FC SANTA Rosa coach and owner Keith Look Loy has queried the selection of the national football team, as well as the assistant coaches, for this week’s tour of Nicaragua.
The national team, under recently- appointed coach Tom Saintfiet, were due to face Nicaragua last evening, while both teams will square off again on Friday, at Managua .
According to Look Loy, “to say the least it’s an experimental team.
The selection approach or the selection policy baffles me. I find it a bit erratic. But we hope that this team could do something against Nicaragua because Nicaragua is hardly a world-power of a team or a CONCACAF power.” He continued, “so let us see what they do. The performance and results in Nicaragua will give us an indication of what to expect.” Ahead of the trip to Nicaragua,
Pro League champions and current league leaders Central FC were involved in a club-versus-country row, whereby they insisted that three players (Jan-Michael Williams, Sean De Silva and Nathaniel Garcia) were allowed to play Pro League matches last week, against the national team’s wishes .
De Silva was injured in training while Williams and Garcia played against Morvant Caledonia United last Tuesday, and were subsequently excluded from the team to the Central American nation .
Asked about the stance taken by Central FC, Look Loy noted, “my policy on that is always consistent .
FIFA has rules for the release of players on FIFA dates, five days before (the game). It is at the will of any particular club that a player will be allowed to train or go and represent his country outside the FIFA date. I think that Central were well within their rights .
“Why is there no confusion that players were denied participation by their European clubs. Is it that the European clubs have one standard applied to them and another standard is being applied to the clubs by the coach and the local administration? I think if there is no issue with the foreign clubs, why should there be an issue with the local clubs. There is one rule, there are all professional clubs. If the coach wants to look at players, let him go and watch football.” Look Loy continued, “when the coach of Brazil wants a player, he doesn’t call players to training. He goes and sees a match. (Central FC) are in the middle of a title race .
I wasn’t letting my players go either, to be quite frank. While I’m on that point, I find it hard to fathom that 30 players could be invited and not one player from the National Super League, not even the leading scorer (Andy London of Siparia Spurs, with 26 goals). I find that difficult to accept.”
Defence Force’s striker, Devorn Jorsling, the leading scorer in the TT Pro League with nine goals, was also left out from the training squad. “What is the rationale behind it? You leave out the top scorer in the professional league. So what is the criteria in calling these people. That’s why I’m saying I find the selection approach erratic.” Carlos Edwards, named as captain for the pair of games against Nicaragua, and Cornell Glen were both recalled to the team, after three-year-long spells out of the reckoning .
“It’s not only experience but about actual performance,” said Look Loy. “I don’t look at age.” Former T&T coaches Russell Latapy (now director of youth football) and Jamaal Shabazz (technical coordinator) were named as Saintfiet’s assistants by the TT Football Association (TTFA) .
Look Loy said, “there is no technical justification for Latapy to be appointed assistant coach of the national team when the national Under-17 team was a disaster, that was a couple months ago. If Shabazz is a technical administrator, then let him do that. From the time we start to mix administrators with coaches, then we have a problem.