UNITED Petrotrin ended their football season on a victorious note when the Oil Squad defeated North East Stars 1-0 on Saturday last to clinch the Professional Football League "Big Six" tournament sponsored by Lucozade Sports.
The signalled a remarkable turnaround for the south-based team which spent much of the season at the bottom of the standings.
However the arrival of veteran Peter Prosper and former national captain Tony Rougier saw an instant revival in the team’s fortunes and a string of victories.
Rougier was also given the captain’s armband and his inspirational leadership was very important in spearheading the United Petrotrin into winner’s row.
Since Rougier’s return United Petrotrin has beaten all the leading teams including W Connection, Defence Force, CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh and now North East stars.
In an interview, Rougier expressed his delight at the team’s recent success.
"It is really great to be back in the south and leading United Petrotrin to victory" Rougier said. "I began my career many years ago with the famous Trintoc team and in those days we beat everybody at home and throughout the Caribbean," he said. The stocky defender also said he came back to play for the southerners so that he could help south football and give something back to my community.
He pointed out that there are some talented youngsters in the deep south but they lack experience. Rougier said he was happy to take up the captain’s role, which would give him a chance to give the youths some guidance. "Together with Peter (Prosper) we were able to get them to believe in themselves and understand the way of life of a professional footballer," he added.
He described the standard of play in the Professional League as better than he had expected which made him really work hard in the matches he played. Rougier said if the league continues to progress like that, then it will be a very competitive tournament in the near future.
Asked whether his recent good form was a signal of his readiness to return to the national team, Rougier said it was always a pleasure for him to play for his country and therefore he made myself available whenever he was asked, whether he was in Scotland, England or China.
"I am in very good shape and if I am invited I will do my best as always. I played several matches in the early part of the campaign and I think I made a positive contribution to getting us to Germany, and therefore it would be nice to continue the journey right to the end," he said.
Only recently Rougier attended the CONCACAF Elite Player Development Workshop at the Centre of Excellence and later promised to get into coaching when he hangs up his boots.
He told Newsday that he wanted to work with youngsters especially in his hometown of La Brea. "Football is not only a game. It is a way of life and it can have a very positive effect on young people," he claimed. Rougier emphasised he wanted to help the young people reach their potential, since they have a lot, but only need the necessary guidance.