Steve David, former national footballer, who represented Trinidad and Tobago between 1971-'75, scoring 16 goals in World Cup qualifiers, is willing to return home and assist in the development of local football, but only if the powers-that-be are serious about what needs to be done.
David was a former St. Benedict's College striker in the late '60s who later played for Police in the 1970s before migrating to the USA to ply his trade in much greener pastures.
In the USA he first played for Miami Toros where he scored an amazing 26 goals in 24 matches, winning numerous MVP awards despite having to compete with the likes of England's George Best, Brazil's Pele and Germany's Franz Beckenbauer, just to name a few.
In his twilight years he turned out for San Jose Earthquakes in the National American Soccer League (NASL) before hanging up his boots somewhere in the early '80s.
Asked about his opinion concerning the present state of local football he told Express Sports that it was quite clear that while the talent was there, this country's soccer was being affected by problems at the administrative level of the game, and at times it looks like T&T are doing things by guess.
"At present, I do not agree with the system we play as a team simply because we do not have the right coaches to implement and build those systems.
"I really felt like the unit that Everald 'Gally' Cummings developed in the late '80s was quite a good squad, but our administrators failed miserably in their capacity to build on all the hard work and progress that was achieved," he explained.
David said he had the opportunity to see Trinidad and Tobago's two recent World Cup qualifiers against Panama and Mexico.
"Against Panama, I am of the view that although we came away winners they were the better team. Now when I say better I am speaking in footballing terms because Panama played a much more constructive game of football than our lads. Their approach was definitely a bit more positive, and they were quite aggressive which led to them being more dominant in the middle of the field. Their only let-down was in their inability to finish, and as we all know, goals win matches.
"We took our chances when it mattered most, scored twice and thus walked away with all three points on offer, but there was a lot lacking in our aggression and our ability to keep possession of the ball and construct plays.
"In our match-up with Mexico there was definite signs of improvement and up to the 65th minute of the game both teams were pretty evenly matched, which was
a credit to us, and were it not for those two defensive blunders we could have come away with a goalless draw and a share of the points.
"As it stands the road to Germany is undulating, but we still have an outside chance of making it if the team continues to show the type of improvement that's necessary."
David said he believed Leo Beeenhakker is a coach of substance since there were two moves implemented by the Dutchman that were for the best interest of the team. "Firstly, playing Dwight Yorke as a striker instead of in midfield was an excellent move, and putting David Nakhid where he rightfully belongs--and that is off the playing field and in the stands (no disrespect meant)."
Asked to compare the players of his era to what we currently have now and David inferred that the players of today were falling short in the area of dedication and there existed a lack of excitement in the actual playing of the game.
"Football is supposed to be entertaining and if the excitement factor is missing then fans will not feel motivated to come out and watch football matches Instead they will find an alternative that provides them with the degree of excitement they are looking for."
David believes that in order for T&T's football to move forward skilled and knowledgeable persons, such as Leroy De Leon, need to have some sort of input. "De Leon fame is well-known, having been voted as one of the greatest player to grace CONCACAF tournaments and certainly one of the best players Trinidad and Tobago has ever produced.
"He's currently doing an excellent job of developing young players in the USA and if he could do it with so much success abroad then certainly he can do the same at home."
David is also calling on the people in charge of football that in the event T&T were not to qualify for next year's World Cup Finals, they should hang on to coach Beenhakker for at least the next four to five years to ensure that the standard of this country's football gets the opportunity to elevate so that next time around we will be exactly where we want to be.
Quizzed whether he would like to be given the opportunity of guiding this country's soccer? The US-based David's reply was: "With the sad state our football finds itself in at the moment, and if our football administrators are serious about what it takes to turn things around then I am quite prepared to quit my job and play a pivotal role in saving football in T&T".