June 07, 2023, 03:46:36 AM

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - doc

Pages: 1 [2] 3
Football / Nightmare overhanging darkly (Lincoln v TTFF & Anton).
« on: August 12, 2006, 04:13:59 PM »
In my quest for football news out of TT, I was "informed" (by a usually reliable source) that TD Lincoln Phillips has been suspended by the TTFF. This appears to be a developing story. Stay tuned. :( :(

Football / Forget winning, Brazil have a duty to beauty
« on: May 29, 2006, 08:58:34 AM »

The Times    May 29, 2006

Forget winning, Brazil have a duty to beauty

By Owen Slot
Our correspondent travels to Brazil to learn the philosophy according to Sócrates and the guardians of football's soul in the first of a four-part series
“IS THAT WHY YOU HAVE COME ALL this way? To discover whether it is more important to win or to play beautiful football?” The question is greeted with deep-belly laughter, as if the whole world should know the answer. The great man pauses, as if to give us Luddites a chance. “Beauty comes first,” he says at last. “Victory is secondary. What matters is joy.”

And that is the gospel according to Sócrates. He delivers it in a sitting of 90 minutes during which he sees off six beers, four cigarettes and every opinion to the contrary.

We have come to Brazil in search of the heart of football, to discover how strongly it still beats in its guardian nation. In order to find Sócrates, you must first fly to São Paulo and then another hour north-west to his home town of Ribeirão Preto. When you arrive, you find an old hero so concerned for the game that he is prepared to invest in Ronaldinho and the Brazil class of 2006 the responsibility of saving it.

A bit dramatic, perhaps, but a journey through Brazil reveals that he is not alone, that the high priests of the game in his country are with him. The game is changing, as of course it must, but Falcão, Rivelino, Romário and the great Pelé share a concern for its direction and see in this year’s Brazil a last chance to strike a note for romance.

The 2006 Seleção, as the team is known, is as extravagantly gifted as any for a generation. The coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira, has promised to start the World Cup playing what has become known as the “Magic Quartet”: an attack that includes Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Adriano and Kaká. There are many who would like to see this become a quintet, with Robinho thrown in, but the potential of the quartet is ambitious and delicious enough in itself. The question, therefore, is whether they will unleash this potential — Parreira, for starters, is a conservative at heart. But what potential!

Brazilian football, for the purists, reached its peak in the Seleçãos of 1970 and 1982 and yet, says Sócrates: “This is the first team that we believe can play similarly to the 1982 team. Football today is more of a physical battle than anything else. This team can bring beauty back to the game and charm the world again.”

The reason we have sought out Sócrates, 54, is because the side he captained in 1982 — the star-studded midfield of himself, Falcão and Zico, plus Junior’s marauding runs from left back — may have succeeded in charming the world, but they did not make it past the second group stage. And that famous 3-2 defeat by Paolo Rossi’s Italy was the defining moment of Só crates’s life.

It does not appear to have remotely scarred him. Conversely, Falcão, who scored Brazil’s second goal in a memorable match, Sócrates having got their first, says that 24 years on he is still not allowed to forget it. These days, Falcão is a big player in the football media, but he does a lot of public speaking and wherever in the world he throws the floor open to questions, 90 per cent of them are about Italy and 1982.

Sócrates, meanwhile, has a healthy, eclectic and Falstaffian appetite for the world. He writes in the media and hosts a TV chat show. Last year he acted in a film and wrote a musical. He has no time left for the field in which he is professionally qualified, which is medicine.

“I love women and I love life and that’s what’s important,” he says. “I only do everything else in order to pay for that.” But he also loves the concept of the glorious defeat of 1982. “That Brazilian team represented fantasy, idealism, an idyll,” he says. “Italy represented efficiency, effectiveness. But at least we lost fighting for our ideals. And you can compare that to society today. We have lost touch with humanity, people are driven by results. They used to go to football to see a spectacle. Now, with very few exceptions, they go to watch a war and what matters is who wins. That is why I value the Seleção for this World Cup — it might just be a team with ideals.”

IN THE LONG HISTORY OF BRAZILIAN football there are two defeats that are not allowed to rest. One is to Italy in 1982, the other is the 2-1 loss to their diminutive neighbours, Uruguay, in the final match of the 1950 World Cup, in their very own Maracanã stadium, which is felt by some to be as great a tragedy as Brazil has ever experienced.

The effect of 1950 on the nation’s psyche is dissected brilliantly by Alex Bellos in his book Futebol, The Brazilian Way of Life, in which he tells how Zizinho, the team’s star player, would take his phone off the hook on July 16 — the anniversary of the final — every year until his death in 2002, because the media would still ring him and ask about it. Even more poignant is his story of Barbosa, the goalkeeper , who was blamed for the defeat for the rest of his life. “Under Brazilian law, the maximum sentence is 30 years,” Barbosa said. “But my imprisonment has been for 50.”

The 1982 defeat is not viewed in the same light, probably because Brazil had already won three World Cups by then, but also because of their brand of football. Falcão, though, took some years to grasp this.

“It wasn’t Brazil who were the losers in 1982,” he says, “it was the game. It was a step backwards for football. By the time Italy and West Germany played the final, I was back home in Brazil. I started watching it on TV but early on I got in the car and just set off. I drove for miles. I was hardly conscious, I wasn’t thinking where I was going. I found myself in another town where I used to play tennis with a friend, but I wasn’ t there to play tennis. I didn’t know why I was there.

“I remember tiny details of that Italy game: my goal, the funereal atmosphere in the dressing-room, the front page of a São Paulo newspaper which had no headline, no writing, nothing but a picture of a child crying. Many of us played on for Brazil after that, but the Italy game was never mentioned.

“Two years ago, Sócrates, Zico, Junior and I were all at Fifa’s 100-year anniversary party in London — it was the first time that we had ever talked about that game together. But what I realise now is that the Seleção of 1982 has its own place in history. When Brazilians are asked their favourite team, many choose 1982. I was once asked in public if I would rather have won but played less beautiful football. I answered: ‘I would rather have won.’ And many people were appalled. ‘Are you crazy?’ they said. ‘That was the most beautiful team ever. You can’t say that.’ ”

Which brings us back to Parreira and the modern day. Winning football, attractive football or both? “One thing shouldn’t exclude the other,” Falcão, 52, replies. “You can play beautifully and win the World Cup. It is wrong to say we lost in 1982 because of the way we played — 1982 was fate, it was predestined.

“Ask any Brazilian who won the World Cup in 1994 and they can’t tell you,” is Sócrates’s roundabout reply. “Ask about 1982 and they all know. It’s part of our culture. It’s just the way we are. Football, above anything else, brings Brazilians together, more than our language, more than our flag. The productivity of this country improves by 50 per cent when a popular team wins.”

Which sounds like an argument for success ahead of style. Again, Sócrates responds with that deep-belly laughter that indicates another case of international misunderstanding. “Brazilians like to party,” he says. “This is the land of the sun, the beaches, the beautiful women. We like to see beautiful things.”

So much for romance. The problem here is that the aforementioned champions of 1994 won by adopting safety-first tactics drummed into them by Parreira, who is back in the job. Which is why few believe that the same man will really chance his hand this time. Neither Falcão nor Sócrates believes that the Magic Quartet will survive to the knockout rounds.

“But what an opportunity they have,” Sócrates says, his arms out wide. “To say something fantastic about the game. To bring back the joy.”


THE BEAUTIFUL GAME will never be the same unless we start playing nine-a-side. That is the view of Sócrates and he believes it so deeply that he has been working on a thesis on the subject for more than four years.

“There needs to be a change in the game to bring back what’s been lost,” he said. “Undoubtedly, there are still players who can overcome that loss through talent and art, like Ronaldinho, but these players are now so rare.”

Football, Sócrates said, has become a physical contest rather than one of skill, in which strength and fitness hold sway over technique and vision. “It’s all about proportions,” he said. “Thirty-five years ago, players used to run four kilometres per game, now they run 11 to 12 kilometres. So it follows that there is less space on the pitch.

“That is why, in the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies, we had a lot more players who were technically better. I’m not just talking about Brazil here, this goes for other countries, too. Think about Ronaldinho — in the Seventies we’d have had 100 to 200 players like him. He would have stood out, for sure, but not the way he does today.”

The answer, Sócrates said, is to reduce the number of players and create more space.

Given that he is a writer, composer, TV presenter and actor as well as a qualified (non-practising) doctor, Sócrates lacks the time to complete his thesis. “When I have finished it, I will put its message into practice,” he said.


Football / Tobago teams sweep Barbados Cup
« on: April 28, 2006, 07:07:13 AM »
Tobago teams sweep Barbados Cup
Friday, April 28th 2006

St Clair Coaching School ladies and Under 13 boys and the Tobago Secondary Schools All Star team ruled the roost in the Barbados Cup Football tournament, winning three titles and capturing most of the individual awards.

Tobago sounded an early warning through the St Clair Coaching School ladies team that they were on a mission to dominate when they held the Barbados national team to a 1-1 draw in an exhibition game to signal the opening of the tournament.

In the girls division Coaching School led by national player Kenya 'Ya Ya' Cordner who scored nine goals played unbeaten in the six team round robin tournament to capture the title while the Under 13 boys team edged St Kitts 1-0 on an item from their captain Hakeem Hamilton to complete the double for the School. The School had advance to the final by topping their four-team group despite losing a game to St Vincent Saints.

The Secondary School All Stars team making their first appearance in the tournament completed the sweep with an exciting 1-0 victory against Zion Hill in the final. Mason Hall Government Secondary Kerlan Fergusson was the marksman for the champions.

The All Star team defeated five teams on their way to the final scoring 18 goals and keeping a clean sheet.

Among the individual awards the Tobago players won were best goalkeeper Signal Hill Secondary, Brandon Roberts, best defender Scarborough Secondary School, Jeramie Williams, All Star team - best goalkeeper Julian Mc Dougal, best midfielder Karen Forde, best forward Kenya Cordner and best defender Hakeem Hamilton - St Clair Coaching School.


General Discussion / Grab For Power
« on: April 27, 2006, 06:49:55 AM »
‘Grab For Power’

Thursday, April 27 2006

Condemned by Dookeran supporters

LESS than 12 hours after he received a letter from nine UNC MPs supporting Kamla Persad-Bissessar for the post of Opposition Leader, President Professor George Maxwell Richards dispatched her instruments of appointment to Parliament.

By 11 am yesterday, Persad-Bissessar was officially appointed Leader of the Opposition by Richards.

The release stated that Persad-Bissessar had been appointed Leader of the Opposition with effect from April 26 — the date of the court ruling against former leader Basdeo Panday.

The President’s quick action could have been influenced by the fact that Persad-Bissessar’s support among the Opposition MPs increased from eight to nine (out of 15 MPs) when Nizam Baksh signed the letter backing her as Opposition Leader, late Tuesday night. Baksh’s letter was quickly dispatched to the President.

The Women’s Arm of the UNC yesterday congratulated Persad-Bissessar. In a release it stated: “Today is indeed a Red Letter Day in the Politics of the UNC and the Politics of Trinidad and Tobago as a woman of substance, leadership, intellect, class and style has been given the mantle to lead the UNC in the Parliament.”

It noted that Persad-Bissessar’s appointment coincided with the visit of another strong and powerful Caribbean woman, Portia Simpson-Miller, prime minister of Jamaica. It added that it felt “justifiably proud” that the glass ceiling had been shattered.

Reacting to the appointment Leader of Government Business, Ken Valley, said he wanted to congratulate Persad-Bissessar.

Keith Rowley said he too wanted to congratulate Persad-Bissessar and hoped that she distinguishes herself in the office. He said her appointment signalled that opportunity existed for all in the country.

On the plight of Political Leader Winston Dookeran, Rowley said he stood more than ever by his original comment about his appointment (as Political Leader). That comment was that the UNC was Panday and Panday the UNC and that Dookeran would be putty in Panday’s hands.

“I feel sorry for him,” Rowley said. “I hope he will do the decent thing, after having been publicly humiliated.” He stressed that while he did not want to interfere in the UNC’s internal affairs, speaking “as part of the body politic”, he thought that Dookeran now had some serious introspection and reflection to do.

Meanwhile, the St Augustine constituency stated that it condemned the “repeated acts of disrespect” of Dookeran by a cabal of the UNC Executive led by Jack Warner.

The Executive said it intended to write the party informing it of the Executive’s desire to refer Warner to the party’s Disciplinary Committee for bringing it (the party) into disrepute by his continuous attacks on Dookeran.

“We the Executive and constituents of the St Augustine MP stand resolutely behind Mr Dookeran and reject the grab for power currently taking place in the UNC by Warner and his cabal,” it stated. The Executive released the letter it had written to the Disciplinary Committee asking for action to be initiated against Warner.

Dookeran remained incommunicado yesterday. Calls to his cell were answered by his wife, who stated repeatedly that he was not available.


Football / Ballymena International Tournament Reports - U17
« on: April 25, 2006, 04:59:43 PM »
Ballymena International Tournament

Match Reports - 24th April

Dean McCormick was the hero for Northern Ireland as they got their Ballymena International Tournament campaign off to a fantastic start with a 6-0 Group A win over Finland at the Showgrounds.

Chris Ramsey opened the scoring on six minutes when he bundled home an inviting free-kick from William Faulkner. Dessie Curry's side had chances to put the game beyond the Scandinavians before the break but it was not until two minutes into the second half that McCormick doubled their advantage, heading home an Andrew King cross.

McCormick added another in the 44th minute when he knocked home the rebound following a mazy run and shot from Paul Gallagher, and took advantage of a defensive mix-up to claim his hat-trick on 50 minutes.

McCormick wasn't finished there though, and he bagged a fourth in the 64th minute, being in the right place at the right time to slot home after the Finnish goalkeeper failed to hold a cross. Faulkner headed home a Ramsey free-kick a minute later to conclude the scoring.

In the night's other Group A match, the USA battled back from a goal down to defeat Switzerland 2-1. Mario Rocca beat the US offside trap to put the Swiss ahead on 19 minutes, but Sheanon Williams headed an equaliser ten minutes after the break. Ellis McLoughlin blasted home from distance with just four minutes remaining to give the three-times runners-up a vital win.

The Czech Republic, winners of the tournament last year, got their defence of the David Cairns Memorial Trophy off to a winning start with a 2-1 victory over Belgium at Inver Park, Larne. Lukas Palko put the Czechs ahead on 50 minutes, but Belgium hit back ten minutes later, against the run of play, through Nill de Pauw. However, Jaroslav Kaspar's 25 yard free-kick somehow managed to fins a way through the Belgian wall and past Stijn van der Kelen and was enough to give his side maximum points.

Canada narrowly overcame Scotland at Larne Tech Old Boys, courtesy of a 33rd minute strike from Philippe Davies. Canada were the better side in the first half, and deserved their lead which Davies gave them after taking advantage of a defensive slip to fire home from 25 yards. Scotland battled hard in the second half and had one effort rebound off the post and another cleared off the line, but the north Americans held out for victory.

Match Reports - 25th April

Dessie Curry's Northern Ireland U-16 side took a step closer to reaching the final of the Ballymena International Tournament courtesy of a fine 3-0 win over Switzerland at Islandmagee FC this evening.

The first half ended goalless, but Northern Ireland made the breakthrough three minutes after the break. Pat McLaughlin's initial shot was saved by the Swiss goalkeeper, but Paul Gallagher was on hand to apply the finishing touch.

Jonathan Sergeant made an excellent save to deny Omar Baljic an equaliser on 53 minutes, and it proved crucial in more ways than one as Northern Ireland broke immediately and scored a second, Dean McCormick bagging his fifth goal of the competition from a Gallagher cross.

That sequence of events was repeated seven minutes later when Brian McCaul hammered home a third goal following an excellent stop at the other end by Sergeant.

The Swiss tried in vain to respond, but Northern Ireland held firm and need just a draw tomorrow against the USA to ensure that they will be playing for the David Cairns Memorial Trophy.

The USA lost ground on Northern Ireland when they dropped two points against Finland. Indeed, they were lucky to come out of the game with anything at all and had substitute Brek Shea to thank for salvaging a point with an injury time equaliser.

The US took the lead courtesy of a 4th minute own goal by Henri Toivomaki, but Finland hit back five minutes later through a superb Tapio Heikkila half-volley from fully 40 yards. The Scandinavians took the lead soon after, Andre Karring firing a low shot across US goalkeeper Josh Lambo and into the far corner. An amazing 15 minute spell was then rounded off by a US equaliser, Jared Jeffrey firing home via the post from 16 yards.

The Finns re-established the lead in the 58th minute when Toivomaki headed home a Mikko Sumusalo, but Shea netted late on to keep the US in the hunt for victory.

The Czech Republic are in command in Group B having defeated Canada 4-0 at the Showgrounds. They opened the scoring just before the half hour mark through Lukas Hejda, but had to wait until the second half before doubling their advantage. Jan Smidrkal put the Czechs two ahead then turned provider for Lukas Palko who notched a third. Jakub Petr rounded off the scoring eight minutes from time with a 20 yard free-kick.

In the night's final game, Belgium took advantage of two defensive blunders to defeat Scotland 2-0. Nill de Pauw claimed the first on 29 minutes and Bryan Del Vigne made sure of the three points five minutes from time.

Football / Haitians crush Young Warriors 3-1 - Match report
« on: April 06, 2006, 11:07:23 AM »

Haitians crush Young Warriors 3-1

JOEL BAILEY 2006-04-05 02:26 (updated 2006-04-05 06:07)

HAITI inflicted a 3-1 spanking on Trinidad and Tobago yesterday to seal a spot in the 2006 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Colombia.

Action was in the final round-robin match of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Under-21 Group Two qualifier at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Arima.

Trinidad and Tobago made wholesale changes to the squad that drew 1-1 with Dominica on Friday, with Akile Edwards, Kendall Jagdeosingh, Jason Devenish, Josimar Belgrave and Shane Calderon replacing Marcelle Francois, Ancil Farrier, Yohance Marshall, Clevon George and Abiola Sandy respectively.

Haiti, on the other hand, fielded an unchanged team that thrashed the Dominicans 5-0 two days earlier. With Kevon Neaves and Jagdeosingh on the left, the national team tried their best in the early stages to open up the Haitian defence, to get the ball ahead to the speedy pair of Judah Hernandez and Calderon.

Against the run of play, Haiti went ahead in the 16th when a tame pass up front by Etienne Yveson was horrendously spilled by a sliding Thorne Holder, with a lurking Rood Kelly Jean tapping in the loose ball into the open net.

But the Haitians, playing with more passion, energy and purpose, silenced the estimated 2,500 crowd with another item in the 37th, as Yveson’s pass on the left found Fritzon Jean Baptiste in the middle, who simply teed up an unmarked Kelly Jean inside the penalty box to slam home past a stranded Holder.

The die was cast two minutes later when the quartet of Edwards, Jagdeosingh, Karlon Murray and captain Makan Hislop, in the back, stood like statues as Jean Baptiste collected a ball from the middle and calmly lobbed the bemused TT keeper.

Even as national coach Leo Beenhakker and his assistants Whim Rijsbergen and Anton Corneal looked on in the stands, the TT Under-21s seemed to lack cohesion, aggression and composure, especially in midfield as Devenish and Belgrave were non-factors while Hayden Tinto was hardly utilised on the right.

Devenish was substituted at halftime for striker Keston Alexander, in a three-man strike attack, but the visitors almost netted their fourth when Yveson, with his last kick of the match, sent a right-sided freekick inches over the bar.

The national players were unable to mount any constructive attacks on goal, or even string more than five passes together, and it was no surprise when Abiola Sandy replaced an ineffective Belgrave early in the second half.

The Haitians were always quicker to the ball than their opponents and they simply maintained ball possession, as they watched the hosts crumble to defeat, despite a stoppage time item from Calderon, slotting home from close range after a left-sided centre from Edwards.

Teams -

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Thorne Holder; Makan Hislop (capt), Karlon Murray, Akile Edwards, Kendall Jagdeosingh; Jason Devenish (Keston Alexander 46th), Josimar Belgrave (Abiola Sandy 57th), Hayden Tinto, Kevon Neaves; Shane Calderon, Judah Hernandez (Ancil Farrier 69th).

HAITI: Occenat Peterson; Alain Vubert (capt), Guerrier Panel, Alcenat Jean Sony, Ednerson Raymond; Serge Louis, James Marcelin, Dacius Gilles (Olrish Saurel 65th), Rood Kelly Jean (Aveska Judelain 79th); Etienne Yveson (Innocent Jean Junior 52nd), Fritzon Jean Baptiste.

Football / Long and short of it
« on: March 19, 2006, 07:22:00 PM »

The Times
   March 20, 2006

The player

Long and short of it
Aki Riihilahti explains why intricate passing is no more exciting than hoofing the ball clear
IF GROUCHO MARX ISN’T funny, he doesn’t exist. A Paul Daniels show without magic is worth just a beautiful assistant. Take Denise Richards’s looks away and she would have to learn how to act.

In entertainment industry, if you don’t please your audience, there is someone or something else that fills that hole immediately. Football is ultimately part of the entertainment industry, where people pay to get an experience. So do I have to every Saturday pull a rabbit out of the hat or make an academy award-winning dramatic performance? Do I exist if I don’t always play fluent football? When ball drops to you in your own half and you are quite sure you could chip it sideways to your own player, why don’t you? Because there is a small chance of an interception or a miss-pass, so instead you choose the safest option and clear it long. Boring, negative and definitely not entertaining, you can even get booed for that. However, even the best centre half in the world, John Terry, does it without hesitation. The entertainment question doesn’t have a straightforward answer in football.

A fan comes to a game to see something he can’t do himself — otherwise he might feel cheated. It is justified to expect a skill, performance, physical or mental strength beyond the local park in return for the price of a ticket. All athletes are performers, which is the reason why they are there. In ideal world, the game situation would be a platform for all players to show all their skills. It doesn’t quite work like that. Showing skills and producing results are football entertainment’s Jekyll and Hyde dilemma.

When the springtime comes, if it ever does in England, the points seem to be worth even more. Teams either need points for winning a trophy, winning a promotion or beating relegation. Entertainment can’t get you there. Only points can.

Lots of entertainment values are sacrificed in the altar of required points tally. The need justifies almost anything. Except losing. Negative approach and shaky performances will do, as long as the scoreboard does the entertaining.

This often turns it into a percentage game. You win 1 per cent. Track your runner at final third. Another per cent. Smell the danger even in possession. One per cent. Don’t overpass at wrong areas. One per cent. Keep it simple. One per cent. Don’t lose your concentration in the box. One per cent. Take that extra yard to be in shape. One per cent. Freeze the game when needed. One per cent.

And so on.

Sometimes there just aren’t any flair and magic available. So the results come from winning the percentages. Small things add up — all the one percentages make a big difference. It is a platform for winning football. Winning football is a platform for entertaining football.

At the end of the season the importance of the games makes even Champions League dull. Avoiding mistakes instead of expressing yourself often means flair players are substituted by solid ones. When it counts, there is nothing is more agonising than cheap giveaways and mistaken back-heel passes. Mistakes cost goals. Rarely there is any more a goal à la Barcelona, where after strings of passes someone puts the ball into the net.

It is a quicker and more clinical approach, especially with the English post-winter conditions. Don’t get me wrong, this is not an excuse for anybody playing poor, kick-and-wish football. If we could win and play like Barcelona, we all would love that. However, you got to win the percentages first to earn the right to play. Just ask which supporters are happier at the moment, Real Madrids or Boltons? What is there now for entertainment, then? Nail-biting and potential strokes are the answer! At least I can quite confidently say my team Crystal Palace is not a boring club. Every season there seem to be big stakes of either going up or down until the last minutes. Rarely this club have offered mid-table boredom but often tested with non-consistent results the condition of supporters’s nerves and hearts.

Perceptions vary more than ever. Everything is either black or white. Criticism or praise has no patience. The nervousness and expectations are too intense for being objective. The time is running out. We get carried away and emotional with results. The loss is never as catastrophic as we make it or the win as brilliant as we praise about.

At important times overreacting is easy. The last few rounds there are rarely opinions that aren’t in the far end of the scale. In a sick twisted way, this all is entertainment.

As surprising it might sound, even though I’m a footballer I have an opinion too. I think there is room for both percentage and flair football. And you need both equally at all times. I finally made up my mind on this after following Everton’s progress this season. I might be way off here, but as football is about opinions, this is mine.

Everton bought lot of good footballers during the summer but in my humble view they only got back to their winning football when Alan Stubbs returned. He might lack some qualities that other great players have, but he wins all the percentages there are and gives the team a solid platform. I think there is no question whether it is a more entertaining club now when he is back, although his job often is not glamorous and unnoticed.

What is entertainment in professional football? At its best it is individual skills of Rooney. Daring to showboat like Joe Cole. Tactical awareness of Bolton. Crisp passing combinations of Arsenal. Everything that Ronaldinho does. Crunching tackles of Carragher. Unnoticed percentage football of Stubbs. Taking part and singing with the fans.

Endless speculation of the game from everyone. This is what we love about the game. However, most supporters, all players and managers would sacrifice all this to get three ugly points this time of the season.

It’s about finding the right balance at right times between importance of the scoreline and performances.

There should always be both entertaining and winning element in the game. The best teams and players possess both. Others must choose which way to lean in their game. My first ever coach said to me: “You got to play how you look like, ugly, because that is for you the best way to win — which you have to in this profession.”

So I had to leave my bag full of tricks to training-ground laughs, school presentations and possibly a career in circus after football and turn into a midfield enforcer. The end product is more important than any applause. So my trick and existence in this entertainment industry is mainly dependent of the scorelines. Still, I much rather take that than having moustache like Groucho Marx.

Football / Limited Beckham runs out of tricks as wide boy
« on: March 09, 2006, 07:25:17 AM »

The Times    March 09, 2006

Limited Beckham runs out of tricks as wide boy

Rick Broadbent finds there is something missing from the armoury of the England captain these days
DAVID BECKHAM’S difficulty with his son’s maths homework is fitting enough because something else does not quite add up. The galáctico is captain of his country and, as far as his league form goes, often lord of the manor, too.

Yet there is a perennial campaign that paints him as the thoroughbred show pony, someone for the marketing men to put their shirt on. He was coming home to debunk the myths.

Real Madrid’s modest achievements of late, plus the arrival of a less starry-eyed president, have resulted in the flaws in the galáctico method being exposed. Arsenal themselves know that the sum is more important than the individual parts. Before their triumph in the Bernabéu a fortnight ago, they had wowed Europe by humbling Inter Milan 5-1 in the San Siro in November 2003. On that day they had no Patrick Vieira, but they did have Michael Papadopoulos on the bench.

Real were out of the traps fast last night, like a pack of greyhounds rather than the startled rabbits of the first leg, and Beckham provided his signature trait in the early exchanges, a lustrous cross-field pass from the right that found Zinédine Zidane on the left edge of the Arsenal penalty area and exposed Emmanuel Eboué for the second time in a nervous opening.

Soon afterwards, Beckham was charging down the left flank. It was an inconsequential few seconds, but they highlighted why managers love him. He is less of a genius than a high-class trier. Think souped-up Capri rather than Rolls-Royce. When he was dragging England, single-handed, through their mediocrity, capped with that free kick against Greece at Old Trafford in 2001, it was his hyperaction that was his trademark. That is why Peter Taylor is still proud that he was the first to give him the captain’s armband for England.

But the trouble with Beckham is two-fold. First, he is limited as a central midfield player. He tackles in hope and with one eye on the escape route. So play him wide, as Real did, except he is no natural winger. It is the old complaint. He does not tackle, he has no trick, he has only moderate pace and he is average in the air. Add to the list of shame that he was up against a makeshift full back in Mathieu Flamini and you have a decent agenda for any radio phone-in. “Big questions will be asked,” Beckham said afterwards. Robbie Savage once said that all people see in himself is “hair and someone running their bollocks off”. Savage is the Millets version of the galáctico, but the same might be said of Beckham. The big difference is that Beckham is a clean striker of the ball and therein lies the tale of his career. One 40-yard free kick last night had shades of the truest galáctico, Ronaldinho, about it, almost catching out Jens Lehmann, the Arsenal goalkeeper, and making one wonder whether he meant it.

But the trouble with being an attention-seeker is that you get the attention when it goes wrong. It was Beckham catching the spotlight as he failed to show England that Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, had been wrong all along or that he is notably better than Shaun Wright-Phillips.

It perhaps says it all about his stock that, when pub talk turns to the players who need to perform well to win the World Cup, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard top the list. Last time, Beckham had a broken metatarsal and he made the News at Ten. This summer he needs to prove that he is not a broken Meta-man and make the myths reality.

Football / Rooney scouted "Dog" today
« on: February 12, 2006, 06:02:32 PM »

The Times    February 13, 2006

Keane takes firm grip of matters

By Matt Dickinson
WAYNE ROONEY WAS AT IBROX yesterday as a guest of Roy Keane and, if he went for a drink with his former Manchester United team-mate afterwards, he might not have known whether to congratulate or commiserate.

Celtic had won 1-0 on enemy soil to extend their impregnable lead at the top of the Bank of Scotland Premierleague and so celebrations were in order. And yet you sense that there would have been an embarrassed, awkward moment between the pair. A silence that acknowledged that, while he might be heading for a championship medal (which is more than Rooney will be clutching in May), Keane had done what so many greats of the game refuse to countenance and dropped down the leagues.

Yesterday’s tame meeting of the Old Firm was further evidence that the Irishman has found Scottish football at one of its lowest ebbs. Rangers, with their lame-duck manager, Alex McLeish, must be the worst team to have qualified for the last 16 of the European Cup. Heart of Midlothian are Celtic’s closest challengers and they have a chairman who hires a manager and then insists on picking the team.

Celtic will win the championship and yet, mindful that he has presided over defeats at home and abroad that rank among the most embarrassing in the club’s history, there is no chanting of Gordon Strachan’s name from the stands. “Keano, Keano” boomed out, of course, and he managed to be the game’s most authoritative, composed presence. Even his booking was for a premeditated trip. At his unveiling in January, he talked of “the challenge” in Scotland, but yesterday it was hard to know what that amounted to other than staying fit.

Rooney sat among the Celtic fans in the Broomloan Road end and, if anything impressed him, it can only have been the noise at kick-off. Even that could not be sustained. It was not much of a contest from the moment that Maciej Zurawski took advantage of woeful defending — and there was plenty of that from Rangers — to grab an eleventh-minute lead.

Sotirios Kyrgiakos was comically bad and Marvin Andrews not much better as Rangers tried, unsuccessfully, to grapple with John Hartson. It was more WWE than SPL, although Celtic can be excused. Organised and disciplined, they did what they had to do. It was just disappointing that it amounted to so little.

There had been a lot of debate as to how Strachan would accommodate Neil Lennon, Stilian Petrov and Keane. In the end he made the politically astute, and tactically justifiable, decision to play all three.

Keane talked afterwards of “respecting your manager and your team-mates if you are left out” — Carlos Queiroz might have chuckled at that one given the Irishman’s withering blast on his way out of Old Trafford — but there was nothing of the new boy about him aside from a willingness early on to let Lennon take charge.

As the game progressed, Keane became the more dominant member of the partnership and, by the second half, team-mates were feeling the lash of his tongue. “You wouldn’t want him to change the way he is,” Lennon said. “His shouting gets a reaction. It is up to you whether it is positive or not.”

Strachan also talked of a wider influence at the club. “When I left the training ground the other day, Dion Dublin and Roy Keane were sitting and talking to a group of 16 to 18-year-olds about the players they have come across, the games they have played,” the Celtic manager said. “The young lads were hanging off every word. That is what you don’t see.”

Keane is due to complete his Pro licence this summer, although he is expected to see out his 18-month playing contract before heading into management. By then, Rangers may have been transformed. Paul Le Guen, the man who built Lyons into a serious force in Europe, has been house hunting in Glasgow. There was a seat yesterday for Yves Colleu, his assistant.

The competitor in Keane will relish the threat of a resurgent Rangers as satisfying as victory must have been on his Old Firm debut.

Football / Scotland looking for consistency in promotion push
« on: February 10, 2006, 09:30:28 PM »

The Times    February 11, 2006

Scotland looking for consistency in promotion push
By Graham McColl
VICTORY is vital for St Johnstone in this afternoon’s clash of top two in the Bell’s Scottish League first division, but winning will not be enough for Jason Scotland. The visitors, St Mirren, sit seven points clear of St Johnstone and a win for the Perth side at McDiarmid Park would open up the title race, but Scotland is wary of placing too much emphasis on one league game.

“It’s crucial,” Scotland admits, “and it’s one we can’t lose because we must get a win or a draw, but after that we must keep it going and make sure it’s not a one-off. It’s no good playing St Mirren and beating them and then losing to Hamilton the following week. It doesn’t make any sense, especially as St Mirren will still be top even if we win.”

Scotland’s caution, rather than a gung-ho attitude, is understandable. St Johnstone have played some of the best football in their division this season and have scored 42 goals, more than any other club, but have frittered points away carelessly to less accomplished teams.

“We can play well and get a bad result,” Scotland suggests, “and play badly and get a good result. We need to be consistent. We beat Hamilton 5-1 and then lost 2-1 to Ross County and were awful. That was one game where we played badly and matched it with the result. Sometimes the team suffers from overconfidence after we have played well; myself included.”

Inconsistency is a concept with which Scotland, 26, has become too familiar over the past year. Last summer, the Home Office refused to renew the work permit that had allowed the Trinidadian striker to play for Dundee United in the Bank of Scotland Premierleague from 2003 to 2005, stating that the player “was not of the highest calibre and would not make a significant contribution to the Scottish game”. Scotland had appeared 29 times in 38 Premierleague games for United last season, coming off the bench in 18 of those matches. Within weeks, a work-permit application from St Johnstone had been strangely successful and Scotland joined the first division club in late August.

“I was angry about that,” Scotland says of the original application being declined, “knowing the impact I had had with Dundee United, where the fans loved me. I had been coming off the bench and changing games. I had also scored the goal that put Dundee United into the Scottish Cup final last season and that won them a place in Europe.

“I am still not 100 per cent sure why the work permit was turned down. It was looking grim, my career was on the line, but I’m now playing every week. Getting into the Premierleague would be a happy ending.”

A Tennent’s Scottish Cup defeat at home to Gretna, of the second division, in early January has helped to bring the top flight closer to St Johnstone. The paucity of the team’s play in that match had Owen Coyle, the manager, seething and vowing afterwards that there would be no more leeway for his players. Since then, St Johnstone have won all three of their league fixtures to gain ground on St Mirren, who have simultaneously dropped five points out of a possible nine.

A bulky striker, Scotland has the strength to cope with the physical rigours of the Scottish game but it is his delicacy of touch that distinguishes him. Spectacular goals, often precisely struck from distance, are his speciality and he has added a new dimension to his game this season.

“When I was at Dundee United,” Scotland recalls, “my manager said I always scored pretty goals. Now I’m getting some ugly goals; goal-poacher goals. I’ve scored four of them this season. Eleven goals in 23 games is quite satisfying.”

This summer promises to be a more enjoyable one than last for Scotland. Trinidad and Tobago will compete in the World Cup finals for the first time and he has a chance of making the final 23-man squad selected by Leo Beenhakker, despite yesterday being left out of the squad to face Iceland in a World Cup warm-up in London at the end of the month. Scotland also fully understands why England would be happy to have been drawn in the same group as his country.

“We have qualified for the first time so I think anybody would want to draw us,” he says. “On paper, England are supposed to beat us but it’s football and anything can happen. You need to make it half-difficult against England.

I also think Paraguay, who are in our group, are a good team and England haven’t beaten Sweden for a long time.

“We have a few talented lads, we play together as a team and it could be a good stage for a lot of players to show what they can do. People talk about how we lost to Scotland 4-1 a couple of years ago but we’re a different team from that one. We’re more organised; the coach has done great things with us. We’ve come a long way.”

Scotland is looking forward to the finals, when he expects everyone in Trinidad and Tobago will be wearing something red to show support for the national side. Before that, he will be concentrating on what he hopes will be some red-letter days for St Johnstone.

Football / National body blanks Tobago Zone at football prizegiving
« on: February 10, 2006, 07:24:05 PM »
Tobago News
National body blanks Tobago Zone at football prizegiving
Friday, February 10th 2006
  The Tobago Zone of the Trinidad and Tobago Secondary Schools Football Association was not invited to the Association's national presentation function hosted in Trinidad recently and Tobago Zonal chairman Allan James has expressed disappointment at this turn of event.

James noted that though they did not win any national titles, Signal Hill Comprehensive reached the big Five semi final and Scarborough Secondary School participated in the quarter final of the InterCol and more importantly, Zonal prizes were distributed at the function, therefore he believes that common courtesy and respect dictated that they should have been invited.

Asked by Tobago News if he had sought an explanation from the National body why they were not invited, he said no because he doesn't believe he should. He added that he is also extremely disappointed that not one single player was selected for the Secondary Schools All Star team that toured Jamaica in December 2005.

According to James, the head coach for the team Glenford Thomas and his staff visited Tobago for a screening session but because of incessant rains the session did not take place and they promised to return but never did. He said he was very surprised when he saw the team was selected and no Tobago player was called. He stressed that because of that situation he used his initiative to organize the participation of a Tobago All Star team in the upcoming Barbados Cup to ensure that the Tobago players are given an added incentive to perform like their Trinidad counterparts. 

Football / From primary school to the Premiership in six years
« on: January 19, 2006, 09:34:23 PM »
The Times    January 20, 2006

From primary school to the Premiership in six years

By Rick Broadbent
Our correspondent traces the path of Theo Walcott's astonishing rise as the player prepares to become football's most expensive 16-year-old
IT COULD have been Chelsea or Swansea City, but Theo Walcott will finally enter the big time this afternoon when a road that has taken in Bugsy Malone, George Weah and Jaffa Cake attacks ends with him being unveiled as Arsenal’s latest teen prodigy. The pace of change has matched his speed of foot and it is less than six years since Malcolm Elias, the head of recruitment at Southampton, stood on a bumpy pitch in Newbury and said to himself: “Jeepers creepers.”

Walcott picked Southampton over Chelsea then, but is heading for London now after passing a medical last night.

He is only 16, but his family tree includes Sir Clyde Walcott, the legendary West Indies batsman, and his parents and peers have tethered him to reality. Coming back from Hull City in November, he woke on the coach to find his face covered in Jaffa Cakes and he has been living in a converted hotel near the demolished Dell with Southampton’s other youngsters, honing his pool and ten-pin bowling skills with Nathan Dyer. “They’ ll be lost without each other,” Elias said. Walcott’s departure means that he will miss his scheduled cookery lessons.

The making of a £12 million man-child began when he started playing as a 10-year-old at Compton Primary School, near Newbury, where his painting of St Mary’s Church hangs in reception. “Not because he did it, but because he was an outstanding artist,” Pete Fry, a learning support assistant, said.

Walcott tried football when a friend said that his side were short of numbers. “Soon we were going to games and deciding whether to play him in the first half or the second,” Fry said. “Just to make it fair. It was like playing your joker.”

A trial for Newbury Schools followed, where David Gent, a selector, also recognised his ability. The only problem was teaching him the offside rule. “He had no concept of it at all,” Gent recalled. “He’d walk up and down the sidelines trying to work it out.” Gent had seen a 10-year-old Michael Owen play and felt that Walcott was better. “He won’ t be swayed by the money,” he said. “He’s not big-headed at all.”

Put that down to Team Walcott. His father, Don, is a former British Gas employee who drives him, literally but not metaphorically. His mother, Lynn, is a midwife, his sister, Hollie, a former county netball player. He is close to his brother, Ashley, and has a girlfriend, Melanie. “He’s loved up,” the Southampton gatekeeper said in forlorn hope that it might derail the move.

He joined AFC Newbury and scored at a rate that staggered his strike partner, Scott Doe. “We won our league and Theo scored 100-odd goals,” Doe said. “I got about half that.”

The pair joined Swindon Town and went to a tournament in Cardiff where the pitch was plastic and Walcott played in his shoes. Then Doe was converted into a centre half and had the misfortune to play against his friend. “People couldn’t kick him because they couldn’t get near him,” he said. “I never once saw him lose his temper, he was so calm, and, yes, he did score against me.”

Doe remained at Swindon when Walcott went to Southampton and now says he is an inspiration, the same billing he enjoys at The Downs School in Compton. Andy Colling, head of PE, said: “Because of his manner, the other children revered him rather than envied him.”

He ran 11.5sec for 100 metres, was fifth in the county cross country and scored three and made three in the 6-0 win that took The Downs to the district play-offs. “Others would plod through the mud, but Theo would glide over the surface,” Colling said.

Walcott signed a £90-a-week scholarship deal at Southampton last summer and broke Danny Wallace’s 25-year record to become the club’s youngest player a month later. “I went down there and met him when he got my record,” Wallace said. “A nice lad. I watched some youth-team games on television and he was unbelievable.” The next day Walcott turned up to watch a practice session at Compton FC. He had an agent and a boot deal with Nike, but he respected his roots and listened to the caveats. “He is only a kid, so there might be days when games pass him by,” Harry Redknapp, his first manager, said. Dave Bassett, briefly his successor, added: “There was one game away at Wolves where I felt he looked like a young boy playing a man’s game.” Arsène Wenger himself says Walcott represents a “massive gamble”.

Simon Clifford, Southampton’s former head of sports science, believes that Don Walcott is central to realising his son’s potential. “I’ve seen parents start talking to their kids about England and stuff, but Don will not get excited by all this,” he said. When Chelsea were ready to spend £2 million on Walcott a year ago, his father said: “You get a lot of interest from agents but there are so many stories where it has gone wrong because of the social background or attitude problems.”

He had snubbed Chelsea before. A few weeks after being spotted by Elias in April 2000, Walcott left home in Compton and travelled to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea had expressed their interest in the turbocharged waif and star of his school’s recent production of Bugsy Malone. Walcott was given a tracksuit and watched the game with his beloved Liverpool as a ballboy. A second-minute goal from George Weah dampened his spirits, but he gazed at Owen and began to dream. “Chelsea made him ballboy and they thought that was that,” Elias said. “But Theo and his Dad, Don, came to the old Dell, with all its appeal, and the personal touch worked. He’s a free spirit. There is no greater sight than watching Theo run at defenders. That’s not taught, you’re born with it. He was my first signing for Saints and I’ll be devastated when he goes.”

Go he must, but Elias knows it could have been different. “I’d just left Swansea when I signed Theo,” he said. “Now, when Lee Trundle scores, Don will text me to say that they could have been a dream partnership.” Last October, Elias turned down a job as head of recruitment at Chelsea. Had he gone there it might have been different again.


Wayne Rooney was signed for the world’s biggest transfer fee for a teenager when Manchester United paid Everton an initial £20 million in 2004, beating the £19 million that AS Roma gave Bari for Antonio Cassano three years earlier. United are also responsible for the second-highest outlay for a teenager by a British club, having prised Cristiano Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon for £12.24 million in 2003.


Football / Lakers 'Team of the Year'
« on: January 16, 2006, 07:35:58 AM »
Lakers 'Team of the Year'
Monday, January 16th 2006
Tobago News

Roxborough Lakers had to settle for second place in the League Championship competition behind neighbours Charlotteville Unifiers but the Pepsi FA Cup winners had the satisfaction of copping the Team of the Year award as Eastern base teams, totally hugged the limelight at the Tobago Football Association prize giving function on Sunday.

Representatives of Leeward based teams became the cheerleaders for their Windward counterparts who walked away with the bulk of the prizes.

Addressing the well-attended function at the Dwight Yorke Stadium VIP Lounge, Secretary for Sport Orville London explained what he termed the London's vision for football. He stressed that they need to identify new sponsors and partners for football and advised them not to measure success by the completion of tournaments alone but to focus on development. He also questioned whether the interest of Tobago is being served by teams competing in National football tournaments at the expense of playing at home and suggested that they must develop an incentive plan to stem the exodus of our top players to Trinidad. He also urged them to develop a strategic plan that must involve all stakeholders and praise them for hosting another successful season and a well organised presentation.

Among the individuals that copped their respective divisional Player of the Year awards were Roxborough Lakers Sellon Gray, Earlbrookes Brinsley Reid and St Clair Coaching School's Krista Winchester.

List of Awards - Premier League Champions Charlotteville Unifiers $25,000.00, 2nd Roxborough Lakers $15,000.00, 3rd Sideys F.C $10,000.00, 4th St Clair Coaching School $5000.00. Pepsi F.A Cup - Roxborough Lakers winners, Pepsi Hill United- losing finalist. Zonal Champion - Earlbrooks, 2nd Goal City Women Champions-Stokely Vale, 2nd St Clair Coaching School, 3rd-Phoenix. Knockout winners-Phoenix.

Team of the Year - Roxborough Lakers, Coach of the Year - Cleave Lewis, Lakers. Top five players Premier -Mensa Pollard-Mason Hall, Dwayne Marcelle-Bethel, Ryan Gray-Sideys' F.C, Keston Melville-Lakers, Kervern Murphy-Unifiers. Top three Women Cassie Ann Thomas, Kemica Forde and Kenya Cordner.

MVP's - Sellon Gray - Premier, Brinsley Reid-Zonal and Krista Winchester-Stokely Vale. Top goalkeepers -Keston Melville - Premier, Brusley Reid - Earlbrookes and Kemica Forbes.

Top goal scorers Premier - Kevern Murphy 21, Zonal - Brinsley Reid 10 women - Krista Winchester 7.

Football / What is the origin of the term "cap"?
« on: January 14, 2006, 06:58:47 AM »
We often refer to full international appearances for the national soccer team as "caps". Where did that term come from, and what does it really mean? ???

Football / Hero's welcome for Cyd Gray
« on: December 02, 2005, 08:55:16 AM »
Hero's welcome for Cyd Gray
Tobago News

Cyd Gray, one of the two Tobago players who wee members of the Soca Warriors in their history-making victory against Bahrain to qualify for the 2006 World Cup received a hero's welcome on his return home, earlier in the week.

The other Tobago player was none other than this country's and region's most celebrated and renowned footballer who is the captain of the Soca Warriors, Dwight Yorke. However, because of his professional commitment, he was unable to return home to be celebrated for his role in their success.

Gray who was accompanied by another Soca Warrior in Denzil Theobald was greeted by a band of jubilant supporters on his arrival at Crown Point International airport and paraded from Crown Point to Delaford and back to his primary school alma mater, Roxborough Anglican.

During the journey he made various stops and signed autographs for school children and others who had lined the streets for his welcome home party.

At his alma mater, he enjoyed an entertaining cultural programme with some of the items being performed by school children. There were also addresses by Representative for the Area, Assemblyman and Secretary for Agriculture Hilton Sandy, Assistant Secretary for Sports Tracy Davidson, School Principal Ken Webster who was one of his former teachers, Roxborough Composite School Principal James Jack and one of his former classmates Ancil Toppin.

Gray gave a passionate response when he spoke, indicating that playing in the World Cup was his life's long dream and said that he hopes to secure a foreign contract after the World Cup. He then spent time with the youngsters offering them words of advice and signing autographs.

The celebrations were organised by his former football club, Roxborough Lakers and his alma mater Roxborough Anglican School.

Gray will also be celebrated by Roxborough Composite School today (Friday), his other alma mater and will be an honoured guest of the Tobago House of Assembly for their 25th anniversary celebrations.

He and Yorke will receive the Chief Secretary's Award which is the highest award that will be awarded at the THA's Awards function at Mason Hall Government High School on Saturday.
Tribute to Cyd Gray
Tobago News

Hundreds of villagers of Roxborough gave a hero's welcome to their village boy and Soca Warrior's defender Cyd Gray on Monday.

Gray who was accompanied by his teammate Densill Theobald arrived at Crown Point airport earlier in the morning where he was received by supporters of the Lakers Sports Club.

In a true motorcade style, Cyd and Desil was afforded the privilege to wave and greet pedestrian from a jeep and made several stops at pre-school and primary school along Windward Road to Roxborough. The village of Roxborough was cramped with schoolchildren from Cyd's alma mater, Roxborough Composite and Roxborough Anglican School.

Production came to a temporary halt as government offices and business places close their doors to pay tribute to the Cyd.

Later in the day at a function hosted by Lakers and Roxborough A.C. Primary at the Roxborough Anglican Auditorium, several prominent villagers paid tribute to him. Schoolteacher and Acting Principal Ken Webster recalled Cyd's primary school days at Roxborough. Several tokens were presented on behalf of school and the PTA. A Wall of Fame was later unveiled in his honour.

Representative for the area and Secretary of Agriculture, Marine Affairs and the Environment Hilton Sandy congratulated Cyd and Lakers Sports Club for placing Roxborough on the map.

Sandy also called on his colleague and Asst. Secretary of Sport and Youth Affairs Tracy Davidson to rename the renovated Roxborough Complex, "The Cyd Gray Sports Complex".

Roxborough Police Youth Club leader Collis Hazel who addressed the function, reminded the packed "Bass School" as it is popular known, that the village of Roxborough has been waiting a long for such a function.

Hazel recalled that 24 years ago Roxborough celebrated the victory of Claude Noel for bringing home the World Lightweight boxing title. "Ironically", Hazel said, "Cyd Gray wears the number 24, so while Trinidad and Tobago waited 16 years to qualify for the World Cup Finals, Roxborough has waited 24 years for its second world class sporting event of prominence."

The Roxborough Police Youth Club through its leader declared that one of the competitions in the popular Night Football knockout tournament would be named the Cyd Gray Knockout Finals. Hazel informed the crowd that efforts would be made to secure funding from corporate organisations to ensure a posse from Roxborough visit Germany to support the Soca warriors in June 2006.

A talented display of cultural items, including poems written by Cyd's teachers Sharon Anderson and Louisa Bess Hercules brought the gala function to an end.

TOBAGONIAN Cyd Gray (right) and Densil Theobald share honours among children in Tobago.

Football / Actions speaks louder than words.
« on: November 30, 2005, 04:02:48 PM »
Ah wonder what actions were taken on the following decision (red)?

Executive Committee Meeting.

17-Mar-2003 - The Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation Executive Committee met on Sunday to consider in depth, among other matters, the Report of the Investigative Committee re the nineteen (19) players who went on strike a month ago.
After much deliberation, the Executive Committee unanimously decided that the Committee's report was inconclusive as the investigation did not go far enough.

For example:

1. All players were not individually interviewed.

2. The Manager of the National Team, Mr George Joseph, who was present at every meeting of the Committee, was never interviewed.

3. The Technical Director, Hannibal Najjar, was not interviewed nor were a host of other persons whom the Executive Committee considered would have been helpful to the investigation.

Notwithstanding the above failings, however, the Executive Committee wishes to place on record it's thanks to the members of the Investigative Committee for the work which they did and to formally declare the matter closed.
The Technical and Managerial Staff of the Team have been advised that they are free to use the services of any of the 19 players if and when they consider them to be of value to the national team effort.

Other decisions taken at the meeting are as follows:

1. Terms and conditions of services for players called to the National Squads and National Selections were discussed and approved.

2. A new policy was introduced for clubs/teams wishing to travel overseas and will be revealed shortly.

3. The green light was given for the start of a Super League later this year. The league will be comprised of ten (10) clubs drawn from all the Regional Associations affiliated to the Federation. The Regulations and Draft fixtures of the League were also approved.

4. The Federation's financial status was also reviewed.     :devil:

5. Jack Warner's request for an Annual Marvin Lee Memorial Match beginning from next year was also approved.

The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) will be donating a trophy for the match and will participate in its inaugural launch.
The Committee also accepted Mr Warner's proposal for a Marvin Lee Trust Fund to be established to aid players who have been injured in the line of National Duty.
The fund will be started with a grant of ten thousand dollars from Mr Warner and, moreso, two and one half percent from the Gross Gate Receipts of all matches played under the aegis of the TTFF will also go to the fund.
A Board of prominent citizens will soon be established to administer the fund.
The Federation also agreed to retire the #17 shirt from being used by any other player on any National Team in honour of Marvin Lee.

The Football Federation accepted an invitation from the CEO of South Africa Bid 2010, Mr Danny Jordaan, to make a reciprocal visit to that country in June and play one match against their National Team. Other matches against Botswana and Ghana are also being planned.

Respectfully submitted.
Shaun Fuentes, TTFF Communications Officer.

Football / Omissions from the TTFF Constitution.
« on: November 29, 2005, 02:49:33 PM »
Mr. Fuentes, or anyone else in the know, please help me resolve this dilemma.

In reviewing the TTFF constitution, we have under Article 23, The Technical and Development Committee as follows:

Article XXIII
23.1 The Technical and Development Committee shall consist of a Chairman, Deputy Chairman and the number of persons that may be deemed necessary by the Executive Committee.
23.2 The duties of the Technical and Development Committee shall be:
a. to advance the training methods of football teams;
b. to take all possible measures to improve the qualification of coaches;
c. to take all possible measures to promote familiarization with the experience in teaching football;
d. to organize national courses and conferences for instructors, trainers, coaches and administrators;
e. to compile material on teaching and coaching techniques for footballers, trainers, coaches and referees;
f. to deal with all matters concerning the construction of installations and the availability of equipment to teach football;
g. to be responsible for editing the technical section of official publications of the Federation;
h. to recommend coaches, instructors or trainers to members and for national duty;
i. to examine any problems regarding national football pitches;
j. to approve a list of qualified trainers and coaches in the Federation; and
k. to do such technical and/or development matters which might be referred to it from time to time.

1. Is the role of the TD included under this article?
2. The "Special Advisor" is not mentioned in the constitution, could you please explain the ROLE, tenure and selection/election process of this "officer"?

Football / Lincoln Phillips Meets with the Think-Tank
« on: November 21, 2005, 08:49:13 AM »
Lincoln Phillips Meets with the Think-Tank

My peaceful and quiet weekend with my family at our Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania home was interrupted by a scoop that the TD - Lincoln Phillips was in town in for a planning meeting in Columbia, Maryland, and I was invited to attend. My weekend's plan was quickly overhauled to accommodate this newly scheduled event. Lincoln was meeting with the brain-thrust behind the Goal 2014 Development Plan, a mission the TD established when he arrived in T&T to have every youth and senior national team qualify and successfully compete in every FIFA competition by the year 2014. This elite group included, but was not limited to: Dr. Trevor Leiba, Dr. Peter Keiller, Victor Gamaldo, Myron Garnes, Sheldon Phillips and Barry Henderson.

The meeting got underway at 11:00am and went until 4pm, with a presentation by Dr. Leiba entitled, "Organizational Sensemaking: Setting the tone". This was immediately followed by a vibrant discussion exploring the application of the main ideas from the presentation to the planning required to capture and sustain the positive direction for a successful World Cup 2006 appearance, especially in matters concerning communication and avoiding outside and internal conflicts/controversies that can interfere with the players' ability to perform.

The second presentation was made by the TD himself. Its focus was his Youth Football Development Programme - Goal 2014 which included a player identification system which he will collaborate with Leo Beenhakker. The recently completed 2004 - 2005 progress report was shown to the attendees. It catalogued the numerous achievements that he has made in Phase One of the implementation process. The future plans were also briefly outlined in the report.

I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of planning involved with great attention being paid to each detail. The future looks bright indeed!

Football / Unifiers win title
« on: October 14, 2005, 06:50:00 AM »
Unifiers win title
Friday, October 14th 2005

Windward-based football teams led by Charlotteville Unifiers who won their very first Premier Division title totally dominated the Warner's Group of Companies Tobago Football Association Premier Division.

Roxborough Lakers finished second while Sidey's F.C. finished third for the Windward teams to occupy the top three places. Defending champions St. Clair Coaching School was demoted to fourth position. It was one of the most intriguing finishes to the Premier Division in years; three teams were in contention for the top honours, which was decided, in the final round of games.

Nothing short of victory would have secured the title for the new champions Charlotteville and they achieved this in fine style, bombing out Bethel United, who failed to respond to the challenge of party spoilers, 4-1.

Kervin and Garvin McKenna, Kevern Murphy and Kevorn Martin were the marksmen for the winners, while Curtis Winchester got the consolation goal for the losers. Coaching School could have rained on Charlotteville's parade and stop the Windward teams domination but they faltered against Sidey's FC 2-1 in a thrilling encounter, while Roxborough Lakers humbled Bethel 3-1.

Sidey's and Lakers completed their schedule on 37 points and in the process leap-frogging Coaching School for second and third position, respectively. Sidey's earned the second place by virtue of a better goal difference.

On the other end of the ladder, competition was just as intense as the Stokely Vale needed a victory to finish in ninth position and pushed Mason Hall Police Youth Club into the promotion - relegation playoff.

However, newcomers Mason Hall had on intention of battling with the last two Premier Division teams and the top three qualifiers from the Promotional Play-off as they trounced Stokely Vale 5-0 to ensure that they will be a Premier Division team next year.

source: Tobago News

Congrats to the teams from de east!

Football / Lakers whip Coaching School
« on: September 23, 2005, 06:45:08 AM »
Lakers whip Coaching School
Friday, September 23rd 2005

Lakers took an early first half lead through Dyke Reid but were pushed all the way by the defending champions who were playing without their inspirational midfielder, Keon Daniel, out for the rest of the season with a hairline fracture of his left leg. Lakers compounded their own problems by sitting back and trying to defend their one goal advantage. Their nerves were calmed however in the 81 st minute when Kwesi Beckles extended the lead to ensure the full points for Lakers. The win pushed them to 27 points.

Charlotteville Unifiers joined the front runners with a 5-0 drubbing of Pepsi Hills United at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in the second match of a double header.

Hills playing without several of their key players were never going to match a rampant Unifiers who scored four goals in the final ten minutes of play.

Kevern Murphy continued his goal scoring form with a hattrick while the other goals came off the boots of Kevin Mc Kenna and Mc Kell Carrington. The win pushed the Unifiers level with Coaching School but with an inferior goal difference.

In the first game of the double header, Bethel United and Mason Hall PYC battled to a goalless draw in a clash of mid-table teams. Bethel moved to 19 points with Mason Hall on 15. Sidey's FC moved into contention on 30 points with a 4-0 victory over struggling 1976 FC Phoenix at home in Speyside. Ryan Gray was the hero for Sidey's, scoring the second hattrick of the day. Anthony Kent got the other goal. Meanwhile, Georgia FC continued its climb away from the relegation zone with a slender 1-0 away win over Stokely Vale at Plymouth.

Kareem Gibbs notched the only goal of the game early in the second half.
source: Tobago News

Football / Annual fete match - the return leg
« on: September 16, 2005, 12:53:27 PM »
Ice Pick based in NY city vs Baby Boomers based in Metro DC play the return
match at the YMCA off Colesville Rd in Silver Spring, Md, on Saturday at
4:00pm (TT). There would be a generous sprinkling of former national players
on display. Ice Pick would be coached by Sammy Llewelyn and includes  Leroy Spann, Vernon "Jericho" Charles and Earl Carter. Baby Boomers would be coached by Trevor Leiba and includes  Rennie Lewis,
Ian Bain, Richard Chinapoo,Barry Henderson with yours truly making a cameo appearance. They would be hoping to redeem themselves after the thrashing
they received in the first leg in NY.

Football / RLFC are new TFA FA Cup champs.
« on: September 02, 2005, 11:52:05 AM »
Roxborough Lakers are the new TFA Pepsi FA Cup champions... defeating Pepsi Hills Utd 3-0. :cheers: :mackdaddy:

Football / What's needed in this team?
« on: July 13, 2005, 07:20:35 AM »
For the men who have seen the team play recently, what (not who) in your opinion does the team need to overcome the problems we've encountered.

Also how does the Costa Rica game in TT compare with the GC matches?

Football / Youth development
« on: May 31, 2005, 08:29:06 AM »
The Super Y League is about to begin. The TD had indicated earlier this year that a few players from the U-17 pool will join his Chesapeake Dragons as part of the development program. Has anyone heard any whispers whether this is still the case or not, and who are the players earmarked for this project?

Here's the article.

Chesapeake Athletic Dragons teams up with the TTFF.

25-Feb-2005 - Chesapeake Athletic will serve as an affiliate of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation National Team Programs. Under the arrangement, youth players from Trinidad and Tobago will play with Chesapeake's Super Y League teams and in top-level tournaments and tours.
According to Chesapeake Founder and current TTFF Technical Director, Lincoln Phillips, " As part of the overall player development program I have created with the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, this venture will give promising players from Trinidad and Tobago exposure to college coaches as well as get a jump on the rigors of college academics since they will also participate in summer college courses."
Phillips also added that two players from the U-20 National Team will join Chesapeake's U-19 team for the 2005 Dallas Cup and players from the U-17 pool will serve as the main group that will participate with Chesapeake during the summer in the Super Y League.

Football / Hughes casts the net
« on: May 20, 2005, 07:45:42 AM »
source: Falkirk Today

Hughes casts the net

Gow joins the Bairns but manager will now look further afield for signings
JOHN Hughes is planning a trip to Europe in the search for new players.
The Falkirk boss hopes to join up with Russell Latapy in Portugal this weekend to run the rule over two midfielders.
One, a 28-year-old with a ''good pedigree'', stars in the SuperLiga and was at Boavista during Latapy's time there, while the other plays football in Liga II.
Yogi's first summer signing was Alan Gow of Airdrie United last week, but he is determined to capture at least another five for the SPL campaign ahead.
''It's good to get the first one in,'' Hughes told Heraldsport.
''I'm determined to take the club to the next step and that means signing the right standard of player.
''Russell has been taking in games in Portugal for two weeks – he's well connected there – and has identified a couple of players, so hopefully I'll be joining him to see them for myself.
''That's how far we're casting the net in order to get the right people in to take the club forward.''
Striker Gow (22) has signed a two-year deal and will join his team mates when his current contract expires in the summer.
Falkirk will negotiate compensation with Airdrie as Gow, who joined the Diamonds from Clydebank in 2002, is under 24.
He has been on Hughes' 'wish list' ever since he came to his attention two years ago and Gow's new boss believes he has the potential to develop into a top-class player.
Yogi continued: ''Alan just got better and better over last season and, from what I've learned so far, all he wants is to be the best he possibly can.
''He's got loads of potential and we will be giving him a platform to show people how good a player he really is.
''I'm sure Alan will relish the opportunity to play for Falkirk and produce the goods in the SPL.''
With 36 goals between them last season, Gow could
 form a formidable partnership up front with Darryl Duffy.
The First Division's top scorer was called up to the Scotland Under-21 squad by Rainer Bonhof last week to face Moldova and Belarus in the next round of UEFA Championship qualifiers in June.
Other developments saw John O'Neil and Craig McPherson sign one-year extensions to their contracts, while bids remain on the table for Scott Mackenzie and Allan Ferguson. John Henry has been released.
That makes a total of 12 players secured for next season so far but they'll all have to earn their place first – and then try and hold on to it, according to Hughes.
''There's no better motivation for any football player than knowing someone's after your jersey,'' he said.
''While I'd like to have two players for every position, the budget won't allow it, so we need people who can play in a number of positions.
''I want at least another five new faces in, and I'd like them to be my number one choices.
''It's evident we need to get two or three defenders and maybe another two in midfield.
''However, while I have identified who I would like to sign, money doesn't grow on trees.
''I'll offer what I can but if it becomes too much then I'll walk away.
''The most important thing is to sell Falkirk Football Club to them first and foremost."
As the club announced their season ticket prices for the SPL, Hughes also called on his ''12th man'' to play its part in the campaign.
He added: ''The Falkirk fans have come through some hard times, but they ARE the club.
''I often tell the players exactly that in my team talks so I'm asking the supporters to use that as their motivation as well and get right behind the players.
''They will play a massive part next season so I hope they are all getting their season tickets and are starting to look forward to the Premier League.''
As Heraldsport went to press, the following players were all contracted with Falkirk: Darren Barr, Darryl Duffy, Russell Latapy, Andy Lawrie, Craig McPherson, Ryan McStay, Ian McSween, John O'Neil, Andy Thomson, Marc Twaddle, Neil Scally and Alan Gow (pre-contract).

19 May 2005

Football / No substitute for keeping team continuity
« on: May 10, 2005, 08:07:28 AM »
source: Scotland on Sunday
Scotland on Sunday
Sun 3 Apr 2005

No substitute for keeping team continuity


IT IS the dilemma faced by all football managers whose team is heading for defeat or a frustrating draw; should they shake things up with a substitute?

A new study by German scientists suggests that they should grin and bear it, and that a tactical substitution will only make the game worse.

Research of hundreds of soccer matches has shown that most substitutions are a waste of time and are more likely to lead to blunders than to a magical Roy of the Rovers transformation.

Researchers at the University of Bonn studied 306 soccer matches in the nation’s top league, the Bundesliga, in order to find out what happened after each of the 1,700 substitutions were made.

Dr Christian Grund and Oliver Gürtler analysed what kinds of players were swapped and what effect they had on the match to develop better understanding of how risk-taking works in business and how bosses can make sure that their staff take risks that pay off in terms of profits.

They found teams that brought on an extra striker rarely managed to snatch back a goal. Instead, they usually conceded a goal because the extra attacker meant they were stretched thinner in defence.

The substitutions that worked most effectively, they found, were those where the manager swapped exactly the same kind of player, for example, a striker for another striker, which meant that the overall strategy remained exactly the same.

Grund said: "The central message of the study is that risk is a bad thing. A soccer coach whose team is losing should stick to the initial plan - he will have a better chance of turning the game around that way."

Gürtler added: "It seems that many mangers in the Bundesliga overestimate the chance of getting a win through switching to an offensive strategy. In most cases they would have had a better chance of winning had they stuck to the original game plan."

The researchers cited two examples where the home team were worried that they were failing to make an impact and brought on an extra attacker in order to break the deadlock. Far from being the decisive advantage the home manager hoped for, both examples led to two-nil defeats.

The study had led to the academics being attacked by some in the German press who have cited one of the bitterest results in the nation’s recent soccer history as a proof that the academics should give their statistics the red card.

As every Manchester United fan will remember, and every Bayern Munich fan will want to forget, the 1999 European Champions League final was won in injury time by goals from the United substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Asked how the result fitted in with the research, Grund said: "This actually supports our research. In each of these cases, the players whom Alex Ferguson brought on the field were of the same position as the ones they had substituted.

"In our analysis that is a safe substitution and not the kind which causes a team to lose goals."

Football / Spann open his Japanese account
« on: April 23, 2005, 09:19:56 AM »
source: J League

SCORESHEET 2005 J.LEAGUE Division 2 1st Day 8th Sec

23 April 2005 14:04 Kick-off at Yokohama Mitsuzawa Football Stadium
[Attendance]5,024[Weather]Sunny 19.8℃ 23%
[Referee]Yasuhiro HEMMI[Assistant Referee]Hitoshi NAKAGOMI/Susumu TAKEDA

      Yokohama FC    1    0    1st Half    1    1    Tokushima Vortis       
            1    2nd Half    0             
            11    SH    9             
            3    CK    6             
            22    FK    15             
   [Yokohama FC]    GK    21    Takanori SUGENO          [Tokushima]    GK    30    Norio TAKAHASHI    
      DF    14    Jungo KONO             DF    25    Yohei TANIIKE    
      DF    4    TWEED             DF    2    Yusaku TANIOKU    
      DF    26    Mitsunori YAMAO             DF    19    Takayuki KOMINE    
      DF    7    Tomoyoshi ONO             MF    17    Tadahiro AKIBA    
      MF    13    Kazuki SATO             MF    4    Shohei KAMADA    
      MF    18    Shingi ONO             MF    23    KIM Wi Man    
      MF    29    Nobuhiro SADATOMI             MF    8    Akira ITO    
      MF    8    Tsuyoshi YOSHITAKE             MF    11    Koji KATAOKA    
      FW    9    Shoji JO             FW    10    Yasuaki OSHIMA    
      FW    20    Manabu KUBOTA             FW    18    Toshiaki HAJI    
      GK    1    Kenji KOYAMA             GK    22    Taiji FURUTA    
      DF    27    Takanori NAKAJIMA             MF    5    Noriaki TSUTSUI    
      MF    6    SILVIO             MF    6    Akira OBA    
      MF    22    Satoshi OTOMO             MF    14    Daisuke TANAKA    
      FW    11    JEFFERSON             FW    13    Yasutaka KOBAYASHI    
      Manager       Yusuke ADACHI             Manager       Shinji TANAKA    
   [Scorers]    66'       SILVIO          [Scorers]    41'       Toshiaki HAJI    
   [Substitute]    61'    OUT    Nobuhiro SADATOMI          [Substitute]    85'    OUT    Koji KATAOKA    
         IN    SILVIO                IN    Akira OBA    
      75'    OUT    Tsuyoshi YOSHITAKE             87'    OUT    KIM Wi Man    
         IN    Takanori NAKAJIMA                IN    Daisuke TANAKA    
      85'    OUT    Shingi ONO                      
         IN    JEFFERSON                      
   [Cautions]    16'       Nobuhiro SADATOMI          [Cautions]    87'       Akira OBA    

Football / Like the PFL eh making progress
« on: April 12, 2005, 07:19:55 AM »
Dey down to 7 teams now  :(

Football / Is this another missed opportunity?
« on: April 08, 2005, 07:38:06 AM »
The PFL is sheduled to kick off tomorrow, yet little or no info available. Fellas in TT what are you hearing? What are you seeing?

Football / How good is dis fella?
« on: April 08, 2005, 06:46:32 AM »
source: Tobago News

Tobago Utd, most discipline Pro Team
Friday, April 8th 2005

Despite a very poor performance in the 2004 Trinidad and Tobago Professional Football League, Tobago United, the island only professional team had the satisfaction of copping the Most Disciplined Team award.

Head coach Peter Granville received the award on behalf of his club at the League's Awards Ceremony in Trinidad last Saturday.

The club which finished in the cellar position on the eight team standing received $116,000 as their prize monies.

The club under 20 outfit also mounted the prize rostrum to receive their prize for finishing third in their division while their prolific goal scorer Noel Williams collected the prize for the most goals. He scored 32 goals for the season.

Pages: 1 [2] 3
1]; } ?>