Trinidad and Tobago 2006 World Cup defender Brent Sancho is back in Trinidad to play after five years in the UK and has joined Sangre Grande-based Economy North East Stars for the remainder of the 2008 T&T Pro League season.
Club owner Daryl Mahabir confirmed adding the drealocked defender to his roster this week, saying he is delighted to recruit a player of such stature for his club.
"We always believe in giving players the opportunity to play at our club," said Mahabir, referring to Sancho, who has struggled to settle at a British club following the World Cup two years ago in Germany.
Sancho, who played in the Scottish Premier League with Dundee United and with English League One club Gillingham, also represented Millwall FC and Scottish Division Two club Ross County before joining USL (United Soccer Leagues) club Atlanta Silverbacks earlier this year.
Silverbacks is also the former club of North East Stars' players Anthony Wolfe and Kevin Jeffrey, who had an input in Mahabir's decision to hire Sancho.
"We at North East Stars believe it's in our best interest to add high-profile names to our structure like we did with Jerron Nixon, former coach Everald "Gally" Cummings, Kendall Velox and present player Anthony Wolfe," said Mahabir.
"And with our latest addition, Brent Sancho, we can expect improvement in our team.
"We think that his presence will add confidence to the rest of players to go out and actually win some sort of pride this season," he added.
Sancho has signed with the Stars for the remainder of the 2008 campaign and, as Mahabir explained, the door is wide open for the 2009 season.
"His agent, Heather McKenzie, belives that there are opportunities for him abroad in 2009, but I can say that at North East Stars we are willing to keep him on for the next season," confirmed the North East Stars owner.
Sancho, victim of the infamous hair pulling by England's Peter Crouch before the lanky striker scored his team's second goal in the 2006 World Cup Group match, has not played for Trinidad and Tobago since their appearance in Germany.
He was among the national players involved in a dispute with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation over payment of bonuses from money generated by T&T qualifying for the 2006 World Cup.
Most of the players have returned to the national fold since then, except Sancho.