SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- While growing up in the Turks & Caicos Islands (TCI), Billy Forbes was inspired by international forward Gavin Glinton, who performed for several teams in Major League Soccer and USL PRO.
"He's one of my heroes," Forbes said. "He coached me and put me on the right path."
A decade later, Forbes finds himself as an inspiration to up-and-coming TCI players.
“I hope to inspire them," he said. "When I went back home, most of the guys really encouraged me to do what I'm doing. It's really great to see because I grew up with these guys. They are looking up to me. They want to do what I did, go to college and play professional. So it’s really a good thing to see."
Forbes is a professional -- as a forward with the reigning North American Soccer League champion San Antonio Scorpions – and an international -- with the TCI national side.
"We've improved a lot,” remarked the 24-year-old. “We've brought in younger guys, guys like myself, who grew up together in U-10, U-15, U-20, and U-23. These are the guys who are playing for the national team.
"We are going in the right direction. At the same time, we're such a small country. We need to get most of our younger guys to play overseas as well, college, club team. They will grow as players. Hopefully, five, ten years from now, we can have a better national team."
The 5-9, 165-lb. Forbes captained the national team during its recent FIFA World Cup qualifying series against St. Kitts & Nevis, recording his first international goal off a header in a first-leg loss.
"It was just unbelievable to score my first goal for my country," Forbes expressed. "It was awesome."
TCI was eliminated, falling by the same 6-2 score in both legs.
"It was difficult, but at the same time, credit to St. Kitts because they had all of their guys playing in England, MLS,” noted Forbes. “They're more experienced than us, but that's one of the things that we're going to learn from and move forward with it."
Forbes, who attended Western Texas College and Lubbock Christian University, is setting an example by starring for the Scorpions. In a memorable 2014 rookie year, he led the league with seven assists, scored four goals and netted the game-winner goal in the NASL final.
"It was awesome because it goes to show you that no matter where you play in college, you can come in a professional environment as long as the coaching staff believes in you and gives you a chance," Forbes finished.