YORK City midfielder Andre Boucaud is hoping he can combine commitments to both club and country during the new Blue Square Bet Premier campaign.
The 26-year-old midfielder missed out on a first international cap since 2004 when Trinidad and Tobago’s friendly international against Haiti, scheduled for last night, was postponed due to “a lack of funds”.
But, with six 2014 World Cup qualifiers to be played against Bermuda, Barbados and Guyana in September, October and November, Boucaud is counting on another call-up from former Cameroon, Ghana and Togo coach Otto Pfister.
Should Pfister select the ex-Tottenham trainee in all three Soca Warriors’ squads, along with the likes of Premier League star Kenwyne Jones, then Boucaud, if released by the Minstermen, would miss at least three matches – the home fixtures against Bath and Braintree on September 3 and October 8 respectively, and the midweek trip to Southport on October 11.
He would also be unavailable should City reach the first round proper of the FA Cup on Saturday, November 12.
The long-haul flights, meanwhile, could take their toll too even though Boucaud has insisted that, had the Haiti match gone ahead, he would have been ready to feature in Saturday’s curtain-raising clash at Ebbsfleet, gaining his rest during the ten-hour journey back to England on the previous day. About his aspirations to re-emerge from seven years in the international wilderness, Boucaud said: “It was a bit upsetting when this week’s game was postponed but it wasn’t my fault and getting called up in itself was pleasing.
“The management team told me they had been watching and monitoring me and decided to call me up after a few good games in pre-season.
“Now, I just want to get my head down and concentrate on doing my best for York but playing for your country on the world stage is what dreams are made of.
“I might get another call-up for the qualifiers and you can’t turn international football down. It’s where every player wants to be performing and your international career is a big thing.
“The gaffer gave his blessing for this match and it helps because he knows what it means to me.”
Free from international duties, Boucaud has been able to focus fully on the beginning of the new domestic campaign this week.
He is not, however, expecting a comfortable clash against last season’s Blue Square South play-off winners Ebbsfleet, saying: “It will be a very difficult game. They’re in our league for a reason – because they have done well.
“You have to take every game seriously at this level because there are no easy ones. You need to approach every match as if you were playing the likes of Luton or Fleetwood.”
Boucaud’s sparkling pre-season form has suggested that the former Kettering play-maker is now ready to fulfil the high expectations manager Gary Mills had when he brought him to Bootham Crescent last November.
By his own admission, Boucaud did not play as big a part in City’s 2010/11 campaign as he should have done, making only ten league starts.
While making no excuses, he is now happier off the pitch with his family having followed him to North Yorkshire and hopes that will be reflected in his displays during the forthcoming campaign, adding: “I’ve been pleased with how I have been playing in pre-season.
“The feedback from the gaffer and the fans is that there’s been a big difference in my performances so, when people are telling you that, you must be doing OK. It’s good to have got a full pre-season behind me and my family have moved to York with me now, so we’re all settled and I’m getting my head down and working as hard as I can.
“It was hard at first coming to York on my own as we’d just had a new-born daughter but you have to get on with things because it’s your job at the end of the day and I don’t think the family issue was that big anyway and it’s behind me now.
“Everything’s in place and things are going well. It’s a new season, a fresh start and I want to do my best.”