DEREK KING is excited over the new challenge he will face when he takes up the position as assistant coach at Canadian Premier League club, Halifax Wanderers.
The 38-year-old King will re-unite with the club’s general manager and coach Stephen Hart, who was the T&T men’s coach from June 2013-November 2016.
King represented T&T in 33 internationals, as well as W Connection and Joe Public at the Pro League level, before suffering a career-ending knee injury in 2004.
King was coach at Joe Public from 2008-2011, then assistant T&T coach (under the joint coaching pair Jamaal Shabazz and Hutson Charles) from 2012-2013.
He coached North East Stars to the Pro League crown in 2017, and followed with the 2018 Super League title with FC Santa Rosa.
In an interview on Sunday night, King said, “I came up the ladder with the (T&T) teams, and then I get the opportunity with Joe Public team. I had a good experience at the national level, (came) back and won the Pro League and Super League.
“At this point, you need something different, a different challenge in life,” he added. “This would be a good opportunity for me to go out there and gain experience. Someday, you don’t know what life has (in store), I might come back, once asked upon to help football in Trinidad.”
King was announced as part of the Halifax Wanderers’ technical staff on Thursday.
“(Hart) approached me, to come alongside him and work. I took up the offer. It’s a good opportunity for me to gain that experience.”
He is confident that he can continue to improve as a coach under Hart’s guidance.
“As a coach, he’s very open to ideas, and I like his style of play,” said King. “His philosophy of football is similar to what I do in coaching. The opportunity (arose) and I grabbed it with both hands.
“It’s a good opportunity for a young local coach to go abroad in the Canadian Pro League. This (will be) its first year, it’s very exciting. It will be a professional atmosphere and I look forward to joining the team in February.”
King said a few T&T and Caribbean players could be included in the Halifax Wanderers team for the 2019 season.
“Right now, we’re on the verge of looking at a couple of players,” said King. “Hart has been scouting players throughout the Caribbean. You’ll see a nucleus of players from all over.”
He continued, “We’ll really like to give the Caribbean players the opportunity to play. We’ll have a few in about a month’s time. We’ll have a few players from Trinidad that would be joining us.”
Asked if his family would be joining him in Canada, King replied, “I would be going up there first and making arrangements, and then we’ll take it (from) there. But they will be joining me.”