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.