Caledonia AIA's head coach Jamaal Shabazz (left) and forward Kithson Bain. (Photos: Allan Crane, Mexsport)
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago -- Caledonia AIA head coach Jamal Shabazz and striker Kithson Bain aim to build a strong partnership that pushes the Trinidad & Tobago-based club up the ranks in CONCACAF competition.
Shabazz signed the Grenada international ahead of a crucial CONCACAF Champions League match on September 18 against Toluca.
Bain showed glimpses of his talent in a 5-1 loss that night, scoring Caledonia’s goal in the second half.
Despite the defeat, and another a week later at Comunicaciones, both Shabazz and Bain are optimistic about the future.
“Kithson will help us in the TT Pro League,” Shabazz told CONCACAF.com. “I think he is still good enough to play outside of the region.
“He is what our team needs right now.”
Bain first attracted major attention in the 2008 Caribbean Cup, where he shared the Golden Boot award and propelled Grenada’s Spice Boys to the following year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.
A stint with Tranmere Rovers followed, but Bain failed to be a permanent fixture at Prenton Park and moved around on loans with other English clubs, before spending time with clubs in the Caribbean and the United States.
“I’ve been all over trying to reach the top level and I had to make a lot of sacrifices but now I am with Coach Shabazz trying to make an impact,” said Bain. “The Tranmere Rovers experience has made me better player.”
In the 2013 CONCACAF Champions League, Caledonia and fellow TT Pro League side DIRECTV W Connection did not win a game, but Shabazz knows the Caribbean has more work to do in order to make an impression on the regional stage.
“The CONCACAF Champions League has been a learning experience for us, the margin for error is so slim,” the former Guyana head coach noted. “We have to work a lot harder to take our game to the next level.”
With players like Bain, and coaches such as Shabazz, that advancement will surely come to fruition sooner rather than later.