Young Matthew Woo Ling of Trinidad and Tobago fell in love with the set up at W Connection FC in his first training session under head coach Stuart Charles Fevrier during the summer vacation and decided that he wanted to join the club on a full time basis. Connection is the former club of Stoke City striker Kenwyne Jones and have appeared in the Concacaf Champions League as one of the representative champions club from T&T.
Almost three months later, the talented midfielder made his professional debut for W Connection, coming on in the second half of a 4-1 victory over DirecTV North East Stars in a First Citizen’s Bank Cup clash at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain. That North East line up included current T&T and ex-Birmingham City striker Stern John as well as Trinidad defender Seon Power.
The Fatima College student spent the entire preseason campaign with the club and was rewarded with a run out against Stars.
Having turned 15 on September 15, the little midfield wizard has been tipped for a bright future by Connection owner David John Williams.
Actually, Woo Ling’s arrival at Connection came through another coincidence, according to Williams.
“Matthew’s father worked alongside Stuart Charles Fevrier at a recent T&T Football Federation/Dutch coaching course and was impressed with what he saw. Then after viewing a training session he was pleased with the level of professionalism and he asked Stuart if his son could join the training. Fortunately it was the August vacation and Stuart invited the youngster along. We saw his ability and the rest was history. He trained with us for two months and he made up his mind that this is what he wanted to do and W Connection was the club he wanted to be with. That’s how it all started,” Williams recalled.
“We’re not afraid to put a player out there if he’s 10 or 12. We go by a philosophy that nothing is guaranteed in football and it’s good opportunity for the youngster to develop and showcase his talent. He came in at a good time because the average age of our team now is 20.”
Woo Ling is not allowed to sign a contract at age 15 but is a registered member of the club and already Williams is in contact with a few European clubs and academies regarding the possibility of a move over. He trained at Sunderland in 2010 after being selected as one of the standouts from the Digicel clinics.
Williams said the support of the player’s parents has played a pivotal role.
“His parents have been great. They’ve been with him throughout and we have seen this first hand. Matthew’s parents are there waiting for him after school at 2:30pm and accompany him to every training session. He also has two sisters who are on football scholarships and I would love to see more parents behind their youngsters in this manner. The players at W Connection have all embraced Matthew. He trains very hard and trains on his own as well. We will continue to work with him closely to ensure he gets the opportunity to continue developing in the right manner,” Williams ended.