Wed, Oct

FORMER Trinidad and Tobago defender/midfielder Anthony Rougier is hoping for a return to the national team.

Rougier said in a recent interview that he has always been committed to Trinidad and Tobago football and wants to contribute.

The former TT captain has returned home to represent United Petrotrin in the first Toyota Classic Competition after playing for American "A" League outfit Rochester Rhinos.

He will play his first match of the season on Tuesday when the southerners go up against Caledonia AIA Fire at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium.

Petrotrin have just come off a hard-fought 4-3 win over Superstar Rangers in the first round of matches of the Toyota Classic, a result that signalled the return of the top south team.

The 33-year old Rougier intends to prove his worth while playing for Petrotrin, and at the same time, impress national coach, Dutchman Leo Beenhakker with a place in the TT squad well in his mind.

"I am satisfied that I made my contribution to the World Cup campaign and it’s great to see the team doing well" Rougier said.

Trinidad and Tobago earned a place in a play-off when they defeated CONCACAF giants Mexico 2-1 in the final match of the World Cup qualifiers at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on Wednesday.

With the result Trinidad and Tobago earned the right to face Bahrain in a two-match play-off at home and away, for a World Cup berth.

Bahrain play here on November 12 at Mucurapo, and meet again in the return match four days later (November 16) in Bahrain.

"I have always been committed to Trinidad and Tobago and doing whatever I can to assist the national team. It wasn't always easy for me especially when I was playing in China and I had to travel halfway around the world to come back home and play for my country," he said.

The rugged Rougier has been one of the youngest players to make a Trinidad and Tobago team, an achievement that earned him the right to ply his trade internationally for the past decade and more.

"I played for Trinidad and Tobago at under 20 then I made it into the senior squad under ‘Gally’ Cummings. I was just 16 years old at the time and it was a big thrill for me. From there I went to Scotland and then across to England and I have spent ten years as a professional in Britain and two years in China," he said.

His talent undoubtedly will be an asset to the TT team defensively, but with the Warriors "peaking at the right time," he could well find himself on the world’s biggest football stage, come next year, should he get a recall to the national team.

He told Newsday that he has had some difficult times playing internationally but feels he can make an impression in the lives of many- starting in La Brea.

"Those years abroad have taught me a lot and I have seen how football can make a big difference in peoples' lives especially the youngsters. I still have a few years of playing left in me but I want to give something back to the country especially down south where I began my career," he said.