Sat, Jul

T&T Julien delighted to capture first major title.

T&T defender Keston Julien says he is very happy to have captured his first major piece of silverware as a professional football.

On Wednesday, the 22-year-old Julien and his FC Sheriff Tiraspol club won their 19th Moldovan National Division Championship with a 6-0 thrashing of third-place FC Milsami Orhei at the Satesc Stadium, Suruceni.

The Gasparillo-born Julien was the 76th introduction by FC Sheriff for Brazilian defender Cristiano, his 15th league appearance of the season, with his team already 5-0 ahead thanks to a double from Colombia Frank Castaneda (18th, 66th) and one each from Greece’s Dimitris Kolovos (sixth), Slovenian Lovro Bizjak (20th), and Mali’s Adama Traore, in the 41st. Bizjak added a second to his tally and the team’s sixth in the 80th minute.

With the win on Wednesday, Sheriff improved to an unassailable 89 points from 32 matches and four left to play, but 13 points clear of second-placed Petrocub while Milsami has 64 points in the third spot.

Julien has one goal on the season for FC Sheriff following his free transfer to the club from Slovakia where he was a member of their first team for four seasons, after leaving T&T Pro League outfit, San Juan Jabloteh at the end of the 2016/2017 season.

Before winning the Moldovan League title, Julien’s closest chance of major silverware came as a member of Jabloteh’s 2016/2017 team which ended as runner-up in the Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship losing 1-0 to Cibao of the Dominican Republic in the final.

And speaking to Extra Time TV earlier this week an elated Julien speaking said, " It’s my first trophy as a player and I am happy about that. It’s not a top league, but it’s a top club and we always aim to win the league and play champions league qualifiers and even the Europa League qualifiers. Our main goal is to qualify for the Champions League this season and we hope we can do so."

A Presentation College graduate, Julien said to play in the Champions League will be an amazing feeling for him, if it does happen.

He added, "I think not many Trinidadians have played recently with Khaleem Hyland playing with Genk of Belgium, so to play in a Champions League group stage is going to be a dream come through for me and my family and friends, and for T&T to have a player playing in the group stage of the Champions League. So I’m just praying and hoping that we can get a favourable draw to qualify for the Champions League."

Having spent four seasons in Slovakia with Trencin before joining FC Sheriff, Julien was full of praise for his new teammates and club in general.

“It’s the most mature team that I have ever played with as the clubs that I went to before had a lot of young players and at this club, I may be the second-youngest player, at 24, and everything is taking seriously as everyone main objective is winning.

"So the transition to here wasn’t difficult, but you know you still have to get adapted to it,” he stated.

Turning towards the national men’s team and the remaining Group C qualifiers against the Bahamas and St Kitts/Nevis next month, Julien said he believes T&T will top the group and move on.

St Kitts and Nevis currently leads the five-team round-robin pool with six points, two ahead of T&T who must first beat the Bahamas on June 5, and then St Kitts and Nevis three days later to win the group and earn the lone spot to the next phase of the 2022 Concacaf Qatar World Cup qualifiers.

“With the group of players we have at the moment I think we are more than capable to win the group, and right now while the remaining matches may sound like easy teams, no football game is easy and we have to go out and get the six points.

“We also have Gold Cup qualifiers coming up against Montserrat so it's not going to be some easy games," ended Julien.

Yesterday (On Saturday (May 15), Sheriff continued to pile up the points after they crushed mid-table Dinamo Auto 7-0 with Julien an un-used substitute.

They will complete their league schedule versus Floresti on Wednesday (May 19), Petrocub (May 22), and Dacia-Bulucani on May 26.

FC Sheriff will then go in search of a League and Cup double when they tackle Sfintul Gheorghe on May 29 in the Cup final at the Zimbru Stadium, Chisinau, Moldova. This after Sheriff whipped Petrocub 3-1 in their semifinals on May 4 and Sfintul Gheorge edged Dinamo-Auto 2-1.

Watch Keston Julien chats about his team FC Sheriff securing its 19th title and UCL ambitions.