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Defence Force player Christopher Durity was recently named Midfielder of the Tournament after helping the Army/Coast Guard combination retain their Digicel Pro Bowl title with a penalty shootout victory over Central FC in a tense final on Sunday.

Durity, doing the “dirty work” behind his more attacking teammates, brings tireless energy and aggression in seeking to win possession of the ball for his team and initiate the offence.

Speaking to Newsday yesterday, Durity expressed shock about the award but was pleased to see more defensive players being honoured for their roles. “I was really happy and proud about it. I really wasn’t looking forward to it, I thought maybe Hashim Arcia would have gotten it. The position that I play, you don’t really win much accolades there.

I was happy that they actually acknowledged a defensive midfielder as being the best in the tournament,” he said.

At 33 years old, Durity still has a high motor, running and tackling around the field but also is someone his peers can look to for advice.

“I bring that energy and also provide that extra leadership on the park. The guys also look up to me as a senior person.

I bring that balance to the defence and the attack,” he added.

Durity, a former national youth player, somehow finds the time and zeal to give his all on the field while also pursing a Masters degree at the University of the West Indies. He explained that his academic goals forced him in the past to shift his focus temporarily. “Who would have known me, before going to Super League, I played Pro League for many years.

It was a conscious decision to go down to the Super League because I had other things going on in my life __ study wise. I’ve reached a point where I could balance it properly because I’m still doing my studies, matter of fact I’m doing my Masters but I’ve reached a place where I could balance everything better,” he explained.

How difficult is pursing a Masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice while playing professionally? “It’s always a challenge but I have a good support system home and I’ve gained more experience.

I’m able to cope with it and sometimes I might get a little leeway here and there to do extra studies so I won’t be involved in all the team activities per se,” he revealed.

Does he harbour ambitions of a senior call-up under new head coach Dennis Lawrence? “As a player you always wish you could get a national call-up and play for the national team, but on the realistic side of things, I’m 33 going on 34 in May so I don’t really study that.

Now is the time for more good youths to be on the national team,” he stated. With Defence Force winning two knockout titles this season (Digicel Pro Bowl and First Citizens Cup), Durity thinks it’s time the 22-time Pro League champions make it 23.

“Of course we can win the league, we’ve proved that over and over but sometimes our concentration falls and that is something we have to work on. We need to concentrate for longer periods because that is what winning a league title requires,” he declared.