Trinidad and Tobago and former MLS and A League midfielder Leslie ‘Tiger’ Fitzpatrick has joined TT Pro League Club Vibe CT 105 W Connection hoping for bigger opportunities and believes the Pro League is the ideal stepping stone.
The former Real Salt Lake, Atlanta Silverbacks and Puerto Rico Islanders player is now delighted to be part of the Pro League as he looks to a return from injury and become match fit.
He told ‘ttproleague.com’, “It’s an honor and a good opportunity to play locally and showcase my talent. I am coming off my ankle injury and have been in talks with a couple of Clubs locally and in the US but W Connection has given me the best chance and with their Pro League history I believe it’s a great place to work myself back to full fitness.”
Fitzpatrick sustained injury to his right ankle while in training with the Trinidad and Tobago team back in February and since then has not played. Prior to his injury Leslie represented the national team in the Digicel Caribbean Cup in January also playing a friendly match against Guadeloupe.
W Connection have confirmed signing the 28 year old national player but preferred to remain tight-lipped about the terms and conditions of the contract.
Although he is now a member of the W Connection outfit, Fitzpatrick is still unavailbe to play for the 'Savonetta Boys' as he awaits his international transfer (ITC) from his last registered Club, Puerto Rico Islanders and until then he cannot be registered in the TT Pro League.
Leslie Fitzpatrick’s first focus now is to return to the national team and be part of the Gold Cup in June, “I really want to be in contention for a Gold Cup spot after all I helped the team get there,” he said.”
Fitzpatrick believes the Pro League is the best launching pad for his subsequent goal which is to play in Europe or Asia.
“In terms of the timing right now for me and my aspirations to go to Europe or Asia, the Pro League is the better launching pad for me to do so,” he added, “The League is a young one, but it has been doing very well. A lot of my national teammates and local players have been talking about standard and how it has improved over the years. There is a lot of rivalry here and it is good competitiveness for players and a good place for me to get back to full fitness.”
According to the 28 year old midfielder it is harder for US based players to obtain contracts in Europe or Asia because of contractual agreements and the high price requested by the MLS clubs.
He now believes at W Connection his chances of playing in Europe or Asia are better, “Clubs like W Connection and San Juan Jabloteh have good contacts in Europe, Asia and elsewhere and they are more trying to get their players out. The Clubs here are more proactive in getting their players in comparison to the MLS where unless the contract is financially viable you wouldn’t be able to leave.”
As a former MLS player, Fitzpatrick wants to bring forward his professional experiences abroad to the Couva based Club.
“Hopefully I can share some of the experience and professionalism that I have gained playing in the U.S. and also try and mentor some of the younger players at W Connection. Also, every experience is a learning experience so I would be looking to take whatever I can from the coaches here. I would also want to bring a certain standard of play on and off the field fostering a better outlook for the Pro League,” proposed Fitzpatrick.