English-born midfielder Chris Birchall made his debut for T&T at age 21 in 2005. Ten years later he believes this country could be on the verge of having yet another youthful English-born enter its national team.
Nineteen-year-old Crystal Palace defender Ryan Inniss is currently on loan at Birchall’s club Port Vale and seems to be in top form at the moment. Inniss’ father is Trinidadian and T&T could be an option for the centre back.
“He’s in great form at the moment for Port Vale. He’s 19. His dad was born in Trinidad and I think I’m delighted that he’s eligible to play for T&T. He could be a great addition to the team,” Birchall said.
Innis, who stands at six feet five inches, has also played for England’s Under-16 and U-17 teams. He joined the Crystal Palace Academy at age 14 and signed his first professional contract at age 16. He’s also been on loan to Luton Town, Yeovil, Gillingham and Cheltenham Town.
Former Port Vale star Phil Sproson also spoke highly of Inniss following his debut in a 1-0 win over Walsall and then in a 3-0 win over Doncaster a few days ago.
“He’s an out-and-out centre-back who wants to defend and go and win the ball in the air,” Sproson said.
“We have had defenders who are comfortable on the ball and can play out from the back, but they have struggled when they have come up against teams with a physical presence up front.
“Inniss is a rock and he will go and win that ball. He is a Ryan Shawcross type player."