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Yunus Musah #6 of the United States is marked by Real Gill #10 of Trinidad and Tobago during the first half at Hasely Crawford Stadium on November 20, 2023 in Port of Spain, Trinidad And Tobago. (Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

Trinidad and Tobago’s attacking midfielder Real Gill has been officially signed by Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC for 2024, pending United Soccer League (USL) and US Soccer Federation approval.

The USL League One club made the announcement on its website on Tuesday.

Gill, 20, who currently plies his trade with T&T Premier Football League tier one team Tiger Tanks Club Sando, expressed elation with his upward move. He wants to capitalise on this new opportunity to grow and improve as a pro footballer.

“This is just the start of my development and I just want to say that I’m very glad to get the chance to go build and make a better name for myself. I view this signing as a point of no turning back and a chance to make a bigger impact for my family and me,” Gill said.

The Harpe Place, Belmont resident currently plies his trade for Tiger Tanks Club Sando in the T&T Premier Football League tier one, where he has been since May 2023. He scored four times in seven matches for his club this season.

Gill made his professional debut with league contenders La Horquetta Rangers FC in 2022. The in-form attacker has six country appearances and one international goal.

He has not yet confirmed when he leaves T&T for the US.

Gill said his agent received a call from Hailstorm after T&T defeated USA 2-1 in the Concacaf Nations League quarter-final second leg last November. They were interested in him coming aboard for the new season. This is his first overseas contract.

In that game, Gill played 61 minutes before he was substituted off four minutes after T&T scored the winning goal. Last July, he was substituted on in the 46th minute for seasoned striker Kevin Molino against the US in a Concacaf Gold Cup group stage match. USA won 6-0.

Gill hopes his signing serves as a beacon of hope for young people in his community and the nation. He is determined to make the most of it and wants to inspire young men and women to work hard.

“The part that excites me the most is that I’m really getting a good chance out there to go and show that I could be something and change life for my family, change lives in the ghetto, change lives around for my friends; a better way for them to see that it have (things out there) for us.

“Other than just being around, you know, and just doing nothing, that kind of way. There are things outside that we could go and do and try to make it, even though where I’m from I never got any bad treatment, no (kinda) gunshot thing because they always protected me, and that’s what I’m really proud about,” he added.

Hailstorm coach Éamon Zayed welcomed Gill to the club and spoke of him in high regard.

“He’s a dynamic winger, bags of speed, bags of energy. He’s the kind of player that gets fans on the edge of their seat when he has the ball,”Zayed said.

Last season, Hailstorm placed third in the USL League One. Gill hopes his presence can be instrumental in guiding them to the title in 2024.

“I am excited for the opportunity to play for Hailstorm. Éamon and the staff have built a great team that can win titles and I will do my best to contribute to the winning culture,” he added.

Gill is the latest of three signings by the club, joining midfielders Patrick Langlois and Marky Hernandez.

SOURCE: T&T Newsday