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“Believe in yourself and believe in what you can do,” is the mantra of 23-year-old Defence Force footballer Reon Moore.

The winger has been playing the sport for approximately 15 years and began his senior, professional career in 2017. He started off with North East Stars and eventually moved to his current club, where he was able to cop his first T&T Pro League title in 2020. It was the club’s fourth title as they ended the season with 42 points from 17 games (13 wins, three draws, one defeat). They were declared champions in March as the season could not continue owing to the covid19 pandemic.

Trailing were Terminix La Horquetta Rangers (35 points), Point Fortin Civic (28 points) and dethroned title-holders W Connection (27 points). Asked how the transition was, Moore told Newsday, “The main thing for me was coming from the recruit training and coming back to play. It was a bit difficult at the start, but the senior boys helped me along the way and in the end, we had a good season.”

He said the relationship between the players is “tremendous,” adding that sometimes, not even the coaches may fully understand the dynamic of it. “From day one, I was welcomed with open arms. They treated me like I was there with them from the start.”

He said he expected the win so he wasn’t surprised but, “It felt great winning the league for the first time, was expecting it a season or two before but I felt great for the victory.” He said he and his team-mates keep each other motivated by speaking to each other and enforcing positive reaffirmation.

He said throughout the season, he tried his best to step up when his team needed him the most. And asked which areas he seeks to improve on, he said: “Defensively, I need to be a little more aware.”

In 2018, he made his national debut after being called up by former men’s senior team head coach Dennis Lawrence.

He said he was grateful for the opportunity to represent T&T at the highest level.

“I was at a loss for words, I was jubilant.

“I knew I was gonna get the call because of my performances throughout the season. Then I went to the training and everything went well there.”

Some local players he looks up to are Jorsling, Keron Cummings, and Anthony Wolfe. He said their love and respect for the sport inspired him. Internationally, he looks up to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, who he described as a “true team player. “I took a couple of pages from those guys’ books. And I thought if I trained myself as they did, I’d be able to make the national team.”

And so said, so done. In fact, his mantra is actually based on some advice given to him by Jorsling years ago. He added that discipline is 100 per cent necessary for any professional footballer.

“Sometimes you play tonight at 8pm then you have a recovery in the morning for 7am. So sometimes it’s a bit hostile but the love and the discipline carry you a long way.”

He said military duties have been helping him keep fit amid the pandemic. And when it comes to mental health, he said, “Everything is fine with me, just following the procedures.”

He said he is looking forward to being called up to the national team again, and he hopes he can assist with the team’s journey of returning to winning ways, and hopefully qualify for the 2022 World Cup.

SOURCE: T&T Nwesday