Rudi Schuller: Contract in hand, Junior Hoilett must decide his international future

With Junior Hoilett having siged a long-term deal to play for Queens Park Rangers, he no longer has any excuses for not declaring his international intentions.
Ok Junior, you've got your contract. Now it's time for you to handle that other matter.

The announcement on Friday that David "Junior" Hoilett had signed a four-year deal with ambitious EPL side QPR should come as great news for the youngster, who presumably cashes in handsomely on the potential he has oozed while breaking out with Blackburn Rovers over the past few seasons.

More importantly for Canadian fans, the deal ostensibly removes the biggest obstacle that had been preventing Hoilett from declaring his international intentions. The 22-year-old has repeatedly stated that he will not decide on his national team future until his club situation was sorted.

Well, a big, fat long-term deal with a Premier League side would be considered "sorted" to the majority of observers.

With that matter out of the way, the shouts for Hoilett to put an end to speculation about his international future will only grow louder, as impatient Canadian supporters will increasingly look to the talented youngster as a crucial piece that could give Canada the push it needs to get back to the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

On the flip side of that, the longer Hoilett remains in international limbo, the more the paranoia grows that he aims to represent Jamaica - the nation of his father's birth - or even England, which he has called home for nearly a decade.

While the chances of him pulling on a Three Lions shirt are slim, Jamaica remains a very real possibility for Hoilett, despite him never having actually declared a desire to represent his father's homeland.

It is with this in mind that Hoilett must state his intentions sooner rather than later. Supporters of the Canadian national team have been burned too many times in the recent past to weather another drawn out will-he-or-won't-he saga, especially given the fact that Junior could have donned the Red and White ages ago.

Even from a practical standpoint, the timing for Hoilett to join his birth nation has never been better. Canada has jumped out to its best start of the current round of World Cup qualification since the late 90's, but it still has a ton of work ahead if it wants to book a spot in next year's final qualifying stage.


The addition of a game-changing talent like Hoilett ahead of crucial qualifiers versus Panama would give the Central Americans an added threat to worry about, thus taking some of the offensive load off the shoulders of the aging Dwayne De Rosario and Olivier Occean.

You'd have to believe that Stephen Hart would love to have a pacey weapon like Hoilett at his disposal, especially given the scoring troubles that have plagued the Canadian side for years. In fact, the coach has said as much on numerous occasions.

The time is now for Hoilett to finally break the silence on this issue.

He's got his big contract. Now it's time for him to put his money where his mouth is.

Rudi Schuller is the Chief Editor of Canada.