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St Augustine Secondary and National youth team standout midfielder Shannon Gomez says the recent run of form by the National Senior Men’s team and the influence of youth players on Stephen Hart’s team has inspired him to his current level of play.

Gomez scored one of his team’s goal in their 4-1 whipping of Fatima College in Tuesday’s Coca Cola Intercol Final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. He’s been following the  T&T team in each of their recent performances and wins over Jamaica, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico.

Wearing the captain’s armband for the “Green Machine” Gomez has been a cut above his peers this season, possessing the skill and composure of a player set to be one of the future Senior T&T players. His ability to read the game, his work rate both offensively and defensively has led to him already attracting interest from US Colleges and he is certain to make it into the T&T Under 20 Men’s team next year.

Gomez, from Edinburgh 500 in Chaguanas was a talking point among officials and coaches during the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Final Round in Panama where he was first spotted by current T&T head coach Stephen Hart, who at time was working as a scout for Canada and was already impressed by what he was seeing of the 17-year-old who can also play in a wingback position.

“I am mostly self-motivated to work hard but I think the set up of now of the National Senior Team and the influence of the young players on the team has encouraged even more,” said Gomez.  “I feel very inspired by everything I have been seeing recently with our national team.

“And when you look at young players making their mark with guys like Rundell Winchester at 19-years-old and Sheldon Bateau… it’s encouraging for players like me to try and follow in their footsteps. I admire the way Sheldon plays. He can play wingback and also in midfield which are my two positions.”

Gomez wants a greater challenge than the Secondary Schools League. 

“It was great to win the Intercol title and credit to the staff, the players, the fans and the school. But I really feel I should go after something more challenging now.

Every year it’s just younger players coming through the Secondary Schools League and the focus is on winning. I think the international experience I had with the Under 17s has opened up my eyes a bit. I want to play at a higher level and continue raising my standard,” Gomez added.