FORMER Trinidad and Tobago striker Kerry Baptiste is seeking to maintain his playing career but also serve as a mentor to his teammates at debutant Digicel Pro League club TTEC.
The 30-year-old, who has netted 12 times in 50 international matches from 2003-2010, began his career as a midfielder at San Juan Jabloteh but switched to a striker with devastating effect when he joined Joe Public in 2007.
He played a crucial part in Joe Public’s conquest of five titles in the 2009 local season, including the Pro League and the FA Trophy.
After his contract with United Soccer League (USL) outfit Tampa Bay ended last year, he joined TTEC as a free agent in December.
Baptiste was quick to point out that his former national teammate Clayton Ince, who is a goalkeeper/coach at TTEC, and the club coach Dexter Cyrus, played instrumental roles in him lining up with the 2010 Blink bmobile National Super League title-holders.
“When I saw Clayton (Ince) was down there and I know Dexter Cyrus from playing (against him), I said eventually I’ll try and go down there and lend a hand, not just offer my experience but just to try to motivate some of the players around TTEC, to inspire them,” Baptiste said. “(Tell them) this is the attitude, commitment and discipline that you have to have to really know if you want something.”
TTEC entered this weekend’s resumption of the Pro League in second spot and Baptiste noted, “what they’re doing right now it don’t really happen because they are debutants in the Pro League.
“TTEC have joined the Pro League for the first time and they are (twice) finalists and they’re heading for a spot at CFU,” he said, referring to the CFU Club Champions phase, for the top two teams in the 2011/2012 Pro League season.
TTEC were beaten finalists to Caledonia AIA (2-1) in the First Citizens Cup and to W Connection (5-4 after kicks from the penalty spot) in the Toyota Classic.