the Bantams' astonishing charge to Sunday's Capital One Cup final.

Although Hines has declared himself happy with Bradford and expressed a willingness to help them climb back up the Football League ladder, once the dust has settled, a move to a higher level seems certain.

Yet he is also keen to put himself back in the minds of Jamaica's national selectors.

While there was a time when Hines admits he toyed with the idea of playing for England because it might benefit his career, the 24-year-old would love the chance to star for the Reggae Boyz, who are currently battling to reprise their 1998 World Cup finals appearance.

"If Jamaica came for me, I would definitely go back," he said.

"That is where I was born. That is where my family is from. I would never turn my back on Jamaica.

"I did play for England Under-21s because both myself and my agent at the time thought it would be better exposure for me.

"But I am fully Jamaican. If I had the opportunity to play for them I would run there if I had to."

Working as a television pundit during Bradford's penalty shoot-out win over Arsenal in December, Wolves boss Dean Saunders said Hines was, by some distance, the best player in League Two.

He is not the only one with that opinion.

Yet, while he claims not to have always seen eye-to-eye with his club bosses, Hines accepts the blame for why a player good enough to make his debut in the Premier League against Tottenham as a 20-year-old should find himself in the bottom tier three years later is his own.

"My attitude has changed," he said.

"I am much more professional now. When I was at West Ham, a big club in the Premier League, I took it for granted.

"I did things without thinking and didn't concentrate as I do now.

"I like to think I have become more mature and all the lessons I learned at West Ham, are coming through now."

Hines' first move was to turn down a contract extension at West Ham, believing he was not going to get a game under Sam Allardyce.

Then he went to Burnley, where it did not work out either, before dropping down another level for a loan spell at Bournemouth.

Hines returned to Turf Moor to be informed the club were not taking up the option of a second year on his contract and, after having talks with Paolo Di Canio at Swindon, Hines eventually opted to move in at Bradford.

"I don't wonder why I am here," he said. "I am here for a reason.

"You have to go where your career takes you.

"It was a big drop coming down to League Two but it has helped my career.

"Even people asking why am I playing down here shows the club has been good for me because they are talking about me.

"I have worked on a lot of things. I have had a sports psychologist talking to me about my mental attitude, my strength. That has helped me massively, on and off the pitch."

The reason is obviously the part Hines has played in a remarkable journey that reaches Wembley on Sunday, and a meeting with Swansea that, if it goes well, will confirm a place in next season's Europa League.

It is a quite staggering prospect, and one which Hines accepts could have a major spin-off for him.

"The desire to return to the Premier League will never leave me," he said.

"I can't lie. It is a better standard of football and I want to get back there.

"I would love Bradford to go higher. I would like to be here to help them and I have no intentions of leaving.

"But football being what it is, if you are playing well and someone likes you, they will come in for you."

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H

e was right to leave, but not just because of the money City were coming into. If I remember rightly he had a reasonable amount of chances to shine at City, but he never passed the bloody ball. Loads of aimless dribbles and 40 yard shots and not much else. I would say that if he had learnt to be a bit more of a team player he may have done better at City.

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