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Latapy hails new Yorke

Latapy hails new Yorke SHAHDON WINCHESTER: the bright new hope of Trinidadian football. (Internet image)

Wed, September 15, 2010 - 12:00 AM

PORT-OF-SPAIN – Comparisons between emerging players and giants of the past are always dangerous, but this hardly kept Russell Latapy from identifying Shahdon Winchester as the new Dwight Yorke.

The Trinidad and Tobago men’s national team coach believes the young striker has all the qualities to make him as successful as the former national captain.

The dreadlocked 18-year-old is on a two-week trial with Scottish giants Celtic. And Latapy believes that Winchester can convince team boss Neil Lennon that he’s ready for a crack at the big time at such a tender age.

“Shahdon is a fantastic young talent, a real little star,” said Latapy. “Our fans love him because he’s one of the brightest young stars our country has produced.

“With the right guidance, the right opportunity, and the right club, he can go a long way.  You need luck in football, and it depends on what Lennon wants him to do. But he’s got the ability, no doubt about it.

“If I had to make a comparison I’d say Shahdon is like Dwight Yorke. He’s got a lot of the same attributes. He runs at people, is super-strong, and loves scoring goals.

“If he takes this chance and impresses, then he would be a fantastic player for Celtic.”

Winchester has already rejected a deal from Portuguese side Sporting Braga, and Dutch giants Ajax have shown interest.

But the youngster is keen to make waves in Scotland much like Latapy, whose deft skills in midfield earned him the nickname “The Little Magician”.

“I didn’t want to say too much to Shahdon,” said the Trinidad and Tobago coach. “I wanted him to find out for himself.

“He’s one of the kids who plays local to me and works with the national squad all the time. He’s powerful for a young man, and has great composure on the ball.

“He’s not afraid to work hard and maybe he’s just a little bit shy. But his confidence should soar if he gets the chance at Celtic. He’ll win a lot of games.” (CMC)

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