UTILITY player Anthony Rougier has described the successes of the Soca Warriors as a story of hardwork, discipline and courage.
And these qualities earned him a recall to the national squad which is a good chance to be chosen to represent this country at the upcoming World Cup in Germany.
National team coach Leo Beenhakker has selected a 24-member squad from which one player will be dropped before the may 15 deadline to pick the national rosters for the World Cup Finals from June 9 to July 9.
Trinidad and Tobago have been drawn in Group “B” along with Sweden, England and Paraguay.
The stocky La Brea-born player impressed Beenhakker with his versatility on the field, but has been asked by the former Netherlands boss to be 100 percent fit, if he is to make the team
The Soca Warriors play Sweden in their opening match on June 10 in Dortmund; they then come up against England on June 15 in Nuremberg; and clash with Paraguay in their final group match on June 20 in Kaiserslautern.
Rougier, a former national captain has been working hard on his fitness but made the time recently to give something back to the village that made him into the player he is today.
He was part of a “Heroes Programme” in La Brea last weekend and he urged the youths of the district to be prepared to work hard as the Soca Warriors did.
He described La Brea as one of the poorest villages in Trinidad and Tobago but said the people neither felt sorry for themselves nor allowed it to keep them back. He said their only way out was to work tirelessly and collectively which they did.
But Rougier has not been the only role model to come from La Brea pointing to cricketer Gus Logie; Larry Joseph, Philbert Jones, the uncle of national striker Kenwyne Jones and Floyd Lawrence, who played defence for the Strike Squad.
Rougier joins the Soca Warriors alongside defender Avery John and Kenwyne Jones, both of whom also made their names in the little village of Sobo.
He says it was his childhood hero Philbert Jones who encouraged him to make the sport a career.
“Things were very difficult when I first went to Britain in search of my dream. I was all alone at the time. Money was scarce and it was very cold, but I was determined to succeed. Slowly but surely, and by the grace of God, things began to get better,” Rougier said.
A move from Scotland to the English football league bore fruit for him and it was there he played professionally for the past ten years. His exploits earned him recognition by all the world over.
Rougier’s first fling in the red, white and black of Trinidad and Tobago had been as a defender at the age of 16 and he was later to wear the captain’s armband a role he played with pride.
“The national team in those years included players like Dwight Yorke, Shaka Hislop, Russell Latapy , Angus Eve, Stern John, Clayton Ince , Arnold Dwarika and the late Mickey Trotman. It was indeed an honour to captain such great players.
“We enjoyed a lot of success including victories against teams like South Africa, Colombia and Costa Rica. It is really wonderful to see that many of these same players are now on the way to creating history in Germany,” Rougier said.
He continued his professional career in China up to two years ago where apart from football, he reinforced the importance of discipline and hardwork in his life.
Rougier is the proud father of two girls who welcomes the work of the Heroes Foundation.
“It comes at a time when so many of our young citizens are showing signs of frustration and hopelessness and groups like the Heroes Foundation are extremely important for building the confidence and self-esteem of our youth.”
The event was organised by its founder Phillip Julien who is at the helm of community work in La Brea.