Out of action Trinidad and Tobago international and W Connection footballer, Clyde Leon, and the Trinidad and Tobago Heart Foundation will benefit from W Connection’s 1-0 Digicel Charity Goal Shield (2014) win over rivals Central FC.
Forward Hashim Arcia, who was eventually voted “Most Valuable Player” for a second consecutive time after also starring in last year’s 4-2 win over Defence Force, scored the lone item in the first half of the 2014-2015 Pro League season opener on Saturday at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
Following the match, W Connection’s marketing manager, Renee John Williams, said that the $10,000 to be awarded by Digicel for the winning football club’s charity of choice will be split evenly towards assisting Leon, and the Heart Foundation of T&T.
“In light of the heart issues in sport and the recent deaths of two of our national players (Akeem Adams, 22, and Kevon Carter, 30), we wanted to place the focus on that,” said Williams.
Leon, a talented club and country midfielder with 46 international senior caps, last represented the three-time Digicel Charity Shield winners in April 2013, and last donned the national strip in the 2012 Caribbean Cup semi-final round.
Leon, who turns 31 in December, had underwent numerous medicals tests within the last year, including a laparoscopic surgery in August, for checks on his heart.
“Doctors believed that electronically my heart wasn’t firing properly and did a number of tests including the surgery but nothing showed up,” explained Leon.
But during his break from playing, to try and correct his medical issues, including a stomach illness, Leon served as assistant coach to Brazilian Jose Luis Seabra with the W Connection Under-18/Reserve Team coach in the recently concluded 2014 Youth Pro League.
However Leon, who presently serves as a third assistant to W Connection’s technical director and senior team coach, Stuart Charles Fevrier, said that while he wants to continue and improve his coaching, especially in helping players make the transition from youth to the professional level, he isn’t ready to quit the game as a player at both club and national level.
“I want to play again,” he said. “I want to represent my country again. I am working with (W Connection trainer) Wayne Lawson, and doing a lot of things differently, like improving my diet and resting properly. I want to see how best it goes and if I can make a successful comeback.”
As for being a joint beneficiary of Connection’s charity winnings, the Laventille-born footballer said, “From nothing to something is always good. I had no idea the club had planned to do it. I appreciate it.”