India-based T&T senior national football team striker Willis Plaza is confident that this country can get back to playing its best football of recent times under new coach, Englishman Terry Fenwick.
The 33-year-old Plaza was speaking after a national team training session yesterday (Friday) at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo, at which re-installed Normalisation Committee chairman Robert Hadad paid a visit and addressed the national squad and its staff.
Signed by Mohammedan SC during the off-season in the Indian I-League and a key part of their successful promotion run, Plaza said working with Fenwick can also serve to work in his favour.
A former Central FC and San Juan Jabloteh striker, Plaza who was joint top-scorer in the I-League in 2019 said, "Actually, it’s a plus for me working with Fenwick knowing the type of football he plays and the type of person he is, and know that I played with him before I know I can fit in his system and I am just happy to be here.”
Reflecting on his time in India during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and having to stay in lockdown for most of that period, Plaza said, “Trust me, it was a real break down in your mindset when it comes to being a bread winner for your family and being away from your family and just being away from your country, it was really difficult.
"You lose the love, the vibe and everything especially when you are out there alone and I am just grateful to be back in Trinidad and I have now started to find back the love for the football and everything."
Commenting on the state of the professional game in India where he has been plying his trade for the past three seasons with Churchill Brothers and now with Mohammedan, Plaza said it's difficult now because the football has taken a hit.
He added, "The game has moved from 10/10 to about 6/10 because the money has dropped, the support has also dropped and I think it all has to do with India being so high risk with the coronavirus.
"The social distancing is very strict over there in India and I don’t think it’s a life for a footballer at present, and I am not sure if I will be going back as well.”
Looking ahead to his training stint Fenwick and the national team, Plaza said everyone can expect to see him working hard and aiming to make the country proud again.
"We are a bit behind so we now have to try and catch back that level and bring the country back to where it was in our football. I'm confident we can get there because I know coach Terry Fenwick has been working towards it behind the scenes during the pandemic and most of the players understand what it will take and are willing to work hard and I think we will get there," said Plaza.