BY Shaun Fuentes
Not much Trinidad and Tobago players have celebrated overseas League title success in recent times but 2006 World Cup team midfielder Densill Theobald can add his list to the names of players who have won silverware outside of Trinidad and Tobago . This, after his Dempo Sports club extended its supremacy in Indian football by picking up its third I-League title in six seasons last Friday.
Dempo held its closest rivals Kolkata East Bengal to a 0-0 draw at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda to go clear at the top of the table with 54 points from 25 matches.
Theobald missed the game due to stomach problems but was hailed as one of the instrumental players behind Dempo’s success this season. He played ten games helping them to seven wins and a draw in the process.
Theobald was delighted to be part of the success.
“It’s a great feeling to win an overseas title. I’ve enjoyed success at the local level with Caledonia AIA and of course going to the World Cup in 2006 was unbelievable but to be part of an effort by a team in a place like India fits right up there with the top moments in my career,” Theobald told TTFF Media.
“Coming to India has proven to be a decision I have not regretted. The club is very professional and the people are all very passionate about football and they showed that throughout my time here. Now we have to look forward to the playoffs for a spot in the Asian Champions League and that is definitely something I would like to be part of,” he added.
Theobald, a former player with Scottish club Falkirk FC and Ujpest FC in Hungary, a club which former T&T head coach Leo Beenhakker later took up a position with. And now Theobald is set to hold talks over a new deal with Dempo which had signed him for one season after their head coach Armando Colaco spotted him T&T’s 3-0 win over India last year at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Popular football site Goal.com which had its India-based correspondents following the I-League, rated Theobald as one of influential players behind Dempo’s success.
“Theobald Has Added Class To Dempo’s Midfield. The Trinidad and Tobago international came into the team after the season was well underway, as issues related to his international clearance papers held up his debut, which he made only in January against Air India. However the former World Cupper was an instant hit, helping the team overcome a minor blip in form, after the club registered losses against Churchill Brothers and East Bengal.
“The midfielder’s accomplished playmaking skills and general movement on the pitch was breathtaking at times as he and Climax Lawrence formed a high quality pair in the centre of the pitch. Easily one of classiest midfielders on display in the league this term,” Goal.com stated.
Dempo SC is owned by the Dempo Group which specializes in Iron Ore Mining and Export Operations, and also ventures in manufacturing calcined petroleum coke, pig iron, baby foods, and ship building & repair, newspaper publishing, the travel business, and wind energy generation. Shrinivas V. Dempo is the chairman of the Dempo Group which is expected to reward the Dempo players for their League success.