DIRECTV North East Stars brought some Brazilian flavour to Carnival Monday with the arrival of Brazilian striker, Jeronimo Wendes De Souza.
Wendes, as he prefers to be known, finally arrived at the North East club after 4 weeks of complications surrounding his transfer. "Its great to be here in Trinidad" said the 23 year old, who is venturing into his first spell outside of Brazil.
"Its taken a while for me to get here, but I've been very excited and checking out the results on the Pro League website and Socawarriors.net."
Wendes was spotted by Stars Brazilian coach, Emerson Alcantara, while playing for the Rio Grande Premier League outfit, Inter Santa Maria. "I liked his first touch and he has fast feet" said Alcantara. "He has a great attitude and work ethic and although he plays with a lot of flair, he's not afraid of tackling back and playing physical"
North East will hope Wendes will help them continue the good form they found in their last game when they came out 2-0 winners over San Juan Jabloteh.
"I think that's the best I've seen them play" said Alcantara. "Its taken us too long to gel together and I must accept some responsibility for that. However, I have always believed that this group of players can beat any team in the Pro League. Our defence has been solid, but we have had problems all season scoring goals.
We haven't seen the best yet from Daryl Trim, who made the step up from Intercol in January, but his potential is frightening. I am also confident that Kaydion Gabriel will finish the season with at least 5 goals. He's had some bad luck in front of goal, and this does affect a strikers confidence, but once he hits the net, there'll be no stopping him, his pace is fantastic.
Alcantara also paid tribute to Under 23 team mates, Jeromie Williams and Jean-Luc Rochford for their performances in the Jabloteh victory. "I know that San Juan's rhythm comes from Marvin Oliver, who I consider to be one of the Pro Leagues most gifted players.
I gave Butters (Williams) the task of man marking Oliver and he did the job superbly, preventing him from dictating the game. Butters is a great player to have in your team and always turns in a solid performance.
Jean-Luc has certainly found his goal scoring touch and produced a brilliant goal from 20 yards. I was also delighted to see Gary Glasgow get on the score sheet after a long lay off through injury."
Wendes is eager to pull on the burgundy and gold shirt and make his debut on Friday against T&TEC at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium at 8pm. "When I saw that North East Stars come from Sangre Grande, I saw that as a good omen. Rio Grande to Sangre Grande just feels right." said the striker.
North East are hoping to go one better than their last visit to T&TEC at Mannie Ramjohn, where they not only claimed 1 point after a 0-0 draw, playing more than 60 minutes with 10 men, but also being unlucky not to take all three points.
"T&TEC are a strong side" said Alcantara "And I must congratulate them for reaching the CONCACAF play offs. Although I will be hoping they progress in that competition, of course I hope we take all three points on Friday."