Tue, Jul

Midfielder Leslie “Tiger” Fitzpatrick is back in the national set up after being called up by head coach Wim Rijsbergen in the squad preparing for the Digicel Caribbean Cup.

The 28-year-old former Real Salt Lake player had been away from home on trials in Europe over the past few months where he maintained his fitness and also rejoined Salt Lake, lining up for them in Reserve Team matches this past season. He then recently signed as a guest player with Puerto Rico Islanders for the Caribbean Club Championships.

“It’ good to be recalled and my main ambition is to try and make the final squad for the tournament. I have spent the last few months keeping myself in shape, obviously with the trials in Germany and then returning to Salt Lake before ending up with the Islanders,” Fitzpatrick said.

“It was disappointing to have been part of the team leading up to the World Cup, in the qualifiers and then to not be there with the guys in Germany brought a bit of sadness not being able to be on the pitch but also a lot of joy because my heart was there with them and I was able to witness the kind of euphoria around the team. That was amazing in all aspects. But now that is something of the past and we just have to build on it, hopefully with the right infrastructure in place and I will be hoping to be part of it on the field,” Fitzpatrick added.

He has been part of the squad in training at the Ato Boldon Stadium and mentioned that Rijsbergen is trying him out in a more defensive role on the left, a new position for him. "But as a professional you learn how to adapt to things and that's what I'm doing at the moment and will continue to give it my best effort," he said. On Thursday morning at Couva, the squad of players in training will play a scrimmage against a squad of North American-based college players.