26-year old Ottawa native Jamar Dixon has had a very interesting career so far, that is for sure. After leaving Victoria Highlanders in 2011, he joined a relatively low team in Sweden’s 5th division; nevertheless, he has continuously managed to climb up the ladder. Soon he was in the 4th division and not much later, he switched countries altogether and joined a team in Finland’s 3rd division and not much longer the second tier of Finnish football.
Despite not much promotion from mainstream media or any well-known sources, and the typical struggles of any Canadian playing soccer abroad, he continued to fly under the radar, kept his head down, and never stopped believing in his abilities. Wherever he went he impressed club officials and teammates alike. His coaches and teammates appreciated his incredible versatility and his positive attitude, and last but not least, his hard work both on the pitch and in training.
Dixon even got invited to a few trials at various clubs in Allsvenskan, Sweden’s top flight. He ended up getting signed by Örebro SK, but the lower club he was still playing for blocked his transfer by asking for too much money. Other clubs in Scandinavia took note and this is when he went to Finland to try his luck there. However, he had to stick to the lower divisions until his paperwork was complete. His patience and dedication eventually earned him a good contract at FF Jaro, which was then in Finland’s top flight.
It did not take Dixon long to adapt to the higher level of play at his new club; but he had the misfortunate to injure fan favourite and Finnish international Petteri Forsell right at the start of the season. In the face of adversity and all the criticism unleashed at him from furious Finnish soccer fans, Dixon kept his head down and continued to perform.
He ended up playing in 27 of 33 games for FF Jaro, scoring 3 and starting 19 times. During these performances, he played as defender, midfielder and even as a striker. Dixon refuses to be reduced to a single position on the field and this, without a doubt, his biggest strength. Any club looking for a utility player with a high work rate and positive attitude should be looking out for him.
A player with these distinct characteristics should also be of interest to the Canadian national team. In my view, we need someone who can play well as right back, but who can also play fill in a variety of other positions, should the need arise. In addition, Jamar Dixon has already proven repeatedly that he can play in extremely difficult environments. In my humble opinion, it is time to stop ignoring what Dixon has accomplished over the last few years and I hope that Floro has taken note, and consequently will reward this player. If my words have failed to convince you, please watch this 2015 highlight video instead:
A small update on what is next: In spite of Dixon’s strong performances in Finland, his club got relegated. It is unlikely that he will be returning to FF Jaro, although he is still under contract there, as he has simply outgrown this club, once again. I am not sure what Dixon’s next destination will be; however, I cannot wait to find out, because I am confident that he will continue to climb higher and higher. To me it would not be a surprise if Jamar Dixon got nominated for the end of January national team camp and our team here at Canucks Abroad would be delighted if this comes to fruition.
To get another impression of how hard it can be for Canadians in Scandinavia and the sacrifices they are forced to make, because professional soccer in our country does not provide a suitable home; listen to the excellent interview by Steve Bottjer with A.J. Gray, another Canadian trying to battle to the top from the lower divisions in Northern Europe: