FORMER TRINIDAD and Tobago football team midfielder Keron “Ball Pest” Cummings has joined TT Super League’s League Two outfit Petit Valley/Diego Martin United, as a free agent, having left three-time TT Pro League champs Central FC during the off-season.
The 29-year-old playmaker has struggled to regain full fitness and form since he suffered a gunshot wound to his leg, near his Petit Valley home, on December 27 2015.
At the time, Cummings was an integral member of North East Stars, as well as the national squad under the guidance of Stephen Hart.
Cummings joined Central FC ahead of the 2016-2017 season but he hardly managed to get an extended run, both at club and national level. He last played for T&T during a 2-2 draw, away to Grenada, in a friendly international on April 29.
However, the easy-going midfielder is hopeful that his stint at Petit Valley/Diego Martin United can see him, not only reconnect with his fans in his community, but earn a contract with a Pro League club in the near future.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Cummings noted, “It’s a community team, and the only reason why I had the thought of coming back and play, until the transfer window opens back, (is because) I wanted to spend some time with the family.
“It’s a village thing, so I just decided to spend time with family and still play football,” he continued.
Asked about the response of the community regarding his move, Cummings replied, “That’s my home team, that’s my village team.
(The) boys will always show me that love. I have experiences to share with them.” He went on to add, “Some players, even (if) they are free agents, they wouldn’t give up (better opportunities) to come and play with their village (because of) pride.” About his fitness level, he said, “I feel good.
It’s just to start to get back form.” However, he does not envision himself returning, as a player, to Central FC. “I (have) crossed that bridge,” he admitted. “I don’t want to cross back that road.
I was a little challenge playing with them but that’s how it (goes) in life sometimes. Not everything you (do) get exactly how you want.” With his new chapter, at least at the club level, Cummings hopes that he will still catch the eyes of the national team’s technical staff, headed by coach Dennis Lawrence.
“Nobody (from the TT staff) hasn’t checked me or called,” he admitted, “but everything will fall into place. God is a good God.” Assistant Petit Valley/ Diego Martin United team coach Gordon Pierre, who is also a television football commentator, spoke of the addition of Cummings, as well as ex-Pro League players Samuel Delice, Kadeem Corbin and twins Keion and Keino Goodridge, to the Petit Valley/Diego Martin United squad.
“To have them back home, we’re trying to rebuild the western peninsula. After passing Port of Spain, there is no (top-flight) team representing the west,” Pierre said. “We’re glad to have back our senior players.
We understand the sacrifice they made in terms of giving up their (immediate) chance to be on the national team by coming down (to the Super League level).” Pierre continued, “we want to build back the community as well.
We think that football belongs to the community and we have set ourselves a three-year plan to be playing at the highest level of football in the country.”