Chris Birchall will earn his tenth Trinidad cap tonight – and become only the second Vale player to play ten games for his country while still a Vale player.
Birchall’s astonishing rise from Stafford teenager to fully fledged International has taken just a matter of months. Following a surprise call-up to his mother’s place of birth the local lad has taken part in glamour matches against the likes of the USA, Columbia and Mexico and scored a stunning strike against Honduras.
Birchall is expected to start for Trinidad and Tobago against Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday night – and if he does he will become only the second Valiant to reach double figures for his country while at Vale Park.
The club record holder is currently Trinidad and Tobago International Tony Rougier who broke Sammy Morgan’s long-standing club record of 7 caps for Northern Ireland by playing 14 times for Trinidad and Tobago during a 17 month stint with the Valiants.
Birchall is well on course to break that and complete an unlikely path from squad player to the club’s longest serving International.