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Football / T&T Warrior Fan Zone Thread updated. (ep.9: T&T 0 v Mexico 1)
« on: November 16, 2015, 11:59:55 AM »
Welcome to T&T Warrior Fan Zone, a new and innovative series that showcases the passion, interest and jubilation of the fans of Trinidad and Tobago Football.

This series is brought to you by the Warrior Nation and Sunday Breeze TV, in partnership with Soca Warriors Online and features you the fans, and hosts Omar Romero, Andre Samuel and Anton Marin. We invite you to view, enjoy and get in de Zone!


Ep. 2 Guatemala v T&T Viewing Party @ Camp Nou Sports Bar (Nov. 16, 2015).





Ep. 1 T&T v Nicaragua (Oct. 13, 2015)

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/1wFI9PuwqYI" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/1wFI9PuwqYI</a>



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Football / SWO Media Coverage of T&T WNT vs Ecuador WNT
« on: December 02, 2014, 01:12:16 AM »
Join Soca Warriors Online media team members, Omar 'Dinho' Romero and Andre Samuel on location as they provide LIVE audio commentary of our Women Soca Warriors monumental World Cup qualifier against Ecuador at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Dec. 2 2014. Broadcasting will begin at 4:30 PM (EST) /5:30 PM (TT) and photos of all the action (courtesy of David Ramcharan) will be posted at intervals during and after the game.

Update: I am pleased to announce that Damian 'Touches' Joseph has been added to the All-Star media line-up and forumites can look forward to another of his entertaining reports on the game.

Forumites and fans are also welcome to share their experience by posting photos and video clips from the match.

GO T&T!!!!!


Tune into LIVE broadcast.

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Football / Boucaud beaming with baby delight
« on: April 19, 2014, 06:02:10 PM »
Boucaud beaming with baby delight.
By: Carlon Garcia (SWO Media).


A footballer’s career is always full of challenges. A professional one?….even more so. What does a division one player do when he faces Manchester United or Chelsea in the FA Cup? The good ones rise to the challenge and not only acquit themselves well, but sometimes even conquer. Our Soca Warriors are proud to have one of the conquering kind in our ranks. Andre Boucaud.

The smooth, intelligent, Notts County midfielder, dropped in to let us know about a new addition to his family and the upcoming friendlies against Argentina, Colombia and Iran.

Baby Amira entered this world on the 16th March 2014. “She was 9 weeks premature, which was worrying at first, but thank God she’s home with us now and doing very well,” said Andre. “It was hard for us at first when Amira was born because she had to stay in the hospital for 3 weeks, but now she’s home and it’s a lot better. My partner is doing very well also,” he continued.

Amira joins her big sister, Ava, who is 3 years old, as part of the Boucaud clan, and though Daddy may be retired by the time they are into double figures, they’ll surely both enjoy hearing of his exploits on the football field….and perhaps emulating them as Soca Princesses?

Of course, Andre didn’t pass up the opportunity to chat about the upcoming friendly matches. Most, if not all Soca Warrior fans are excited and some are even planning trips to witness what we hope to be remarkable results. As a player, Andre is no less and perhaps even more excited.

He told us, “These are some great teams to test ourselves against, so it will be very interesting. I believe it will be tough, but we can hold our own and do very well against these 3 teams”.

“It will also be great to come up against some of the world’s top players such as Messi and Di Maria. As a footballer growing up, you always want to play against the best players and for sure they are up there in that bracket”.

He went on to add, “Overall, I feel very confident that we, as a progressing football nation can go into South America and give a good account of ourselves.”

Boucaud’s performances in our last friendly matches, showed the type of footballer he is: smooth, simple, intelligent and effective. His performances in his personal life show resilience, faith and a determination to facilitate a happy ending. Combine the two, and Argentina, Colombia and Iran will do well to approach us with caution.



Copyrights of the Soca Warriors Online - Any press using the following article written by Inshan Mohammed are welcome to do so providing they reveal the source and writer. Furthermore, no portion of this article may be copied without proper credit as well.

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<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ETnk-wj2YVQ" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/ETnk-wj2YVQ</a>

Full Video
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/o4PbuRXj058" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/o4PbuRXj058</a>

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General Discussion / Presentation College stabbing.
« on: February 04, 2014, 10:22:57 AM »
Student stabs student.
By Stacy Moore (Newsday).


TWO Form Four students of Presentation College, San Fernando, are warded at San Fernando General Hospital, one said to be in critical condition after an incident at the school yesterday in which one student stabbed the other and then tried to take his own life by slashing his wrists. The incident came on the heels of a recent anti-bullying campaign at the school.

According to reports, shortly after seven o’clock yesterday morning, the students including a 14-year-old of Gasparillo and a 15-year-old of Aripero in South Oropouche were involved in an altercation at the school’s basketball court. It was reported that the younger student stabbed the other in the back and chest. Newsday was told that only last week Friday, the younger student accused the elder one of bullying him. Reports are that the older student placed a cockroach in the school bag of the 14-year-old, knowing the latter to be terrified of insects. Sources said the 14-year-old schoolboy grew tired of being bullied by his 15-year-old schoolmate and armed himself with a knife before leaving home for school.

Yesterday morning before classes began, a group of boys were at the basketball court when an argument arose and the 14-year-old attacked the 15-year-old, stabbing him on the right side of his back and chest.

As the other student fell to the ground bleeding, the attacker turned the knife on himself and slit his right wrist. An alarm was raised and both boys were rushed to the San Fernando General Hospital.

The elder students was treated and placed in a medical ward while the 14-year-old was said to be undergoing surgery, up to press time, as the wound to his wrist was a serious one.

According to a statement from the school’s Acting Principal Dexter Mitchell, “A Form Four student was brought to him suffering from what appeared to be stab wounds. He was taken immediately to the San Fernando General Hospital where it was ascertained that he sustained a stab wound to the back and a superficial wound to the chest.

The student identified another student as being responsible for his injuries.

“The other student was found at the back of the school’s basketball court bleeding from an apparent self-inflicted wound. He was also rushed to the hospital and was scheduled for surgery to close the wound,” Mitchell said in the statement.

The principal added that Monsignor Christian Pereira, parish priest at Our Lady of Perpetual Help and chaplain of the college, visited the school and counselling sessions have been held for students and staff.

Senior Superintendent Cecil Santana of Southern Division and other officers of the San Fernando Police Station visited the school following the incident. Investigations are continuing.

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Entertainment & Culture Discussion / Indian Chuck Norris
« on: November 29, 2013, 08:17:15 PM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/OVcwNoZdDko" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/OVcwNoZdDko</a>

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Football / SWO Media Team and fan photos from T&T vs Jamaica match.
« on: November 22, 2013, 09:24:57 AM »
SocaWarriors.net forumites are welcome to post photos from the match.


SWO Media Team members: Andre Samuel and Omar Romero (wearing cap) preparing for live audio commentary.


SWO members Andre Samuel (L) and Kevin "Football Supporter" Harrison (R)


View from media box.


SWO members Lasana "SWF Reporter" Liburd (L) and Anthony "Firebrand" Valley (R)


SWO members Cheyenne "Small Magician" Hector (L) and Anthony "Firebrand" Valley (R)


SWO members Anthony "Firebrand" Valley (L) and Gary "Big Mag" Hector (R)


SWO members Anthony "Firebrand" Valley (L) and Brian "Patriot" Springer (R)


Post game press conference. (From left to right) Chris Birchall, Kenwyne Jones, Stephen Hart, Shaun Fuentes and Ataullah Guerra.


SWO Media Team members Omar Romero (R) and Andre Samuel (L) in Media Box.


SWO Media Team and retired Soca Warrior Chris Birchall.

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<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/sDB4PZaEY6I" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/sDB4PZaEY6I</a>

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Football / Hart names 22 for New Zealand encounter
« on: October 07, 2013, 03:06:11 PM »
Hart names 22 for New Zealand encounter.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFA).


Trinidad and Tobago Head Coach Stephen Hart has finalized his 22-man squad for Tuesday’s Friendly International against New Zealand at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

The squad, which will be captained by Stoke City forward Kenwyne Jones, includes two newcomers in San Jose Earthquakes forward Cordell Cato and Central FC’s Rundell Winchester  and also sees the return of midfielder Hughtun Hector.


Also in the squad from recent matches in Saudi Arabia and the CONCACAF Gold Cup are Racing Genk midfielder Khaleem Hyland, Middlesbrough defender Justin Hoyte, Slovak-based winger Lester Peltier, Kevin Molino, Vancouver Whitecaps defender Carlyle Mitchell, Notts County midfielder Andre Boucaud, Willis Plaza and defender Radanfah Abu Bakr.

The two goalkeepers selected are Central FC’s Jan Michael Williams and Point Fortin Civic Centre’s Marvin Phillips while Caledonia AIA midfielder Densill Theobald, Columbus Crew midfielder Kevan George, Marcus Joseph of PFCC, defender Aubrey David of Caledonia, Curtis Gonzales of Defence Force and W Connection’s Mekeil Williams complete the roster for T&T’s first ever meeting against the “All Whites” who were unbeaten in their 2010 World Cup finals, earning draws with Italy, Paraguay and Slovakia.

“The objective of the squad is to continue with experimentation but of course you always have to have a balanced squad,” Hart told TTFA Media on Monday as he looks ahead to the first training session on Wednesday at the Larry Gomes Stadium.



“Playing at home is an exciting prospect for all the players. A number of them have recounted to me when last they played at home so you can feel that sense of excitement. And it’s a chance to play against New Zealand who are in very strong preparations and all things being said it’s a good opportunity for us.”

Commenting on the selection of Winchester and Cato he added: “I think Cato, Winchester, Hector they can all bring something different offensively and it will be interesting to work into the training and see exactly how they fit in. They are three different type of players so it’s a matter of how quickly they could develop the relationship with the midfield and other attackers and to see how they carry themselves off the field and in game situations.”

Molino is currently back home as well as Hector and will be with the squad from Wednesday while some of the European-based players are scheduled to arrive by Friday.



T&T Squad:

Goalkeepers

Jan-Michael Williams (Central FC)
, Marvin Phillips (Point Fortin Civic FC).

Defenders

Carlyle Mitchell (Vancouver Whitecaps/Canada)
, Justin Hoyte (Middlesbrough FC/England), Aubrey David (Caledonia AIA), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Sheldon Bateau (KV Mechelen/Belgium), Mekeil Williams (W Connection), Radanfah Abu Bakr (FC Voztok/Kazakhstan).

Midfielders

Kevan George (Columbus Crew/USA), Densill Theobald (Caledonia AIA), Hughtun Hector (Unattached), Khaleem Hyland (Racing Genk/Belgium), Kevin Molino (Orlando City/USA)
, Andre Boucaud (Notts County/England), Marcus Joseph (Point Fortin Civic FC),
 Lester Peltier (ŠK Slovan Bratislava/Slovakia)
, Ataullah Guerra (Rovaniemen Palloseura/Finland).

Forwards

Willis Plaza (Unattached), 
Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes/USA), Rundell Winchester (Central FC), Kenwyne Jones (capt) - (Stoke City/England).


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Entertainment & Culture Discussion / Boardwalk Empire Thread
« on: September 16, 2013, 10:37:18 AM »
Anyone follow this series on HBO? In the fourth season they introduced this new character named Dr. Valentin Narcisse (played by Jeffery Wright...a boss actor!). The Narcisse character is from Trinidad and he is a rel baddist. The character is also loosely based on an infamous gangster who use to run racket in Harlem in the 20's by the name of Casper Holstein. Holstein was from the Virgin Islands though. Check it out if you haven't already.

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Football / Melons more than Football.
« on: August 01, 2013, 10:57:50 PM »
Melons more than Football.
By Inshan Mohammed.

 
Now a watermelon patch and a squatter’s paradise, the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella, South Trinidad is in need of a desperate facelift as the stadium that is only 12 years young, seems to be heading into ground.
 
The stadium is dilapidated and has an influx of watermelons. The pitch itself seems unusable, the drainage is an obvious problem and the track around the field needs to be redone. It is also reported that the doors and bathroom fittings are missing.
 
"It seems there is no accountability in Trinidad and Tobago anymore. Those people who fail to look after the stadium should be made to pay. They have a duty of care, a responsibility to the citizens. This is nothing short of criminal negligence”, added one SWO member.
 
Millions wasted.
 
The Brian Lara Cricket Academy (now a fete venue) in Tarouba conceived in 1999, began in 2007 and was expected to be completed in time to host matches for the 2007 Cricket World Cup is yet to be finished some 6 years and counting and the cost of the project has surpassed $800 million.
 
Mind you, the Minister of Sport is spending over $1.4 billion dollars on the construction of the Aquatic Centre, Cycling Velodrome and National Tennis Centre and can't spend a mere third of that to refurbish and maintain the stadiums in T&T, including the Hasley Crawford Stadium and its parking lot that looks like a rally cross circuit.
 
About the “Manny”
 
The Manny Ramjohn Stadium meanwhile, along with three others (Dwight Yorke, Ato Boldon and Larry Gomes Stadiums) were erected for the 2001 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which was hosted by Trinidad and Tobago. It also hosted games from the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.
 
The Stadium is named after a former long-distance runner who was one of the first persons to win a gold medal for Trinidad and Tobago at the CAC Games in 1946. He was also part of the first group of five athletes to represent Trinidad and Tobago in the Olympic Games (1948). Between 1936 and 1951 he achieved 96 victories, 40 second-place and 13 third-place finishes.
 
The Stadium is owned by the Trinidad and Tobago government and is maintained by the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPoRTT), a company which is run by the brother of the Ministry of Sport's Permanent Secretary Mr. Ashwin Creed.
 
SPoRTT is designed for the construction, operation and maintenance of high quality sport and recreation facilities for both communities and high performance athletes who are called to national service among other things.

On March 8th of this year it was reported on the SPoRTT website by Anthony Blake, Facilities Manager at SPORTT, that 80 percent of the works to the field at Larry Gomes and Manny Ramjohn are complete and should be ready for use in approximately eight weeks. We are in August some 5 months since Blake's announcement and still no progress.
 
The Manny Ramjohn is used by many teams including; W Connection, Police FC, T&TEC FC, St. Benedict’s College, Pleasantville Secondary and Naparima College. Its capacity is 10,000 and was built under the Basdeo Panday/Jack Warner regime. It was formally opened on Sunday 15th July, 2001 by the Honorable Prime Minister Basdeo Pandey, Minister of Sport & Youth Affairs Manohar Ramsaran, and CONCACAF President, Austin Jack Warner.
 
To date, the Stadium is one of the reasons why many T&T Pro League games are constantly being postponed, and this is a problem that directly affects crowd support.
 
And what makes these circumstances quite interesting is the fact that most of the main stadiums in T&T are always under construction for parties and fetes. This results in only one stadium being available, the Marvin Lee Stadium (Dr. João Havelange Centre of Excellence) which is owned by former FIFA vive-pesident Jack Warner. Clubs are then forced to rent his facility with little or no gate receipts in return.
 
Mind you, the Minister of Sports Mr. Anil Roberts is in-bed to the former Sport Minister Jack Warner, the former FIFA vice-president who was banned by FIFA from all football activities was one of the main reasons the Sport Minister got into his current insubordinate position.
 
In 2008 the then Sport Minister Gary Hunt promised to spend some $102 million to refurbish the four stadiums, however nothing was done. Current Sports Minister Anil Roberts also promised the same, but to this day nothing is being done. It should be noted though that the fields are usually fixed in time for Carnival with millions being dished out to stage fetes and concerts.  And by the time the carnival season is over, the fields are left in a state of disrepair.
 
The lead persons assigned to the Manny Ramjohn Stadium are Darren Edwards and Rhonda Osborne. Clearly, they are not doing their jobs or simply don’t care about our athletes and youths of Trinidad and Tobago.

VIDEO: - Manny Ramjohn current state


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Football / Jones voted Most Valuable Soca Warrior by fans
« on: August 01, 2013, 09:16:30 PM »
Jones voted Most Valuable Soca Warrior by fans
By Anthony Valley, Soca Warriors Online.


In a poll conducted by SocaWarriors.net, striker Kenwyne Jones has been voted the Most Valuable Soca Warrior in the recently concluded 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The Stoke City front man was the clear favorite among the fans and garnered a resounding 42% of the votes.  With two goals and an assist in the tournament, Jones was the most productive outfield player for the Warriors.

He chipped in defensively when necessary and skippered the Warriors when team captain Densill Theobald was relegated to the bench for T&T’s last two games of the tournament. In his first Gold Cup match as captain, Jones led team T&T to its first Gold Cup victory in 13 years, with a convincing 2-0 victory against Honduras. He was also the only outfield player to start every game and play the most minutes for T&T.

In second place there was a tie between Notts County FC midfielder Andre Boucaud and W Connection FC defender Daneil Cyrus; each of whom received 10% of the votes. Both players made their Gold Cup debut and captured the attention of the fans with remarkable performances in the regional tournament.

Boucaud replaced Densill Theobald and proved to be the missing link in T&T’s midfield following its 2-0 loss to Haiti. His partnership with the talented Khaleem Hyland showed great promise in the Honduras victory and his tenacity in retaining the ball and willingness to shoot from distance, was a welcome sight to behold. Against CONCACAF giant Mexico, Boucaud had another fine performance, and could have even put T&T ahead with a venomous strike at the top of the box. His effort was however denied by Mexico’s goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco, who pulled off a stunning save.

Daneil Cyrus on the other hand made a cameo appearance in the dying minutes of the 2-2 draw against El Savador. Nevertheless, his Gold Cup exploits began when he started in place of injured right-back Justin Hoyte for T&T’s game against Honduras. Like Boucaud, Cyrus started in T&T’s last two Gold Cup matches and stepped up to the challenge.  He even appeared to be more impactful than his injured teammate who plies his trade at Middlesbrough FC. His marauding runs on the right flank, coupled with his swashbuckling style of defending made it apparent to all the fans that this young central defender by trade has the necessary prowess and versatility to make the right-back position his own. Only time will tell.

Coming in at a close fourth in the poll was St Ann’s Rangers goalkeeper and former T&T senior men’s team captain Jan Michael Williams. Williams produced a series of stellar performances at the Gold Cup, most notably in the games against El Salvador and Mexico. His outstanding save in the dying minutes of the El Salvador match was number one on Fox Soccer Channel’s “Saves of the Week” and his heroics against Mexico saved the day numerous times, up until El Tri took the lead in the 84th minute. Williams featured between the sticks in all of T&T’s 2013 Gold Cup matches and led with charisma from the back.  He also kept the goals conceded by T&T in the tournament respectable and was the first goalkeeper to receive a clean sheet at the Gold Cup.

Overall, the Soca Warriors performed admirably at the 2013 Gold Cup and the fans at SocaWarriors.net would like to take this opportunity to express their gratitude to “fan favorite” Kenwyne Jones and the rest of the team for their valiant effort. Though the United States are deservedly the Champions of the 2013 Gold Cup, the Soca Warriors are winners in the eyes of the fans for inspiring hope for a brighter future in T&T football. Special thanks also goes out to the TTFA, head coach Stephen Hart and all involved in preparing the Soca Warriors for the 2013 Gold Cup.


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The MVSW will be announced after the poll expires on July 29th.

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Football / Dean Smith hoping to unearth the next Yorke.
« on: July 01, 2013, 06:36:38 PM »
Walsall manager Dean Smith hoping to unearth the next Yorke.
By Inshan Mohammed.


Walsall FC manager Dean Smith, 42, touched based recently with the Soca Warriors Online (SWO) and gave us a quick Q&A about his team’s upcoming preseason tour to Trinidad and Tobago.

Ironically, Smith, a central defender in his day started his playing career at Walsall, played for Hereford United, Leyton Orient, Sheffield Wednesday and Port Vale.

In January 2005 he left Vale Park to become youth team coach and assistant manager at his old club Leyton Orient, before joining Walsall in the role of Head of Youth Development. Smith was later appointed caretaker manager of Walsall on January, 4th, 2011, following the dismissal of Chris Hutchings. Seventeen days later he was announced as permanent manager of the club until the end of the season. In January, 2013, Smith was named Football League One Manager of the Month.

The Saddlers meanwhile, are an English League One football club based in Walsall, West Midlands. Some of their top players includes, 2012-13 Player of the Year Will Grigg, 2 time Player of the Year Andy Butler, winger Jamie Paterson, defender Andy Taylor and top scorers Jon Macken and Alex Nicholls.

While the current Walsall team are 100% Brittish-born players, former Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Clayton Ince once played for the Saddlers and was named 2008-09 Player of the Year. Former San Juan Jabloteh striker Hector Sam also had a one-year stint with the Club in 2006 and is currently attached to Central F.C., the Club responsible for bringing the West Midland team to the twin island republic.

It has been a while since any foreign Clubs visited T&T and though there were talks of prospective visits by  TT Pro League administrators and former Minister of Sports representatives, none ever materialized. Today we see a new beginning, one that can surely open the doors to a bright future and the possibility of more foreign clubs visiting T&T shores.

It has been reported that newly promoted Super League team Malabar FC, that is based in Sport Minister's Anil Roberts constituency, has been receiving more funding than any Pro League teams in the sum of $140,000 per-month. They are also offering higher salaries than many Pro League teams can pay their own players. The team is allegedly benefiting a whole lot from Life Sport funding, a government agency designed to help sport, community groups and individuals in support of their plans, programmes and activities that foster sport development, facilitate athletic performance and engender a spirit of community living.

While other Pro League teams are receiving government aid of $50k - $83k per month, Central FC are the only Pro League team not receiving any government funding. In spite of this they are still determined to put T&T back on the map for foreign teams to visit. As a result of undertaking such ventures they are also aiming to build a stronger community.

Sport tourism is essential to Trinidad and Tobago and despite no support from the current Ministry of Sport to assist in promoting the game in any way, Central F.C. are digging deep into their pockets to help keep the local game alive and entertaining.

TT Pro League CEO, Dexter Skeene is in full support and must ensure that the games are well advertised and marketed as it could benefit the T&T league in many ways.

The support of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) is also vital as this venture and future ones of its kind can add to the efforts of all stakeholders to arduously work on repairing the damaged reputation of T&T football. To date though, only Central F.C are putting their efforts forward, while the rest are just supporters behind the gate.

Central F.C. meanwhile, will play Walsall FC on the 9th July at Ato Boldon Stadium, but prior to that Walsall will spend 4 nights in Tobago where they will play two games including a match against a Pro League XI.

And while there will be no half-time show from Nikki Minaj at the game against Central, you will be thoroughly entertained by the rhythmical and pulsating music of SWO member and Jointpop lead singer Gary Hector (Big Magician). Hector will perform his song "Walsall Wonderland" which was inspired by Jointpop trip to the UK when Clayton Ince invited them to a Walsall FC game.

Below are a few questions we asked Dean Smith.

Dean, thank you for agreeing to speak with Soca Warriors Online. Trinidad & Tobago has a strong history of visits by British teams such as Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspurs, Coventry City, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa, but there hasn't been a visit by a British team for some time, so it's really exciting to have Walsall visit our twin islands.
 What were your first thoughts when you were invited to T&T by Central F.C.?
It was an honour to be invited considering the stature of some of the clubs who have previously visited Trinidad and Tobago. It will be a fantastic experience for our players as we are generally a young squad and a club who has a history of developing young players.




Since featuring in the 2006 World Cup, T&T football has actually been in decline.  We will however be playing in the 2013 Gold Cup in July, which can viewed by many of our fans as a sign of improvement . Have you any idea about the current standard of football in T&T, both internationally and domestically?
In England, T&T obviously jumped onto the scene when opposing England in the World Cup and whilst we know a lot about the players who have made careers out in the UK, we know relatively little about the standard domestically, but we do know that historically they have produced some quality players.
 Over the years, there have been many players from T&T playing in Britain, including Dwight Yorke, Russell Latapy, Stern John, Kenwyne Jones, Jason Scotland, Dennis Lawrence, Brent Sancho, Marvin Andrews and Carlos Edwards. Walsall also has a good connection with T&T through former Saddlers favourites, Clayton Ince and Hector Sam.

Will we see you trial any T&T players while you're here?
We will certainly be looking at trialing some players whilst we are there and who knows like Aston Villa when they visited, we may unearth the next Dwight Yorke! I know T&T have a lot of talented players and it would be nice to give some of them an opportunity to play in the UK.

Dean, this will be your first full season in charge at Banks Stadium after a brilliant managerial debut, losing only one game in your last 19. Tell us a bit about your ambitions with Walsall.
I was previously the Head of Youth Development at the club and have a big interest in the development of young players. It is a big talking point in the Uk , as the National teams are struggling at the moment due to the lack of game time and experience at the top level, namely in the EPL. Here at Walsall FC we are looking to produce young players who can go on and excel at the higher levels of the game whilst developing a style of play that will be entertaining and hopefully successful, in the long term for the football club.

Will we see a partnership form between Central FC and Walsall and how can we make that possible? How do you feel both teams can benefit from this?
I feel that this is a unique opportunity for both clubs to share ideas, views and good practice for the long term development of players and coaches alike. We all want to continue improving and this I am sure will be the start of a longer relationship between the two clubs.





As mentioned, you had Hector Sam and Clayton Ince at Walsall. How did the fans take to them and do you feel there is a soft spot with Walsall fans for T&T footballers?
Clayton Ince and Hector Sam were and always will remain part of the Walsall FC family. Their characters and personalities aligned with their ability enabled them both to have a great affinity with the supporters. They are still very often talked about which is a credit to them both.




Who are some of the top players at Walsall that we can look forward to seeing in T&T? Have you made any new signings who you are excited about?

We had a good season last year and I would not want to pick any individual players out as I genuinely felt that they all performed excellently. We have not made any new signing just yet, but we are bringing a couple of trialists with us to look at.

T&T is the land of Carnival and has a reputation as a great place to party and socialise. Will the players be allowed to relax with a few beers or hit a club or two, or is this visit pure work for the squad?
The visit is part of the pre season programme which has been set to make sure the players are ready for our kick off on 3rd August, so they will be focused on their professionalism. To be a top footballer you have to be an extremely good athlete and sacrifices have to be made to do this and whilst we be in T&T we will have a good time but we know the importance of what is going into the body!

What are you and the players most looking forward to in your visit to T&T?
To experience a different culture, to test ourselves in a different climate, to learn different ideas and to explore new opportunities in a fantastic setting with new found friends. It would also be nice to see a decent size crowd come out to the games.

The Saddlers will take part in three fixtures during our stay:

Friday 5th July vs Stokely Vale at Dwight Yorke Stadium Training Ground at 4pm

Sunday 7th July vs Pro League XI at Ato Boldon Stadium at 6pm

Tuesday 9th July vs Central F.C. at Hasley Crawford Stadium at 7pm

Copyrights of the Soca Warriors Online - Any press using the following article written by Inshan Mohammed are welcome to do so, provided that they reveal the source and writer. Furthermore, no portion of this article may be copied without proper credit as well.

16


Martial arts actor Jim Kelly, best known for 'Enter the Dragon,' dies
By Douglas Hyde, CNN


Los Angeles (CNN) -- Jim Kelly, who parlayed his martial arts skills into a successful but brief career in action movies, has died. He was 67.

Kelly's former wife Marilyn Dishman told CNN that the actor died Saturday of cancer, but did not elaborate.
Kelly worked as a martial arts instructor in Los Angeles when he was tapped for his first role in the action movie, "Melinda." But he is best known for his work in the 1973 Bruce Lee film "Enter the Dragon."

Kelly's appearance in the movie was brief -- fans lamented he was offed too soon -- but his electrifying Afro, lanky 6-foot-2 frame and his wisecracks left an impression.

Producers came calling. And he capitalized on the attention by taking on the title role in "Black Belt Jones" the following year. A spate of other roles followed throughout the 70s, most notably "Three the Hard Way," but then dried up.

In later years Kelly took up tennis professionally, becoming a ranked player on the USTA senior circuit.
"I never left the movie business," Kelly told The Los Angeles Times in 2010, when a retrospective DVD set of his movies came out. "It's just that after a certain point, I didn't get the type of projects that I wanted to do."

But he was never far from the screen or the spotlight.
In 2004, he starred with basketball star Lebron James in a Nike commercial that spoofed another Bruce Lee film, "Game of Death." And he sometimes appeared at comic book conventions, much to the delight of his lasting fans.

Among them is Anthony Bourdain, star of CNN's "Parts Unknown."

"RIP Jim Kelly, hero of my grind house youth," he posted on Kelly's Facebook page.

The page posted the following announcement Sunday about the actor's death:

"It is with sadness and regret that we must announce the passing of a great man and legend Jim Kelly. He will be deeply missed by all. Jim had great love for his family, friends, tennis and martial arts.
We are devastated by Jim's passing but through faith and support from family, friends and fans-we are comforted, blessed and will remain strong.

He was survived by his lifetime partner of 33 years and wife."



17
James Gandolfini dead at 51: 'Sopranos' star suffers massive heart attack in Italy

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/james-gandolfini-dead-51-article-1.1377435#ixzz2WiBKZJm9


James Gandolfini -- who famously played Tony Soprano on "The Sopranos" -- died earlier today in Italy ... TMZ has learned.

Gandolfini is believed to have suffered a heart attack. He was 51.

Gandolfini was in Italy to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily -- and he was scheduled to participate in a festival event this weekend with Italian director Gabriele Muccino.

Gandolfini shot to fame playing a hitman in the 1993 hit "True Romance" ... and quickly became a Hollywood legend when he was cast as Tony Soprano in 1999.  He won 3 Emmy awards for the role during the show's 6 season run.

Gandolfini also appeared in a ton of huge movies including "Get Shorty," "The Mexican" and "Zero Dark Thirty."

We last spoke to Gandolfini in May in L.A. -- he was in great spirits, making funny faces and joking about a "Sopranos" movie.


18
Football / 13 questions with T&T's #13.
« on: May 30, 2013, 10:42:08 AM »
13 questions with T&T's #13.
By Inshan Mohammed.


Some people believe that the number 13 is a number that brings you bad luck. Some would even say that Judas Iscariot — the disciple who betrayed Jesus,  was the 13th man to take his place at the table during the Last Supper.  Then there is Friday the thirteenth, a day considered an unlucky day in Western superstition.

In spite of this, one of T&T's top five goal-scorers of all times, Cornell Glen seems to love the number 13 and is out to prove the unlucky number is just a myth.

Once the number is available the speedy striker seems to favor it and believes it motivates him. He has worn it for almost every team he plays for, including Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive, Metrostars (now NY Red Bulls), LA Galaxy, San Jose Earthquakes, San Juan Jabloteh, North East Stars and of course Trinidad and Tobago national team.

Glen said: "I was dropped from Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive my first year for missing training and took it really hard. When I was reselected and replaced the same guy they dropped me for I was given the number 13 shirt and wore it ever since. Now it's just a reminder of where I came from and how I always need to work hard."

In addition to the aforementioned teams above, to date Glen has played for 13 teams including Caledonia AIA, Ma Pau SC, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, A.D. Sanjoanense, Futgof FC and Song Lam Nghe.

Glen is also the 13th member of the 2006 Trinidad and Tobago World Cup team that was locked in a legal battle with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) over unpaid bonuses for over 7 years and won.

The number also seemed to have pass down a generation as his younger brother Cyrano Glen (Central FC) also wore the number 13 at Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive.

The ace striker meantime has racked up 23 goals from 40 starts and 21 substitute appearances for his country. What makes his goal scoring quite interesting though is that he scored 13 goals for Columbus Crew (2005), 13 for San Juan Jabloteh (2007) and 13 again for San Juan Jabloteh in (2008). His best tally however, came in 2002-2004 where he topped the goal scoring charts with 38 goals for San Juan Jabloteh, a club record for the team he has spent most of his career with.

Glen has been a regular for Trinidad and Tobago since 2002, and was named in the squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup where appeared in all three of Trinidad & Tobago's games. One of his shots on goal nearly upset Sweden, but that historic T&T World Cup debut ended in a draw. He was also a constant torment for defenders with his blistering speed and mazy runs, particularly England's Ashley Cole. Glen's performances during the tournament earned him praise and recognition by many pundits.

Glen has two hat-tricks for his country already, one against Dominican Republic (2008) and the other against Puerto Rico (2004) respectively. At San Juan Jabloteh the speedy striker was also remembered for destroying the MLS Chicago Fire (5-2) in the 2004 CONCACAF Champions Cup; a performance which subsequently led him to his first overseas contract with the New York/New Jersey Metrostars. Glen’s hat-trick was enough to convince former U.S coach Robert "Bob" Bradley (Metrostars coach at the time) to sign the talented striker.

His first start of the season for the NY Metrostars was also an unforgettable one when he scored two priceless goals and had an assist in a 5-5 draw with the Earthquakes. The ten goals equaled the highest total in a Metrostars game ever and is the largest goal scoring tie in MLS history.

Today, the Soca Warriors Online caught up with Cornell Glen and couldn't resist asking him 13 questions.

1. Now that you are back on a full time basis with the Trinidad and Tobago National football team what are your main aspirations for the men in red, white and black?
CG: My main aspiration is to have a good run up to the 2013 Concacaf Gold Cup and have a really good tournament. I want to help the team give its best showing at the Gold Cup. My goal is to help us get out the group and make it to the knock out stage and from there anything is possible.

2. You have been plague with injuries throughout the course of your career.  I remember you having an arthroscopic surgery on your right knee to repair a torn meniscus. Lately, you have been in and out of your Club team North East Stars because of injuries. Is this a recurring problem and will we see you go under the knife anytime soon? Can you tell us more about your injuries and fitness?
CG: No, it's not a recurring problem and nothing to warrant surgery. I've had surgery on both knees which never really bothered me until the Pro League started playing games weekly at the Marvin Lee Stadium. It's nothing serious, but the turf just causes the knee to become inflamed which can be painful at times. Even though the atmosphere is great at that stadium the playing surface is not healthy for pro players. I think the clubs need to stand up and say something about it.

3. You were one of 13 World Cup 2006 players locked in legal action with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) over unpaid bonuses. You mentioned once about a players’ union and now that the battle is over will we see one emerge in the near future?
CG: I hope so. Playing in the MLS made me realize how important it is to have a players’ union. The union is not there only to help players with club and national team concerns, but also domestic and substance abuse issues and workman's compensation etc. I think the local players and clubs will definitely benefit from a players’ union.  Hopefully the clubs would encourage the players to join and support the union rather than threaten players like what has happened in the past.

4. I remembered your hat-trick against Chicago Fire while playing for San Juan Jabloteh in the 2004 CONCACAF Champions Cup. I also remembered your shot that hit the woodwork against Sweden at the 2006 World Cup and could have been the game winner. Can you tell us about some of your proudest moments on and off the field?
CG: My proudest moments off the field are definitely the births of my son Darnell and daughter Zara-Marie. Nothing in the world can beat being a father. I thank god for them every day. Many times I thought about quitting after having my surgeries, but they gave me the strength and a reason to push on. My proudest moment on the field has to be singing the national anthem at the 2006 World Cup. Think that's every players dream and I was blessed to be able to live it.

5. You were obviously disappointed with the match fees the current T&T players are being paid and you were omitted from the team in December 2012 because you spoke about the situation openly. T&T’s Co-Head coach Jamaal Shabazz also said that the first thing you asked about was money. Now you are a regular on the T&T team, what made you changed your mind?
CG: It's simple, once I'm happy with what I'm being paid I will play.  If I'm not (happy), I won't play. This is my job, this is my profession. I've had two knee surgeries both from injuries obtained while playing with the National Team. One of which caused me to lose my contract with LA Galaxy. I never even received a phone call from the Federation. So when I hear someone saying I'm only about money it hurts because they have no idea what I've been through as a player in the 10 years I’ve represented  my country; and I'm still willing to represent my country. It's unfair for players to risk their careers for their country then be so poorly underpaid. I think the new president is an honest man and is doing everything in his power to make changes.

6. You've been playing in the T&T league all season and you have also played for many overseas teams. Based on your experience in the game you should have a good eye for players. In your opinion, who are some of the players you feel could warrant a T&T call-up? I heard many fans calling for Central FC's Rundell Winchester among others…
CG: I don't really know much about Rundell Winchester. At the moment I love the consistency of Devorn Jorsling. He has been consistent over the past 3 years and that's extremely hard to do in the Pro League. Lack of crowd support and lots of distractions can cause a player to lose focus very easily. Kennedy Hinkson has been very good throughout the season and is improving rapidly. I'm surprised he wasn't given a chance with the national team for one of the upcoming international friendlies. Joevin Jones is probably the best player in the country right now. It confuses me though that he hasn't landed a contract abroad. It's something he should seriously look into. I believe he needs to play in a much more competitive league to improve his game and yes make some money.... (laughs).

7. Who would you say is responsible for helping you be the player you are today?
CG: My mom and the deceased Arthur "Jap" Brown. My mom is both my greatest supporter and biggest critic. My desire to impress and make her happy drove me to do well every time. Japper has taught me about 90% of what I know in the game tactically and technically. He was just a simple genius. The people who knew him will know what I'm talking about.

8. How was the experience playing in the MLS and, can you tell us who did you enjoy playing for the most while there?
CG: I enjoyed every minute of my time in the MLS. It was a bit challenging at first, adjusting to the weather and lifestyle was difficult. Once I settled in it was all good. It was such a great learning experience and I am very grateful for that. I'll have to say San Jose Earthquakes as I stayed with them the longest. I started to feel like I found a home and Frank Yallop is such an easy coach to play for. He put together a great bunch of guys.

9. Would you say there is a big gap between the MLS league and the T&T Pro League?
CG: Most definitely! It will take a lot of time and money to close that gap.

10. In your opinion, what do you feel can be done to help improve the crowd support in T&T, both at the club and country level.
CG: Higher salaries for players! Higher salaries for players mean you can demand more from the them. When you demand more from the players you will get better performances. When you get better performances you will get more sponsors interested in the football. With bigger and more sponsors comes more money to market the league.  Better marketing will interest supporters to come to the games and enjoy good performances; which the clubs will demand from their players who are paid well enough. This is just my theory. LOL.

11. How is the experience playing for your current club and North East Stars coach Angus Eve been thus far? Also, will we see you with them for another season.
CG: It's been really good.  I think Angus is without a doubt one of the best young coaches in the country. Apart from being very good tactically, he's great at player management physically and psychologically. Something not many coaches can do. I enjoy my time with the club a lot. It’s a very professional atmosphere and I most definitely will be back next year if given the opportunity.

12. Who are some of the best players you have played with and who were your favorite coaches you've worked with?
CG: Most definitely Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy, as we all know what they can do. I gained a new found respect for Landon Donavon with my little stint at LA Galaxy. His workman like attitude is nothing I've ever seen before. He's such a clever player and very good technically. The best coaches are without a doubt Leo Beenhakker and Arthur "Jap" Brown. Two completely different coaches, but two of the best footballing minds you will ever come across. I am grateful to be blessed with receiving their wisdom and knowledge of the game.

13. You are a striker so obviously you need good service and T&T isn't a team that offers too much of that. Not to mention the system the coaches use with one striker on top, makes it even more difficult for a striker to score goals. In your humble opinion what would you like to see the national team coaches do more to help make you and your teammates a better team, or a more successful one?
CG: I believe the lone striker can work. We have the players to provide service; the coaches need to find the best mix in midfield. I think this is one of the best crop of young midfielders we've had in a very long time and its going to be a very difficult selection. With the likes of Joevin Jones, Hughtun Hector, Kevin Molino, Ataullah Guerra and Khaleem Hyland just to name a few it's not going to be an easy task for the Coaches.



Copyrights of the Soca Warriors Online - Any press using the following article written by Inshan Mohammed are welcome to do so, provided that they reveal the source and writer. Furthermore, no portion of this article may be copied without proper credit as well.


19
Winchester in 21-man squad for Romania, Estonia friendlies.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF Media).


Finnish-based striker Shahdon Winchester has been called up to join the National Men’s Senior team for next month’s back to back friendly internationals away to Romania and Estonia.

Winchester has been named in final 21-man squad which will arrive in Bucharest, Romania on June 1st for the match that will be played at the National Arena on June 4th.  T&T will then face Estonia in Tallinn on June 7th

The T&T coaching staff led by co-head coaches Jamaal Shabazz and Hutson Charles were forced to name a squad without the likes of Ipswich Town’s Carlos Edwards and Racing Genk midfielder Khaleem Hyland who have both been advised by their club medics to undergo rehab for niggling injuries. Belgium-based defender Sheldon Bateau is also unavailable.

The squad however includes the likes of Middlesbrough defender Justin Hoyte who seems set to make his international debut for T&T. Hoyte confirmed to Shabazz on the weekend that he is eager to represent T&T and is looking forward to joining the squad in London prior to the journey to Bucharest. Notts County midfielder Andre Boucaud and Kazakhstan-based defender Radanfah Abu Bakr have also earned recalls for the first time since the early phase of their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign back in 2011.

The other overseas-based players in the squad include Port Vale’s Chris Birchall, Vancouver Whitecaps defender Carlyle Mitchell, Thailand-based defender Seon Powers, Vietnam-based midfielder Hughtun Hector, Turkish-based forward Darryl Roberts, US-based midfielders Keon Daniel and Kevin Molino, Kazakhstan-based defender Robert Primus and Finnish-based midfielder Ataullah Guerra.

They will be joined by a strong line up of home-based players such as Caledonia AIA forward Jamal Gay, goalkeepers Jan Michael Williams and Marvin Phillip, Defence Force’s Kevon Carter, W Connection duo Daneil Cyrus and Joevin Jones, North East Stars forward Cornell Glen and Caledonia AIA midfielder Densill Theobald.

“We were forced to make some adjustments to the squad because of the unavailability of three of the European-based players who have just ended long seasons and have been advised to receive treatment and undergo rehab,” Shabazz told TTFF Media.

But we  believe in the current squad which is a very capable one and one that we are anticipating working with for these two international games and the rest of the build up for the Gold Cup in July,” he added.

“We’ve brought in young Shahdon Winchester who has settled in quite well with his new club in Finland as well as Radanfah Abu Bakr who is also enjoying good form at the moment in Kazakhstan, as replacements for Hyland and Bateau.

“Generally the squad has players that are all capable and right now  it’s about getting the chance to bring them together as a group and preparing them towards playing as a unit in time for the Gold Cup, which is where these two games against the European opponents which will prove to be a good test for us and valuable to our preparations,” Shabazz added.

T&T 21-man squad for matches vs Romania and Estonia

Goalkeepers

Jan-Michael Williams (St Ann’s Rangers), Marvin Phillip (Central FC).

Defenders

Seon Power (Chainat FC, Thailand), Carlyle Mitchell  (Vancouver Whitecaps, Canada), Daneil Cyrus  (W Connection), Joevin Jones (W Connection), Justin Hoyte (Middlesbrough), Radanfah Abu Bakr (FC Vostok, Kazakhstan), Robert Primus (FC Aktobe, Kazakhstan).

Midfielders

Andre Boucaud (Notts County), Keon Daniel (Philadelphia Union), Densill Theobald (Caledonia AIA), Christopher Birchall (Port Vale), Kevin Molino (Orlando City), Ataullah Guerra (RoPS, Finland), Hughtun Hector (Song Lang Nghe, Vietnam), Kevon Carter (Defence Force).

Forwards

Cornell Glen (North East Stars), Jamal Gay (Caledonia AIA), Shahdon Winchester (FF Jaro, Finland), Darryl Roberts (Samsunspor, Turkey).


20
Football / Andre Fortune Thread
« on: May 09, 2013, 07:32:04 PM »
Fortune favors Andre.
By Inshan Mohammed.


In the past not many American-born players ever got the opportunity to represent Trinidad and Tobago on the football field. However, one of T&T's latest imports Andre Fortune, feels fortunate to have been given the chance to play for a country he so dearly admires and loves.

The hard-nose midfielder is not short of skill and technique and has rightfully claimed a permanent spot on the Junior Warriors team. His place on the team came at the expense of the well talked about Matthew Woo-Ling, a player who is regarded as one of the better youth midfielders currently based in T&T.

Current TTFF Technical Director Anton Corneal lived in High Point, North Carolina which is just about 90 miles away from Fortune's home and he has kept tabs on the player's progress which eventually led to a T&T call-up.

In 2009 Andre was invited to play with Trinidad's SKHY FC in the Dallas Cup. He was invited by Club owner and current TT Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene. Andre was instrumental in helping them win their first game. Current U-17 captain Brendon Creed was also on the team.

Andre meanwhile brings a lot to the table for T&T’s Junior Warriors. He can make tackles, his passing is superb, he makes himself available at all times and can strike the ball from long distances; hence the reason he finished as T&T's top goal scorer in the recently concluded U-17 Youth World Cup qualifiers in Panama.

One of his goals will always be remembered by many T&T fans and despite Brent Sam's spectacular free-kick against Costa Rica it was Fortune who really got things going for T&T. His 33rd minute goal seemed to have shocked the Costa Ricans as T&T ran away 2-0 winners. The victory was the first for any T&T team over Costa Rica in competition since the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup when goals by Arnold Dwarika and Mickey Trotman sent T&T into the semifinals. T&T had never beaten Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier at any level until that fateful day.

After T&T eliminated the Junior Ticos they qualified for the quarterfinals where they had to play the host and if Panama had done their homework they would have known that Fortune was the danger-man on the team. So said, so done, it happened again, the young starlet managed to sneak in and score an almost identical goal that gave T&T a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately though, T&T lost 4-2 against Panama and was eliminated from the tournament in the process.

The talented midfielder is not letting the ball out of his sight though and still feels that he has a long way to go. He told the Soca Warriors Online (SWO) that he felt a joy in his heart when he scored for T&T that he still cannot get over, but he is not letting it go to his head.

Fortune calls T&T his second home and one of his favorite places in the world that he likes to visit. He loves the food, the climate and the culture. He is also very grateful to be given the chance to play for T&T and always cherishes his time with the team.

Fortune has always been encouraged to play football by his family from a tender age. He views his dad (Andre Sr.) especially as the one who has played a major role in his life and helped him become the player he is today.

In early 2011 Andre was invited to train with the United States U-15 team and was also part of the U.S. U-15 Academy League. At age eleven he was spotted by former Tottenham Hotspurs player Steve Archibald while he was in the U.S on business.  Archibald was so impressed by what he saw, that it led to Fortune being given the opportunity to spend two weeks at European giants FC Barcelona’s Football Academy. In August 2011 Andre was also invited to train with Manchester City where he suffered a fractured leg in his third scrimmage game with City's U-15 team.

The Dre experiment.

1. Andre, prior to playing for the Trinidad and Tobago National Under 17 football team, did you ever visit Trinidad and Tobago?  If yes, how was your visit and what was your general impression of the country?
AF: Yes. As I grew up, my parents made a strong effort to ensure that I understood the culture and the country. I visited Trinidad & Tobago around 7 or 8 times prior to travelling for the national team. It has always been a place that I enjoy visiting because of the weather, food and the people. It is by far my favorite place to be. I like to think of it as my second home.

2. Was it hard for you to adjust to your new teammates, coach and country, if so to speak?
AF: It was not too difficult simply because I grew up as a part of the culture and I have been used to the accent for a while. Because I had been able to travel to the country before, I was fairly accustomed to the customs. My teammates and coaches welcomed me to the team and were very friendly, which also made for a reasonable transition.

3 Who on the current U-17 team do you admire the most as a player and why?
AF: One player that I have grown to admire over my time with the team is Shannon Gomez. His professionalism on and off the field is truly remarkable to me. He is one of the few guys that you will always find doing everything to the best of his ability, with no complaints. I have been able to learn from everyone on the team, but I think I learned the most valuable information from him.

4. You finished the recently concluded U-17 World Championship Qualifiers in Panama as T&T's top goal scorer. You seem to be heading in the direction of being another high scoring midfielder. You also displayed a lot of grit in your game as well. Describe the feeling after scoring those goals and what made you take those outside shots.
AF: Talking to my dad after the Canada game and a couple of the coaches during training the day before the Costa Rica game, I was reminded of a couple opportunities to shoot that I had not taken. This caused me to be keener in taking advantage of any space I had around the box to shoot. A lot went through my mind as I scored both goals, but the most prominent thought at that moment was the fact that I scored an important goal in an important international game while representing myself, my family and my country. I had even envisioned one of the many times my dad and I were out training on a local field by my house working on finishing with both feet. It was a mixed moment of happiness and disbelief. Up to two years ago, I can remember watching U-17 tournaments on the television and I couldn't imagine being able to represent a national team, yet alone scoring goals. They are moments I will never forget.

5. If the U.S. U-20 team comes knocking on your door will you consider playing for them, or can we look forward to seeing you suit up for the T&T U-20 team in the future?
AF: I have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with the T&T U-17 team and greatly look forward to representing a national team for Trinidad & Tobago again. However, I cannot take my participation in the previous team for granted and assume I am in the plans of the coach for the U-20 team. With that said, I would love to play for Trinidad & Tobago again.

6. T&T played the U.S. National U-17 team in Florida in preparation for the qualifiers in Panama and I assume you played both games (4-0 L and 2-2 T). Was it hard to play against your country of birth and possibly some of your former teammates? As you may already know, the U.S team did not qualify for the finals either, were you surprised?
AF: There was no difficulty in playing against them for me. It was similar to playing against some of them at the club level, but this was just on a higher level with more at stake. I made a decision to represent Trinidad & Tobago and that is where my mind was during the game. Knowing some of my opponents had no effect during the game, given that it was a competitive international friendly. In preparation for the tournament, I believe everyone viewed the U.S. as a powerful team, but in football, as in every other sport, the games have to be played and anything can happen. It was not the expected result for most, but it happens.

7. Playing at the international level is a totally different experience from playing in a school league or for a club academy. What exactly did you learn and would you say that your game has improved as a result of this experience?
AF: Comparing the international level to my past experiences, it is a lot faster and generally has an extra value, or passion, since everyone is representing his/her country. I had never played in such an atmosphere before, surrounded by that many fans and media. It supported the idea of having to block out anything from the side and staying focused to accomplish the task at hand.

8. Are you currently attached to any club academy and what school do you go to?
AF: I am currently playing for CASL Chelsea Academy based in Raleigh, North Carolina while attending Needham B. Broughton High School, also in Raleigh, North Carolina.

9. Who would you say is responsible for helping you to be the player you are today?
AF: There are many people that have made contributions to me as I have been developing in the game, such as my extended family (grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts), coaches and family friends; but those mainly responsible are my parents and my younger brother. They have been heavily involved with my football from the beginning and have always supported me in my aspirations. I've spent countless hours with my dad and brother on the field, occasionally joined by my mom, to help better me as a player. My dad has invested a lot of his time and energy in making my brother and I better players, and my brother has used that to also push me and keep me on my toes so I can keep improving. Despite the fact that my mother has not played football, she still has an extensive knowledge and is always offering specific, unbiased information on how I am performing and where I need to improve. My parents' influence has kept me relatively on track and has been worth a lot to me. I may not thank them enough for it, but they are heavily responsible and I am thankful and grateful for all of their hard work to help me get towards where I want to be.

10. What are your future plans as far as football (soccer) goes?  Do you have aspirations to play in Europe one day?
AF: As you know, I have been blessed with the opportunity to represent T&T in the 2013 CONCACAF under 17 World Cup qualifiers. With the talent that God has given me, if I keep working hard who knows what may happen in the future.  If by the grace of God, and with the support of my family and others , I do make it as a professional footballer, it would be a dream come true.

11. Who would you say is your idol and which player/s do you admire the most? Which team is your favorite, both internationally and at club level?
AF: My favorite players are probably Andres Iniesta, David Silva and Neymar. I really admire their dribbling abilities and ability to pick a pass while still being considered as goal scoring midfielders. At the club level I am a huge supporter of FC Barcelona and Arsenal FC. Internationally, I like Spain and Brazil, and naturally support Trinidad & Tobago whenever they (we) play.

12. The 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup will be hosted in the USA. Are you planning on making any trips to support T&T? And have you ever seen the T&T senior team play? Tell us a bit about the T&T games or players you like.
AF: Because of where the games are, there are no current plans to see the team play, but I would love the opportunity to go and support. I was fortunate enough to travel to Germany in 2006 for the World Cup and watch all three of the games the senior team participated in. It was one of the first experiences I had watching live games and it kept me fully entertained throughout. I was entertained by the team on the field and the enthusiasm of the fans. I met players like Shaka Hislop, Avery John, Marvin Andrews, Brent Sancho and Keon Daniel when I was younger, so naturally I have supported them in their endeavors, but I make an effort to follow as many players as I can.

13. Have you ever visited the Soca Warriors Online (SWO) and if yes, what can we do to help make your visit more frequent?
AF: I have been on the website a couple of times when I am free just to catch up on any news on the teams. As with many people, I'm sure I would visit a mobile app more often.

14. To all the fans out there who follow you, would you like to say something to them?
AF: I think I can speak for the team and the staff in saying thank you for the support. Everyone on the team appreciates it and it helps us to move forward. We understand that there are some disappointments because we were unable to qualify, but hopefully we can try again in the future. In every prayer, we thank God for each other, our families and the people at home. The support is very important to us and we hope it can continue.


Copyrights of the Soca Warriors Online - Any press using the following article written by Inshan Mohammed are welcome to do so, provided that they reveal the source and writer. Furthermore, no portion of this article may be copied without proper credit as well.


21
Football / Peltier: “I have no attitude problem.”
« on: May 08, 2013, 09:39:30 AM »
Peltier: “I have no attitude problem.”
By Inshan Mohammed.


Former St Anthony College and Trinidad and Tobago national midfielder Lester Peltier says he has no problem, loves his country and would welcome the opportunity to play for the Soca Warriors if given the chance.

Peltier is currently in-form for his employer and has been scoring many goals. One of his goals helped ŠK Slovan Bratislava lift their 13th Slovak Cup just a few days ago and the Club is on course for a domestic double.

Last March however, the 24 year-old winger was described by T&T head coach Hutson Charles as problematic. "Lester is talented, but he needs to get a little more mature,” said the former “Strike Squad” star. “Twice we brought him back and there were problems and disciplinary issues since under Pfister. His problem is he feels it is all about Peltier."

Meanwhile a similar controversy was brewing with another player, Philadelphia Union midfielder Keon Daniel. The gifted midfielder refused to join T&T after initially accepting to join the Warriors invitation for the 2012 Caribbean Cup semi-final rounds and final in Antigua and Barbuda.

"Keon is a player we could have used but apparently he doesn't want to be contacted," head coach Huston Charles told Wired868.com. "We don't even know what country he is in... I think it is real immature behaviour (because) we spoke to him in St Kitts and he assured us he would come back."

On the flip side Charles went on to say, “Keon brings something different in terms of his football intelligence and vision.” “I think it is something that can enhance the team and we shouldn’t let that (ability) just go by the wayside.”

Co-head coach Jamaal Shabazz also told wired868.com, “It was a difficult time for Keon. He didn’t deal with it in the best manner. We didn’t delve too much into it… He is very introverted guy and he just disappeared…”

“He said he is sorry about how he dealt with it and he didn’t mean to disrespect anybody… He has expressed a commitment and we are happy to give him that opportunity again.”

Peltier however was not given such a luxury. He was supposedly dropped from the team and was never called up again for a series of matches including two against Peru and one versus Belize.

Now T&T is set to play two upcoming friendly internationals away to Romania and Estonia next month, which are in close proximity to Slovakia where Peltier is based; and yet again the speedy winger was surprisingly not included in T&T's 20-man squad.

When asked if he was blacklisted Peltier replied, "I am not aware of being blacklisted."

Peltier further stated that he did not have an attitude problem and only expected the T&T coach to be a little more professional. "With regards to this alleged "attitude problem", all I have been is assertive at times where professionalism was lacking with the management of the national team," said the former San Juan Jabloteh winger.

"I love my country and always feel honoured to represent Trinidad and Tobago on the pitch. However, playing in Europe at a high professional level has indeed raised my level of expectations for the national team and there were instances where these expectations were not met and I expressed this."

"But I will like to move forward and will welcome any opportunity to play with the team." I didn't mean to disrespect anyone.  I just wanted things to be a little more professional, that's not much to ask?" "I respect the coach and if I am given the chance again I would love to don the Red, White and Black again."

"My league will be finished on May 27th and unfortunately I will not be going on vacation in T&T. I will be spending most of my time-off doing some personal training here in Europe in preparation for the Champion League qualifiers,” ended Peltier.


Copyrights of the Soca Warriors Online - Any press using the following article written by Inshan Mohammed are welcome to do so, provided that they reveal the source and writer. Furthermore, no portion of this article may be copied without proper credit as well.


22
New faces, recalls in squad for Romainia, Estonia friendlies.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF Media).


Trinidad and Tobago's Senior Team footballers will resume training on or around May 23rd in preparations for two upcoming friendly internationals away to Romania and Estonia next month.

Both games are being used to prepare the "Soca Warriors" for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup which T&T opens against El Salvador in July 8th in New Jersey.

Earning a recall to the squad is St Ann's Rangers goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams who skippered the team during the 2012 Caribbean Cup campaign. Vietnam-based midfielder Hughtun Hector is also in the squad along with Thailand-based defender Seon Power.

After missing in action since last December, Orlando City midfielder Kevin Molino is also back in the squad while Middlesbrough defender Justin Hoyte and Notts County midfielder Andre Boucaud have also been invited and have expressed their willingness to join the squad in London en route to Bucharest.

Some of the other familiar faces in the 20-man squad include goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, Keon Daniel, Carlyle Mitchell, Christopher Birchall, Joevin Jones, Cornell Glen, Densill Theobald and Belgium-based duo Khaleem Hyland and Sheldon Bateau as well as Turkish-based forward Darryl Roberts and Finland-based midfielder Ataullah Guerra.

Stoke City forward Kenwyne Jones has been excused while Ipswich Town's Carlos Edwards may not be available due to a groin strain and is currently undergoing rehab.

T&T head coach Hutson Charles said he was keen to see some of the new faces in these two games.

Read More


23
Football / Bateau in the right frame of mind.
« on: April 30, 2013, 11:24:04 AM »
Bateau in the right frame of mind.
By Inshan Mohammed.


Former San Juan Jabloteh defender Sheldon Bateau recently touched base with the Soca Warriors Online (SWO) and did his first exclusive with us.

The powerful KV Mechelen defender, who is known for his never-say-die attitude on the field always lead by example and his hard work and leadership qualities are finally starting to pay-off.

Bateau meantime, is not shy of international experience and has already played in two Youth World Cups for his country; the 2007 FIFA Under 17 World Cup in South Korea and the 2009 FIFA Under 20 World Cup in Egypt.

He has captained three T&T national teams, the 2009 and 2011 Under 20 teams respectively, and also the 2012 Olympic team.

At school level he played for Rosary Boys RC where he was captain and also led the Belmont Secondary School at the Under 13 level before agreeing to a transfer to the more prestigious Fatima College.

He actually made his debut for the Senior Intercol team while in Form 2 and then enjoyed success the following year (2005) as Fatima went on to capture the North Zone and National Intercol titles respectively. He captained Fatima College between 2006 and 2008 and was selected as one of the top three players in the Second Schools Football League (SSFL) in his final season.

Sheldon now plays for KV Mechelen in the Belgian Jupiler League and has become a valued player of the professional outfit.

The SWO caught up with Sheldon on his day-off and the hard-working defender was more than eager to do an exclusive for us. The 6 foot 2 central defender describes his passion and desire for the game and how he is currently making a personal sacrifice to archive his ultimate goal.

1. How are you adjusting to life in Belgium thus far? Tell us your ups and downs.
SB: Life is great in Belgium and I couldn't ask for a better place to start my professional life. I feel at home because the fans are like family and also I have Khaleem Hyland here who has been a big brother to me from since we both played for San Juan Jabloteh as kids. It's not easy being so far away from home and more or less alone. If I think too much about my friends and family though it can become distracting and that could affect my game. I just try my best to maintain my focus on football and work hard to make my family and country proud. Before coming to Europe I started preparing my mind for it, so now that I'm actually here and living my dream nothing will stop me from getting where I need to be.

2. Recently you've scored two goals for KV Mechelen against Waasland-Beveren in a 2-0 win. They were your first goals scored outside of T&T and for your relatively new club. It seems like your confidence is growing, so can we expect to see another high scoring defender for T&T in the future? Tell us a bit about your game and how it has improved?
SB: I think it was two excellent goals and it was a night I will remember forever and not because it was just two goals, but it was two important goals that kept our Europa League hopes alive. It's no secret that I've started from the bottom and made my way up and I've been a top player and defender for Trinidad and Tobago even though I never reached my full potential. No matter how good people said I played in a match I knew it wasn't enough and I had to improve. It’s difficult to improve though in an environment like the one at home because most coaches allow players to learn and grow on their own. Credit must go to Terry Fenwick and Zoran Vranes, who both saw my talent and potential and helped me to grow more as a player.  In spite of this, I think coming to Europe within the last few months is where I really saw what can be achieved once you believe in yourself and push yourself to the limit. Every week I challenge myself to grow and become a better and a more important player for my club and I think the fans and Club are now starting to see my true potential.  In my last few games especially, I've really stepped up to another level.

3. What position do you play at KV Mechelen and are you a regular starter with the Club?
SB: I play left central defender at the moment.  When I first arrived at the Club I played a few games for the reserve team and I came off the bench for the first team on a few occasions as a right back, left back or defensive midfielder. Now I'm a regular starter with more than 20 appearances.

4. Apart from the crowd support, if you had to compare the T&T League to the Belgian Jupiler League would you say there is a big gap?
SB: Yes it's a big gap because the speed of the game is much faster and also the teams are more organized. However, I don't blame the players in T&T because we have a lot of good young and experienced players playing in the T&T Pro League. The problem is that the League is not professional enough so it's hard for some players to act and play in such a manner. Football is the number one sport in the world and it’s more than a sport in many countries; it’s a way of life. In Trinidad though, it doesn't feel that way because most of the funding goes to other sports like cricket and athletics. It’s sad because a lot of 'ghetto’ youths use football to earn a living and support their families.  The money is nothing in T&T and there aren't many people trying to get players outside to help them so no one is benefiting from it except the people that are already living a nice life. I think our football system hasn't grown from the one we had back in the days and its affecting our national teams and club teams who participate in Concacaf and world tournaments. Every year we see what we need to do and we say it, but nothing ever gets done. When I came to Europe a lot of people did not know where Trinidad and Tobago was because they never heard of football there, they thought it was part of Africa.

5. Being away for the first time in your career, what do you miss the most about T&T?
SB: I miss my family, close friends and our food the most (lol). To me there isn't much else to miss because now T&T is known for parties and rum and those things will be there even when my career is finished. It’s easy for me to ignore those things, but it doesn't mean I don't enjoy it sometimes, I just think there's a time for everything so when I get time to relax and party I will.

6. Regarding T&T, obviously you were disappointed about our Olympic team and its performance in LA. Where do you feel we went wrong?
SB: I think we didn't have enough international experience as a team because we just had some experienced players, but that's only enough to get us as far as we did. The teams we played against had more experienced players who play for top English and Mexican teams while most of our players were in school or played in the Pro League which like I said can only get us so far. It's not good to get emotional about the game because it’s a job so you either get the job done or you don't, but I always try to understand how the teams with better players always prepare harder and better than the teams with less experience.  It has frequently been that way with T&T teams and I think it needs to change somewhere along the line. When we qualified for the U-17 World Cup in South Korea the team was together for 3 years and then that same team qualified for the U-20 World Cup in Egypt with a few new players. Then the same team got us the furthest we ever reached in Olympic team history, which was the last set of game in LA. It just goes to show that we did something right for those few years, but now instead of building on it we're back to square one. The potential is there but potential and raw talent alone is not going to get us to the highest level.

7. If you get a call up, will we see you run out for T&T in the 2013 Gold Cup?  I know that you may have League games around the same time.  If you do get the call and you make an appearance, what do you feel you can bring differently to the T&T side?
SB: The League here ends soon so I'll be available for the tournament providing the coaches have me in their plans. I believe I have the experience, confidence and leadership qualities which the team is lacking and I think with the right squad we can renew our national pride. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to say exactly what I can do because I play different positions; but one thing for sure is that I will always give all that I have for the Red, White and Black shirt and not the name on the back of it. As my past coach Angus Eve always said "names are for thumb stones".

8. Who would you say is responsible for you being the player you are today?
SB: Most definitely my father because from day one until now he has never stopped being there and giving me advice. All of my ambition and determination to reach the highest level came from him.

9. Who is your favorite player (s) in the game both locally and internationally?
SB: As a kid I have always looked up to Dwight Yorke and Angus Eve, but now I am significantly influenced by the game of Phil Jones of Manchester United.

10. Who are some of the best players you've played with and against?
SB: lol..... I've played with so many players, past and present, but there was one team we had in Jabloteh at U-16 with me, Khaleem Hyland, Kevin Molino, Robert Primus, Micah Lewis, Franz Husband and Stephen Knox. We used to destroy any and every team we played against and to me they were amazing players to play with because of their talent. But then I started playing with players like Marvin Oliver and Trent Noel whom I learned a lot from as well. Players like Khaleem, Molino, Lewis and Primus brought the best out of me; especially Molino because in my eyes he's similar to Russell Latapy "The Magician", so it was always difficult playing against him. Ataullah Guerra is also an amazing player and I always enjoy playing with him, however playing against him was always tough because he had experience to accompany his great skill. Playing against players like Guerra has served me well in becoming a better player.

11. I know you came through the Terry Fenwick coached system at San Juan Jabloteh. How important was that in your career and were you surprised or saddened to see San Juan Jabloteh drop out off the Pro League? Can you tell us what in your opinion can be done to help improve the League?
SB: I think that was the man who really taught me the right and smart way of defending and I will always respect Terry for that.  I was already a good defender, but he gave me and Primus (Robert) a chance as 15 and 16 year olds to be the main men in Jabloteh's defence; and it helped us to grow as players. Just look at us now, we're both in Europe.  Yes it's sad to see what Jabloteh has turned to now because it has been a top club for years. They took me from Superstar Rangers (now known as St. Anns Rangers) where I born and grew as a kid. Jabloteh at the time had a history of taking the best players from the smaller teams and giving them a chance to be in a well organised and professional environment, from their pro team straight down to the youth teams. It is really sad to witness how such a historic and well respected team could crumble in such a short space of time. A lot of people don't know this, but San Juan Jabloteh was my dream team as a kid because they along with Bermudez had a coaching clinic at the Woodbrook youth facility and I went there once a week with my primary school 'Rosary Boys RC' to part-take in their camps. Players like Kerry Baptiste, Aurtis Whitley, Cyd Gray and Josh Johnson, to name a few were some of the players that I was there with and looked up to. Who would have thought that a few years after I would be playing with and against these players. So Jabloteh is and was more than just another club to me.

12. You've played in the T&T Pro League for quite some time and you've also played and captained T&T at the youth and Olympic level. As a result you've played with many Trinbagonians. Who in your opinion do you feel can be top players?
SB: I think T&T on the whole has a lot of players with potential and I expect players like Daneil Cyrus, Joevin Jones, Akeem Adams, Mekiel Williams and even young Jomal Williams to be top players, but it’s up to them to choose between being a 'big fish in a small pond or to be a small fish in a big pond. It’s difficult for them though, because like I said before there's no one really trying to help these players. Mekiel was in Europe recently and had to return home because of his Club's circumstances, but he was doing well out here. Also, Shadon Winchester is doing well in Finland and thanks to W Connection these players got a chance; but I think more can be done to help the future generation of T&T footballers.

13. Have you ever visited the Soca Warriors Online (SWO) and if yes, what can we do to help make your visit more frequent? Also, you have many supporters here, do you have any words for them?
SB: I think the site is well structured and organised and it’s always up to date and that's good for us overseas players trying to keep informed. I think it can have more interviews with players on a personal level so that the people in charge of the Federation can hear the concerns of the players. At the end of the day it's the players going on the battle field and we need their (TTFF) full support. I just want to say thanks to my supporters because they all know how far I came and where I have the potential to be, so I appreciate the love and support they've always given to me.


Copyrights of the Soca Warriors Online - Any press using the following article written by Inshan Mohammed are welcome to do so, provided that they reveal the source and writer. Furthermore, no portion of this article may be copied without proper credit as well.




24
Football / Johan feels closer to his roots.
« on: April 25, 2013, 10:21:42 AM »
Johan feels closer to his roots.
By Inshan Mohammed.


Soca Warriors Online (SWO) recently caught up with Houston-born and current Dynamo Academy goalkeeper Johan Welch and managed to shoot a few questions at the shot-stopper.

Welch is one of T&T's latest foreign-born recruits. There are currently 2 of them on the Men’s National Under 17 team with the other being Andre Fortune, T&T's top goal scorer in the recently concluded U-17 World Championship Qualifiers in Panama.

Though a bit small in stature, the talented teenager stands tall between the sticks and has already had a few great performances for T&T.  One notable performance was against Panama in T&T’s last match before exiting the U-17 tournament.

Welch currently attends Strake Jesuit High School and is the son of a Houston born mother, Michelle and a Trinidadian father from Port of Spain, named Garth. He has two siblings Garrett (17) and Daniel (14), both of whom also play and love soccer. His father, a city worker also coaches at the Dynamo Academy on his spare time.

Johan meantime was spotted during the 2012 Dallas Cup tournament when he ran out with the Dynamo outfit. Members of visiting T&T based team (SKHY Football Academy) were introduced to him and took note of the player’s outstanding ability.  He was later invited to trial for the National Under 17 team and before you know it he staked his claim as T&T's number one between the uprights.

Now being away from the national team for a while, Johan has been playing catch-up with his school studies.  In spite of this, he still managed to take a moment from his busy school schedule to answer a few questions for Soca Warriors Online.

1. Johan, prior to playing for the Trinidad and Tobago National Under 17 football team did you ever visit Trinidad and Tobago?  If yes, how was your visit and what was your general impression of the country?
JW: The first time I went to Trinidad and Tobago, it was Christmas of 2008. We arrived in Port of Spain without our luggage as it was left in Houston due to the overbooked flight. We stayed with my Auntie Gail and Uncle Charles at their house in Victoria Gardens.  My first impression was that the island was beautiful, people were friendly and the atmosphere was relaxing. On our first day we went to Maracas Bay (Beach) with family and friends. The waves were amazing, the sand was soft and the Bakes n Shark was to die for. We stayed in Maracas that evening and spent the night walking the beach and dancing at a local hang-out. After returning to Port of Spain, my Aunties prepared an unbelievable spread full of curried mangos, roti, macaroni pie and other delightful treats for Christmas Eve. The next morning, we caught a flight to Tobago piloted by my Uncle Richard. My aunts had rented a house on the Atlantic side of Tobago. The next two days were spent on the beach playing soccer and climbing coconut trees. We also took a boat out to snorkel and visited a surrounding island. After snorkeling, we came back to the house to eat our final dinner at a local Chinese restaurant. On the way to the restaurant, we had an encounter with a friendly bat in the car which led to panic and a quick exit upon arrival. The next morning, we returned to Trinidad to spend our final night with the family. I fell in love with Trinidad and Tobago and knew it was a place I would return some day.

2. I've heard that you were part of the U.S National U-17 men's youth program and obviously you could have been given a chance to play for them in the near future. How were you recruited by T&T and was the decision to join the Junior Soca Warriors hard seeing that you were already part of the U.S. set-up.
JW: I was identified by the T&T coach playing in the Dallas Cup. Soon after, I was contacted by the coaching staff and was asked to come to Trinidad to train with the team. Playing for the T&T team was a decision that I considered very seriously. I had been called up by the US National Team in the past and played in several tournaments. I did feel like this decision would affect my ability to play with the US National Team in the future. I made my final decision to play with the T&T team due to several factors. I always had dreamed of returning to Trinidad and Tobago and once I was able to train with the T&T team I knew the team was full of talent, passion and promise. It kept me close to my roots as well.

3. Was it hard for you to adjust to your new teammates, coach and country, if so to speak?
JW: In the beginning it was difficult to understand the native accent. That was probably the most challenging aspect as my teammates and the coaching staff embraced me from my first visit. I never felt Trinidad was a new country for me as it was just an open connection from birth and I felt at home as soon as I stepped on Trini soil.

4. In my humble opinion you were clearly the man of the match against Panama. T&T had taken the early lead, but Panama rallied and ended up winning the game.  In your opinion, where did you feel we went wrong?
JW: I felt that the team didn't hold anything back in terms of effort and passion. One of the problems that were evident from the beginning of the match, was the intimidation that was felt by most of our players due to lack of experience. I felt Panama had a large advantage playing on their home turf. I knew it was going to be a challenging game, but I never expected the Panama team to have so many talented players and be so composed on the field. Truthfully, I do not think we could have done anything more on the field, especially with all the problems we had leading up to the game. Our left back (Maurice Ford) was suspended from the game for yellow cards which shook the back line. Many of the starters and key players suffered from injuries from previous games as well and were not able to play to their full potential.

5. Can we expect to see Johan and possibly your older brother suit up for the T&T U-20 team in the future?
JW: Everyone in Trinidad and Tobago can definitely expect a return from both of the Welch brothers for the T&T U-20 team. My brother is an extremely talented center back and I would not be surprised if he was selected for the U-20 team.

6. Playing at the international level is a totally different experience. What exactly did you learn and would you say that your game has improved as a result of this experience?
JW: One of the most important things that I have learned from playing international football is that you can’t worry about all the things going on around you. You have to focus on your game. When it all comes down to it, you and your teammates are the only ones fighting on that field for your country. The fans aren't fighting, the commentators aren't fighting, and the media isn't fighting. That is the reason that we are called Soca Warriors. We are the Warriors in the arena for everyone to see!

7. You are currently connected to the Houston Dynamo Academy. There is a Trinidadian goalkeeper coach there as well by the name of Errol Lovell. Are you familiar with him and did he help you with your game?  Errol was a T&T national goalkeeper as well.  On another note, seeing that you are now  a full international player, how did your Houston teammates and coaches treat you when you got back from Panama?
JW: I knew Errol before even joining the Dynamo Academy. Errol is a good friend of my father and he coached me for a short period of time before joining the Dynamo Academy. He helped me a lot with the small details in my game, which makes a huge difference in developing as a young player. When I returned home from Panama, many of my teammates and coaches congratulated me on the way I played. I guess I can say that I am treated differently, but I still never think of myself any differently than before.

8. Tell us a bit about your older brother?
JW: My brother's name is Garrett. He is 17 years old and is an extremely talented athlete. Garrett works extremely hard in everything he does and football is no exception. Garrett is the starting center back for the U-18 Dynamo Academy. He is one of the most consistent players that I have ever seen and he has all the abilities to be one of the best center backs to go through the Dynamo Academy.

9. Who would you say is responsible for helping you to be the player you are today?
JW: One of the persons who is responsible for making me into the goalkeeper I am today is James Crowder. He taught me many things that improved my game tremendously. I trained with James very few times, but when I did I learned so much. Another person responsible for impacting my abilities is Nathan Thackeray. Nathan is now the goalkeeper coach of the Houston Dynamo Academy and a huge influence in every aspect of my game. Nathan challenges me every day and I have never had a goalkeeper coach work me harder. I have a lot of respect for both Nathan and James and I would never be where I am today without them.

10. What are your future plans as far as football (soccer) goes? I know you would like to break through on the Dynamo’s first team one day and take it further, maybe Europe?
JW: I will continue with the Dynamo Academy until playing Division 1 soccer for a University in the U.S. I hope to sign with the Dynamo first team after completing my studies. My ultimate dream is to one day play for Chelsea FC.

11. Who would you say is your idol and which player/s do you admire the most?  Which team is your favorite, both internationally and at Club level?
JW: My idol is Iker Casillas, because of his focus and leadership skills on and off the field. My favorite international team is Spain since 2008 Euros. My favorite club team is Chelsea.

12. Have you ever visited the Soca Warriors Online (www.socawarriors.net) and if yes, what are your thoughts?
JW: I have not visited the website as yet.

13. To all the fans out there who follow you, would you like to say something to them?
JW: I appreciate your continued support and love. Without it, we would never have played so hard. Thank you for all the support, I hope we can make you guys proud of us one day.

14. T&T played the U.S. National U-17 team in Florida in preparation for the qualifiers in Panama and I assume you played both games (4-0 L and 2-2 T). Was it hard to play against your country of birth and possibly some of your former teammates? As you may already know, the U.S team did not qualify for the finals either, were you surprised?
JW: It wasn't difficult to play against the U.S. even though I knew most of the players because these games were more focused on preparation for the qualifiers. I gained a lot of respect for the Trinidad and Tobago team after playing the U.S. the first time because of their attitude and humility. In the second game, we played extremely well and shocked the U.S. I was surprised the U.S didn't qualify, but it just goes to show you that anyone can win on any given day.

15. In your opinion, which one of your T&T teammates has the potential and talent to be a top player one day?
JW: One of the things that I noticed in this team is that even though there are so many good players on this team, they are all part of one team. I see a lot of players on this team that have the potential to be a top player. I can never predict the future or tell you that someone is going pro, but there were players that played extremely well in the qualifiers. I hope they get the support to continue playing football and developing their game and skills.



Copyrights of the Soca Warriors Online - Any press using the following article written by Inshan Mohammed are welcome to do so, provided that they reveal the source and writer. Furthermore, no portion of this article may be copied without proper credit as well.

25
Jokes / Ship your pants
« on: April 23, 2013, 11:21:38 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/I03UmJbK0lA" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/I03UmJbK0lA</a>

26
Football / Statement by TTFF president Raymond Tim Kee
« on: April 19, 2013, 05:38:37 PM »
Statement by TTFF president Raymond Tim Kee
By Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).
   

The following is a statement issued by Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation President Raymond Tim Kee on the revelations made by the CONCACAF Integrity Committee at today's CONCACAF Congress at the Westin Playa Hotel in Panama.

My first response was one of surprise. With everyone with whom I spoke to previously.it was  felt that you should wait on the facts before you engage in any passing of blame. What I heard today was empirical. I do not know that there is any doubt in anybody's mind about some of the things that transpired.

I thought that the head of the Integrity committee Sir David Simmons was particularly unambiguous in his statement was when he alluded to things such as 'fraudulent' and I thought that was a serious statement.What I thought was good about the inquiry  is that evidence was produced.

This is not a happy day for Trinidad and Tobago nor is it a happy day for me because this of course is about Trinidad.

I want to make something categorically clear in that the TTFF does not take ownership or responsibility for anything that was said under my presidency I intend to observe all the best practices in the conducing of business of any organizations. Accountability, transparency, all inclusiveness - the three pillars of which I intend to move forward with football. I thought the evidence produced was overwhelming.

On the matter of a resolution to the matter involving the 2006 World Cup players

"All I can say is that we are on the home-straight with those discussions. I expect that within just a few days we will consummate all the arrangements and agreements. I have had quite some useful discussions with the Soca Warriors representatives Shaka Hislop and Brent Sancho and we were able to come to a common understanding and agreement as to how we should bring closure to this vexatious  situation.

I feel quite good about it because there is no doubt in my mind that they took the field in Germany and made us proud. That's history. I feel this whole scenario should not have come to this where there was so much anger, displeasure and hate even.

I am very pleased that we are seeing the end of it. Those are our heroes. I hope to forge some relationships with them  so that we can bring them into the fold in a true meaningful way so that they can be part of the building process.

Raymond Tim Kee
President
TTFF


<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/PvPVNxcQo2g" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/PvPVNxcQo2g</a>


27
Change in location for T&T vs Belize friendly
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).


'Warriors' to play Romania, Estonia in June.

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation today regrettably advises that the Friendly International between this country’s Senior Men’s Team and Belize scheduled for Friday March 22nd at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva will now be played in Belize City on March 23rd.

This has come about following discussions between officials of the T&T Football Federation (TTFF) and the Belize FF in Chicago on Wednesday. It has been communicated that the reason for the change in venue has resulted due to logistical challenges associated with travel arrangements for the Belize team.

TTFF President Raymond Tim Kee immediately expressed his disappointment over the inability of the game to be staged on T&T soil but agreed to have the T&T team fly to Belize City to play a day later. There was no other available opponent of worth available to travel to T&T to play around the same date. Following the game in Belize City, the T&T squad will travel to Lima to face Peru on March 26th.

Tim Kee was in Chicago along with Senior team co-head coach Hutson Charles and team manager William Wallace on Wednesday where officials of the twelve nations at the CONCACAf Gold Cup held meetings and a workshop was staged in relation to the tournament.

The TTFF President expressed his satisfaction with T&T’s grouping which includes matches against Haiti, El Salvador and Honduras in July.

He also took the opportunity to reveal that inspite of the disappointment of the initially scheduled game against Belize being shifted, there was another pair of friendly internationals approaching that would be beneficial to T&T’s preparation for the Gold Cup. T&T will travel to Bucharest to face Romania’s Senior Team in a friendly international on June 4th and also Estonia in that country on June 7th.

Romania are currently in 31st spot on the FIFA rankings and are captained by Shakhtar Donetsk defender Razvan Rat. They defeated Turkey 1-0 in a 2014 World Cup qualifier last October before going under 4-1 to Holland.

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28
Football / Footballer/Celebrity look-alikes
« on: February 13, 2013, 07:55:45 PM »
Chris Brown - Luis Fabiano







Gretar Stiesson- Vince Vieluf (Rat Race)





Kevin Davies – Ryan Kwanten (True blood)






Demba Ba- Tyrese (Singer/ actor)





Nathan Dyer (Cornrows) - Harold Perrineau (HBO’s Oz)






Emil Heskey- Tony Todd (Candy Man)








Christiano Ronaldo – Ben Nemtin (MTV’s Burried Life)






Mike Turner – Mike Rapaport (Men of honor)
 




Sergio Ramos – Val Kilmer (Top Gun)






Pepe – Darryl Roberts





Gianluigi Buffon - John Tutturro (Transformers)





Victor Anichebe – Derek Luke (Antwone Fisher)





Carlton Cole – Morris Chestnut (Boyz N the Hood)





Thomas Vermaelen – Jude Law






Cesc Fabregas –  Ryan Labbe (MTV)







Big Mag – Mario Melchiot  ;D


29
Football / Soca Warriors to face Peru in Port of Spain on Feb. 6th
« on: January 18, 2013, 02:53:37 PM »
According to Fuentes on facebook - "Breaking Update: Trinidad and Tobago's Soca Warriors to face Peru in Port of Spain in friendly international on Wednesday February 6th.... Football Match in De Mas. More details to follow."

30
Football / Stokely Vale star among five new Central signings
« on: December 21, 2012, 06:11:45 PM »
New Sharks to add bite to Central F.C.
Central FC Media.


TT Pro League club, Central F.C., today introduced 4 new signings to their squad following the opening of the mid season transfer window on Monday.

W.Connection midfielder, Rennie Britto , has made the short move from Savonetta to California, while Stokely Vale duo Omar Charles and Rondell Winchester have crossed the waters from Tobago. But former T&T international, Osei Telesford has made the furthest journey after moving back home from Puerto Rico Islanders.

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