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Trinidad and Tobago’s Kevon “Showtime” Woodley, centre, tries to get past Guyana’s Kevin Layne, right, and Nicholai Andrews during a friendly match at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo, Port-of-Spain, on May 15th 2024. PHOTO BY: Daniel Prentice

Kevon “Showtime” Woodley’s rise to the national football team has been both an achievement of a dream and the emergence of potential drama on the country’s senior team.

“It’s something I’ve been dreaming about for many years now. I wanted to get a chance, just one chance to prove myself, and now it’s here, so I want to make the most of it,” Woodley told Guardian Media Sports on Sunday.

At the age of 37, Woodley is looking at long term, including helping the team qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2026, which will be hosted by a combined Concacaf trio of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Woodley, who hails from Malabar, Arima, lives with his wife and two children (Theon, 4 and Ceanna, 8), who are undoubtedly his biggest supporters.

‘Showtime’ is no stranger to hard work, having had to put in the effort for the many goals he has scored in local football, but his response to being picked by national coach Angus Eve for the coming World Cup Qualifiers against Grenada and the Bahamas was both expected and unexpected.

“It feels really good to be selected for the national team. I have been waiting for this moment for a while now but as I expect that the pace at that level would be a bit faster and much higher, I’ve hired a personal trainer to help prepare me for what I am about to face. I have decided that during the week when I am training with my club Caledonia AIA, I will spend a couple of hours after those sessions with my trainer, and he is really good,” Woodley said.

“Not because they call me Showtime it means that I don’t work hard because it is quite the opposite.”

‘Showtime’ made his debut against Guyana in two international friendly matches at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, where he scored in both.

He sensibly played a simple holding striker but sprung into action when he got opportunities to put away.

“I am experienced enough to know when to take it up a notch and when to take it down. But to be honest it will be no pressure for me because football and scoring goals is all I know. I’ll only be doing what I love to do, and what I have to do, and that is to score goals,” Showtime said.

Born in the countryside of Charlotteville, Tobago, Woodley honed his football skills on the shores of the nearby beach where he spent most of his time in his formative years. It was a mere natural progression when he ended up on the T&T Beach football team where goal-scoring was his responsibility.

On Wednesday, ‘Showtime’ Woodley will get the opportunity to don the red, white, and black of T&T for another time. An encounter against Grenada at the Stadium will jumpstart the country’s campaign for a place in the World Cup and it will be followed by a second game against the Bahamas on Saturday in the Bahamas.

“To be honest I want to score a hat-trick for my country starting with these teams. I cannot remember seeing a striker scoring a hat-trick for us but this is what I’ve been dreaming of, and I know I can do it. As it is right now, I only have positive thoughts and once that is cultivated it would only be translated on the field,” Woodley said.

SOURCE: T&T Guardian