Anthony Wolfe

He has been to football’s biggest stage, the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, but there was a time when Anthony Wolfe was in two minds: whether to pursue a career in football or cricket.

“It was like between cricket and football. You know what, I had to choose one and it was football. But, I still love cricket,” the Trinidad and Tobago striker, who is here for football’s Federation Cup, told The Hindu here on Sunday.

Joy to watch legends

“We have legends in cricket as well in our country. Just as you have Sachin (Tendulkar), we have Brian Lara. And sometimes, it’s more joy for me to watch cricket than football. I always liked Sachin because I compared him with Brian Lara. It was a joy to watch both legends go at each other.”

Wolfe, who joined the struggling I-League champion Churchill Brothers a few days ago, will make his Indian ‘debut’ in the Federation Cup opener against United SC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Tuesday evening.

He was a batsman as a youngster. “I didn’t like bowling and while batting, I used to open and sometimes played in the middle order. I played cricket for about three years with our county team, till about 21 years.”

But with his entire family into football, it was easy to grow in the beautiful game.

“It wasn’t a hard thing for me to get into football. That football background also gave me the encouragement to grow because people talk about my uncles, my father, my grandfather and stuff,” revealed the 30-year-old.

“And I was successful in football. My most memorable time in football, obviously, was going to the World Cup because there’s nothing close to it.”

Wolfe’s elder brother, Glenton, has also played in the national team.

“And we played a few times together. It was fantastic, I love playing with him because he plays at the back and I play at the top so if one defender whacks me, he whacks him in return.”

All for a reason

But, why should a star who has been to the World Cup come to India, which is ranked 154 in the world, to ply his trade? After seeing the World Cup, did he think something like that would happen?

“Well, to be honest, I really wanted to play in a different league but sometimes God sends me to certain places for a reason and I think He sent me here for a reason,” he explained. “And whatever opportunity comes my way, I grab it, it’s a one-time, life-time situation.”

“I’m here and I’ve got to get the job done. I know the situation the team is in, it is not doing well in the I-League as well but I am focused on the Federation Cup now, the League I’ll deal with later.”

Deep trouble

Churchill, the winner of the I-League just a year ago, is currently in deep trouble. The Goan side is at the bottom of the I-League table this season with just two wins from 13 games, with the threat of relegation hanging over its head.

And the team is now looking at Wolfe – and at the soon-to-join Cristian Lagos who is hoping to impress his national selectors and play for Costa Rica in the coming World Cup in Brazil – to haul it out of the mess.

“I know the workload will be on me because I’m the striker. If I don’t deliver, the fans, the owners, the coaches will probably come down on me but I am prepared for that,” said Wolfe. “Because, as I said, when cometh the moment, cometh the man. I’m here for the job and I’m sure I’ll do my best.”