Veteran Soca Warriors striker Cornell Glen is saying goodbye to his current employers North East Stars and the Trinidad and Tobago Pro League and saying hello to Shillong Lajong and the Indian I-League.
The I-League is the top professional league in India which was launched in 2007. The 14-club competition kicks off in October and ends in May, with each team playing a total of 26 games in the two-round league season.
On Friday at the Brian Lara Recreation Ground in Santa Cruz, where he participated in Neal and Massy Caledonia AIA’s training session, the 31-year Glen told Wired868 that he has secured a contract with the Asian club for the 2013-14 season.
“I had other options,” said the striker, who has scored 23 goals in 65 international appearances since making his international debut in 2002, “but India at this point in time is a better move and I got a deal that I’m really comfortable with.”
“First and most importantly, I’m hoping to have a good season and I will be taking it one season at a time and trying to keep myself fit, healthy and injury-free.”
Glen said he did not have a lot of information about the League so he consulted with a knowledgeable colleague before making up his mind.
“I didn’t really know much about the football league to be honest,” he told Wired868, “but I heard some positive things about it from Densill. I was very encouraged and that convinced me to take up this new challenge.”
“Densill” is, of course, fellow national and Caledonia AIA midfielder Densill Theobald, who had a stint in the I-League with Dempo Sports Club in 2012. According to Glen, without Theobald’s input, it is very unlikely that he would have decided to venture into the sub-continent.
Both Glen and Theobald were included in the 23-member national squad that participated in the 2006 World Cup in Germany under coach Leo Beenhakker and both are also in the 35-man preliminary squad named by the TTFA for next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup in the USA for which Beenhakker has been recalled as a director of football. But Glen was reluctant to comment too much on the recent coaching appointments which are still generating a lot of discussion in footballing circles. He argued that as a footballer his concern was the on-the-field business and made it clear that he was prepared to leave administrative matters to the administrators.
“I have no problem with changes of coaches,” he told Wired868,” although the timing of it is admittedly a bit questionable. But that is the administrative side of the game and, as players, we just have to focus on playing the football, no matter who is coach.”
Glen ended by thanking his principals at North East Stars and the club’s fans for the way he was treated during his time at the club.
“I want to thank North East Stars for giving me the opportunity to play there,” he said. “It was my form with them that helped me to get back on the national team and I wish them the best in the 2013-14 season.”