STAR striker Levi Garcia encouraged youngsters on the TT men’s senior football team to grab every opportunity when representing their country as it will allow them to earn professional contracts overseas.
Garcia, 25, has been one of TT’s most consistent players for the national team over the past few years delivering quality performances.
The local footballers have been training this week as part of preparations for the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup qualification tournament from June 16-20 in Ft Lauderdale, US.
Before the Gold Cup qualifiers, TT will play Guatemala in a friendly in Pennsylvania, US on Sunday.
In a video shared by TT Football Association Media, Garcia was kneeling on one knee while speaking to Nathaniel James, Real Gill and Kaihim Thomas during a national senior men’s training session.
“Take this opportunity and let us see what could happen,” Garcia told the trio ahead of the Guatemala friendly.
“Some of them (Guatemala players) already have contracts, we looking for contacts so we have to go and outplay men and work harder (than them).”
Midfielders James and Thomas, along with striker Gill were all part of the TT Under-20 team which took part at the 2022 Concacaf Under-20 Championships.
James, a former Queen’s Royal College student, has been in prolific form in the TT Premier Football League as he is the leading goal scorer which has kept Club Sando in the title race with a few rounds remaining.
Garcia urged the young footballers to make a name for themselves even if they don’t play the entire match.
“I always tell people I prefer to give everything in 45 minutes and say coachman (take me off).”
Garcia said international football is the highest level and you must remain focused throughout a match.
“This is a national team, this is not club football…national team we have to pull our weight.”
He ended his short interaction with the players by saying he hoped his words “registered” and told them “We will talk more.”
Garcia, 25, won the Greek Cup and the 2022/2023 Greek Super League last month with AEK Athens.
He was an instrumental player during the season finding the back of the net consistently. Since joining the club in 2020, Garcia has 26 goals in 90 appearances.
During the title celebrations in Greece, Garcia draped himself with the TT flag and was joined by his family.