Ex-Sunday League player gets international call-up to complete remarkable rise

Jermaine Francis has gone from Sunday League football to receiving an international call-up for Grenada.

The midfielder, 21, has risen through the ranks in recent years and joined National League South side Chelmsford City last month. Given he'd been on trial at National League club Barnet before that, they knew they were on to a winner.

And Francis has proved that and some in the first few weeks of the season, winning three Player of the Match awards in a row and scoring his first goal in claret in a 1-0 win against Eastbourne Borough.

Now his performances have been recognised by the Grenada FA, who have called him up to their squad for their CONCACAF Nations League matches against Suriname at home on Friday (September 8) and away to Honduras next Tuesday (September 12).

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Reacting to the news on X, the social media site recently rebranded from Twitter, Francis wrote: "Glad to get my first international call up for @GFAGrenada, let’s get to work."

Chelmsford's account, meanwhile, posted: "Wishing the very best of luck to Jermaine Francis who has received his first international call up for @GFAGrenada [clap emoji]."

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Not too long ago he was playing for east London-based Sunday League side Hatch Lane. From there he went to Cannons Wood in Harlow and then onto Coggleshall Town, who are co-owned by Olly Murs.

His eye-catching performances on the wing caught the attention of Hashtag United, who signed him in February 2022. He helped YouTuber Spencer Owen's brainchild reach the seventh tier last season.

And he also featured in this summer's TST, a seven-a-side tournament hosted in America and featuring a whole host of various teams, for the Tags.

Francis, who spent time in the academies of Chelsea, QPR and Reading as a teenager, hopes to one day play in the Premier League and is widely regarded as one of the biggest talents in non-league.

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