Fri, Sep


Arnold Dwarika (#9) v Jamaica's Tyron MarshallLast chance for World Cup glory.

Arnold Dwarika still harbours dreams of playing in the Fifa World Cup. After a surprise recall to the national senior team, the veteran striker hopes to break back into the final team competing for a spot in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

On Wednesday night, he celebrated his recall by helping to set up the equaliser and later scored the go-ahead goal in a 3-2 win over Antigua and Barbuda in the Digicel Caribbean Cup.

Dwarika currently campaigns in the T&T Pro-league with Joe Public FC. He made his debut in national senior team colours at the age of 18 against Venezuela in 1991 at the Arima Velodrome.

Since then, the nippy player went on to represent T&T 69 times over the next 13 years, scoring 27 goals. His last appearance was in 2004 against Mexico.

The former Malick standout has been a striker for most of his career, but his role has now been modified.

“I was always a goalscorer. Now I play more in midfield to help build the plays and attack from there,” said Dwarika.

Although he may not have the pace of his younger days, he is able to create plays for his teammates and get up to support the forwards. His vision of the game has improved over the years and his touches remain sharp. These weapons help make the 35-year-old a very dangerous player.

With more than 20 years of football experience, Dwarika is able to give advice to younger players on and off the field to help them develop themselves.

At age 35 many felt Arnold Dwarika would be in the twilight of his career, but not him.

“My fitness level is great, my body feels good and I am enjoying the game,” he said.

“As long as my legs can carry me and I am still enjoying my football, I will continue playing,” he continued.

Dwarika is a regular starter for his club Joe Public and featured prominently in their Concacaf Champions League matches. He has no niggling injuries and maintains a passion for the game. 

“The coach is a good tactician, he knows what he wants and asks players to play to his plan; I can work with that,” said Dwarika, when asked about national coach Francisco Maturana.

“There is a lot of young talent in T&T, but they need help to step up their game to compete at the international level,” stated Dwarika, who is a former T&T “Player of the Year”.

Dwarika thinks he can help young players make the transition from local club football to the international standard. In truth, there was a marked improvement in the quality of play after he was brought on against Antigua-Barbuda on Wednesday.

“My dream is still to play in a World Cup, I have done a lot in my career but that is the ultimate goal,” added Dwarika, who has his alumni Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy still prominent in the senior team.

Dwarika also wants to stake a claim. He is playing well and confident he can contribute to the team and achieve his World Cup dream. But first there is the Digicel Caribbean Championship. Dwarika will be doing his best in this tournament to springboard into the World Cup squad.