T&T Pro League
12 Apr 2007
- Written by Vinod Narwani (ttproleague.com)
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Rijsbergen told 'ttproleague.com' after the opening ceremony of the 2007 season the Reserve League was a step in the right direction for T&T-born footballers who one day want to don the Soca Warriors uniform, especially since many of the top Pro League clubs have a number of foreigners playing for them.
"The good thing now is that they have started with the reserve league, which means players that sit on the bench (at Pro League level) get a better chance to show their skills on the field," said Rijsbergen.
"If you want to be a better player, you have got to play many games and have a lot of training sessions."
This season the Reserve League will serve as a platform to expose U-20 players and players who have not made their respective professional teams and will be played on Mondays. The Dutchman went on to commend everyone involved in the Pro League for
trying to raise the standard of domestic football in the twin-island nation.
"I think they try to do their best to make the league interesting. I saw most of the games last year and I am hoping for bigger crowds who can support the matches, because footballers are entertainers, and the support from the crowds will help them perform better."
Regarding the standard of the League, Rijsbergen remained positive about the football but emphasized the need to include more local stars.
"We should have more local players in the competition because we have a lot of foreigners in the clubs currently. I used to play in New York where there were several foreigners, but they gradually cut down on it. It was a way of giving the American players more opportunities, which I am hoping would take place here also.
"If you see the MLS (Major League Soccer) in the States at the moment, there are just two or three foreigners in the clubs."
Rijsbergen was also optimistic that the interest in the TT Pro League shown by foreigners was to the advantage of this country's football. Several thousand fans in Australia, Europe, USA and other parts have been searching the League's website for all the latest information relating to T&T and Caribbean football.
Rijsbergen said: "It is very good that fans from other nations are reading about T&T football because such interest creates a better future for this country's football. The 2006 World Cup helped put both Trinidad and Tobago and the TT Pro League on the map. I am hopeful that soon we would have about five million people hitting the Pro League website."