Posted on September 7, 2012
By Shaun Fuentes
Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath will arrive in Trinidad & Tobago within the next few weeks to embark on a scouting mission for players he already has labeled “Looking for the next Kevin Molino.”
Heath is a former Manchester City player who once coached at Burnley and Sheffield United. He led Orlando to the regular season and Championship title in their inaugural season in the United States’ USL Pro League.
On Friday, Molino was named league MVP to top off a memorable individual season. He was named the club’s Most Valuable Player this season and was also named on the league’s all-star first team.
Orlando recaptured the regular-season title last month but were beaten in the playoffs and Heath intends to make the journey to T&T in search of new talent as he prepares for Molino’s move to Europe.
“I will be down in Trinidad at the end of September beginning of October to have a look at the players down there. I have great belief in the talent on the island,” Heath said.
“I think we are a great stopping off point for players who think they have a chance to go to the next level… get them away from Trinidad for the first time and integrated into a professional set up away from home. Kevin is a perfect example of what we think we can do. I will be down on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago looking for the next Kevin Molino for sure.”
Heath was full of compliments when asked to give his impressions on Molino.
“The lads call him my son at times because they think he’s my favourite and they are probably quite right,” he said. “I have so much time for him I think he has so much ability. He is still learning and developing. God willing he remains injury free I don’t see any reason why he can’t go and play at the highest level not just in the States but also in Europe. The sky’s the limit for him.”
The ex-Everton standout would undoubtedly prefer Molino sign on for at least another year at Orlando but he knew the player has ambitions to move to Europe.
“I will like to keep him for another year but I don’t know if that is going to be the case,” he said. “I think his agent is maybe thinking about a move to Europe. The most important thing for me is the next 18 months that’s going to be crucial for his development. If he decides to go then I think it’s important he goes somewhere where they play him regularly and makes sure he continues to develop as a player and a person.
“I personally feel he should stay here for at least another year. It’s been two years since he’s come off the island.”
Summing up Molino’s value, Heath added: “He is an integral part of the club, he’s hugely popular not just with the players but with the fans. He’s brings his best every time he plays. He has incredible balance and he gives us that cutting edge in that final third. They are the people who make the most money in football … those that can create a goal and score a goal.”
The 21-year-old Molino has one goal in 10 appearances for the T&T Senior Team and also appeared at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup and 2009 U-20 World Cup. He scored the game-winner over Jamaica to book T&T’s place in the 2007 U-17 World Cup in South Korea. He also netted
T&T’s lone goal in their 7-1 loss to eventual Olympic champions Mexico during the Olympic qualifying final round earlier this year.
Categories: Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago
Tags: Adrian Heath, Burnley, Everton, Kevin Molino, Orlando City, USL PRO