Last Saturday the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) planned National Under 20 men's training sessions scheduled for Tobago at the Dwight Yorke Stadium venue did not go according to plan as the T&T coaches did not turned up and has left many fuming including former T&T national player Wendell Moore.
With successful training sessions held in Trinidad a week before saw some 200 players participating, the TTFA decided to extend it's network to the sister-isle as they go in search for the best players Trinidad and Tobago has to offer.
The sessions in Trinidad were overlooked by new Under 20 head coach Derek King and other senior staff members Stephen Hart, Hutson Charles, Dale Saunders and Muhammad Isa, however, the SWO cannot confirm at this time if all were schedule for part-take in the Tobago camp but nonetheless, it has left many Tobagonians angry.
"I was told by a player that the Trinidad contingent of coaches could not make it to the camp in Tobago or let me say they find it was not important enough to come to Tobago to see the talent there due to time constraints, that the tournament is very close sometime in September, added Tobago-born Wendell Moore."
"I saw it was advertised on the Soca Warriors Online website that they were coming with all staff including the Senior team coach Mr Stephen Hart and I thought it was great because they did that a few years ago for the the same U-20 cycle."
"Again we (the Tobago Sports People) just sit back and say nothing to these foolishness, that is nonsense."
"How the hell is this possible for a small twin island like T&T that they can't come to see the sister island talents and we will not speak up about it and when Wendell (the 3rd person now) wants to design tournament gear for Tobago players he is getting a little negative fights that we must cater for both Trinidad and Tobago."
"Again gentlemen, ladies, politicians, the people of T&T please excuse my FRENCH, grammar, green verbs, spelling and other languages, but it's mainly because I'm highly upset that this crap is still happening in this day and age."
"Coach Hart, I know you personally and I know you are not fully in a position to straighten out this mess that is still going on up to today in 2014 but please we need to get with the program and start doing the right things."
"Furthermore, I would really like to know what is Dwight Yorke take on this since he is getting paid from the Trinidad and Tobago government to be T&T's representation."
"I know for sure my mentor, coach Bertille St. Clair's take on these foolishness already. HELL !!! ...Again people wake up, ended Moore."
Wendell Moore has played for Trinidad and Tobago and was a star anchor-man in defence for Signal Hill. His son Shaquell “Shaq” Moore was turned away from representing Trinidad and Tobago after having unsuccessful trials with T&T Under 15 men's team. The player was told he wasn't good enough. Shaquell then went on to captain the U.S. Men Under 17 team in 2011 at the youth world cup in Mexico and is currently on their Under 20 team.
Shaquell Moore was also named as a finalist for the 2013 US Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year Award.
Shaquell Moore: “I’m not really sure why it didn’t work out for Trinidad, it’s up to the coach, but there are no hard feelings.
“I’m still eligible if it doesn’t work out with the US. I’m not going to rule them out because of what happened at youth national, ended Shaquell.”
"Tobago Football Association president, Raymond Alleyne noted on the TFA Facebook page that it was discourteous that they were not informed about the situation so that they could have stopped the players from travelling from all parts of the island for the session."
"According to Alleyne, it was only when he contacted the Association late on Friday night that he was informed of the postponement and it was then too late to relay the information to the participants."
TTFA General Secretary Sheldon Phillips said that: "The U-20 player pool candidate identification is being led by the Tobago Football Association. The TFA will work with local coaches to identify candidates at screening sessions and scouting of regional and Super League matches. TTFA coaching staff will also travel to Tobago."
Some questions and coments from the SWO posters
SAM - If for some reason the staff couldn't make it because of flights or what ever reason, why didn't they contact their lead person in Tobago or send message through TTFA and SWO websites?
BAKES - Whose responsibility was it for the screening, anyone know? Was it the TTFA or the TFA? Ultimately I know the TTFA would get the blame, but you would think that the TFA would have some say in running the screening on their home turf.
RICHARD G - I was on my way to Dwight Yorke Stadium and was called and asked to check out Mt. Pleasant Recreational Ground. I only knew the details because I decided to try Mt. Gomery Football Field and got lucky to see some of the players there.
I wasn't too pleased myself with the lack of notification by the Football bodies. Going out on a limb (again) I'm very sure quite a few coaches didn't know about the screening. Take it up with the TTFA and the TFA.
DIAMONDTRIM - This is a prime example of what my issue is with our football. It is exceedingly difficult to get behind our Federation/Association, teams or even our domestic competitions because of the sheer and blatant lack of basic respect and courtesy the powers that be seem to have for our players. Bear in mind that this is not a Jack Warner problem or a Raymond Tim Kee problem....it seems to be just the way we do things?
Last Saturday there was U-20 screening at the Larry Gomes Stadium. All advertisements and electronic and print articles indicated very clearly that sessions were to run from 9-12. A couple of ambitious kids from my neighborhood got to the stadium at 8:50 only to be turned back by an 'official' who told them that they were supposed to reach 'before 9'.
Let me sidestep the glaringly obvious for one minute. If these young players responded to the call for screening based on what they read online or in the daily newspapers, weren't they correct in getting to the venue on time? How were they supposed to know that they ought to have gotten there 'before 9'?
The dissemination of information is just plain ridiculous and pathetic. And it seems to be a common trend throughout our football. From venue changes in the Pro league to international games. For the Argentina game, I booked my hotel based on what the charter package was advertised to be. Lo and behold, the hotel was changed. I read as well that the game was to be played in Mar del Plata only to learn, after asking all over the place (including the Association ad tour organisers) that it was to be played at River Plate's stadium.
This is how we treat our young footballers and the fans.
DOC - I was contacted by the TFA's office about the screening sessions, and which players needed to be in attendance from my Club which ne of the players had transferred to Phoenix last season.
I took the players who were available to the 8:30am screening at Montgomery. We arrived at 8:10 am and there were a handful of players including one player from Charlotteville who caught the 6am bus from Charlotteville to be there on time.
At 8:30, I told my players it probably was a 9am start and the wanted to ensure that they got there in time. The numbers were increasing gradually. Nine o'clock came and went and there was still no signs of a football official. It was approaching 9:30 when I called the TFA President. He was a short distance away, so I awaited his arrival.
As I wound up the conversation, a parent motioned to me to come. I went over and was joined by another club's official. She said the screening was cancelled as the party could not obtain flights to Tobago. She went on to state that a member of the party who was related to her son called him last night to inform him. He in turn informed his friends. She said that she was in the area and decided to stop by the field to see if anything was taking place there.
At that moment the TFA's president arrived. He related the same story. He too had found out the night before when he called the TFA's GS in response to an inquiry made by an interested party.
In the end, it was clear that there was no coordination done by the TFA. I left with the impression that the TTFA left it too late to find locals (Tobagonians) to carry out the exercise. The TFA tried to no avail, and the invitees were not informed.
The president addressed the players present. He apologized and promised better coordination and communication in the future. There were about 30 players present at the time.
On a side note, former T&T Under 23 goalkeeper Richard Goddard mentioned on the SWO that: "From my understanding, the session was moved from the Dwight Yorke Stadium Training Grounds to Mt. Gomery. I met a few players there around 10am and there were about 25 players who turned up. They were also told to keep their ears open for further news as the selectors may come up next weekend, added Goddard."
T&T meanwhile, are preparing for the second round of the Caribbean Football Union leg of the 2015 FIFA Under 20 World Cup qualifiers which will be played in Trinidad and Tobago from September 10-19th.
The CONCACAF Final round will be played from January 9th-25th at a venue to be determined from which the top four teams will qualify for the FIFA Under 20 World Cup in New Zealand from May 30th to June 20th, 2015.
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