Michael Owen admits that he will have to join the fight with Kenwyne Jones and his fellow strike partners for a starting place in the Stoke City line-up in the ongoing Premiership season. Jones had been previously linked with an exit from Stoke but remained at the club as the transfer window closed. However there remains speculation that he could sign on loan elsewhere. So far Burnley and Wolverhampton Wanderers are among the teams being linked to him, according to the English Press. Stoke’s forward department also includes Peter Crouch, Jon Walters and Cameron Jerome. Owen says he’s ready to challenge for the starting spot. “I know a couple of lads here from past experience, be that with England or different clubs. Peter (Crouch) is one of them. He has done fantastically well since he joined Stoke, but there are many strikers at the club so I am not expecting it to be an easy ride. I will have to work to play any part and I am prepared to do that. There are a lot of top players at the club. I am just going to hopefully fit in well with the squad and have a good season,” Owen said.
Williams adapting to leadership role in U-20 team
W Connection Jomal Williams says he feels more mature and confident as a member of the National Under-20 team and has his mind set on being an exemplar to his teammates for the remainder of their Under-20 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Williams, who was a member of the previous Olympic team, scored two vital goals in T&T’s victories over Guyana and St Vincent/Grenadines in Round 1 of the Under-20 campaign last month. He is viewed as one of the senior players on the squad due to his involvement with the T&T Under-23s where he saw action in T&T’s final qualifier against Honduras in Los Angeles.
“I feel like a senior player on the Under-20 team but it’s more than that. I see myself as a player who can help the younger ones and lead by example. I want to pass on my experience and talk to them in whatever situations necessary,” Williams said.
“The experience with the Olympic team helped me a lot. I am a bit more composed now and when I think that things are getting out of hand I am learning how to bring myself back down to earth and how to work in the best interest of the team. I hope I can continue to do this to help our chances because we all want to qualify for the Under-20 World Cup.”
Central Florida coach hails Leston Paul
Former national Under-20 captain Leston Paul is just about the most popular soccer player at the University of South Florida these days. Paul scored the equalizer and set up the winner in USF’s 2-1 win over Iona last Saturday in the USF tournament at Corbett Soccer Stadium. His positive attitude has been hailed by head coach, George Kiefer. “I was a little bit concerned going into the locker room because we looked exhausted. Leston just kept saying, ‘We’re going to win this game.’ It fired them up a little bit and Leston was kind of the guy spearheading that, making sure the energy was right. He really put the team on his back and took us where we needed to go,” he said. Paul, in his third year at USF, plans to turn pro at the end of his College time.
“The US is a more physical game, and it’s faster,” Paul said. “The physiques of the players are a lot bigger. But I like it here. It’s like home because of the family atmosphere. Once I complete my degree then I’m going to explore some options both in the US and abroad.”
All these island boys play football—Ferguson
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson seems to be thrilled at the possibility of sprint sensation Usain Bolt lining up for the Old Trafford club in an upcoming exhibition match. The man who once signed Dwight Yorke for £12.6 million, a record back in 1998, talked about Yorke and Bolt as the kind of men who naturally come from backgrounds where football was popular. "The people from these small islands, like Dwight Yorke from Trinidad & Tobago, they all play football and he probably played at school level or youth level or something like that. It'd be nice to get him up here, I think it'll be good,” Ferguson said on the weekend. “He’s a bit of a character and a big United fan. But it's interesting he says he'd like to play in a charity game. And he did help Cristiano Ronaldo with his sprinting, like he said, he took him aside one day.” Surely Yorke, now a United ambassador, would fancy the chance to play in the match which is likely to be against the Real Madrid legends. Yorke has been a regular for the “Red Devils” in recent charity games.
Shaun Fuentes is the media officer for TTFF/Soca Warriors. Follow him on twitter@ProLook2006