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Behind The Goal Lines: T'Shane Lorde

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Midfielder T’Shane Lorde, better known as Bullet, has every intention of being a professional footballer. But he is also a realest and while he works on his dreams, he has plans of enlisting in the Barbados Defence Force and becoming a commissioned officer.

The former athlete, who made his mark in the 100M, 200M and 400M, even setting a record in the latter category during his days at Hilda Skeene Primary and earned the title of victor ludorum while at The Garrison Secondary, made the switch from athletics to football after a hip injury.

“I was good at both athletics and football, but when I was in secondary school, I was running at eliminations and my hip went out of place. I put running aside and never looked back. The injury had me out for a while and when I recovered I never put back the interest in the running,” he said.

After playing football at his alma mater, he joined Gall Hill and Brittons Hill before entering the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme, which he described as a professional set up compared to other community clubs.

“The Sports Programme is more professional because we train twice a day and work harder. We have a program like a professional footballer would have, as compared to if I was at Brittons Hill and would train sometimes on a night. Football at club level is more amateur, but the Sports Programme we have to take seriously,” he explained.

And while the 23-year-old dreamed of becoming a professional footballer like everybody else, he said he was looking to join the ranks at the Barbados Defence Force.

“It is my passion and I won’t give up going after becoming a professional but you have to deal with reality, and at the end of the day football in Barbados… it is my passion but I still have to look out for myself. I have to find something to fall back on that is why I am here soldiering now,” he said proudly.

The Manchester United fan, who went through the national programs and went from the youth level straight through to the senior level, said football at the senior level was a bit more challenging.

“I was around so long and it’s been just football for me. When you’re younger it is a whole lot easier. As you get older it gets more challenging and the football has gotten tougher. The competition also gets tougher and it’s almost like fighting for a place on the national team, knowing that you’re playing against the same level or better than you.

“You’re no longer in an age category and at the senior level you’re up against all the seniors on the island, so it’s harder fighting for a position. Playing with the older guys you learn a lot and it’s been a great experience coming through the levels and playing for the national side,” he said.

Playing for both the BDFSP and the senior side has not been difficult for Bullet, as most of his club mates are his teammates on the elite team, where he has six national caps.

“There isn’t much difference because I know my players and we are always focused. We have that drive to win and we have a professional mindset. Sometimes it can be challenging knowing you now have to get to learn other teammates and how they play, but once we get together we usually figure it out,” he said.

And some of that ease has come playing under instruction from Head Coach Russell Latapy.

“He played professionally so he knows better what we have to bring to the table. He is more a structured coach; he would give you instructions and expect you to follow them, rather than you play your own game,” he said.

Before COVID-19 forced the shutdown of football worldwide, the Christiano Ronaldo fan said the entire team was focused and looking forward to the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup Qualifiers.   

“I believe everything happens for a reason. I feel we may have a better chance now because of preparations, so we will see how it goes. I was training all through the lockdown but I am happy to get back out with the national side,” he said.

And despite maintaining his fitness level throughout, Bullet noted being physically fit was not the same as being football fit.

“Football fit, you have to be constantly running and on the move. When you think about being physically fit that just means you could run at least 15 minutes straight, but football you have to be running for 120 minutes.

“When you fit and you stop running for about three to four days, your fitness gradually goes down, so getting back to football fitness after three months of no football might be a bit tough. I am ready to get back to the level we were at before and go further still,” he declared.

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