Mon, Jun

National midfielder Brent Rahim has insisted that he became out of favour at Scottish Premier League club Falkirk because of a decision taken by him to make himself available for national duty on all calls. The former St Anthony’s College player was responding to recent statements by Falkirk boss John Hughes accusing him of going on AWOL last year.

Rahim, now attached to top local Pro League team CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh, has claimed that Hughes put him in the out of favour bracket at the club  because of his decision to return home on occasions to represent T&T at World Cup qualifying action dating back to 2004. But after choosing to seek a future elsewhere as his contract ran out at Falkirk due to reasons based around him constantly being left on the sidelines, Rahim has said that Hughes made statements that were unfair to him.

“I took a decision to come back and play for my country on several occasions under the permission of the Falkirk club and always struggled to get back into the club team on my returns or in some cases always left totally out of the team and now recently I was reading that Hughes said in a story with a local newspaper that I left on an AWOL. It was unfair for him to make such a comment because at the time to me it seemed that they had problems with me choosing to play for the country. From being their best young player of the year the previous season to moving into a regular position in the team but then finding myself always on the sidelines was hard to understand,” Rahim told TTFF Media.

The former West Ham United player, who has 49 international appearances for T&T, said he took a decision to always return to the national team upon call because he felt he would be assisting the team which was trying to get to the World Cup. “But it all backfired because it made me look as though I didn’t have a clue about what I was doing because not only did decisions not to play me affect me at the club but it also meant my place on the national team then went into jeopardy.”

“I have since taken a decision to come back home and join Jabloteh which is one of the local clubs that has a really good set up and my aim is to not only try and play regularly and keep myself in shape with hope of getting a call to the national team again, but I also see myself being able to make a positive contribution to the development of some of the local players that are coming up the ranks,” added Rahim, who has also campaigned with Levski Sofia in Bulgaria and recently had to cut short a stay at Dallas FC because they had signed their full quota of overseas-pros. He was also previously in Leo Beenhakker’s squads until a late calf injury ruled him out of the 1-0 loss to the United States last August. He is however back in Beenhakker’s list of home-based players currently in training under assistant Anton Corneal.

Meantime, Rahim’s close pal, Brent Sancho has had some reason to smile again after also going through a rough patch with his club. Defender Brent Sancho made a rare appearance for Gillingham on Tuesday and netted in their 3-2 win over Brentford. Previously, Sancho was blasted by the club’s management for choosing club over country and was left out of the team and then priced out of the market when he tried to go on loan recently.

“It definitely has been one of the roughest periods since I moved to England. Not only because I have been left off the squad week after week but because it came at a time when I needed to be playing with World Cup team selection around the corner. I was in a position where everything was out of my hands even though I was fit and ready to go. Now I have hopefully done something that will give me some more playing time and I think the fans saw it in the last game. They were singing my name right around the clock and hopefully the management got the message because the fans were also expressing their disappointment with my absence from the team. But I’m leaving the rest up to God. I know this is a very critical time for all the players from the national team and I think we all need to be supportive of each other and hope for the best as the World Cup comes up,” Sancho said.