Former national Under-17 women's player Maya Matouk will be embarking on a new phase in her career this year after being accepted to the University of Tampa.
Matouk officially signed on with the University having impressed during her tenure at the IMG Academy in Florida. She is among eight student-athletes signed by Tampa a few days ago for the Class of 2015.
Matouk, who played for St Ann's Rangers in the local Women's League, said she was thrilled over her Tampa ticket.
"University of Tampa was one of my top choices to study business because they offer a great programme. While visiting for a weekend to try out for the team I was impressed by the welcome I received from the Coach and the players. I felt extremely comfortable and knew that the Coach would encourage me to improve my game tremendously," she said.
The former St Joseph's Convent student and ex-member of the La Foucade Coaching school said that she has ambitions of representing T&T again but also has her sights on furthering his academic qualifications.
"My major is business and finance. I always loved studying business in High School and I'm looking forward to learning more in this field. Football is my passion and I would love to play to the highest level of my ability....I will be proud to put on my T&T jersey and represent my country. The feelings and emotions that I felt when I walked on the field at the Concacaf tournament will live with me forever. My love for my country and my love for the game will make it a pleasure to represent T&T."
Matouk said playing for T&T at the U-17 level where they captured the Caribbean title in Haiti in 2013, prepared her for her move to IMG which holds one of the United States' top development programmes. She also credited her parents Michael and Paula for spurring her on both on and off the football pitch.
"Playing for the U-17 team was a privilege and I am thankful I had the experience to travel with them. Playing against teams like USA and Canada opened my eyes to the level of football out there, so I knew what I was going into when I entered IMG Academy.
"There were quite a few changes as I was not accustomed to lifting weights as often and my daily training sessions were tougher and longer. We travel to play friendly games on most weekends as well as competitive games. I am thankful I was able to get this opportunity before heading to University," she said.
David signs with Kazakhstan premier club
National senior men's defender Aubrey David agreed to a contract with Kazakhstan Premier League club FC Shakhter Karagandy.
David went on trial with Shakhter in Turkey during their preseason tour at which time he played four matches for the club over the past couple weeks.
"I'm really pleased about this because I had every intention to return to Europe after the Caribbean Cup last year and after my deal with Jaro ended in Finland," David said. "I got this opportunity to come on trials with Shakhter while they were in preseason in Turkey and I gave it my best shot. I think the coaches liked what they saw of me during the four games and then they offered me the contract. It's a good step for me because I think playing out in Europe on a regular basis will help me continue to develop my game. My time in Finland definitely helped me last year."
He remains committed to the national senior team for the upcoming calendar which includes the Concacaf Gold Cup in July and the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign which begins for T&T in November.
"I'm always looking forward to that call from the national team.
"So once I'm match ready and free if injury, I'll be hoping to be part of the team this year for the Gold Cup and the World Cup qualifiers," said David, who follows national teammates Radanfah Abu Bakr and Robert Primus as those who've played in Kazakhstan.
Jones gets praise from Blake
Former Welsh international Nathan Blake was all praise for Kenwyne Jones following his goalscoring performance for Cardiff City in their 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday on the weekend.
Jones's goal was his seventh in ten matches for Cardiff in the English Championship Division. He now has 13 goals this season.
"He's scored seven in his last 10 appearances and that's an outstanding record for a team in the lower half of the table," Blake stated on Wales Online. Blake is also a former Cardiff, Bolton Wanderers, Leicester City and Leeds United player.
"I've heard all the talk about how Kenwyne needs to be more of a 90-minute player, to be charging around the pitch all the time challenging here, there and everywhere.
"But that's not what Cardiff City need him to be doing. Kenwyne's game is all about winning physical challenges, scoring goals and being a nightmare for opposing defenders in the air."
Shaun Fuentes is the director of communications for the TTFA – [email protected]hoo.com