Soca Warriors Online gets up-close and personal with former Trinidad & Tobago international football player and member of the famous Strike Squad team, Leonson Lewis. Leonson, who was one of this country's most exciting and prolific left-footed forwards.
1. How was the experience playing in Jamaica. Was the league better (more competitive) than the T&T league at that time.
LL: It's difficult to compare but it was an experience that helped build character and I learnt alot from it. It was highly competitive, really rough games with amateur referees. But Jamaica is like my second home, I really enjoyed being there.
2. How was the experience playing in Portugal.
LL: Playing in Portugal was a great experience. You really have to live the life to see if you got what it takes to make it. It was a challenge to endure, it's like running a marathon for 13 years. I was fortunate to play with many great footballers. I earned great respect from players and clubs, and even the Portuguese football fans, who remember me up to this day. In a way, Russell and I help put Trinidad on the map as we were the first Trinidadians to play professional football in Portugual. It was alot of hard work but I was always dedicated to my game.
3. What are you up to these days.
LL: Presently in charge of W Connection's youth teams.
4. Being a well experienced footballer and now you are based in T&T. How are you contributing to football in T&T.
LL: By coaching youth football in the Pro-League as well as at school level (Waterloo High School). I'm also a member of FPATT.
5. Apart from November 19th, 1989. What was your biggest disappointment.
LL: Not being able to play in England. Had an excellent chance to play at Crystal Palace but my agent at the time screwed things up for me.
6. Do you have any kids, if yes, are they into football. Will we see another great Lewis.
LL: Yes I have a daughter, Lyasha Lewis...she's a great athlete but only enjoys watching football not playing.
7. You were connected to W Connection once. Are you still with them.
LL: Yes, W Connection rules.
8. The best players you ever played with.
LL: Russell Latapy by far!
9. Do you feel the Strike Squad could beat the Soca Warriors if all players were same age (smile).
LL: Everyday and twice on Sundays!
10. Where did you feel we went wrong on November 19th, 1989.
LL: The extremely long journey to the stadium, it took alot out of us, we were on the road too long, we even stopped for a church service in Oropuche before the game.
11. If you can go back and change one thing in your life what would that be.
LL: This is a tough one, I guess I would say, having a different agent to represent me in the beginning.
12. Which current local player impresses you the most.
LL: Many players actually, but to name a few...Collin Samuel, Aurtis Whitley, Andre Toussaint, Silvio Spann, Hughtun Hector, Kerry Noray.
13. Which local player/s you personally feel should be given a trial on the current T&T team.
LL: Hughtun Hector.
14. Do you get complimentary tickets to go see T&T in action.
LL: Got one once from Jack Warner, but generally I pay my way like the rest of T&T.
15. Has money changed the game for better or worst.
LL: I would say for the worst. When players played before, they were not well paid but they played for the love of the game. Whereas now, it's a job clocking a salary, so it's just a matter of doing the necessary in order to be paid. The true love for the game and wanting to be the best is sometimes lacking.
16. Your most proud moment.
LL: My 4 goals against Crystal Palace AND every time I wear that #11 shirt for T&T.
17. How was InterCol in your days. Crowds, talents organization. etc.
LL: Much better, more exciting and there were large crowds that were truly interested in the game and not just there for a lime.
18. Pick you favorite 18 players from T&T ever.
LL: In and around my time...Russell Latapy, Arnold Dwarika, Andre Toussaint, Aurtis Whitley, Brian Williams, Kerry Jamerson, Michael Maurice, Ross Russell, Angus Eve, Reynold Carrington, Leroy Spann, Ron La Forest, Stuart Charles, Earl Carter, Clayton Morris, Kito Joseph, Dwight Yorke, Dexter Francis.
19. The best coach you have ever worked under.
LL: Jan Stedman, Ken Headley, Gally Cummings, Jorge Jesus (Portuguese) and Stuart Charles-Fevrier.
20. Your favorite local club teams.
LL: W Connection and WASA FC 2008.
21. What’s your thoughts on our performance in Germany (2006).
LL: Good first time performance but Russell should have played in every game.
22. What’s your thoughts on current head coach Francisco Maturana.
LL: He's doing a good job so far, but I don't see a happy ending this time around, but then again I'm almost never right on these predicitions.
23. Your favorite current and past SSFL team.
LL: Currently, Naparaima College, past favourite is San Fernando Tech.
24. Ever thought of buying your own local team to compete in the pro League.
LL: No way, too much stress!
25. Which player in the past you felt was good enough to make the T&T side but never got the chance.
LL: Three players come to mind...Dexter Lopez (deceased), Rajendra Lalchan and Troy Berkley.
26. Do you think football is dying in T&T.
LL: No, but the naturally gifted players are less than before.
27. Best goal you have scored for T&T.
LL: A bicycle versus USA in USA, at least my Dad is a big fan of that one.
28. What's your thoughts on the impasse with the TTFF and the 2006 WC team over WC 2006 bonus.
LL: A real shame.
29. Have you ever visited the Soca Warriors Online. If yes, what's your thoughts.
LL: Yes, not as often as I'd like, but it looks really professional and there is always good reading.
Note: On behalf on the Soca Warriors Online and Warrior Nation, we say thank you to Mr. Leonson Lewis for taking the time out to do this Q&A Interview for us. We wish you all the best in the future. May Gob Bless you and your family.
Leonson Edward Jeffrey Lewis (born 30 December 1966) is a football coach and former player from Trinidad and Tobago. The striker got 30 caps and scored 21 goals for the national team between 1988 and 1996. He currently coaches W Connection youth team.
Clubs Played For
Trintoc FC - (Trinidad)
Port Morant United - (Jamaica)
Associação Académica de Coimbra - O.A.F. - (Portugal)
Futebol Clube Felgueiras - (Portugal)
Boavista Futebol Clube - (Portugal)
Grupo Desportivo de Chaves - (Portugal)
C.F. Estrela da Amadora - (Portugal)
Clube Futebol União de Lamas - (Portugal)
Naparima College, St. Benedict's College, San Fernando Technical Institute, San Fernando Boys Government.
Honors for Leonson
Cup of Portugal winner's medal with Boavista in 1996/1997
Third highest scorer in the Portuguese SuperLiga with 23 goals for Felgueiras in 1995/1996
Trinidad & Tobago Chaconia Medal Silver (World Cup Squad) in 1989
See Lewis in action