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Besiktas midfielder Hutchinson eager to bring Canadian soccer forward

Atiba Hutchinson is determined to help soccer in Canada prosper in 2015 after being named the 2014 Canadian Male Player of the Year this week.

The 31-year old Besiktas midfielder landed the award for the third time in five years on Thursday but does not want to stop at being rewarded individually in what is an important next few years for the sport in Canada.

"I'm very hungry because me and the [national] team, we haven't really achieved a lot," Hutchinson said on a conference call from Turkey on Friday.

"I want to be a part of a team that's doing well and going far and winning things, whether it's winning the (CONCACAF) Gold Cup, qualifying for the Confederations Cup or qualifying for the World Cup.

"Helping out as much as I can, helping the team progress and make the right steps, it's very important [to me].

"I'll always be there for the national team when I get the call and I'll give my 100 percent best. I want to be around as long as I can and get one last shot to qualify [for the World Cup]."

Hutchinson has been playing in Europe since 2003 with the likes of Helsingborgs (Sweden), FC Copenhagen (Denmark), PSV Eindhoven (Holland) and now Besiktas in Turkey and his intention is to help improve the name of Canadian soccer in the heartland of the world game.

"You still get questions about Canada and football in Canada [from people in Europe]," he added. "So it's important for me to accomplish something with the national team program. It's going to be a massive year.

"It'll be a good chance to get ourselves out there and get the recognition that I think we deserve."

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Andrew Slevison
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