Despite the trickling numbers of T&T professional footballers in the British Leagues compared to years gone by, ex-national head coach and captain Russell Latapy believes there is still a market out there for local players.
The 46-year-old assistant coach at Scottish Premiership club Inverness Caledonian Thistle said that he still manages to keep tabs on the progress of some of the young talent in this country when he gets the chance.
He spoke about the transition from player to coach having played at Falkirk before retiring from playing in 2008/2009.
“I think one of the funny things about football is that the knowledge you have gained once you are much older and your understanding of the game is much greater than when you played. When you played you have the legs and the stamina to run about and do things and things happen for you.
“But to make things actually happen and have an understanding how to pull teams about and how to create opportunities, you get that when you are much older. It is funny in that the more you understand the game is the less capacity you have physically to do it,” Latapy said on Heritage Radio 101.7 on Thursday.
“It’s been an interesting adjustment but just with the knowledge you have gained over the years and trying to pass it on to the younger players and they taking it on board, it’s a great satisfaction.”
Regarding there being a market for T&T players in Scotland and other parts of Europe, the former FC Porto and Hibernian player, believes while there may not be as much players in the leagues there as compared to just under a decade ago, there is room for them. There was a time when T&T had several players in those leagues as the likes of Marvin Andrews, Anthony Rougier, Clint Marcelle, Carlos Edwards, Stern John, Dwight Yorke, Lyndon Andrews, Ian Cox, Clayton Ince, Kelvin Jack, Brent Sancho, Shaka Hislop, Brent Rahim, Chris Bichall and Dennis Lawrence among others constantly played first team football in the European Leagues.
“There is definitely a market here. We have always had talented players in the Caribbean and that hasn’t changed. I supposed it’s just the right opportunities. Me being out here, I am hoping I can create some of these opportunities for some of the younger kids at home. I supposed it’s just a matter of time before these doors can be opened. But yes, we have talent and there is a market for these players not only just in Scotland but other parts of Europe."