Wed, Jul

​Jamille Boatswain, left, celebrates his first Defence Force hat-trick during a 4-0 win over Police FC in the semi-final round of the 2016-17 season Digicel Pro Bowl at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 12 Feb. 2017.

Veteran Defence Force hero Devorn Jorsling believes teammate Jamille Boatswain can become the next best forward in Trinidad and Tobago.

The 23-year-old Boatswain joined Defence Force from Point Fortin Civic in the January transfer window and has been an immediate success for Coach Marvin Gordon’s Army/Coast Guard combination.

Boatswain exploits in front of goal in the just concluded 2016-17 truncated Pro League season saw him end with a combined 15 goals in all competitions. But it was his seven goals for Defence Force that really shot him into the spotlight.

“Once he keeps his feet in the ground, by the next couple years he could be the number one striker in Trinidad (and Tobago),” said Jorsling of Boatswain.

Boatswain scored a superb hat-trick in a 4-0 win against Police FC in the semi-final round of the Digicel Pro Bowl and followed-up with a goal in a 2-2 regulation score in the final last Sunday before Jorsling scored the winning Defence Force kick to seal a 5-3 shootout win.

Who better to speak of the rising talent, Boatswain, than Jorsling?

Jorsling is the Pro League’s all-time top scorer with 153 league goals—six more than current Ma Pau Stars forward Kerry Baptiste (147). He has 41 caps for Trinidad and Tobago and a ship-load of personal honours including the Toyota/Pro League Player of the Year and three Golden Boots.

“I think after being the main man for Defence Force for a very long time, I now have a good replacement,” quipped the 33-year-old Jorsling who joined Defence Force in 2002.

“He (Boatswain) possess a skill that you can’t coach: that’s how to score goals. He knows how to score goals.”

Jorsling, who was recently side-lined due to a thigh injury, finished the season with 17 goals in all competitions.

Meanwhile Boatswain’s recent performances have also earned him a place in a provisional training squad selected by new Trinidad and Tobago head coach Dennis Lawrence.

Lawrence, whose assistant coaches includes T&T legend and 2006 World Cup teammate Stern John and W Connection coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier, began training sessions this week ahead of two crucial FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers on 24 and 28 March against Panama and Mexico, respectively, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain.

Former Defence Force two-time league-winning coach and current Ma Pau Stars coach Ross Russell serves as Lawrence’s goalkeeper coach.

Lawrence’s first assignment is a friendly international against Suriname on 10 March at Andre Kamperveen Stadium in Paramaribo, Suriname where he will be joined by his first assistant coach and former England and Arsenal star Sol Campbell.