June 11, 2010
Stewart relishes the spotlight

Vincentian footballer Cornelius Stewart is grabbing with both hands the opportunities provided him by the Vancouver Whitecaps in the United Soccer League.

Stewart, who broke into the first team last month, has since had six other starts.{{more}}

“It is the best thing that ever happened to me,” he said as he spoke to SEARCHLIGHT last Sunday afternoon.

Last year, Stewart joined the Whitecaps’ residency programme and so impressed the club’s coaching staff that he was given a one-year contract in the first instance.

Although he is enjoying the limelight, Stewart said that he is just obeying his coach’s orders and at the same time gathering a fan base among the Vancouver supporters.

“My speed, my skills on the ball and my ability to hold it up and make runs from behind are what the coach likes in me,” he told SEARCHLIGHT via telephone from his Vancouver apartment.

The 20-year-old Stewart’s pace has been a bug to defenders, and he landed his first and only goal two weeks ago against the Rochester Rhino in only his second match.

“It is not hard up here. You just have to prepare to work hard and follow instructions,” Stewart, this country’s 2009 Junior Sportsman of the Year, said.

“I just play to the best of my ability as there are other scouts who might just see me and want me,” the former Campdonia / Chelsea and System 3 player added.

Stewart, who sports the number 39 on his jersey, remarked that he is also representing the other talents that reside here.

“We have a lot of talent back home, and I want them to know that there are others like me, so I want to open the doors for them,” Stewart said with a sense of national pride.

Stewart wants to be on the Whitecaps score sheet more frequently and positioned himself for a place in the team, which entered the Major League Soccer(MLS) in 2011.

However, while Stewart is enjoying much play, Vincy Heat captain, Marlon “Tusty” James, also on the Whitecaps roster, is fighting to get fit as he is recovering from an injury.