Striker Stern John says news that he was released by DirecTV North East Stars came as a shock since he requested to leave the T&T Pro League club weeks ago.
John signed a three-month contract earlier this year after deciding to stay in T&T to be close to his mother who had been ailing and subsequently passed away. “It was a surprise when I saw that the club said to the Press that they released me.”
John said he was disappointed with the way the club handled the separation. “The reason I came back was because my mom was sick and the T&T manager told me I should be with a club so I decided to go to North East. We just had a verbal agreement which allowed me to leave when I wanted.”
John said he decided to leave about a week and a half ago. “I informed the club CEO Brent Sancho and I wished them all the best. I also went to the club with intentions to help the younger players or bring something to the club from my past experience,” John added.
John described his time at North East Stars as a joke. “The set up was never really organised. We had situations where players were training when they wanted and reaching late for matches.
I’d never seen that before in my professional career. The club owner is passionate and means well but he’s too much involved. He needs to let the players play their football and let the staff get the job done.”
The T&T all-time leading goalscorer will leave for the United States to hold talks with clubs in the MLS and the USL First Division which have expressed interest in his services for the next season.
John delivers parting shot at Stars.
T&T Newsday Reports.
John refuted reports that the club decided not to renew his contract and stated it was he who made the decision to leave.
“It was a surprise to me when I saw that the club said to the press that they released me,” John said.
“I never really had a contract with them (North East Stars) to begin with and I was disappointed with the way they handled it.
“The whole reason behind me coming back was because my mom was sick at the time and then the Trinidad and Tobago manager told me that I should be with a club and I decided to go to North East and play there while I was in Trinidad.
“We just had a verbal agreement and it entailed me being able to leave when I wanted.
“My mom has since passed away and obviously we didn’t progress in the World Cup qualification. I decided that I wanted to part ways with North East Stars and then I woke up and heard what the club owner had to say.
“I decided to leave maybe a week and a half ago and I informed the club CEO Brent Sancho that it was time for me to move on and I wished them all the best...I just think the way they handled it was in poor taste,” John ended.
The former Sunderland player criticised the professionalism of some of his ex-teammates. Commenting on the current state of local football, John bashed the ‘arm- chair’ critics and said there have been too many negative comments and not positive criticism.
“There are a lot of people who should know better who’ve been having a bit too much to say. They always tend to think they have the answers...Okay maybe there are some aspects where the federation could operate better but being on the inside I’ve seen efforts being made to have positive change and it will take some time.
“But rather than just talk too much about it, some of these guys need to try and get their act together when it comes to local football and not just bash the TTFF or the Pro League,” John continued.
“ I think a lot of people want it for personal reasons and this is our football and our national team and they should instead try to come together and try to find the solutions to try and help our football rise again,” John concluded.
John will be leaving for the United States to hold talks with a couple clubs in the MLS and the USL First Division who have expressed interest in his services for the 2012 season.