10 May 2012
- Written by Shaun Fuentes (TTFF)
- Hits: 1912
Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation Technical Director Anton Corneal expressed a sense of optimism following Sunday’s combine for North American-based players at the Old Boys High Field ground in Brooklyn, New York.
Staged in conjunction with the Champs Soccer Academy and the Central Brooklyn Soccer Federation, a total of eight players eligible of representing Trinidad and Tobago at the Under 17 level and thirteen Under 12 players, were present at the two-hour session which was witnessed by Corneal. This was Corneal’s first overseas scouting assignment since taking up the position of technical director earlier this year.
Trinidadians Anthony Lambert, Dario Trujillo and Dr Michael Hamlet were instrumental in setting up the combine through their affiliation with the Champs Soccer Academy which is home to several players from the Caribbean that are based in the Brooklyn area in New York. Lambert is the CEO and director of Champs Academy while Trujillo is the regional senior vice president and also a youth coach within the academy.
Corneal sees potential and praised the efforts of the Champs Academy and Central Brooklyn Federation.
“I thought it went well for a start. We are very pleased to see that this is being organized in the United States because it gives players an opportunity to know that they are not being left out. It is only going to grow and I pray that the groups up here will get together and see this as a way of them looking forward to us coming here and vice-versa,” Corneal told TTFF Media.
Corneal added that in future players from other age groups will have the opportunity to display their ability.
“At another time we will have other age groups for boys and girls in the Under 15s and Under 20 age groups and players eligible for our senior team will also get that chance.
This is now going to challenge the players back home because they are no longer the only ones being seen by national coaches. We probably will not get 15 or 20 players to make up a national team but if we get one or two players then it’s definitely going to be a plus for us.”
Some past national players including 1974 World Cup team goalkeeper Kelvin Barclay and George Romano were also present at the Old Boys field.
Lambert, who holds a coaching Diploma in both the State and Regional Level from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), gave the assurance that the relevant information pertaining to US-based players will be passed on to the TTFF on an ongoing basis and he intends to continue a relationship between both bodies.
“The objective of this was to get the players based in the North American area to come out and expose themselves and it’s a step in the right direction for us,” Lambert said.
“It’s about creating a platform to get the players at the various age groups to come out and showcase their talent to give the coaches from the national teams program to have that opportunity to see the players available for possible national selection.
The kids have that desire and the more opportunity to create for them then the more they will be encouraged to work towards becoming better and giving us the possibility of increasing our pool of players,” Lambert added.