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Cricket Anyone / Administration ineptitude
« on: January 21, 2018, 01:17:14 PM »
In any other place with a reputable sports administration, the coach and selectors would all present their letters of resignation.  The results of the Trinidad and Tobago cricket team, has been a disgrace for the last several years, with blame to be shared by everyone. Administrators lead by putting in place programs to ensure success or at least be competitive. While Guyana continues to win, the Red Force has made only backward steps. It has been a repeat of bad performances followed by worse ones' optimistic press proclamations followed by abjectly inept performances on the field. Truly, it appears to be a duplicate of the senior West Indies team which continues to produce serial disappointing performances sprinkled with one-off performances that continually crush the pride of every West Indies cricket fan. So, it is time for a new approach with new leadership that understands, and can produce, methods of coaching and leadership that provides hope for success. To the administration of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board, please give someone else a chance to lead us out of this season of pain and shame.  Do the honorable thing and resign.   

What about Track & Field / Coincidence or a Deeper Problem?
« on: August 07, 2017, 07:34:53 AM »
Over the recent years, Trinidad and Tobago has produced a lot of top class juniors. Many seem to suffer injuries that hamstring (no pun intended) their careers and flounder after early promise - Getting to finals, maybe getting a medal, and all but disappearing altogether, or showing little improvement as they mature.  There are exceptions of course, but the list of consistent performers, multiple finalists or medalists are few. I know that we are a small country with a limited pool of talent, but from my fan vantage point, my national pride is deeply hurt when I see our promising athletes unable to maintain good performances but for one or two seasons. The reasons may range from: They have suffered severe injuries; or because ill-advised coaching changes have inhibited their development; younger competitors have surpassed them making it more difficult for them to overcome.  Is there an underlying problem? Here is a short list of names, and you can add to the list.  I will leave it up to you, the fans, to comment, make suggestions, or draw conclusions:
Richard Thompson - silver in Beijing, then not much
Darrel Brown - World youth star and nothing since
Mark Burns - Youth potential never translating to anticipated senior success
Jehue Gordon - after securing gold in 2013, its been down hill
Marcel Cedenio - any hope with the emerging 400 talent? What happened to the kick?
Deon Lendore - except for his college exploits, the path now does not look good
Mark London - double CARIFTA junior champion. Not heard of since.

Meanwhile, I applaud our consistent performers, past and present: Ato Boldon (definitely our most consistent performer), Cleopatra Borel-Brown, Keshorn Walcott, Lalonde Gordon, Renny Quow
You can add to both lists.

Football / Orlando City Soccer tryouts announced
« on: October 24, 2014, 02:54:28 AM »
ORLANDO – October 22, 2014 – Orlando City SC announced today that the Club will host open tryouts throughout the southeastern United States, providing aspiring professional soccer players in the region with an opportunity to be discovered by Major League Soccer’s 21st club.

The tryout tour will take place in November and December in Charlotte, Tampa and Miami, prior to returning to Orlando for the final session in mid-January.

The tryout tour showcases Orlando City’s efforts to identify potential players in the southeast region, as the Club continues to prepare for its inaugural 2015 MLS season. The Lions’ roster is currently made up of seven players, including global superstar Kaká.

“Over the years, our open tryouts have been successful in discovering talented players such as Yordany Alvarez, who were flying under the radar,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “Our goal is to find those unknown talents who can help build our squad here in the ‘Soccer Capital of the South.’ ”

Below are additional details:

Date   Location   Venue
Sunday, November 16, 2014   Charlotte   University of North Carolina - Charlotte
Saturday, December 6, 2014   Tampa   University of South Florida
Saturday, December 13, 2014   Miami   Florida International University
Saturday, January 17, 2015   Orlando   Seminole Soccer Complex
All sessions start at 9:00 a.m. ET.

Football / Should Trinidad and Tobago field a team in the USL?
« on: April 24, 2012, 01:05:23 PM »
The United Soccer League (USL) is a lower division soccer league in the United States where many Trinidad and Tobago players ply their trade with the hope of breaking iinto the MLS.  Currently, their is a team formt he Caribbean, the Antigua Barracudas, in the league.  It seems to me that it would be a good idea for a Trinidad and Tobago based team in that league that would provide some local players with an opportunity to be exposed to a higher quality of play and provide an opportunity to be seen by MLS scouts.  Is that a consideratiion by local entrepeuners? IF not, why not?

Football / The best Captain for the TT Soca Warriors
« on: August 25, 2011, 08:53:56 AM »
I am not sure that Kenwyne Jones is the best choice as Captain of our soccer team. Not only is he quite and low key in his personality, he is too often far removed from the action and would have little influence unless the play is up front.  Dwight Yorke was our best captain in many decades.  Talented, outspoken, willing to track back and help, got on everyone one including the referees.  He often sacrificed himself and got a yellow for defending his teammates. That is good leadership and had a lot do do with our success in WC 2006 campaign.
What do you guys think?

What about Track & Field / Another positive drug test
« on: October 11, 2010, 12:50:17 PM »

Page last updated at 18:47 GMT, Monday, 11 October 2010 19:47 UK
Delhi 100m winner tests positive
Damola Osayemi
Commonwealth Games women's 100m gold medal winner Damola Osayemi of Nigeria fails a drugs test.

Cricket Anyone / A Wasted Opportunity
« on: August 29, 2010, 07:07:14 PM »
A wasted opportunity
By Tony Cozier

Story Created: Aug 28, 2010 at 11:45 PM ECT by Tony Cozier

Story Updated: Aug 28, 2010 at 11:45 PM ECT

THE International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Federation of International Cricketers' Association (FICA) have jointly sent an unequivocal proposition to the two organisations responsible for the most critical aspects of West Indies cricket.

Concerned by the rancorous, interminable bickering between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) that is largely responsible for the disintegration of what was the game's most admired entity, the ICC and FICA offered their good offices to help settle the current disagreement over image and intellectual property rights.

Cricket Anyone / Subcontinent wickets are a farce
« on: July 29, 2010, 10:15:00 PM »
I always wonder how many more runs Brian Lara or Ricky Ponting might have scored if they played their home tests on the wickets we often see in India and Sri Lanka.  It is the fourth day of the 2nd test in Colombo and both teams have scored over 600 runs each in the still unfinished 1st innings.  Tendulkar is a great batsman, but these records are ridiculous.  Are these wickets deliberately created for batsmen to score runs?  Most of the first class games seemingly do not have such large scores.  Should the ICC get involved in creating regulations that influence more competitive games?  I am just asking questions here as I wonder about the harm such wickets do to cricket by distorting the record books.

Normal service resumed on the fourth day with bat dominating ball on a placid pitch, after the Sri Lankan spinners had injected life into the Test on the third. India ensured a draw was inevitable, as they overhauled Sri Lanka's first-innings score, with Sachin Tendulkar and Suresh Raina adding to an exhaustive list of milestones achieved in this game. Tendulkar eased to his fifth double-century while Raina became the first Indian batsman since Virender Sehwag in 2001 to score a Test century on debut...

Cricket Anyone / Fire CEO Ernest Hilaire!
« on: June 03, 2010, 04:11:19 AM »
What a fool he is! The WICB CEO, Dr. Ernest Hilaire, believes his statement about the lack of intelligence of West Indies players  to be true or not, as the CEO of the WICB, he should be ashamed to make such a public statement. So, even with his doctoral degree he displays a tactless, senseless approach to leadership and his statement displays a lack of good judgment expected of any CEO of a professional team. He proves that he is not equipped to be the CEO of the organization that the heads, and should resign. With that kind of leadership how does he expect West Indies cricket to improve or gain respect? You would never hear the Commissioner of any major American or International sport - NBA, NFL, MLB or EPL, Serie A or Australian Cricket CEO, say such a thing even if we know that many American athletes have limited academic abilities.  He is undeserving of his position.  If he thinks that is a problem then he should set in motion mechanisms to fix it and shut up.  That is his job!

Cricket Anyone / Time for a new team
« on: November 28, 2009, 08:25:59 PM »
Wonderful start!  Now it is time to get rid of the lethargic, corrupting influences of some of the seniors.  Get a young team with a good captain.  But first we  need a change in the administration and the selectors.

In my opinion, it is time for a new team.  This is not working.  The senoir players show no example and the captaincy of Chris Gayle is an abject failure.  Gayle should be retained only for ODI's and T20 cricket, which is what he loves anyway.  The dedication required for Test Cricket is not for "voopers" who can't play with patience and consider the requiremnts of big scores.  Australia scored 400+ but at 3. per over.  They understood the task at hand and every player made themselves responsible for getting big scores irrespective of what the other player did.  That is why the make large scores - no body made 100, but almost everyone who batted scored more than 30.  It's time for a change, but haven't we heard that before?  Both the WIBC administration and the selectors are to blame here.  We need a new captain and  a new team.

My team would be:
Sarwan (one last chance)
Bravo, Darren
Nash or Dowlin
Ganga (Captain)
Rampaul (Edwards if fit)
Mohammed, D ( Benn)

Add Gavin Tonge and we have our team.

Football / Warner adds voice to call for salary cap
« on: October 12, 2009, 12:24:34 PM »
This has been a topic of past discussion, but JW brought it up again.  So what does the forum think about his proposals?

10/8/2009 - LONDON – FIFA Vice President and CONCACAF President Jack Warner added his voice to those calling for a salary cap in club soccer and a requirement that teams field players from their native country, noting that emergence of the European “mega clubs” have left others behind.

Speaking Wednesday at the Chelsea Football Club  for the second annual Leaders in Football conference – a gathering of about 1,000 soccer executives and officials – Warner noted the influx of wealthy owners such as Roman Abramovich at Chelsea, Malcom Glazer at Manchester United and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan at Manchester City in Europe, and especially England, has created excitement, but also concerns.

As one of 14 featured speakers at the conference, which also included the likes of English Premier League chairman David Richards, EA Sports President Peter Moore, Spanish Football Association President Angel Maria Villa Llona, Warner said the salary cap – mainly in European soccer -- had become a necessity.

“This is necessary because poorer clubs will never, ever be able to compete with high spending ones,” he said. “I wish to argue that salary caps will allow clubs a more equal access to good players and will level the playing field when it comes to the opportunity to win.”

Without mandating a specific requirement, Warner also sought a quota system of local players, referencing FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s “six plus five” proposal which would require club teams to field at least six players eligible for their country’s national team.

“Ethics require a number of local players being selected and fielded for each club,” Warner said.  “Clubs must come to the table and for the good of football agree to a plan.  Am I hearing six plus five? Seven plus four? Eight plus three or the reverse?”

Warner also proposed a no-play moratorium, saying that for as little as six weeks and possibly as much as eight weeks, no professional soccer be played – either at the club or national team level.

“None. Anywhere, for any reason,” he said “This will allow players to recover and to give some breathing space from the pressures of club versus country, if only for a short while.

“I know that many of these ideas are not new and they will meet much resistance from clubs across Europe today and tomorrow as they did yesterday but the truth is while I understand the implications both legal and social of some of the suggestions I have raised, I am of the view that we must sit and talk to ensure that football is the winner not only for the now but also for the future.”

See full text of his speech:

What about Track & Field / Ato Boldon tested positive
« on: August 23, 2009, 06:06:01 PM »
Joint release by CBS, ABC, and ESPN.

CBC, BBC, JBC, and ESPN in a joint release will announce tomorrow August 24, that they will publish results of a positive test for Ato Boldon. Suspicion was raised after the former World 200 meter champion received rave reviews for his analysis during the Beijing Olympic Games that enhanced his reputation as a knowledgeable, eloquent, and articulate sports analyst.  "He has to be on something," one unnamed source was quoted as saying.  Meanwhile his many Trinidad and Tobago fans vouch that his performance has been entirely the result of his natural ability and the educational foundation he received while growing up in Trinidad.  "The competition always have to complain about yuh performance," said one lady interviewed in Port-of-Spain, the Trinidad and Tobago capital.  However, the media maintains that a Trini could never be that good in the booth.  NBC and Versus maintains that the ex-star athlete is clean and is really that good - a polished announcer and sports analyst with a bright future for many years to come.

Football / What is the role of the Support Staff?
« on: June 25, 2009, 11:46:04 AM »

How the does the US prepare? What is the role of the Support Staff?

I was looking at the US team selections on their website: and wondered how our staff in T&T compare with them.  Look at this lineup:

Head Coach: Bob Bradley (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Mike Sorber (St. Louis)
Assistant Coach: John Hackworth (Bradenton, Fla.)
Goalkeeper Coach: Zak Abdel (Laverne, Calif.)
Fitness Coach: Pierre Barrieu (Redondo Beach, Calif.)
General Manager: Pam Perkins (Redondo Beach, Calif.)
Trainers: Ivan Pierra (Los Angeles), Dave Andrews (Seattle), Jim Bollinger (Philadephia), Kevin Sells (Los Angeles)
Doctors: Mike Morris (Seattle), Arthur Bartolozzi (Philadephia), Adam Bennett (Chicago)
Chiropractor: George Billauer (Los Angeles)
Equipment Manager: Tim Cook (Hermosa Beach, Calif.)
Videographer: Alejandro Becker (Hollywood, Calif.)
Video Coordinator: Mark Liskevych (Chicago)
Press Officer: Michael Kammarman (Chicago)

 Now we may not have the financial resources, but does it not make a big difference when the team of coaches and doctors, trainers, conditioning experts, videographers, etc. work hand in hand for the development of the team and all areas of development are covered?  Until we adopt that thorough approach to training and preparation, we will never be able to consistently compete at their level. There is no doubt that our players are equally talented, but we seldom put a team on the field with consistently good performances.  We hit the jackpot at WC 2006, only because we had a coach who willed us to victory and a group of players who believed in him.  It is my opinion that if we are to be successful, we have to take conditioning and teamwork more seriously.  Individual skill alone will never do it for us.That is the example the US can provide and why we will rarely have the opportunity of beating them.

Football / Football black hole!
« on: April 26, 2009, 08:33:51 PM »
Following up on the shameful display in Nashville, TN last month, the U- 17 Soca Warriors demonstrated an equally  disastrous display in the recently concluded CONCACAF tournament: 13 goals against, 0 goals scored.  Now we are left to wander what the future of our soccer really is.  And don't forget that our  last U-17 team though they qualified for the World Cup did not measure up to the opposition (based on the results of our games).  We heard lots of comments by the coaching staff indicating that the team was ready, that they had a wonderful buildup in South America, that they would be competitive.  I am left with a lot of questions:
1. Who did we really play against in the buildup? 
2. Were those games really helpful in our preparation?   
3. Was the coaching staff really up to the task of preparing a team to play against world class players? 
4. Do we have developmental systems that really produce good players or were the Kenwyne Jones, Dwight Yorke, Stern John, Russel Latapy and other foreign players successful in spite of, and not a result of our developmental system?
5. Are these performances an indication that our soccer present and future is in jeopardy? 
6. Is the U-20 success an aberration or is that representative of the reality of Trinidad and Tobago soccer?  7. Does the TTFF and Jack Warner really care how fans feel about these series of embarrassing displays?

Although we have often discussed some of these issues on this forum, it is probably worthy of  a more focused discussion.

Cricket Anyone / Pick your team to tour England in May
« on: March 11, 2009, 08:21:51 PM »
I want to hear your opinions.  Here is my team:

Gayle, Chris - Captain
Baker, Lionel
Barath, Adrian
Benn, Sulieman
Bravo, Darren
Bravo, Dwayne
Chanderpaul, Shivnarine
Edwards, Fidel
Nash, Brendan
Ramdin, Dinesh - Vice Captain
Roach, Kemar
Sammy, Darren
Sarwan, Ramnaresh
Simmons, Lendl
Taylor, Jerome

Football / Who holds the reins?
« on: September 26, 2008, 08:00:21 AM »
After observing the decisions of the last few days and the reversals in team selections after every game, I am left wondering who is really running the team.  Now that Latapy has been called into the fold, I became even more curious about how team selections are made.  Stern is back, Scotland is left out.  Birchall is recalled as is Collin Samuel.  Although we have addressed this topic before, I wonder what is the opinion of the forumites now?

What about Track & Field / Bolt - 100, 200 . . . 400m?
« on: August 21, 2008, 09:13:45 AM »
They already talking bout doing the 400 in the next Olympics and smashing the record.  What do you guys think?  I think that if he wants to do it he smash it next year.

Beijing, China - Note the date now – 2014: men’s 400m, Usain Bolt, 42.5.

No, not the ‘Lightening’ man’s own prediction – Bolt avoids talk of the 400 as much as possible – but as firm an answer to a journalist’s query as you’re ever likely to hear from an athletics coach.

Not just any coach, either, but Bert Cameron, the first World 400m champion from the World Championships in Helsinki back in 1983. Cameron is now Jamaica’s national 400m coach and a man who watches Bolt train virtually everyday.

How does he know the date? “He promised me,” says Cameron. “He will do it and he promised it’ll be six years from now.” And how fast will he go? “42.5,” says Cameron without the merest hesita

What about Track & Field / Crawford denies shabby treatment in Beijing
« on: August 19, 2008, 12:01:20 PM »
Why does the press do these stupid things?  If they had tried ot confirm it first with Crawfie, there would be no need to print lies.

Meanwhile, Crawford labelled as untrue, reports in the local media that he was treated shabbily in Beijing.

The reports stated that so shabby was the treatment, it took the generosity of friends and associates to come to Crawford’s rescue and ensure he was housed in a comfortable hotel.

It also stated that the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) had used up its quota of accreditation, so Crawford’s name had to be deleted. But he was still accredited, but as a member of the St Vincent and the Grenadines team.

Yesterday, in an interviewwith the T&T Guardian, Crawford denied this saying that when he arrived in Beijing he was housed at a hotel which was far from the Olympic Village.

He said he communicated to Larry Romany, the president of the TTOC that he wanted to move closer to the games. He said at the time he was not feeling too well and Romany and Peter Samuel, the NAAA public relations officer, visited him. He said they informed him that there was an empty room at the hotel where they were staying and they sent transportation for him to be relocated.

Football / Warner, Nakhid bury the hatchet.
« on: June 17, 2008, 08:26:04 PM »
Warner, Nakhid bury the hatchet.
By: Francis Joseph (Guardian).

Former national football captain David Nakhid has discontinued his defamation case against FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, the T&T Football Federation (TTFF), and its media officer Shaun Fuentes.

Nakhid’s attorney Farid Scoon filed the notice of discontinuance, dated June 13, in the Port-of-Spain High Court, ending a two-year battle in which he was claiming damages for defamation. He also sued a daily newspaper for libel and was awarded an undisclosed sum in an out-of-court settlement.

Nakhid could not be reached for comment yesterday, while Warner was tied up in meetings at Rienzi Complex, Couva. Attorneys Om Lalla and Kelvin Ramkissoon represented Warner and the TTFF.

Nakhid filed the writ in the High Court on June 6, 2006, claiming damages against Warner, the TTFF, Fuentes and the daily newspaper.

Nakhid, who led T&T to a semi-final berth in the 2000 Gold Cup, claimed that on October 24, 2005, Warner falsely and maliciously uttered certain words, causing the TTFF to issue a media release, which was written by Fuentes.

According to Nakhid, the words from Warner were understood to mean that he was a traitor, who for monetary gain, had committed an act of treachery against T&T, or against the people of T&T, or against the interests of T&T.

Nakhid also took offence to another part of the TTFF media release. He said the words printed were understood to mean that he, through his agent, a female acquaintance, attempted to obtain, without the necessary permission or licences of the TTFF, tapes or television or video broadcast images of the matches played by T&T national senior team.

In his writ, Nakhid pointed out that since the publication of the media release, he had been humiliated by verbal abuse when out in the public, and humiliated and vilified over talk shows on radio throughout the country.

He said his family had been taunted and insulted and had suffered emotional hurt, anxiety and embarrassment. He had claimed additional damages for repetition of the defamatory sting of the press release and article, which had been caused by what Warner had stated.

Nakhid said Warner’s words were meant to disparage him in his position and status as a professional footballer and his international reputation.

In his defence, Warner admitted making the statement when he was attending a meeting of the FIFA executive in Zurich, Switzerland. He said the statement was made in his personal capacity and not for, or on behalf of the TTFF.

Warner said the words were an expression of fair comment and made without malice. He said at the time, T&T was locked in heated battle to qualify for the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany. At a time when T&T was ready to play Bahrain for the final spot for Germany, it was reported in the Bahrain Tribune that Nakhid was offered a position by that country’s coach to assist that country in the upcoming two matches against T&T.

Warner said Nakhid denied the newspaper story at a press conference at the Trinidad Hilton on October 31, 2005. The FIFA vice-president stated in his defence that Nakhid never called for an apology from the Bahrain media.

What about Track & Field / Sleazy side of sprinting
« on: May 19, 2008, 08:54:52 PM »
Sleazy side of sprinting
Fazeer Mohammed

Monday, May 19th 2008

Ato Boldon can't be trusted...and thank goodness for that.

Being described as untrustworthy is normally deeply insulting, but when you're dealing with people who have a morality of their own, it's actually quite complimentary, as this country's most consistently successful athlete ever has been finding out recently.

And with a couple of influential cheats in the shady underworld of performance-enhanced athletics expected to be whistling like contented picoplats from today, maintaining a comfortable distance from those already tainted by the broadening brush of drug cheats is obviously the way to go, especially as they'll be trying to take as many with them on the way down.

Depending on your perspective, the next few days could be either disturbingly dark or reassuringly illuminating as the trial of disgraced track coach Trevor Graham resumes in the United States today with Guillermo Angel Heredia, a former Mexican discus thrower and key supplier of banned substances to a number of high-profile athletes, scheduled to testify and essentially make factual what many have suspected all along.

There are genuine fears that the impact of the testimony emanating from the courtroom in San Francisco, especially in an Olympic year, could do irreparable harm to the already tainted integrity of the sport and generate the sort of scandal that has seriously compromised the prestige and international prominence of cycling's premier road racing event, the Tour de France.

But there are others, like Boldon, who have consistently maintained, even in the midst of what seemed a witch-hunt style persecution of Marion Jones, that the relentless pursuit, exposure and prosecution of the cheaters is actually a reaffirmation of his own belief that the sport that has earned him international acclaim and a jet-set livelihood is truly determined to rid itself of those bent on reaching their goals by any means necessary.

In achieving everything else but an Olympic gold medal, the American-based Trinidadian has grown accustomed to the constant criticism from many of his compatriots that he spent too much time talking and not enough time focussing on the finer points of sprinting so that he could have that extra edge when it really mattered. Well, it now seems that tendency to run his mouth at the slightest prompting meant he could not be trusted to cheat and keep quiet about it.

Speaking in an interview with reporter David Walsh that appeared in the Sunday Times of London eight days ago, Heredia described how he provided drugs for sprinters Maurice Greene and Larry Wade-both teammates with Boldon at the HSI Track Club-following a meeting with HSI coach John Smith, Greene and Wade in Houston, Texas, in 2002:

"I found John Smith very professional. He knew what was going on and wanted me to work with the two athletes from his group that HE MOST TRUSTED (my emphasis). After winning in Sydney, Maurice had slipped a bit. Tim Montgomery was the new kid on the block. Maurice wanted to run fast, make a medal at the Athens Games and hold on to his adidas contract."

Of course, most would be aware that Boldon took the silver medal behind training partner Greene in the 100 metres at the 2000 Olympics, holding on desperately for a bronze in the 200 a few days later as well in an event won sensationally by Konstantinos Kenteris, the Greek sprinter who missed the Athens Games four years later in the midst of mystery, controversy and scandal over his failure (together with Ekaterini Thanou, who finished behind Jones in the women's 100 final in Sydney) to comply with a mandatory test on the eve of the 2004 Games.

In Walsh's excellent investigative piece, Heredia goes on to explain how he worked with Greene in 2003 and 2004. But while the specifics are depressingly revealing, more enlightening is the hypocrisy of what Boldon obviously believed was a "blood brothers" type of relationship with his training partner and coach.

Remember how local conspiracy theorists, tired of seeing our boy finish behind the American at the really big events, surmised that there was no way that Smith would allow a foreigner to get the better of a fellow countryman, and that it would have been better for Boldon to train somewhere else, where he wouldn't have to endure the psychological handicap of not being the biggest horse in the stable?

Well, it seems they were partly right because Smith trusted Greene and Wade to cheat and shut up but didn't have the same relationship with Boldon.

Whether it was as a result of wanting the Americans to have an unfair advantage, or a fear that the motor-mouth Trini would have done better than his personal best of 9.86 seconds in running to the authorities to tell all, we can only surmise.

What doesn't need any guessing, however, is the negative publicity that will be surrounding track and field athletics this week with the Beijing Olympics less than three months away. Boldon is convinced that the sport will emerge stronger after all of this.

I'm not so sure, for there will always be those motivated by greed or glory, or both, to do whatever it takes to get ahead. That philosophy is not limited to athletics, or sport in general, but when a culture of dishonesty prevails in such a high-profile sphere of activity, you fear that attention will always be focused on the race to catch successive waves and generations of cheaters who all have a morality of their own.

What about Track & Field / Ato eager for exoneration
« on: April 24, 2008, 01:45:03 PM »
Ato eager for exoneration

Kwame Laurence

Thursday, April 24th 2008

Ato Boldon is eagerly anticipating the trial of Jamaican-born sprint coach Trevor Graham. The former Trinidad and Tobago track star is certain he will be exonerated when federal witness Angel Guillermo Heredia goes on the stand next month, and calls the names of the elite athletes he claims to have provided with performance-enhancing drugs.

"May 19th can't reach fast enough for me," Boldon told the Express, yesterday, "because the truth is being well hidden. A lot of innuendo is going around."

Graham, who coached disgraced American sprinters Marion Jones, Justin Gatlin and Tim Montgomery, is charged with making false statements to federal agents.

In a recent New York Times story, it was claimed that Heredia-the main witness in the case against Graham-had shown the newspaper evidence of a US$10,000 wire transfer from Boldon's former HSI training partner Maurice Greene.

Heredia apparently identified 12 clients who had earned a total of 26 Olympic and 21 world championship medals. Jones and Greene are among the 12, and though Boldon's name did not appear in the New York Times story, his close relationship with Greene has put T&T's quadruple Olympic medallist under the microscope.

To compound matters, Greene, the 2000 Olympic 100 metres champion, made the following statement: "Our group was very close and things always came up. I would pay for stuff and not care what it was. I've paid for things for other people without questioning it, done it plenty of times."

Boldon is not worried about the negative opinions being formed because of his association with Greene. He's looking forward, though, to hearing Heredia's list.

What about Track & Field / Tread carefully, Ato
« on: April 23, 2008, 05:51:15 AM »
Trinidad Express article gives wise advise to Ato.

Ato, boy, your credibility is on the line here.

You love the sport of track and field, and we all know how passionate you are about catching the cheats and how much pride you take in proclaiming yourself as someone who has achieved so much while resisting the temptation to take the shortcut through banned performance-enhancing substances.

Still, in the rush to prove your innocence, you have to be careful not to false-start. Everyone assumes that an anonymous letter referred to by The Observer newspaper of London at the weekend came from you, lambasting as it did your former training partner Maurice Greene and coach John Smith following damning evidence by a Mexican middleman that he had supplied drugs to Greene in 2003 and 2004, and was paid around US$40,000, with copies of bank transfers to prove it.

It may have been an instantaneous lashing out to distance yourself from those two, but you shouldn't be surprised that the cynics are out in full force now, implying that it is almost impossible for you to be so tight with those fellas for so long and not, at the very least, know what was going on. And it's not just the run-of-the-mill conspiracy theorists but respected personalities in the sport who are causing furrowed brows with their suppositions.

Writing in The Guardian newspaper of London yesterday, this is part of what Steve Cram had to say in a piece headlined "Balco, Boldon (see, they pull you in already), Graham, Greene... stand by for the naming of names" in response to what is generally accepted to be your angry outburst in defence of your reputation:

"But what and who can you believe? Athletes have always been quick to accuse rivals of duplicity when failing to realise that in bedrooms along the corridor their own names were being spoken of in similar terms."

Britain's former 1,500-metre world champion, now a highly-regarded athletics correspondent and commentator for the BBC, doesn't leave it at that, though.

I'm sure you're aware of this article already, so it's no point telling you to brace yourself:

"Any performance slipping into the top-ten all-time list has always been met with admiration and suspicion. In 1997, I was flying back to Tyneside after the Stockholm grand prix meeting in July. The star had been Boldon who had a stunning double victory in the 100m and 200m with only about an hour between races, considered to be the quickest double in one evening, 9.95 for the 100 and 19.82 for the 200m with Greene hot on his heels.

"That night Carl Lewis ran an anchor relay leg as part of his farewell tour. He pulled me aside in the airport and without naming names he accused current athletes of diminishing the achievements of the likes of myself and Seb Coe and most importantly himself. He was prepared to go public, he had evidence, he said. I reminded him that many had pointed the finger at his own performances which he dismissed out of hand. His anger must have subsided and in due time his own name did surface some years later in an alleged cover-up by the US Olympic Committee."

If your blood is boiling right now, Ato, cool down first before you contemplate your next course of action. Don't do or say something in the heat of the moment that you will subsequently regret. If you're innocent, as you've always stated you are, then the truth will bear you out and any highly-emotional responses will more than likely be interpreted as a desperate man trying to take in front before in front takes him, especially as that Mexican middleman, former athlete Angel Guillermo Heredia, and Trevor Graham, disgraced former coach of disgraced American sprinter Marion Jones, are expected to name names when they testify at the latest stage of the Balco drugs scandal enquiry in San Francisco, beginning May 19.

Cram is one of those people fearing the worst:

"The name-calling now looks likely to reach new heights, this time under oath. It is to be welcomed but it will certainly not be enjoyable... the vultures will be hovering over athletics next month..."

Greene, who triggered this latest angle to the scandal, has since tried, unconvincingly, to backtrack from this comment he gave to another London newspaper, The Telegraph, more than a week ago:

"I would pay for stuff and not care what it was," he told the newspaper in an apparent defence in the face of evidence that he has had financial dealings with Heredia. "I've paid for things for other people without questioning it, done it plenty of times."

If nothing else, those remarks confirm that it is possible to become the best in the world in a particular endeavour and make tons of money without being too bright. Greene seems to have drowned himself and his reputation, but as the ripples of his eye-opening revelation widen, it will not be surprising if he seeks to pull a few down with him.

So, Ato, tread carefully and keep in mind that there was only one man who it was said could walk on water. This is about much more than lucrative deals as an expert analyst with the big-time television networks or coaching stints with countries whose governments are swimming in money.

It is about your reputation, something that will stay with you long after the glitz and the glory are gone.



Officials play down poor World Champs

Kwame Laurence

Monday, September 3rd 2007
 At the six editions of theIAAF World Championships in Athletics held between 1995 and 2005, Trinidad and Tobago appeared on the medal table five times. That impressive five-of-six record, however, dropped to five-of-seven following the 11th edition of the global meet, here in Osaka, Japan.

The last time T&T missed out on World Championship precious metal, ahead of Osaka 2007, was in 1999 in Seville, Spain, injury to Ato Boldon probably robbing the country of a perfect six-from-six record in the 95-05 decade.

T&T's Osaka team was also weakened by injury, sprinter Darrel Brown and jumper Rhonda Watkins both missing out.

Team manager Dexter Voisin told the Express that the medal-less World Championship performance is not an accurate reflection of the country's prospects at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

"Based on the absence of these two athletes, and probably others, this cannot be used as an indicator to 2008 Beijing."

National Amateur Athletic Association (NAAA) president Ephraim Serrette concurred.

"It's long ways before we could make a prediction, but based on the performances here-in the absence of Darrel and Rhonda-I think Trinidad and Tobago look well for Beijing."

Marc Burns was the best of the T&T athletes on show at the 2007 World Championships, the 24-year-old sprinter shrugging off a less-than-impressive build-up to the meet to advance all the way to the men's 100 metres final. Burns was eighth in the championship race in 10.29 seconds.

Ato Modibo also did well, reaching the semi-final round of the men's 400m. His 45.12 seconds clocking in thesemis was the 28-year-old quarter-miler's fastest run in more than two years.

On Saturday, Modibo teamed up with 18-year-old Jovon Toppin, Jarrin Solomon, 21, and Renny Quow, 20, for a three minutes, 02.92 seconds clocking in the second of two men's 4x400m qualifying heats. T&T finished fifth, and did not advance to yesterday's final. Toppin and Solomon, though, made memorable World Championship debuts.

"We saw some grit," said a satisfied Voisin, "especially with the youngsters. It's not theresult we had hoped for, but it was a good showing.

"The overall performance of the team," the manager continued, "is nothing to boast about. However, we knew that the team is a very young team. In the men's 4x1, our experienced athletes didn't come together to qualify. That would have been one of our medal hopes."

At the 2005 World Championships, in Helsinki, Finland, T&T claimed silver in the men's sprint relay.

"We're working with the Government and the Sports Company," Serrette explained, "to get the kind of funding for the relay pools to have them in training probably earlier, and with a better preparation plan than the individualism thing that is happening. They need to give some consideration where country is concerned with the relays. I thought we would have done well in the 4x1. We have a good crop of sprinters.

"We have to go back to the drawing board," the president continued, "and have better planning with respect to Beijing. We have a crop of young athletes. You saw young Jovon Toppin holding his own in the mile relay. It says something."

As expected, United States struck gold in yesterday's men's 4x400m final, LaShawn Merritt, Angelo Taylor, Darold Williamson and back-to-back one-lap champion Jeremy Wariner combining for a 2:55.56 clocking. Bahamas earned silver in 2:59.18, while Poland secured bronze in 3:00.05.

The mile relay championship race brought the curtain down on Osaka 2007, the Americans emerging as the top team with 14 gold medals, four silver and eight bronze. Kenya (five gold, three silver, five bronze) and Russia (four gold, nine silver, three bronze) were second and third, respectively.

Jamaica finished eighth on the medal table. In addition to Veronica Campbell's women's 100m gold, the northern Caribbean nation claimed six silver medals and three bronze.

And thanks to Donald Thomas' men's high jump gold and the silver medals earned by the men's 4x400m team and Derrick Atkins in the men's 100m, Bahamas copped ninth spot.

Football / St. Mirren vs Celtic
« on: September 02, 2007, 08:27:16 AM »
Celtic mauling St. Mirrren  (4:0) but Birchall now gets a chance to get some sweat.

Football / Fighting for a cause.
« on: July 11, 2007, 05:49:25 AM »
Fighting for a cause.
By: Fazeer Mohammed (Express).

No, Jack, no!

What was the purpose of the latest tirade against the blacklisted players?
To warn the South Korea-bound under-17 squad that, in time, they could suffer the same fate if they ever felt they were too big for their boots and had the unmitigated gall to question the football administration?
By all accounts, Sunday's function at the Centre of Excellence was intended to be a tribute to the team who defied the odds by earning a place at next month's FIFA Under-17 World Championships, thanks to a battling victory over hosts and arch-rivals Jamaica in the decisive final game of the qualifying tournament in Kingston more than a month ago.
Since then, those history-making young men must have been walking on air as the enormity of their achievement sunk in. The dream of representing Trinidad and Tobago on the world stage has become a reality so early in their international careers that there may be the concern about them getting carried away with the achievement and believing that they are more than just servants of the Football Federation or, more specifically, its special adviser.
There's no chance of that now after the performance by Jack Warner.
Whatever praises and accolades offered to them would have been mere token gestures compared to the more fundamental message that the FIFA vice-president, CONCACAF boss and de facto supremo of the local game should never, ever be challenged unless the intention is to join the lengthening list of prominent individuals who have been either debarred from national duty or the domestic scene, or branded with that ever-popular tag of "persona non grata".
It is difficult to see how this collection of young players, so eagerly looking forward to the task ahead of them, would not have been intimidated more than encouraged by Warner's outburst. What is especially reprehensible is the manner in which this most influential football official can so flippantly belittle players who were hailed by the entire country, including Warner himself, as national heroes just a year ago.
As the man at the very heart of the alleged agreement for the sharing of World Cup profits between the TTFF and the players, he has every right to defend himself from what he may perceive to be baseless accusations. But surely, surely, making a whole heap of noise about the situation at an occasion that should have been about heartening encouragement and positive reinforcement of the under-17s is entirely inappropriate.
Keep in mind that some of those players dismissed as "mercenaries consumed by greed" or "the Soca Warriors of yesteryear" who "will never play for this country again" are probably heroes and exemplars in the eyes of the majority of the young squad. Will their opinions of Shaka Hislop, Stern John and others take an about-turn on the basis of Warner's cutting remarks, or will they now wonder if they may one day also suffer the same fate if ever they felt compelled to protest any form of injustice meted out to them by the game's administration?
Given the attention span of young people in general, it is unlikely that most of what was said at the Centre of Excellence on Sunday would have caused the under-17 players any sleepless nights since then. But, then again, you never know if one or two in the group might have taken it all in and realised that the sooner they can land decent contracts somewhere outside and get to hell out of this madhouse called T&T football, the better for their careers and long-term livelihoods, even if the country has to suffer for their absence.
Again, it all goes back to our obsession with personality cults in almost every sphere of public life. In creating these larger-than-life individuals on the basis of their achievements, wealth or influence, we have made them exempt from the rules that govern the rest of us. It is as if we firmly believe that one of the perks of such a status is being a law unto yourself.
This is the really sad part about it all. It is not so much about what Warner or any other prominent public figure says or does, but the ease with which the society tolerates, defends or forgives any indiscreet conduct purely on the basis of who they are. Even those who are troubled by this situation will take the position that it makes no sense to strike a discordant note because they will be shouted down by the rabid followers anyway.
There is no meaningful progress to be made in an environment governed by the personal whims and fancies of an anointed few, or as in football's case, one. Systems and structures, procedures and protocols are the pillars upon which any successful, progressive organisation is built. Yes, as with anything else there must be room for flexibility, but the governing principle should be that no man, or woman, is bigger than the organisation.
By taking a lag in the blacklisted players' tail at an occasion where there was no need to even go there, Warner has again demonstrated that his firebrand, confrontational modus operandi will not be tempered by considerations of tact and propriety.
As uncomfortable as it is to consider, the really unfortunate aspect, however, is that there is no concerted will to effect change, simply because we like it so, even if it means our under-17s are left wondering if they too will one day be blacklisted for standing up for a cause.

Football / Double standard?
« on: June 12, 2007, 07:26:47 PM »
I came up on this article entitled:  Little Guadeloupe on a knife's edge

The article states that: Former French international Jocelyn Angloma, who played over 400 times for top European clubs and represented France at UEFA EURO 1992 and 1996, came out of international retirement to lead the side in the regional qualifying tournament. The 41 year-old former Inter Milan and Valencia winger (now moved to the centre of midfield) curled in an 85th-minute free kick goal to hand the Guadeloupeans a 2-1 win over favourites Cuba that propelled them into a qualifying semi-final position.

Maybe I don't understand the rule, but how could Angloma who represent France at the natioanla level qualify to play for Guadeloupe?  Granted that Guadeloupe is not a FIFA member.  Can some one explain?

Football / Scotland voted to Division One 2006/2007 team
« on: April 25, 2007, 03:59:36 AM »

T&T striker Jason Scotland followed in the footsteps of his international team-mates, Carlos Edwards and Clayton Ince when he was named to the Scottish Professional Footballers’ Association Division One Team of the Year, voted for by the managers.

Scotland, with 17 league goals and seven in the Cup competition was also among the five players who were nominated for the First Division Player of the Year award which was won by the league’s leading scorer Colin McMenamin of Gretna.

The full team:

Goalkeeper: Alan Main (Gretna)

Defenders: Martin Canning (Gretna), Neil McGregor (Clyde), Kevin James (St Johnstone), Goran Stanic (St Johnstone)

Midfielders: Craig Bryson (Clyde), Alex Rae (Dundee), Don Cowie (Ross County)

Forwards: Jason Scotland (St Johnstone), Colin McMenamin (Gretna), Mark Roberts (Partick Thistle)

Edwards, Ince named on PFA Teams of the Year

T&T World Cup team-mate members Carlos Edwards and Clayton Ince have been named on the English Professional Footballer’s Association Team of the year for the 2006/2007 season.

Edwards is enjoying an outstanding season for Sunderland as they continue their chase for promotion into the Premiership while Ince’s Walsall will be putting on their shirts in the English League One next seson.

Edwards, who joined Sunderland in January for £1.5m, has ten goals this season.

The 28-year-old recently returned from a shoulder injury but continues to be a star for the “Black Cats” who are currently second in the Championship Division with 82 points, one adrift of Birmingham.

Edwards and Dwight Yorke are also in line for Sunderland’s Player of the Year award.

Ince meantime, has been exceptional in goal for Walsall and will be looking forward to the League One action next season. Ince gave a fine display on Saturday as Walsall defeated Notts County 2-1 to secure automatic promotion.

The former Defence Force and Crewe Alexandra custodian is also in line for the Walsall Player of the Season award after equaling a season record of 19 clean sheets.

Mike Berry, agent for the two players said their recognition was fitting in light of their terrific seasons.

Football / Jamaicans welcome change
« on: August 24, 2006, 07:27:42 AM »,43072.html

Despite reports the Jamicans welcome the change in the CFU schedule and rightly so. 

Football / Keep Beenie
« on: March 01, 2006, 02:04:16 PM »
Well we goin to Germany and the WC for the first time. I think we have accomplished our first goal. The next is to represent well before the world.  But we have to start thinking 2010.  With Beenie's contract up after the WC is it too early to start a Keep Beenie campaign.  Ah don't want no sqaubblin and firin again in the middke of the qualifications and that starts in two years.  So leh we start to put pressure on Jack and the jokers in the TTFF to make ah early statement to keep Beenie and begin early preparations.   Ah cyar take another heart attack get beat and tied by Grenada, Barbados and Guyaan.  What you all think?  Go Warriors and leh we Vibes it up!

Football / US under 17 vs Warriors
« on: February 23, 2006, 09:23:47 PM »
Inevah see any score for that match!  Anybody know what happen?  Ah hope TT win big

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