Ex-DIRECTV W Connection goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams and present standout defender-turned-midfielder Joevin Jones were on Thursday night named the club’s Player of the Year for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 respectively.
However both players, presently in the United States for the Concacaf Gold Cup with the Trinidad and Tobago Men’s Senior Team, were not present at the Couva/Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce Banquet Hall, Couva when the club rewarded its achievers for seasons 2011-12 and 2012-13 with a gala Awards Function.
Jones, 21, topped 2012-13 with the club’s Player of the Year, Most Valuable Player and Most Goals accolades all having his name etched on them, following a season that included qualifying for the 2013-14 Concacaf Champions League, winning the Digicel Charity Shield which the club is set to defend in August, and the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield and Digicel Pro Bowl titles.
“We did not achieve all that we set out to do last (season),” said club chairman David Martin during his opening remarks. “…but we met our key objectives, particularly qualifying for the Concacaf Champions League for the 2013-2014 season.”
Prior to the start of the Senior Team awards, a memorable W Connection Concacaf Champions League video montage was displayed on a large screen, highlighting some of the club’s past top performers including Dominican Republic international Jonathan Fana Frias, Brazilian José Luiz Seabra and Hughtun Hector to set the tone.
Jan-Michael Williams, 28, who joined St. Ann’s Rangers in March—a outcome stemmed by a verbal bust-up with long-serving Technical Director and Head Coach Stuart Charles Fevrier two months earlier—was named Connection’s Most Valuable Player and Player of the Year for the 2011-12 season in which the ‘Savonnetta Boys’ lifted the Digicel Pro League title.
The two-time TT Pro League Goalkeeper of the Year adding to his personal cabinet, and will need to clear space next to his 2006 TT Pro League Player of the Year—the only Pro League goalkeeper to win the award.
While other top Senior Team awards went to Jerrel Britto (Most Goals 2011-12), St. Kitts/Nevis international Gerrard Williams (Best Midfielder 2012-13), Surinamese forward Stefano Rijssel (Best Striker 2012-13) and Daneil Cyrus, also in the T&T Gold Cup squad, (Best Defender 2012-13).
Lifetime achievement awards were handed out to former top performers and captains Reynold Carrington, Seabra, and St. Lucians Earl Jean and Eligah Joseph.
Joseph, 38, also received the DIRECTV President’s Award and it was revealed by Connection owner/president David John-Williams that the defender has finally hung up his playing boots and will serve on technical staff.
Recognition awards were also in the names of Shahdon Winchester, Neil Benjamin Jr.—who also received the 2011-12 U18 Most Goals, U18 MVP and Youth Player of the Year awards—,Hughtun Hector and Andrei Pacheco for serving at youth levels to senior.
“What I personally share with David (John-Williams) is the passion for Trinidad and Tobago football and the growing of Trinidad and Tobago football,” said Bernard Pantin, General Manager of DIRECTV—the main sponsor of W Connection.
He said it was very easy for DIRECTV to want to be associated with W Connection.
Pantin added, “What I think is so good about this team, and so great about the leadership about this team, [is that] everything that this team considers in terms of what is achieved, is being considered in terms of what is achieved for Trinidad and Tobago.
“(…) I was privileged to be with David at the Concacaf Champions League draw in Miami two weeks ago, and you had a sense that we were representing Trinidad and Tobago.”
Club chairman Martin reminded, “When this club was birth as a professional club in 1999, there was a spirit that was present in the organization, and I know some of us may doubt … but I believe that spirit is today still with the club. It is a spirit of comradery … a spirit of creativity (and) innovation … a spirit of adventure … a spirit of resilience and self sacrifice.
Martin said he knows that the spirit still exists making reference to the dedication Coach Fevrier and his wife Claudia, the technical staff of senior and youth levels, the players at all levels, and the club’s board of directors.
“We need to foster and guard that passion that brought us here,” he said. “As chairman of this club I can admit to you that every decision or choice that was made over the last 14 years or so, has not always been the right one. And while that may sound dismal, it reminds me that people still run this organization. So there will be bumps and there will be scrapes … there would be times of disaffection and separation, but there would be times of love and joy.”
Yes, the love and joy expressed in each of the 31-plus senior team titles won since 1999.
DIRECTV W Connection 2011-12 & 2012-13 Awards
Player of the Year – Joevin Jones
Most Valuable Player - Joevin Jones
Most Goals – Joevin Jones
Most Improved Player – Kurt Frederick
Most Disciplined Player – Aquelius Sylvester
Best Midfielder - Gerard Williams
Best Striker - Stefano Rijssel
Best Defender - Daneil Cyrus
Presidents Award - Eligah Joseph
Player of the Year Jan-Michael Williams
Most Valuable Player - Jan-Michael Williams
Most Goals - Jerrel Britto
Most Improved Player - Hashim Arcia
Most Disciplined Player - Jelani Grosvenor
Lifetime achievement awards (Legends of W Connection FC)
José Luiz Seabra
Recognition Awards (players that served W Connection youth teams to senior)
Neil Benjamin Jr.
Youth Awards 2011-12 & 2012-13
Youth Player of the Year - Neil Benjamin Jr.
MVP U14 - Judah St. Louis
MVP U16 - Jabari Mitchell
MVP U18 - Neil Benjiman Jr.
Most Goals Scored U14 - Isaiah Hutson
Most Goals Scored U16 - Yafeu Rougier
Most Goals Scored U18 - Neil Benjamin Jr.
Most Improved U14 - Jeron Panthor
Most Improved U16 - Jordan Samuel
Most Improved U18 - Kegan Ellis
Most Promising Player U14 - Matthew Joseph
Most Promising Player U16 - Corey Cupid
Most Promising Player U18 - Carl Celestine
Most Disciplined Player U14 - Bradlee Lee Foon
Most Disciplined Player U16 - Darriel Kurjah
Most Disciplined Player U18 - Aaron Dass
Youth Player of the Year 2012-13 - Isaiah Hudson
MVP U13 - Jarrol Steadman
MVP U15 - Isaiah Hudson
MVP U17 - Corey Cupid
Most Goals Scored U13 - Kyjuan Sampson
Most Goals Scored U15 - Isaiah Hudson
Most Goals Scored U17 - Corey Cupid
Most Improved U13- Atiba Wilkinson
Most Improved U15 - Kirshon Edwards
Most Improved U17 – Darriel Kurjah
Most Promising Player U13 - Shoaib Khan
Most Promising Player U15 - Jarod Gordon
Most Promising Player U17 - Akili Charles
Most Diciplined Player U13 - Christian Ransome
Most Diciplined Player U15 - Kareem Riley
Most Diciplined Player U17 - Jordan Samuel
Special Recognition Awards
Claudia Enda Frevier
Richard Scott Gordon