Thu, Mar

T&T midfielder eyeing return to Soca Warriors.

HUGHTUN HECTOR hardly looked a footballer returning from a long injury, when leading Directv W Connection to a 5-1 victory over 2015 Guadeloupe champions Club Sportif Moulien on Friday night at the Ato Boldon stadium, in Couva.

It has been some time since the skilful midfielder last played on local soil, having plied his trade in Vietnam for the past five seasons.

After joining Song Lam Nghe An in 2011 and playing two years there, 31 year-old Hector played for Hanoi T&T, until suffering a season-ending Achilles tendon injury last April. “It a very good feeling to be back after 10 or 11 months out with the injury,” Hector said. “Today was the first game I was able to play 90 minutes on the field and I am very happy to be able to achieve that.”

The horrific injury cost Hector a place in Trinidad and Tobago's 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, after being an integral part of the team that finished the 2014 Caribbean Cup second to Jamaica, when losing the final on penalty kick in Montego Bay. Hector hopes to work his way back to fitness for the World Cup qualifying campaign which resumes in March against St Vincent & the Grenadines.

Playing his first match back on Friday night for his former local team W Connection, Hector fitted in as a central, deep playmaker, the link with the backline, but also launching the forward attacks. He played a lot of “smart” passes. “The goal was just to keep it simple,” Hector said. “It was easy for me to come in the game and play defensive midfield. My time outside in Vietnam I actually played defensive midfield a lot for my last club.

“It was easy for me to come in the game ad adapt because I know I have a range of passing and I can pass the ball. So it was easy for my teammates and the defence to take control of the game in the second half. The sharpness is coming to come. I think I am about 75 per cent now and once I keep working hard and playing the game, I think I will get there,” he added.

Watching from the stands as Hector played his first match in a year was Hutson Charles, the national team assistant coach. Hector is not hiding his desire to return to the men's senior national team.

“I want to work hard to see if the coach will call be back on the (national) team so I can perform for my country,” Hector intimated.

“I know we can go forward straight to the World Cup because I have seen some of the games they have played. They have played very well. So, I want to just want to get back to full fitness and help my country get to the World Cup.”