W Connection must quickly adjust to life without Neil Benjamin Junior – beginning with the group stage of the 2018 CONCACAF Caribbean Club Championship which begins next week – after the talented 23-year-old Savonetta Boys winger joined newly promoted Vietnam V-League outfit Nam Dinh FC on a permanent deal.
Benjamin, who was the TT Pro League’s top scorer last season, is excited to play overseas for the first time. “It’s an incredible opportunity to be able to sign my first overseas contract and leave your home country and play for a different club,” Benjamin said via a Connection press release.
Benjamin, who has great speed and ability to find the back of the net, said he hopes to make a name for himself outside of Trinidad.
“I also want to do my part in helping my new team be successful this season and show them that they made the right decision in signing me. (I want to also) show that being from a small country in the Caribbean will not limit you (and) that once you put your mind to something and work hard towards it, you can achieve all your goals and more.”
Nam Dinh won the 2017 V-League Two for promotion that returns them to the top-flight for the first time in eight years. Nam Dinh will kick off their 2018 V-League campaign on March 3.
Benjamin, who joined W Connection at age seven, progressed through the youth ranks before making his Savonetta Boys senior team debut at age 17 in 2011 and went on to win the 2011-12 Pro League title.
Benjamin, who represented TT at the Under-17 and Under-20 levels, made his senior national team debut under coach Dennis Lawrence against Jamaica on August 24, 2017.
“I’ve been with W Connection since I was a little boy...so being able to branch out and get more experience is a great feeling.
“I want to show to them that all the years they invested in me and helped in my development was worth it all. Though it may be a little difficult adapting to a new culture in a new country, and being away from my family and friends. I am thankful that my career is taking off and that this is just the beginning for me and what I am capable of.”
Benjamin added, “I want to thank W Connection for everything they have done for me on and off the field. From the coaching staff to the players and also the administrative staff behind the team. I also want to thank my family, friends and fans for all the love and support they have shown me throughout the years as they continue to support me as I embark on a new journey in my career,” ended the now, Nam Dinh player.