Former National Under 20 striker Ataullah Guerra believes that as little as a 20-minute run for the Soca Warriors on Sunday against Grenada will do him a world of good as he attempts to break away from his struggles in East Dry River.
Guerra, linked to English club Portsmouth last year, describes his upbringing as “tough under very difficult conditions in my community” and now he’s hoping to use football and the wearing of the red, white and black strip to give him a lease on life.
The 19-year-old brother of the late Mark Guerra, murdered in 2003, says he wants to become a fixture in Maturana’s team and believes he is focused more than ever after falling out of national selection in the past because of a wayward training attendance record.
“It’s been tough for me and my family but they have always tried to support me in my football. Now I will try my best to make it my duty to represent my country it’s an honour to do this,” Guerra, of Clico San Juan Jabloteh told TTFF Media.
“Coming from the area where I live – East Dry River, people always look to you to being doing wrong all the time or involved in crime.
I want them to understand that football is my life right now and I am willing to give it my best shot and work as hard as I can. They said a lot of bad things about my brother. He was never bad to me but now I have to try and get over that feelings people have. I have to try and make it…” Guerra added on Thursday.
When asked why he has not made regular appearances at national team training in the past, Guerra said: “A lack of focus and not having enough confidence in myself was the reason for that. I wasn’t sure about what I wanted. Things will change because I am always truthful to myself. If I do the right things then good things will happen.”
“I followed the hard work of Travis Mulraine and try to follow his ways in life because he’s a good friend of mine. I also admire Russell Latapy … he is a very good player,” Guerra said.
“I will try my best to make this chance work for me. The current coach puts us first as youths and that is a very good feeling for us as youngsters. Even if I could play 20 minutes against Grenada, it will be like a dream come true to me. This is my chance to make a difference in my life and try to help the country on the football field,” he concluded.