Tosaint Ricketts On Unpaid Wages In Turkey And A New Canadian Brotherhood

Tosaint Ricketts On Unpaid Wages In Turkey And A New Canadian Brotherhood

James Rowe spoke to FK Suduva forward Tosaint Ricketts exclusively for WFi. They discussed the ups and downs of his career so far; his admiration for Sebastian Giovinco, Atiba Hutchinson, and Cosmin Contra; and the future of the Canada national team.


You signed for FK Suduva in 2019. How are you enjoying your time there so far and how would you describe the club?

I have been fortunate to accrue many experiences in different countries and that prepared me well for this move to Lithuania.

I am settling in well and I started the league campaign well. In terms of the league and everything here in Lithuania it is a quiet league.

The league is different to Major League Soccer but it is still a good level. I am managing to get minutes and score quality goals so I am happy about it.

You spent the 2015 – 2016 season playing for Boluspor in Turkey. How do you look back on your time at the club and in Turkey in general?

When I look back on my time at Boluspor it was not really the best moment of my career.

I signed there with hopes of helping the team and have a good season, but unfortunately Boluspor did not live up to their end of the agreement and they were constantly late with payment of player wages.

One month turned into two months, and two months into three, so it was a battle for wages basically in the end.

However I did enjoy playing in Turkey. The supporters were great and it was a challenging environment.

The strength of the Turkish league is very impressive.

 

You played two and a half seasons for Toronto FC, making many appearances and scoring goals. How do you look back on your time in MLS?

I really enjoyed my time at Toronto FC. It was my first time playing professionally in my home country.

It was a dream come true to come back there and play for such a quality organisation.

The run we had in 2017 was magical. We broke a lot of records throughout MLS. It was a very special time for me.

During my time there we had a great squad. The mentality throughout the club and in the playing squad, and our confidence, was so high.

Our run from 2016 and into 2017 was good and the whole experience of my time there was great.

You are a fully fledged Canadian international with many caps. What are your highlights of representing Canada so far in your career, and can you see Canada pushing on to quality for a World Cup in future?

The Canadian national team is something which has been a motivational factor throughout my career so far.

I take great pride in wearing the shirt of my country. I look back at every experience I have had as an honour.

One particular experience that I can really look back on, and it puts a real smile on my face actually, happened at BMO Field against Ecuador when I scored in a 2-2 draw. My family was in attendance and, being a young player in the squad, it was a memorable moment.

In terms of World Cup qualification we are heading in the right direction. We have a lot of quality young players in a great environment.

We have a good balance of youth and experience. We have new leadership in our manager John Herdman, and he has brought an organised mentality and a brotherhood that we have lacked in the past.

We have new tactical ideologies and new ideas that are implemented from the youth up, so the Canadian national team are heading in the right direction and I am very happy to see that.

With your experience playing in different countries and in different environments, could you say who are the best players you have played alongside?

A tough question. In terms of the national team I would say Atiba Hutchinson.

I don’t know if you know his career. He has played for such clubs as FC Copenhagen, PSV Eindhoven, and now Besiktas.

He has been one of the best players I have played with due to his consistency and professionalism.

Also, Julian De Guzman who had a great career playing in Germany and also Deportivo La Coruna in Spain. Both players were big mentors for me when I first came in to the Canadian national team so they are the two top players that I played alongside at international level.

At club level I would say that the best is Sebastian Giovinco. Leaving Juventus to come and play in MLS is a tough transition for any player to come through in terms of environment.

He was fantastic throughout his time in MLS, and I think that he is one of the best free kick takers in the world.

He has scored some magical free kicks and great goals during his time at Toronto FC.

 

In your position as a striker I can imagine that you have come up against difficult opponents through the years. Are there any that stand out for you?

We played against Colombia in a friendly New Jersey in the United States, and their centre backs at the time included Cristian Zapata. He was very physical, strong, and technically gifted, and for me he is one of the toughest centre backs that I have ever come up against.

When we played Colombia they were ranked second in the world and we lost 1-0 from a goal from James Rodriguez from a dead ball situation.

Before that we managed to keep them at bay for 75 minutes. The career that Cristian Zapata has had says it all.

Finally, Tosaint are there managers or coaches that have played a key role in your development as a professional footballer?

Yes I would say one manager that played a key role for me was my coach when I first made my move to Romania. His name was Cosmin Contra.

He was a former Romania international player who played for AC Milan and Atlético Madrid.

He got me at a young age, moulded me, and taught me stuff including key things in the attacking side of the game. That helped me tactically and refined my skills mentally and technically too.

Although my time with him was short, he was very influential in my career.

I would also like to mention Stephen Hart who was the Canada manager when I began my international career. He got me acclimatised with the national team and gave my match experience.

He was the figure in the Canadian national setup that kept my focus and pushed me as a player: such as telling me to take risks and embrace new environments in order to reach my full potential.

Stephen Hart is another manager that I really appreciate and value in my career.


Featured image – fksuduva.lt

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