Devon Jorsling will be a Defence Force player at the start of the 2009 Trinidad and Tobago Pro League season after the 25-year-old soldier failed to agree terms with United Arab Emirates First Division club, Al Dhafra Sports and Culture Club.
"What really opened my eyes was the intensity of their football," said the striker. "We trained for an hour or an hour and a half and when it was over I had to go home and sleep. It is so intense there at every practice session or game.
"(In Trinidad and Tobago) sometimes you train for over two hours and you don't feel tired. We definitely need more intensity in our game."
Jorsling, who was managed by ex-national captain and former Europe-based midfielder David Nakhid, felt satisfied that he gave a good account of himself. But he is wiser now about the difficulties faced by overseas professionals from lonely nights in your room to problems winning over skeptical teammates on the field.
"It was hard in the beginning," said Jorsling. "When people see a new player, they know it means that someone (from their team) is going. At first, I wasn't getting any touches to show my quality and I was always running without the ball. But the coach recognised it and it got better.
"I scored some goals in training and I did well in a practice game, although in the end it didn't work out."
Al Dhafra might not have been suitably impressed but Jorsling claimed the UAE team that came up against him were interested. The unnamed club supposedly requested that Jorsling take a fitness test and consider signing for them instead. But Nakhid felt that may be construed as ungracious to Al Dhafra, who paid for his flight and stay in Dubai, and rejected the proposal.
There might be a different outcome between June and August when Jorsling expects to return to try again. Until then, he will try to maintain the hot streak that produced 29 goals for Defence Force in 2008 and three from four appearances with the "Soca Warriors".
His target is a regular place in the national senior team.
"I want to get back on the national team although it will be very difficult for me," said Jorsling. "Maybe the Lord will smile on me this year."