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Paul eyes return to national team

Thursday, December 12, 2013
The Pro Look
Leston Paul in action.

Former national youth team captain Leston Paul is eying a return to the national team but knows that the time is not yet right for him to wear a national shirt again.


Paul returned to local football this season, joining hometown side Guaya United in the TTFA National Super League and while he may not appear to be an obvious standout in the Guaya line up, head coach Ron La Forest believes the former St Mary’s College has been a quiet force in his team this season.


“He’s been an important part of the team and he’s the man I have in the middle to control things, to organise the play, to calm things down,” La Forest said. “I expect to see him back in the national team again. The hunger is there and he’s showing good signs as the season goes on.”


Paul believes that playing with Guaya was the best option for him this year but he is eying a return to the overseas circuit after spending time with the University of South Florida.


“I graduated from college and came back home for a while which is when I decided to join Guaya and play in the Super League. I took the decision to join them without a contract and be free to leave when I’m ready which should be in January. Of course I'm enjoying the football with Guaya because we are doing pretty well, we are also trying to play proper football,” Paul said.


“I would love to be playing overseas and also return to the national set up within the next year or so. The recent performances of the national team has been tremendous and shows that we are on the right track to improving as a country and I’d love to be part of the set up,” Paul said, adding that he believes local players should make use of the opportunities offered to them to attend US Colleges.


“College helped me to see a different environment away from home. Also it helped me to adapt to new places and individuals which is something I would need to do when pursuing my professional career,” he said. Paul captained the T&T Under-17 team at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea and the U-20 team at the 2009 U-20 World Cup in Egypt.



Cole reflects on partnership with Yorke

Former Manchester United great Andy Cole recently offered advice to forwards who play with partners and used his relationship with Dwight Yorke as an example of how the strikers of today should approach their roles.


Cole, writing in his column in the The National, said there would always be times when he needed someone to lift him when things were not going right and having someone like Yorke around was ideal.



“I was raised to play up front with a partner, or with a player just behind me, a foil. That was the English way, and I played my best football like that, combining with another striker, making one-twos to beat opponents and knowing you had someone to support you when things were not going well, someone to lift you,” Cole said.


“Dwight Yorke and I bounced the ball and ideas off each other. We often had a little word about a new plan when the ball was at the other end of the field.


“Sir Alex Ferguson said of us in his autobiography: “They hadn’t known one another when Yorkie came to the club, but they just gelled. In training, they would work on runs together, little dummies, one-twos. They synchronised beautifully.”




Edwards hopes to keep playing

Having given T&T head coach Stephen Hart a little reminder of his capabilities in the recent 2-0 win over Jamaica, Carlos Edwards is also hoping that he’s sent a message to Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy.


Edwards has made just seven starts for the club this season but scored last week against Blackburn Rovers and has showed his worth in the last month.


“I would like to think I’ve staked my claim, but then again it’s down to the manager."


It’s a different team we’ll be playing against so he’ll do his homework and we’ll see how it goes from there. If it is that he sees fit to change it around again I can’t complain, I’ll just have to wait until I get in again and hope that when it comes I can maybe get another goal.”


The 35-year-old said: “I would love to play every game but it may not be the case. Coming round close to the Christmas period you’ve often got three games a week. You do need the whole squad at this time of year.”



Walker gets US college accolade




Former national youth team member and Fairleigh Dickinson men's player Nicholas Walker was named first team All-Northeast Conference in the USA, the league announced a couple weeks ago.


Walker also was named the NEC defensive player of the year.


Walker, who was one of 34 men's identified as a potential candidate for the 2013 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy in the preseason, started all 14 games he played in, despite missing four games over a three-week stretch with an injury. The senior co-captain played very well in anchoring the backline, according to the Big Apple website. Walker, a two-time first team All-NEC selection after making the team last year, scored one goal this season.



Shaun Fuentes is the director of communications for TTFA – [email protected]


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