Sat, Jul

T&T's Dantaye Gilbert, right, gets his PSV Eindhoven jersey after signing for the Dutch club.

FORMER Presentation College (San Fernando) and San Juan Jabloteh midfielder Dantaye Gilbert has signed a two-year deal with Dutch Eredivisie club PSV Eindhoven. The 18-year-old Gilbert was unveiled by the 24-time Dutch champions on Monday and will initially join the PSV youth team.

The lanky Gilbert, who represented T&T at national youth level, has dreams of lifting the Uefa Champions League with PSV, and is intent on making the first team.

"This is a big moment for me and for my country. I feel good," Gilbert said, during an interview released by the club. (PSV) is one of the biggest clubs in Europe and it's a big thing for me, my family and the entire country of T&T.

"My plans (are) to make it to the first team, honestly. Obviously, I'll be starting with the Jong team and I want to make a good impression there," Gilbert said. "I'm enjoying my time here and I'm here to stay."

Silky in possession and languid in his style, Gilbert turned out for "Pres" in the Intercol competition of last year's Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) season. Gilbert helped Presentation to the south zone intercol final, where they lost on penalty kicks to eventual national intercol finalists, St Benedict's College.

Gilbert also represented the youthful Jabloteh team in the inaugural T&T Premier League season, scoring their first goal of the competition.

He described himself as an explosive box-to-box central midfielder, who likes to score goals and assist his teammates.

The teenager said he noticed the difference in intensity and quality the moment he got into the PSV setup.

"When I just came here on trial, I felt like everything was so different," Gilbert said. "The first few sessions at the club were super intense and different for me. They play at such a fast pace and everyone is so good, so I just had to fit in and be good also."

Gilbert longs to represent T&T at the Fifa 2026 World Cup, while he also has other lofty personal dreams as well.

"I hope to be a part of that (World Cup) squad to make the country proud," Gilbert said. "My biggest dream in football is to win as many trophies as I can. I want to start with the Dutch League, Champions League and personally, I want to win Ballon D'ors and Player of the Year – everything. I want to win everything it has to win honestly."

PSV, who have won the European Champions Clubs' Cup and Uefa Cup in their famed history, have been drawn in Group B for the 2023/24 Champions League season. They will play Arsenal, Lens and Sevilla in the group.

If Gilbert forces his way into the PSV first team, a Champions League debut could well be on his horizon.

SOURCE: T&T Newsday