Almost three years ago, when I wrote for Usportt, I claimed that despite the fact that Trinidad and Tobago was in dire straits where football was concerned, it was a good opportunity to look forward and focus on 2018.
At that time the country was still reeling from the incredulous fact that the Soca Warriors were unable to emerge from the first stage of qualifying the previous year. However, with that humiliation came ample time for the then TTFF to get their act together at long last and put down the groundwork for the following World Cup six years later.
Of the upcoming stars that would be of age, I saw the core of the U-17 and U-20 teams that competed at 2007 and 2009 World Cups respectively, being most eligible for great things. Central FC midfielder Sean De Silva, was a mainstay in both teams and seems to finally be set to establish himself in the national senior team.
As a youngster in the Twin-Island Republic, De Silva was first introduced to the game at the now famous La Foucade Club where according to him, he learnt the fundamentals including his technical and mental attributes. From then on, it was a rapid progression, typical of the aspiring player here; he played secondary school football with St. Mary’s College, and then went to Charleston College in the US in 2008.
Despite having to study, he maintained his consistent level in the sport, he said in an interview with the Trinidad Newsday: “Three seasons out of the four seasons (sic) I was there, I was MVP of the team and I also made first team in that division, and in that entire region, which was a pretty good accomplishment…”. He was subsequently invited to MLS team San Jose Earthquakes, to a training camp in which he did very well in a three-month pre-season stint. It was only after signing for NASL team, Minnesota United, he decided that it was the right time to return home.
He had a chat with Brent Sancho, former World Cup Soca Warriors defender, and the founder of local club Central FC, and decided that that was the ideal next step in his career – featuring with the “Sharks”. De Silva’s time so far with the current league leaders has been fruitful, and he has become the vice captain of the team as well.
He further went on in his chat with the Newsday that: “I think that at this point in time in my career, it was the right time to make that choice and play in Trinidad. Central FC did that to me and I was happy to be a part of winning trophies and making history for the club, qualifying for the Caribbean Championships and hopefully qualifying for the CONCACAF Champions League. Really and truly Central FC has been top-notch in my opinion.”
With the senior team however, his career hasn’t seemed to have ignited – yet. He has two appearances with the Soca Warriors and fondly remembers coming on for Russell Latapy in 2009; the “Little Magician” was his idol growing up.
However, he is currently poised to make a return under Stephen Hart’s current tenure, but it won’t be easy – Hart’s successful year –and-a-half stint has brought Trinidad and Tobago to 55th in the FIFA rankings, and competition in the midfield is stiff. Looking at the positives, however, Hart has shown a willingness to not only blood younger players in his midfield, but from the TT Pro League as well.
Leston Paul, Aubrey David, Jean Luc Rochford, Daneil Cyrus, Khaleem Hyland, Kevin Molino and the late Akeem Adams among others, have all featured in the World Cups in Korea 2007 and Egypt 2009. To date, they are all moving forward with their careers and have a good chance to be some of the faces we see on the roster when qualifiers begin for Russia 2018.
With Central FC six points clear in the current standings in the TT Pro League, him being the nucleus of their midfield, as well as the 2015 Gold Cup on the horizon, De Silva may well get his chance. He’ll need it, as we have to mount a serious campaign towards Russia; which mind you, is only three and a half years away now.