THE Turks and Caicos Islands lie 575 miles southeast of Miami, covering 193 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean. They possess the third largest coral reef system in the world, a population of 20,000, and a national team ranked 203rd of the 204 nations in FIFA's world order.

Known collectively as the Everything Islands, Paul Crosbie is certainly content with his lot. Born in Dumfries, and discarded by the Crazy Gang, the 27-year-old's life has been turned upside down since scouring the internet's situations vacant after becoming a victim of Wimbledon's lurch to administration.

Appointed as technical director of the TCIFA last year, Crosbie has gone from the ranks of the unemployed to the realms of fantasy. He was responsible for completing the Turks and Caicos Islands' proxy vote in this week's FIFA world player of the year awards and raised more than a few eyebrows in the process.

His first choice, Thierry Henry, finished runner-up but the Scot showed suspicious originality in including Henrik Larsson and Rino Gattuso in his top three. Adamant that he is a long-standing supporter of his local team, Queen of the South, when The Herald made an early-morning phone call to Crosbie's dream house overlooking the tropical paradise, he also admitted his friends back home have been swift with their own opinions.

''They couldn't believe it when I told them I would be voting for FIFA's world player of the year,'' he said. ''They were convinced I had come here to become a fisherman but I must admit even I found it a bit surreal seeing my name alongside Giovanni Trapattoni and Sven Goran Eriksson.

''Thierry Henry's inclusion speaks for itself but I think a lot of people just selected on reputations. Zinedine Zidane is a great player at a great club but I can't recall him being consistently outstanding for a whole year.

''Henrik Larsson carried Celtic all the way to the UEFA Cup final last season. To me, he is a special kind of footballer and the kind of player deserving of such recognition.

''It was a toss-up between Rino Gattuso and Pavel Nedved for my third selection but Rino had an outstanding season for AC Milan and was the best player in the European Cup final.''

It was not so much Captain Cook as Charlie Cooke who discovered the wonders of the magical island, the former Chelsea and Scotland internationmalist leaving inexplicably to take over as head coach of Cardiff City's women's team and thereby enabling Crosbie to make his voyage.

A precocious talent as a youngster, Crosbie was initially on schoolboy forms at Leicester City at the age of 11 and joined Aston Villa two years later. However, he did not make the desired progress to forge a career for himself in professional football but while playing non-league and representing Leicestershire County, Crosbie earned his preliminary coaching badge from the FA and was appointed community coach at Wimbledon with PR responsibilities.

''It was tough when I was made redundant but there were others worse affected than me,'' he recalls. ''I was unemployed and looking for anything over the internet when I saw the job advertised because there was nothing available for me in the UK.

''Funnily enough, I only heard about the Turks and Caicos Islands two weeks before because I heard two blokes talking about it. Nobody really knows where it is but my friends are certainly wanting to see it for themselves and they can't believe how lucky I have been.

''There is a big job to do here though. We have only been FIFA members since 2000 and were formed in 1996. We are preparing for our first ever World Cup qualifying campaign and have been drawn with Haiti but to be honest the most important thing is getting the players some experience of international football.''

Crosbie is in no hurry to return home to Scotland - ''how's the weather over there, it's about 85 already this morning'' - but in the Turks and Caicos Islands' quest to improve their status in world football, he has hit upon a novel idea. ''I am trying to organise a friendly match against Scotland - we need to improve our FIFA ranking.''

Whether it's votes or Vogts, the boy from Dumfries has certainly found his football oasis. This Crosbie will not be dreaming of a White Christmas.