Akim Armstrong wins Wendy's Player of the Month gong, desirous of CONCACAF and overseas return

Photo: Club Sando midfielder Akim Armstrong, second from left, is presented with Wendy’s Pro League Player of the Month vouchers for July from Sheyna Weston, marketing manager at Desk Restaurants—the franchise holder of Wendy’s (Trinidad and Tobago), at Wendy’s Ariapita Avenue restaurant in Woodbrook on September 15, 2017. At left TT Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene and extreme right is Julia Baptiste, general secretary of the Pro League.

Akim Armstrong’s move to Club Sando in pre-season came a surprise to many; after all he left Morvant Caledonia United, the club he had served as captain and had called home for the better part of seven years.

Now Armstrong is desirous of helping Club Sando reach CONCACAF status (in either the CONCACAF Champions League or the recently formed CONCACAF League)—a challenge that requires the Orangesfinish top two in the Pro League and then to qualify out of the Caribbean Club Championship, achievements he completed at 2012 Caribbean champions Morvant Caledonia.

“I needed a switch in environment; a switch in culture,” explained the 29-year-old midfielder who was recently honoured as the Wendy’s Pro League Player of the Month for July.

Armstrong turned out a perfect fit for coach Angus Eve’s rejigged Sando that includes a number of rising talents such as defenders Nicholas Thomas and Trevin Latapy, winger Adan Noel and Trinidad and Tobago national team midfielder Jared London to name a few.

Sando lost to Morvant Caledonia (2-1) and W Connection (3-1) in their first two league outings this season with a bit of mixing and matching but Eve’s later decision to utilise Armstrong’s experienced and vision high into the opponents’ half saw improvement and suddenly a team challenging for the title.

Sando, last season’s fifth-place finishers, suffered just one loss in their last ten games in all competitions—2-0 against Pro League leaders North East Stars on September 19—and are third on the Pro League, six points adrift of North East Stars with seven league games left.

“Coach Angus Eve is always someone I looked up to, both as a player and a coach,” added Armstrong, who in 2014 had his first and only stint abroad with Finland’s Jalkapalloseura FC YPA. “(…) so it is quite good playing under him and the players accepted me as one of theirs—I feel like it’s a family [at Sando]. It’s going good for me so far and I look forward to continue the good run we are having.”

Eve and Armstrong scooped The Fan Club Coach of the Month and Wendy’s Player of the Month honours respectively for July. Armstrong said that his honour wasn’t possible without his teammates.

“[I] greatly appreciate it,” he said of his Wendy’s Pro League Player of the Month honour for July. “As a player it is always good to be recognised by the country, by the league.

“Credit to my teammates because without them it’s not possible to achieve this award. But thanks to God because he gave me the health and the strength to do what it do every day.”

Armstrong, who also credited the support of family and others that have supported him over the years, said while he is desirous of helping Sando reach the Caribbean Club Championship then the CONCACAF stage, his biggest ambition is to return to playing professionally abroad.

The Trinidad and Tobago national team is also on the radar of Armstrong, whose Club Sando outfit must tackle Super League leaders Guaya United from 7pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Wednesday in the FA Trophy 2017 Round-of-32.