TT YOUTH team footballers Gary Griffith III and Jesse Williams are eager to get their professional careers under way, having recently signed with Coleraine FC in the Northern Ireland Premier League.
The pair spoke during an interview on the TTFA (TT Football Association) You Tube channel on October 9.
The 17-year-old Griffith III, son of Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, is on a football scholarship with Sunderland College, England, while Williams, an 18-year-old defender, was previously attached to Pro League club Central FC.
Griffith played as a striker for North East Stars (now AC Port of Spain) in the Youth Pro League and Williams featured in the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) with St Anthony’s College.
Questioned about their experiences so far in Northern Ireland, Griffith replied, “(It’s) a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience. With this pandemic, to leave to go (to) Barbados, we got retested. All these things were like a setback, because we were getting tested and tested.
“Aside from that, the lads in Coleraine (were) exceptional, very welcoming and I felt like part of the family. The experience has been going great.”
Williams said, “This journey was quite difficult at times. We had to be tested on several occasions because of this pandemic.”
But, he said, “The lads welcomed us so we felt like home. The (transitioning) was quite good because it’s football we came to play. This is what we signed up for and this is what we want. We went out and gave our best and there comes the result.”
The pair spoke about the bond they have built as they seek to enter a new phase of their footballing lives.
Griffith said, “It’s a camaraderie. It’s really good that we keep pushing each other to do our best. We have the same culture in a new country, so it’ll be easy to get comfortable and easier to acclimatise.
“We both share each other’s company. It has been easy to get accustomed to the new surroundings.”
Williams mentioned, “Having him on board with me is quite good. It makes life much easier for me. Not only Gary but his family supported me. I’m grateful and thankful for that. That made me push even harder with him.”
Williams added, “I believe in God. I was being prepared mentally for it and it (came), so I’m thankful.”
Griffith is setting his sights on representing TT at the international level one day.
“This whole situation (with the TTFA against FIFA) is beyond our control and we can hope that the best result comes out for us as players. I can’t wait to represent my country,” he said.