Seventeen-year-old Trinidad and Tobago international youth team winger Levi Garcia is set to become a “Cheese Farmer.”
Netherlands football magazine Voetbal International announced today the Shiva Boys HC schoolboy Levi Garcia has agreed in principle to join Eredivisie outfit, AZ Alkmaar, after his 18th birthday in November. The impending move was confirmed by a source close to the player who preferred to remain anonymous.
Garcia started in one of Trinidad and Tobago’s five 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship group matches and made three substitute appearances but was unable to help the “Soca Warriors” qualify for the New Zealand 2015 FIFA Under-20 World Cup. However, he will continue his personal progress in the Netherlands after supposedly agreeing to a three-year deal with an option for two additional years.
His local Pro League employers, Central FC, have not commented on the move but they are believed to have agreed not to stand in the player’s way. Garcia signed for the “Couva Sharks” last July but never represented them in a competitive fixture.
AZ is a club of immense pedigree in the Netherlands although it operates in the shadow of the more famous Ajax Amsterdam and PSV Eidhoven.
The “Cheese Farmers”, as they are nicknamed, won the Dutch top flight league in 2009 led by celebrated coach Louis Van Gaal, who is currently at Manchester United. Up until last year, legendary Dutch striker Marco Van Basten was AZ’s head coach although he was forced to step down for health reasons while other recent bosses include former Holland coach Dick Advocaat and current Southampton manager Ronald Koeman.
AZ’s current coach John Van Den Brom is quickly building a reputation for himself too after leading ADO Den Haag and Vitesse to Europa League spots in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons respectively. The 48-year-old Van Den Brom took over at AZ last September after Van Basten stepped down.
Former AZ players include current Southampton striker Graziano Pelle, former Chelsea star Jimmy Flloyd Haselbaink and United States international Jozy Altidore.
If Garcia makes it on to the field for AZ, he will become the first Trinidad and Tobago player to compete in the Eredivisie since Darryl Roberts played for Sparta Rotterdam in the 2007/08 season.
Garcia is yet to earn a senior international call-up but has represented Trinidad and Tobago at CONCACAF Under-17 and Under-20 levels.