Duane Muckette has a renewed ambition towards the national team as he recently featured for the Trinidad and Tobago men's football team under head coach Angus Eve for the Concacaf National League A matches against Curacao and El Salvador, which they won.
Muckette was one of the promising young midfielders coming through the national youth football ranks over the last decade. Unfortunately, he hasn’t featured as much as he would have expected for the senior team, especially in the last few years, but his faith has been revived since Eve selected him a few weeks ago.
In the two matches in September, Muckette had commendable performances and should be in action for the Soca Warriors in Nations League action again next month as T&T face Guatemala and Curaçao in the next international window. Having won their first two matches, they are currently top of Group A.
The silky-smooth maestro made his senior-team debut almost five years ago on November 17, 2018.
He recalled, “I had anticipated that for a very long time and I was really happy it happened. It was against Iran, in Iran. The stadium was filled with about 30,000 fans and I could remember how incredibly nervous I was. But I loved every moment of it.”
He also recollected scoring his first international goal against St Kitts and Nevis at the Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez, Dominican Republic, in 2022.
The 28-year-old is hoping to cement his position in the centre midfield and has already set his sights on personal achievements.
“I would like to do more on the field to help put the country’s football back where it needs to be. And I would like to qualify for the next World Cup.
"My best qualities are my ability to read the game, my vision combined with my range of passing and my savviness to keep the ball in difficult situations. I bring good leadership, a good teammate on and off the field. I always try to have the right attitude and mentality that my teammates can feed off,” said a confident Muckette.
Muckette is the captain of the local club Athletic Club Port of Spain, who were runners-up in the inaugural T&T Premier Football League earlier this year. They are participating in the Concacaf Caribbean Cup tournament, but will not be advancing to the knockout rounds after going winless in their first three matches.
Muckette played with Barreirense (Portugal) and Memphis 901 in the USL Championship (USA) and enjoyed every moment of his overseas stints, but his focus is solely on AC POS now and hopefully earning another contract abroad in the future.
The La Horquetta resident had to overcome several challenges in sport, and a knee injury was one of them.
“I had a grade two MCL tear while I was at the University of South Florida. It sidelined me for almost three months. Fortunately, I didn’t need any surgery and I just needed to be disciplined and focus on my treatment and rehabilitation to get back right. My knee has been fine since.
"Injuries like that are not easy to deal with, but it comes with the sport.”
Muckette is indebted to the FC Santa Rosa club of Arima, where he developed his footballing skills from the age of five.
“I played at the club for all my youth football days. The coaching school football on Saturday mornings were some of the best football days of my life.”
He attended Queen`s Royal College and in form two he was selected for the school’s Intercol team, where he scored a lot of goals and stamped his name in the footballing world.
Muckette`s vision is further than his long-range passes, it goes far beyond the football field, and his image is for a better society. He believes footballers should be role models for the youths of the nation.
“Sport is one of the main ways to combat crime. Crime won’t be fixed overnight, but I believe it`s about creating role models for the youths that are from areas affected by crime and are faced with difficult circumstances from birth. We need realistic and positive role models.
“The youths should be able to see someone from down the street and be glorified in a positive light and dream to be like that person. We need the youths to be saying, 'I want to be like Nathaniel James or Jesse Williams when I grow up.' I lived this and I knew what I wanted to be, so I knew what I had to refrain from.”
SOURCE: T&T Newsday