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Shahdon Winchester trains with T&T senior team (Photo credit: tnttimes.com).For large numbers of fifth formers who receive their CXC results, the choice usually lies between repeating the year or starting sixth form. For two of the country’s top young footballers another option presented itself: Go pro.

This year, Jerrel Britto and Shahdon Winchester, the national Under-17 skipper and vice-captain respectively, became first team members of their respective Pro League clubs, San Juan Jabloteh and W Connection. For this pair of teenagers, considered two of the brightest talents in their age group, many felt it was the right move.

For these young men, the timing could not have been better. The international spotlight beckoned when their clubs qualified for the Concacaf Champion’s League (CCL), affording them a chance to play in the Confederation’s premier club championship. They seemed to grab the chance with both hands.

Prior to the start of the new academic year in September, Winchester notched a start in Connection’s away game to Honduran club Real España while grabbing four goals in the Pro League. Britto for his part was regularly used as a substitute for Jabloteh, including in two CCL fixtures before the new school year began.

Then came the choice, return to school or remain a professional player.

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