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Jun 18, 2015

Woodrow West Signed By Honduras Progresso

Within days of the big win against the national football team of the Dominican Republic, the goalkeeper who pulled off amazing saves for Belize is moving on from the Jaguars. The sensational goalie, Woodrow West, has signed on a three-year contract to play with a Honduran team. He was scouted immediately following the game on Sunday; the deal was sealed on Wednesday night and by ten this morning, West signed the dotted line to play professionally. Duane Moody caught up with him today in Belmopan to find out what happens now with the Jaguars.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Belize’s star goalkeeper, Woodrow West, is changing his jersey to navy blue and will now play in the National Football League of Honduras as the keeper for the Club Deportivo Honduras de El Progreso, the Honduras Progresso Football Club. The twenty-nine year old goalkeeper, who is originally from Libertad Village in Corozal, officially signed on to a three-year contract this morning with the Central American team after years of playing with the Belmopan Bandits in the Premier League of Belize. While it is a life-changing experience for West, it was also a difficult decision to make.

 

Woodrow West

Woodrow West, Newly Signed Goalkeeper, Club Deportivo Honduras de El Progreso

“It wasn’t an easy task for me and like I told my friends and my boss. It is something that all footballers want and the time is here, but to make that decision it was kind of difficult because you are leaving your loved ones behind; you are leaving your friends, you are leaving your family. You know it is not easy to go to another country to play internationally but I did it already, but I did it already and I think I can cope with it. It is my career, it is what I love and I feel great that I will be going to take on a new challenge.”

 

West was approached by Club Manager, Nahum Perez Interiano, and Physical Trainer, Luis Cabrera, earlier this week and made an offer after he along with star striker, Deon McCauley, came highly recommended by Cabrera.

 

Nahum Perez Interiano

Nahum Perez Interiano, Manager, Club Deportivo Honduras de El Progreso (Translated)

“We came for him. We have an understanding with him. We looked at how he played and we know that he is an excellent football player and we want to have a strong football club so we came here to sign him. We decided to recruit him because he is satisfies the criteria. He is a premier athlete and that’s why we decided to come for West.  The contract is for three years with the club and he has the option if a bigger club wants to trade him, then it is up for negotiation.”

 

While neither West or Perez were willing to disclose the monetary value of the contract, we were reliably informed that West will be receiving a monthly salary additional to other benefits. Looking over the contract on West’s behalf was his current employer, Ernesto Franco.

 

Ernesto Franco

Ernesto Franco, Employer

“The contract is in Spanish so I had to interpret it for him and ensure that the clauses doesn’t bind him or hold him as a hostage and to ensure that all the accommodation, transportation is met because he explained to me that he had a bad experience in Panama and he didn’t want this to happen to him again. And of course, also as one of my employees and one of the best players for me in the country, I wanted the best for him too. And I ensured that all the accommodations, the meals will be met for him…especially the health insurance.”

 

A contract to play professionally is the dream for all football athletes and Senior F.F.B. Executive, Marlon Kuylen, says that it is something that is encouraged by the federation.

 

Marlon Kuylen

Marlon Kuylen, Senior Executive, F.F.B.

“It certainly is good news for him and for the country because people are starting to see that Belize has good talent. This also helps the up and coming youths to realize that there is a future in football or in sports in general, more so football and so it also puts the onus on the F.F.B. to make sure that our youth program that we started a few months ago is successful. This is every player’s dream and the federation would no way discourage any player from pursuing a contract with a professional club; in fact, we will encourage it.”

 

For West, it is rewarding for the eleven years that he has been playing at the semi-pro level.

 

Woodrow West

“It’s going to be helping me here with the national team as well—to uplift my standards in the goal as well. So I think it is a good deal and it is just the right moment for me now.”

 

Duane Moody

“Three years? What are you expecting to take away from this?”

 

Woodrow West

“Well the three years is the deal that I made with them, but we negotiated that if any other clubs or MLS teams want me to go over, we’ll negotiate and they will freely have me go to other teams depending on what part of the year and the tournament. So I think it is still a good deal. It is good because there are times when you get one year contracts and then you panic about what if this or what if that. So it is a three year contract and it is a good start for me.”

 

But what of the Belize Jaguars, of which West is a member? Well, according to FIFA regulations and the contract signed, he will be allowed to return home and play for his country in any international matchup including the upcoming third round of qualifying games for the World Cup 2018.

 

Marlon Kuylen

“It doesn’t affect Woodrow’s membership on the team because whenever there is a FIFA friendly or a FIFA match, the club has to release the player to come home or to go wherever he needs to go to play with the national team. It just means that he will not be in camp with the other players. But Woodrow, being the goalkeeper, he already knows the system. We can continue and have a successful camp without him.”

 

Woodrow West

“That’s one of the biggest questions that the fans of Belize want to know and yes it is a FIFA rule that if the federation demands me to come then I have to come and play. Even though I play with the club, it is their duty to release me to come and play just that federation will have to pay my expense from there to come back to Belize. So I’ll be back in Belize, in two months time I’ll be here again.”

 

West leaves the country to Honduras on June twenty-eighth. Duane Moody for News Five.

 

Star Striker, Deon McCauley, was also approached by the Honduran team, but word is that at least for now, McCauley is staying home.

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3 Responses for “Woodrow West Signed By Honduras Progresso”

  1. Keep it real says:

    Who the hell is Progresso ? Why is it a big deal when Belizean players join these bush leages. Aspire to greater leagues. It’s obviuos our players are not ready for the real pro- leages, Deon was a prime example when he failed in the second leage in the U.S. Winning 2 games is “fools gold” for the Belizean players, and everyone thinks they are ready for the big stage. Yes, the players seems to be a bit better stucture on the field, but who knows football can see they still lack the technical fudamentals that pro-players have. This needed to be develop at a young age,and they did not have that. Once again have a stronger youth program , then we will have true pro-players that can go to better Pro- leagues.

  2. CEO says:

    Keep giving the guys a stipend until they all go play for another country who will pay them what they are worth.

  3. Al says:

    Really happy about this. Hopefully interest and more scrutiny will start to put ALL our athletes in the international spotlight. We have great basketball players and extremely good athletes too. More international scholarship opportunities need to be gain for our high school athletes and not just for the academic students.

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