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Football / Morvant Caledonia United —the new Caledonia
« on: September 12, 2015, 06:54:13 AM »
Saturday, September 12, 2015

Morvant Caledonia United’s first creative and sustainable director Séjoux Lëo Star, centre, chats with players Akim Armstrong, right and Abdullah Phillips during a training session at the Morvant Recreation Ground, Morvant. Photo: Courtesy Morvant Caledonia United.
Expect a united Morvant and Caledonia this 2014/2015 T&T Digicel Pro League season as Caledonia AIA FC has rebranded itself to Morvant Caledonia United.

Formed in 1979 by a group of school boys from Morvant, Laventille and environs Caledonia AIA has emerged as one of the top clubs not only in T&T, but in the Caribbean region as well, being crowned Caribbean Football Union Club Championship winners in 2012 and representing the Caribbean at the Concacaf Champions League, both in 2012 and 2013. Now they have branded to Morvant Caledonia United, with a mission to strategically unify the community.

Speaking about the club’s rebranding, the founder and technical director Jamaal Shabazz explained that it’s five years now they’ve been discussing rebranding since Caledonia is a small part of the bigger entity which is Morvant.

The emergence of gang related activity, divisive politics and the like has rendered our community into sectors and borderlines.”

Over the years Caledonia has contributed towards the successful development of many notable players like: Russell

Latapy, Dennis Lawrence (both of whom are now practicing coaches), Stokely Mason, Shurland David, Densill Theobald, Conrad Smith and Radanfah Abu Bakr just to name a few.

In addition, the club has also been an avenue for Caribbean players to gain opportunities as well. With players like Charles Pollard, Walter Moore (Guyana), Kendal Velox, Wesley John (St. Vincent and The Grenadines), Franklyn Drayton, Franklyn Baptiste (Grenada), Titus Elva and Valencius Joseph ( St Lucia ) all passing through the “Caledonia” ranks.

While they have not won a National league or the T&T Pro a League title, Caledonia has won the  FA Trophy on three  occasions and several cup competitions in the Pro League including the First Citizens Cup, Digicel Pro Bowl and the Lucozade Shield.

However for Shabazz, the trophy that he covets the most is winning the most disciplined team title in 2011/12 Pro League season.

“Discipline and the way we carry ourselves on and off the pitch is so important to us at the club. We strive for order and discipline in an environment where mob rule, chaos and disorder stares us in the face.”

“I have been motivated by the likes of Desperadoes, Massy All Stars, Solo Harmonites and Malick Folk Performers as good organisations coming out of our communities.”

“I hate it when our players get a yellow or red card and I cannot see anything that will make me as a coach get ejected from a game. The example we set to our communities is what keeps us in the game and in the battle for the minds of our young people.” “That’s why that the Most Disciplined Trophy meant so much to us,” he added.

Shabazz has admitted however that it has been an uphill task over the years as often times the club has lost battles but he remains hopeful in the war.

Football / Tobago to get a Pro League club?
« on: August 18, 2015, 01:28:35 PM »
Tobago FC Phoenix 1976
Breaking News: For International Release

American Sports Management Company PMI acquires ownership stake in Tobago FC Phoenix 1976
through innovative partnership connecting Tobago FC Phoenix 1976 to the world

FRISCO, TX _ The next stage of life for Tobago FC Phoenix 1976 includes joining the United States based Playbook Management International (PMI) family.

PMI has partnered with Tobago FC Phoenix 1976 Club Director Terry Williams to develop the new direction and branding for the Caribbean football club. The new partnership took effect on July 1, 2015.

PMI, led by American executive Michael Hitchcock, owns and operates the Fort Worth Vaqueros FC minor league football club. Additionally, PMI holds ownership stakes in professional English club Alfreton Town FC and the Professional Futsal League. PMI utilizes sports technology products such as the PMI Player Marketing System, a cloud based player marketing platform, that will be used to market Tobago FC Phoenix 1976 players to clubs around the world.

Williams said the partnership with Hitchcock and PMI serves as a dream come true for the island based club.
“I can remember the vision of four young boys back in 1974, clearly as it was yesterday and approximately 38 years later, that vision has manifested,” Williams said.

“I am indeed thankful, that Mr. Michael Hitchcock and the team at Playbook Management International, shared our vision and took the opportunity to partner with us to further develop and promote the sporting discipline of football in our beautiful island of Tobago.

“Over the years, Phoenix has produced a cadre of players that had the opportunity to represent their country with pride on the Trinidad & Tobago National Team. Phoenix also boasts the birthplace of international football player Dwight Yorke, as he attended our Academy from the tender age of approximately 7. He further went on to the National Team from the approximate age of 15.”

PMI will bring its knowledge of American sports management principles, technology, marketing, sales and global network of contacts to Tobago. The newly formed partnership will allow for shared ideas, training, players and sponsorships between Texas, Tobago and England.

PMI’s goals for Tobago FC Phoenix 1976 include reaching the highest level of football in the Caribbean, growing the club's successful youth academy and creating opportunities for the Tobago football players to play internationally.

Hitchcock said Tobago has become a special place to him on a personal level due to the people, the food and the culture.

“On a professional level, I believe in Tobago and feel that there is a great business opportunity. It's football in paradise and we have an opportunity to connect Tobago Football to the world,” Hitchcock said.

“Our vision is to become the top football club in the Caribbean. It will take time and lots of hard work but we know that there is a great opportunity to build something very special in Tobago. Terry and the Tobago FC Phoenix 1976 Staff have done an incredible job with the club. We plan to bring additional resources to build on the solid foundation that has been created.

“Full credit to Terry Williams for having the vision and ambition to take this club to the next level; we look forward to being a part of it. The future is bright for football in Tobago.”

Through Match Day Five, Tobago FC Phoenix 1976 is currently unbeaten to start the Trinidad & Tobago National Super League.

SOCIAL MEDIA Tobago FC Phoenix 1976 is launching social media platforms so fans in Tobago and around the world can get all the latest club news and information.

Instagram: TobagoFCPhoenix
Facebook: Tobago FC Phoenix 1976
Twitter: @TobagoPhoenix
Website: Tobago FC Phoenix 1976 will be launching a new website in the near future

ABOUT TOBAGO FC PHOENIX 1976: The club was originally founded by 15-year-old Terry Williams and three friends in 1974 as the “Sand Champs.” The club changed names to Marva’s in 1975 but after a rough year the founders regrouped and launched the new club Phoenix based upon “rising from the ashes” of the previous versions. During its time the club has supported men’s and women’s football teams, basketball teams and swimming teams.

ABOUT PMI: Michael Hitchcock founded PMI in 2009 after a 12-year career in Major League Soccer where he started as an entry-level sales rep and rose to become President and General Manager of FC Dallas. Hitchcock won the MLS Sales Director of the Year 4 times, his sales team won MLS Sales Team of the Year 5 times and he was recognized as the Commissioner’s New Business Leadership Award winner. PMI built and managed the San Antonio Scorpions of the 2nd division NASL and managed the business operations of the NPSL before launching its own club in Fort Worth, Texas called Fort Worth Vaqueros FC. PMI also owns a stake in the English professional club Alfreton Town FC. Hitchcock also serves as president of the Professional Futsal League where PMI is a partner.

ABOUT TERRY WILLIAMS: Williams secured 10 national titles in Tobago while coaching the Bon Accord Government Primary School. Terry’s determination secured him a position on the Trinidad & Tobago’s National Football Team where he proudly represented his community and Tobago from 1985 to 1989.

Greg Rutherford blasts ‘ridiculous’ British kit for world championships

The Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford has made a series of stinging criticisms of the redesigned British vest for the World Athletics Championships, which begin in Beijing next week, calling the new kit “ridiculous and wrong” because it omits the famous Union flag.

Not since 1997 has a British athletics competition vest for a major championships not carried the traditional red, white and blue flag somewhere in its design. And Rutherford, who is among the most popular and forthright members of the squad, believes that is a major mistake and says that every athlete he has spoken to agrees with him.
After tweeting a picture of the new kit on Thursday afternoon, Rutherford called the decision “stupid” and jokingly threatened to bring British vests with the flag stitched on it to Beijing with him. “I’m proud to be British, so this is a terrible choice,” he said. “If I could take a flag-loaded British kit with me for everyone I would. This new kit is ridiculous. It isn’t a British kit anymore. It’s promoting British Athletics the company.”

Football / How "big" countries like Ivory Coast find their coaches.
« on: June 30, 2015, 01:35:46 PM »
Patrice Neveu, Paolo Duarte, Michel Dussuyer, Henry Kasperczak and Frederic Antonetti are on a five-man shortlist to replace Herve Renard as Ivory Coast coach.

Renard ended his time in charge of the African champions to take over at Lille in May, with the The Federation Ivoirienne de Football (FIF) initially naming a 59-man shortlist of candidates to replace him.

Former France and Italy coaches Raymond Domenech and Giovanni Trapattoni as well as Nigeria boss Stephen Keshi were all on the list.

However, Guinea boss Dussuyer and Portuguese coach Duarte are now among those being considered.

Kasperczak - a former Ivory Coast coach who is vastly experienced in leading African nations - will fancy his chances, while Neveu also has managerial experience on the continent.

Antonetti lists Bastia, Nice and Rennes among his former employers, as well as Gamba Osaka.

Football / Everton coaches to host Differently Abled football camp
« on: June 24, 2015, 02:13:40 PM »
A Differently-Abled Football Camp (DAFC) will be staged from 25 to 28 June. This camp will be the first of its kind in Trinidad and Tobago and will be hosted by Special Olympics Trinidad and Tobago and the Ministry of Sport.

Differently-Abled athletes deserve to be afforded the same opportunities as other athletes. With that in mind, Everton Football Club (United Kingdom) has sent a team of highly qualified disability coaches to Trinidad to provide the Special Olympic TT athletes with coaching assistance. The Everton FC coaches - Peter Livingstone, Michael King and Anthony Harden, will be available at a press conference on Thursday 25 June at 12 pm at the Chancellor Hotel and Conference Centre to share their vision for this inaugural Differently-Abled Football Camp. (All media are invited)

The Everton FC coaches will also be hosting a coaching seminar at University of the West Indies SPEC after the press conference. Coaches from Special Olympics TT and the local football fraternity will be in attendance.

DAFC will culminate with a day of unified football matches at Queen's Royal College Grounds on Sunday 28th June from 2 to 6 pm. Unified Football is a new global drive of Special Olympics International as it fosters inclusion and an appreciation for individuals regardless of their ability. These unified matches will be staged in conjunction with the Women's Premier League athletes.

For further information, Differently-Abled Football Camp Manager Amiel Mohammed can be contacted at 755-3734.   

Football / Football - Food For Thought
« on: May 28, 2015, 04:59:11 AM »
This was posted on facebook by a guy named Chris Tanner. (I don't know who he is, but I thought I'd share it with you) I presume that Oliver Fowler is an English guy.

nice comment from Oliver Fowler of #changeFIFA ....

"Last night I was looking at a photograph of my great grandfather Joe. His team, Wolverhampton Wanderers, were gathered around the FA Cup. They had just won it against a strong Everton team. Joe was 18 at the time, a pacy striker described by The Times as the best in the world (I took on his genes). As with most players of that age Joe had another profession. He cleaned pubs. It showed on his face. By today's standards he would be considered a street urchin. Whispy moustache, ferrety eyes, skinny legs, a hint of beligerence and so on. He earned next to nothing. Shortly after the big win he broke his leg and never played again. Surgery in the 19th century wasn't what it is now. His was a potentially great career, cut short. They even named a (now demolished) street after him.

Looking at him sat there next to the cup, which was almost as tall as him, I wondered what he would make of the way the game has developed. Initially I thought he would be saddened and disheartened by the game. Horrible people ruining football aren't confined to FIFA. They are everywhere, from the aggressive parents on public field touchlines to small club bullies - in all corners from coaches to players - to.devious journalists to federation bosses with their hands in the till to every other shithead who pervades the game. I thought that he wouldn't recognise the sport he had played.

Then I thought again. Wherever there is money, fame and power there will always be the worst possible people. Even in its formative years I am certain that the seeds of what we witnessed today - the raid AND Murray getting that story - had already been sown. In his final Joe played in front of 60,000 people. That's a large gate receipt. Someone made money that day.

There's a high chance that Joe was already aware of a split between players of the game and everyone else. Could it be that awful twats have always ruined the game? Is the Corinthian spirit a hazy myth?

Recently something clicked between me and football. The conflict between how I think the game - in its entirety of players, spectators and hangers on - should be and how it actually is ended. I realised that letting go of this ideal, and perhaps my love of the game, was liberating.

Awful people will always do their best to ruin the game in some way, just like it's always been, only now the shit is amplified through mass media.

Was there ever such a thing as integrity in the game? Did Joe's team ever try to steal a yard on a throw in or did the ticket master that day off the final trouser half of the ticket receipts? Did the originators of the laws of the game forget to pay for their pints in the pub where they wrote them? Were the original Corinthian team sexist cads?Probably not, but it's not hard to imagine the opposite.

Humans are weak and have always tried to bend the system. Football offers an opportunity for abuse and system bending because it still has this mythical haze around it that seems to hypnotize and stop rational thought. 'The Beautiful Game' may be true as an ideal, but in truth it's rarely beautiful and often downright ugly. In England the game started off as a mass brawl between villages. It was violent and partisan with nothing beautiful about it. It was borne of supremacy and power over rivals.

Nothing has changed other than a romantic ideal that has been attached to it as it became refined over time. Marketing and persuasion designed to sell a product that perhaps Joe would recognise more than I do. After all he played on mudbaths in hobnail boots.

What I'm trying to say is that I don't recognise the game, but that's my fault. I never really understood what it probably was all along."

Football / Is this really where our football has descended to?
« on: May 01, 2015, 12:43:01 PM »
Recent discussion on facebook 30th April/ 1st May

Travis Mulraine: some coaches can only win when they have the BIGGEST budget lasana,we'll see how they fair in the CONCACAF Champion's League that'll be the true test
16 hrs · Like

Prince Borde: This is football Travis. Every league the top teams buy the best players. They had to start from somewhere! Still not easy to coach top personalities
16 hrs · Like · 3

Alana Allan: I wanted to respond to Mr. Travis but I decided to reserve my comment. Thanks Prince Borde for such a wonderful response.
14 hrs · Like

Lasana Liburd: Every club has different goals based on expenditure. I think Central has a deeper and higher quality squad than anyone else which is an advantage.
But they really dug out some results this season and I give them credit for that. They deserved it because they kept finding ways to win matches and were so consistent.
Next season will be interesting as Connection's young brigade will be more seasoned and confident, Army may start full strength, Jabloteh would sort out their bloated squad, Sando will come strong... And maybe Stars will get a replacement for Glen and Caesar upfront!
13 hrs · Like · 2

Lasana Liburd: The scheduling works against pro league teams in the last few years. No local club can hold a Mexican or Central American team while effectively in their preseason.
So Concacaf test won't be passed for another year or so.
13 hrs · Edited · Like · 1

Norris Ferguson: Travis my friend, I am a little surprised by your comment, especially when you spoke about biggest budget. If you are correct, any reason why you are not with the Club? You more than anyone on this thread, including me, can speak volumes about that budget of which you speak.
7 hrs · Like

Travis Mulraine: since you wanna defend massa ,let me explain . His first season at jabloteh he came 5th, then he got the big money from CL Financial and won at Jabloteh,his first season at central he came 5th,then 2nd then VRANES won the league and he was brought in to reap the glory.We'll see how good massa is when ya'll qualify for the CONCACAF.
4 hrs · Like

Travis Mulraine: and don't forget i left cause the Oreo that we now call sports minister cut my salary and others down in the youth ranks to pay Massa $10,000 more dollars to take him to a grand total of $50,000 per mth as a reward for coming 5th in the league,JUST REFRESH YOUR MEMORY.
4 hrs · Like · 1

Norris Ferguson: Thanks for refreshing my memory sire. Guess you wanted to voice that a very long time ago, so I am happy that I provided the therapy. However, I am sure that you know that I have never been a house slave. God bless.
4 hrs · Like

Lasana Liburd: For me, the talk about whether clubs with bigger budgets are expected to win the league is a fair enough topic. Color commentary and massa references only take away from that discussion.
As a fellow Pro League coach, you can pick apart his tactics, squad rotation, man management, game day philosophy and so many other things that are probably more relevant than skin color and plantation history.
3 hrs · Like · 3

Kurtwyn Baird: Everyone knows the business side of the game but to take from one mouth to feed another if true,should never be acceptable.
3 hrs · Like · 1

Prince Borde: Yea we strayed way off topic . I am lost now lol. Travis after reading our comments the first comment you made about big spenders seems like more out of your bad experience at the club. I don't see anything wrong with clubs that are financially doing well for themselves and buy the players needed to win.
3 hrs · Like

Kurtwyn Baird: I am a die hard supporter of all the teams in the league to continue striving for excellence,and which ever team or teams that represent TnT I commend the coaches and their staff members for being successful
3 hrs · Like

Lasana Liburd: I do agree with Travis Mulraine in that a man's salary should not be cut in such a manner. But that is the fault/domain of the owner though.
2 hrs · Like

Prince Borde: If you have a set contract how can salaries be cut?
2 hrs · Like · 1

Dion Sosa: Well said travis a lot of people living in denial or just plain nieve about our Oreo Minister of Sport he pretends 2 be some white knight when we all know he is a lying deceitful under handed crook just like the new managing director and the other lackies at the club anybody who associates with the massa has no class and is the same as him your never see a corbeaux and a parrot liming figure it out
1 hr · Like · 1

Norris Ferguson: Dion I have never been one to go on these social media and make comments, but would rather meet anyone face to face and chat. These were the same folks that you were prepared to link with to realized your personal ambitions, what has changed. You have ...See More
1 hr · Like · 1

Dion Sosa: Who player you are refering 2 I hope its not Qian grosvenor cause qian needed no permission from a club who wanted him 2 sign a waiver taking no responsibility but on the other hand if he got a contract they wanted compensation for him who the hell does that stupid shit
1 hr · Like

Dion Sosa: As for my goals and ambitions I thought they would have been an alternative 2 W connection but they are just as corrupted and tainted as them so I decided that I can never associate with people like them now or ever
1 hr · Like

Kendall Tull: My thoughts exactly Prince. Makes no sense to me.
1 hr · Like · 2

Prince Borde: I lost we! I here commenting on richer clubs benefitting and subject change. So I gone dey
1 hr · Like · 2

Kevin Harrison: Prince Borde, you're lost! I'm hearing lots of fantasies! lol Who could pay a Pro League manager $50,000? lol
7 mins · Like

Kevin Harrison:  LOL. What's that song? "Every creed and race has an equal place"????

Football / 10 players who never won PFA Player of the Year
« on: April 26, 2015, 07:55:33 PM »

With the PFA Player of the Year award set to be announced on Sunday, here are 10 players who never won the top prize, which was introduced in 1974.

10. Andy Cole

"I haven't paid attention to the selections for Footballer of the Year since 1999 when we won the treble and David Ginola of Spurs was given Player of the Year," said Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013, displaying that he certainly isn't shy of holding a grudge, but he also had a reasonable point, despite Ginola's brilliance that season. Presumably one of the reasons a United player didn't win that year was that their vote was split, with too many outstanding performers to pick out one. Dwight Yorke was the runner-up that year ("Frankly I felt robbed," he wrote in his autobiography), but his strike partner Andy Cole was another strong candidate, scoring 24 goals in that utterly extraordinary season. Cole won the young player of the year award in 1994, but despite being the Premier League's second-highest goal-scorer with 187, behind only Alan Shearer (although Wayne Rooney should overtake him before the end of the season), he was never recognised by his colleagues.

9. David Beckham

Another candidate from that great United team is David Beckham. There is a sense that Beckham was an overrated player in the wider world, given that he's probably still the most famous footballer on the planet, but perhaps underrated within football, for more or less the same reason. His celebrity was always viewed with suspicion within the game, but for long spells during his career it was certainly difficult to question his professionalism and ability. No more so than in the treble season, coming back from his red card at the 1998 World Cup and the associated opprobrium from the British press and public, which may have cowed some players but it seemed to inspire Beckham, putting in probably his best single season performance. Even apart from that, he almost deserved an award just for that astonishing crossing and dead ball ability, the like of which we've rarely seen before or since.

8. Neville Southall

It's not easy to win individual awards when you're a goalkeeper. Only two have won the PFA top prize -- Pat Jennings in 1976 and Peter Shilton in 1978 -- while only Lev Yashin has the Ballon d'Or, Oliver Kahn won the World Cup Golden Ball in 2002 and no keeper has ever won the FIFA World Player of the Year. However, for a while in the mid-1980s, Neville Southall was rated by many as the best glovesman in the world, and certainly the best in the First Division, particularly in Everton's title-winning season of 1984-85, when he was voted as the Football Writers' Association's top man, but not the PFA's. "When you've got a keeper like that in your team you can gain an extra fourteen points," said Everton captain and central-defender Kevin Ratcliffe, and while one wonders where Ratcliffe conjured that slightly arbitrary number from, it's difficult to argue with the general point.

7. Ian Wright

English football tends to go through phases with players and positional strength in depth. The early 2000s saw a surfeit of central defenders, with the likes of Sol Campbell, Rio Ferdinand, Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate and John Terry, while a few years later central midfield saw plenty of candidates for multiple caps, in Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes et al. In the early/mid-1990s, it was strikers. At another time, Robbie Fowler would have gained more than 26 caps, Andy Cole over 15 and Ian Wright more than 33, were it not for Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham. Wright scored 184 goals for Arsenal, their record-holder for a spell until Thierry Henry came along, but his peak years coincided with Paul McGrath, Eric Cantona and Shearer again. His general, shall we say "divisive" demeanour may have contributed to this, but on his day there were few more exciting players to watch.

6. Frank Lampard

In years to come, people may look back and wonder why Frank Lampard wasn't even more lauded than he already is now. While numbers alone are a rather dreary way of judging a man's quality, Lampard's are something to marvel at: In five years of his pomp, Lampard scored 20 goals or more in every season, including an astonishing 27 in 2009-10, as well as 19 in 2004-05 and 17 after he was supposedly well past his best in 2012-13. These are scoring records that, quite obviously, a striker would be pretty pleased with, but for a midfielder like Lampard they are astounding. Of course detractors might say his statistics are inflated by penalties, but there's a reason he was entrusted with them for Chelsea -- he was pretty good at them. If Lampard was going to win it would've been in 2005, when he was top-scorer in Chelsea's title-winning side (as he was the following season) and won the FWA award, but his fellow players gave John Terry the nod that time.

5. Robbie Fowler

When people talk of unfulfilled talent, it's usually names like Paul Gascoigne, or Stan Collymore, or Billy Kenny that spring to mind, but you could make an argument that Robbie Fowler tops them all. A man still called God at Anfield, Fowler's natural finishing ability was astonishing; he was able to find a way to score in the most implausible ways and with either foot, although that left peg was truly a thing of wonder. He should have been an undisputed great, but instead he is "merely" a deity at Anfield. So good was Fowler that he probably hastened Ian Rush's departure from the Liverpool first-team and eventually the club, something that at various points would have seemed unthinkable, but because of Fowler's remarkable ability, it didn't seem like much of a big deal. Perhaps Fowler would have been more successful and gained the sort of plaudits beyond Merseyside that his talent merited if he'd been born 10 or 20 years earlier -- his lack of pace possibly a hindrance at a time when English football was becoming faster and faster. He won the Young Player of the Year award in 1993, and at the time it looked like a mere formality that he would lift the main award at some point, but it wasn't to be.

4. Glenn Hoddle

There was of course always the impression that English football didn't quite 'get' Glenn Hoddle; that this languid aesthete, too hard to pin down, too flaky, especially in the 1980s when a little more graft, rough and indeed tumble was required. Peter Reid winning the PFA award in 1985 would seem to confirm this, although admittedly that was the season he won the league with Everton. This apparently extended to his fellow professionals too, who never gave Hoddle the requisite votes to be honoured by their association, nor did the gentlemen of the press agree with Tottenham fans' assessment that he was "The King of White Hart Lane." Hoddle moved to Monaco in 1987 in the hope that his talents would be more appreciated, and that turned out to be quite correct, as after winning Ligue 1 under Arsene Wenger in his first season, he was voted the top foreign player in France.

3. Graeme Souness

There's a case to be made that Graeme Souness is one of the most underrated players of the last 40 or so years. In seven years at Liverpool he won the league five times and the European Cup on three different occasions, and was the driving force from the middle in most of that time, a muscular and relentless presence who perhaps suffered a similar fate to Roy Keane, namely that his physicality perhaps overshadowed his technical gifts. But those technical gifts were considerable, excelling at basically everything you could ask a midfielder to excel at. "There are not many players who come up to our standard," said Bob Paisley shortly after Souness was signed by Liverpool in 1978. "Graeme can pass a ball, he's got vision and he's got strength. He'll play in central midfield, which is his position, and we'll sort out the rest from there." And sort it out they did, but not enough to win Souness any individual awards, despite teammates Kenny Dalglish, Terry McDermott and Ian Rush all picking up the PFA gong during Souness' time at Anfield.

2. Paul Scholes

The number of former players who rate Paul Scholes as the best they have either faced or appeared alongside has almost become a running joke down the years, and his status as an underrated player disappeared some time ago. Still, he never won an individual award of any particular note, until the Football Writers' Association's "Tribute Award" (shared with Gary Neville) in 2012, which smacked of a post-hoc appreciation of his general talents rather than a genuine award. Scholes's "problem", if you want to call it that, was that his career was one of sustained, relatively understated excellence, and he didn't really have one stand-out, brilliant season. Some parts of his career were obviously better than others, but the lack of a real "career year" probably cost him individual gongs.

1. Gianfranco Zola

You can argue over who was the best player on this list, but Gianfranco Zola is surely the most surprising. You have to check the names of the PFA award winners a few times just to make sure your eyes aren't playing tricks and that his fellow professionals never deemed him worthy of their approval -- such was his standing in the game as one of the first truly brilliant foreign stars to play in England after the Premier League explosion of cash and hype. Chelsea players of that era go moist around the eyes and almost glaze over when they recall what an astonishing talent he was, and legend has it that when John Terry got his '26' squad number, it was because the Chelsea dressing room seats were arranged in numerical order and he wanted to sit next to No.25, Zola. It's also surprising Zola never won the POTY because he was perhaps the nicest bloke in football, a friendly character with few enemies. So in the world of professional footballers where being someone's mate goes a long way, it seems extra strange that his affability, combined with his remarkable skill, didn't get him the top award.

Nick Miller is a football writer for ESPN FC, The Guardian, Eurosport and a number of other publications. Follow him on Twitter @NickMiller79.

Football / Rape Crisis Society benefits from Sharks efforts
« on: December 03, 2014, 06:54:36 AM »
Central F.C. Media press release

“The best yet” was how Central F.C.’s Managing Director, Brent Sancho described his club’s third annual Treat Her Like A Lady event at the Hilton Hotel last Thursday. “We had all of the usual ingredients, plus some added spice” said the former T&T defender. “Not only did we set a new record of raising funds for the Rape Crisis Society, but the event itself has become more fun, with even more entertainment and lots of goodies to make our guests feel spoiled”

The event, thought to be the only one of its kind organised by a men’s sporting organisation, sees over 120 female guests wined, dined and entertained by the players and staff of Central F.C. From the moment they arrive at the Hilton’s entrance, the ladies are escorted on the arms of the players to the Savannah Terrace with its stunning views across Port of Spain.

The ladies are served wines or soft drinks (or even a cold Carib Pilsner if they prefer!) before being offered a range of Hors D’Oeurves prepared by the Hilton Hotels chefs. After being presented with red or white long stemmed roses and enjoying the candies and snacks provided, a meal of chicken and pasta is served by the players. Desserts of specially created cup cakes sporting the Central F.C. logo finish off the culinary part of the evening.

more ....

Mods: please merge when ready.

Football / National Team Footballers Dumped On The Sidelines
« on: November 28, 2014, 11:14:15 PM »
FIFA red tape blocks Winchester and Plaza.
Central F.C. Press Release

T&T Internationals, Willis Plaza and Rundell Winchester have spent the last 2 months unable to play competitive football due to FIFA red tape.

Both players moved from Central F.C. to Belgian club C.S.Vise where they joined their former Central F.C. coach, Terry Fenwick.

“I thought it would be a great move in my career” said 27 year old Plaza. “I wanted to play in Europe and although Vise wasn’t a top club, I thought it would put me in the shop window to get me to a bigger club”
But things quickly went wrong for both players when their salaries were not paid.

“Vise is a nice club” said 20 year old Winchester ”And I thought working with Terry again would help me get used to playing overseas. Vise gave us nice apartments and things were going well until we didn’t get paid.”

The players still hadn’t been paid in September as directors left the club and those left behind struggled to find new finance. Meanwhile, the players were becoming so desperate that they were asking friends and family to send money from T&T to cover basic living expenses.

Meanwhile, Central F.C. were also chasing money owed by C.S.Vise. “We transferred Rundell to C.S.Vise in a deal that would see the Belgian club pay a fee in three tranches.”

Said Operations Director, Kevin Harrison. “When the Belgian club missed the first payment date, we contacted them only to find that the club was suffering from financial difficulties. We also learned that the boys hadn’t been paid, which was a breach of their contracts.”

Three weeks after the first transfer payment was due and it was clear, would not be paid in the near future, and realising that Winchester had still not been paid by Vise, Central F.C.’s board decided that they would recall the speedy Tobagonian and pay for his flight home.

“Had it just been a matter of waiting for the transfer fee, we may not have called Rundell back, but he was literally penniless in a foreign country.” said Harrison. Hearing that Winchester was returning to T&T, Plaza also approached Central F.C. for assistance.

“We spoke to Dexter Skeene at the Pro League and I wrote two letters to Sheldon Phillips at TTFA explaining the player’s situation, and Sheldon promised to “look into it” It appeared to be a straightforward process to bring the guys home and register them with Central.” said Harrison.

“Vise had breached their transfer agreement with Central F.C. and breached their contracts with the players. The Belgian club supported the players return to T&T and even agreed to instigate their international transfers via FIFA’s TMS system.”

But once the players returned to T&T, the situation became more difficult. “We uploaded their information on the TMS system and waited for approval, but it never came through.” Said Harrison.

“We kept updating Sheldon and asking about progress. On 30th September, Sheldon had still “heard nothing from the Belgian F.A.” By this time, both players were in training with Central F.C. We had paid for their flights, provided housing for them and were helping them out with some cash. But they could not play for Central until FIFA authorised their registration.”

On the 10th October, Central F.C. composed a letter to FIFA’s Player’s Status Committee, but being unable to locate any contact details, sent the letter to Phillips who informed Harrison that the committee didn’t use email, but he would forward the complaint to the Belgian F.A.

“3 days later, I sent a letter concerning Plaza to Sheldon, asking him to forward this to the Player’s Status Committee. Again, Sheldon replied that he would see what he could do.”

Harrison said he wrote again to Sheldon Phillips on 26th October explaining that Central were basically financially supporting both players yet were unable to play them. He also pointed out that both players may well be possible selections for Stephen Hart’s Caribbean Cup squad if they were match fit.

Phillips replied that he would follow up with FIFA the next day and that a provisional registration may be the best option.

On 29th October, Central F.C. received 2 letters from FIFA’s Director of Legal Affairs. While the letters stated that the players ordinarily could not be registered outside of the FIFA transfer window, they did point out that with the support of the “competent deciding authority” it was possible that FIFA could take provisional measures to authorise their registrations.

After discussing the matter with Phillips, Harrison wrote to him on 31st October requesting that FIFA authorise the registrations.

On 7th November, Phillips sent a TTFA “player clearance and registration” form for each player, which was hoped would allow them to finally register with Central F.C.

The forms were completed and emailed back the same day, but unfortunately, despite several attempts to several of Phillip’s email addresses, the emails bounced back.

Finally the forms were hand delivered to the TTFA office. Once the forms were completed, Phillips said they just needed to be sent to the Pro League office to confirm clearance for the players to be registered.

“However, once we sent the forms to the Pro League, we were told by General Secretary, Julia Baptiste that the TTFA forms could not be used to replace the necessary transfer forms and that we would need to obtain transfer certificates or an official letter from FIFA.’ explained Harrison. By this time both the players and Central F.C. staff were becoming exasperated by the drawn out process.

“We just couldn’t understand why we couldn’t resolve the issue. As far as we could tell, both players were free agents. Their basic right to earn their living was being denied and, to us, it was simply a matter of cutting through the red tape to solve the problem.” said Harrison.

“Remember, none of this was caused by the players. Both had not been paid by their club and Winchester’s transfer had been null and void due to non payment of the agreed fee. We thought that the FIFA TMS was supposed to remove these barriers.”

Finally, Phillips advised Harrison that it looked like the players could not be registered until the January transfer window.

“This just doesn’t seem right” said Plaza, who personally visited the TTFA office to protest his situation. “FIFA are supposed to make sure that clubs don’t mistreat players. My career has been put on hold for 3 months just because of paperwork.

We are the victims here. I know Central has done everything they can, but I’m disappointed in the lack of support from TTFA. We’re national team players and deserve the support of TTFA. We’re owed money by C.S.Vise and now we’re being stopped from earning a living by FIFA. It’s just wrong.”

“I don’t understand all of the terminology” said Winchester. “All I want to do is play football. That’s what I’m supposed to be paid to do. Mr Phillips is paid to deal with FIFA and other countries associations.

I can’t do that myself. I feel very let down by TTFA because I’ve done nothing wrong yet I’m missing out on games for Central and the national team and I’m owed money by Vise. We need a players union here because TTFA doesn’t seem to want to fight for us.”

Harrison said that he had not been copied in to any of the correspondence between TTFA and FIFA or the Belgian F.A.

“We put all of our faith in Sheldon, who I have a positive relationship with. We can only assume that FIFA is not interested in assisting these players, which, in itself, is shocking. Player’s careers are being damaged, yet it is not them who acted incorrectly.

Meanwhile, Central F.C. have lost the use of a valuable player for half a season due to C.S.Vise reneging on the transfer agreement and FIFA refusing to allow Winchester to register. Add to that the money we spent to bring them home and the financial support we have given them since they arrived back.”

Harrison said that something is very wrong with the FIFA systems if clubs can renege on transfers and breach player contracts, yet refuse to assist the victims of such actions. “Where is the protection for local clubs and players when dealing with clubs overseas?

We’re not sports lawyers. We rely on the guidance of TTFA in these matters. There is only so much we can do. After that, we must rely on TTFA to fight our corner”

Meanwhile, Winchester and Plaza continue to watch from the sidelines while their careers are at a standstill.

Football / The English F.A. - setting examples in football
« on: November 23, 2014, 08:41:38 AM »
First, let me say that this post is in no way trying to knock TTFA.
The English F.A. is very wealthy, has a big staff and is well supported by the U.K. Gov't (whichever party is in power)
Watch these videos:

This is a huge part of a football associations role in the game.

While it can be an expensive option, it is also possible to achieve similar results at no cost.

This Thursday at Central F.C.'s annual Treat Her Like A Lady event, Central will be previewing 2 adverts made for cinemas and T.V. promoting road safety. We obtained a small budget from a sponsor to make the films and everyone worked for free (except the film crew who charged a fraction of their usual cost)
Many of our senior players were too busy to take part in the adverts, so they feature mainly younger players who volunteered.

However, we are already having a positive response from sponsors and we intend to make some more, but this time the players will be paid (up to 30% of their usual monthly salaries). Those who assisted in the "free" ads will be given first option to participate.

My point is, that even with very limited budgets, it is possible to be creative and promote your brand.

I'm sure that TTFA, if pointed in the right direction, could produce similar efforts, which would go a long way to familiarizing the TTFA brand with the public.

Football / Tim Kee allegedly deceived TTFA executive about Warriors’ debt
« on: November 17, 2014, 05:45:54 AM »
Tim Kee allegedly deceived TTFA executive about Warriors’ debt.
By Lasana Liburd (wired868).

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee, according to a letter leaked to Wired868, apparently tried to deceive his own executive committee about the financial health of the football body and its debts to players and staff.

On 10 November 2014, Tim Kee, in a letter to his executive committee, appeared to dismiss claims that the TTFA had failed to meet its financial obligations to players and staff.

“There is no current debt to the national senior team and coaching staff,” wrote Tim Kee, in a letter that appeared to be signed by the football president and written on a TTFA letterhead. “The team has been paid all arrears and up to the date of this letter has been paid up to the CONCACAF tournament in Jamaica.”

The football president also told his executive committee that the arrears of his head coach, Stephen Hart, had been “addressed.”

“As you are aware, national senior team coach Stephen Hart, like his predecessors, is paid directly by the Ministry of Sport,” stated Tim Kee, on November 10, “and we have been working with them diligently to regularize Mr Hart’s salary arrangements.

“Currently Mr Hart’s arrears have been addressed.”

Both statements were, at best, economical with the truth. At worst, Tim Kee had presented a dishonest report to the football body and willfully misrepresented the condition of the TTFA’s flagship team.

On 14 November, four days after Tim Kee’s letter, Hart admitted that he still had not been paid by the TTFA while Wired868 understands he had gone eight months without a salary. The remaining staff and players have also gone six months since their last match fee with the combined debt believed to be in the region of $5 million.

And, in the period between the executive committee’s letter on October 22 and Tim Kee’s response, the “Soca Warriors” had been temporarily barred from their team camp at the Carlton Savannah hotel for non-payment. While the national players threatened to boycott the 2014 Caribbean Cup finals unless they received assurances regarding outstanding payments.

At present, the Warriors hope that outstanding money will be relayed to the squad via manager William Wallace on Tuesday November 18, which is the day of the Caribbean Cup final. The Trinidad and Tobago team, which faces host side Jamaica in the final, is bidding to lift the regional crown for the first time in 13 years.

The TTFA executive’s list of questions, which were signed by Lennox Watson, Rudy Thomas and Krishna Kuarsingh and apparently approved by Neville Ferguson, Roland Forde, Richard Quan Chan, Brian Layne, Sherwin Dyer, Paula Chester-Cumberbatch and Anthony Creed, also accused Tim Kee of failing to provide financial statements to the football body including figures for any of the Warriors’ international tours including the Argentina charter.

Tim Kee, who is also the Port of Spain Mayor, PNM Treasurer and chairman of the TTFA Finance Committee, conceded that there had been no audited accounting statements presented to the executive committee during his two years at the helm of the football body.

And he did not provide the requested information either. Instead, he blamed his failure to properly account for the football body’s spending on the “long list of financial issues” inherent in an organization that supposedly had not been audited between 2007 and 2012.

“It is particularly ironic that having inherited this previously poorly managed situation,” said Tim Kee, “that the same individuals responsible for the predicament of the organization now ‘demand’ to be presented financial statements that have been challenging to arrange due to the past mismanagement of TTFF accounts.”

Ironically, Tim Kee did not point out that he was a senior vice-president for more than half the period he identified. He did claim, though, that the football body’s management accounts would “be made available as soon as the auditors have had an opportunity to provide final sign off.”

He did not give himself a deadline to provide financial answers.

The executive committee had questions too about the TTFA’s use of FIFA funds, which should have been at least $4.8 million in 2014, and its treatment of the “Women Soca Warriors.”

“Why was the mandatory 15 percent (of the FIFA funds) not given to the national senior women’s team for their World Cup qualifying matches?” asked the executive committee.

Tim Kee did not say how much money his general secretary, Sheldon Phillips, received from FIFA but again suggested that such information would be provided after auditors had signed off on the football body’s account. Once more, he did not provide a date.

His response on the funding of the women’s team was also long-winded and vague.

Read More

Football / Dominican Republic launches Pro League
« on: September 18, 2014, 03:16:40 PM »
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – FIFA Vice President and CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb endorsed the inauguration of the Dominican Republic Professional Football League at the Federación Dominicana de Fútbol’s gala event on Monday.

Webb encouraged local stakeholders to “work together to write a new history” for the future of the Dominican game.

“On behalf of CONCACAF, I congratulate this vision and the captains of industry who support it,” Webb told an audience of over 200 persons gathered at the Hotel Embajador.  “Today is an excellent day for football.  The vision of the Federación Dominicana de Fútbol has materialized into the creation of a top level league, which is an historic feat for this Caribbean island.  The competition will not only benefit youth players who aspire to play professional football, but also give a fantastic opportunity to individuals involved in this dynamic industry.”

Federación Dominicana de Fútbol President Osiris Guzmán was delighted to host the CONCACAF President as a guest speaker at the event. 

“It is a pleasure to have the support of our Confederation to bolster this initiative, stirring up more confidence and providing much needed momentum to start the league off strongly,” said Guzman.

The league is scheduled to kick off in March 2015 with ten teams.  Prior to this initiative, teams played on a local, grassroots level.

Webb departed with an inspirational message to the Federation and its stakeholders, stating, “Let today be a defining moment for the Federation.  I am proud and honored to witness this historical moment in the advancement of football in this country and I look forward to watching the clubs steadily raise their level of play and enhance the quality of their game.”

Football / Ross Russell Thread
« on: August 12, 2014, 09:12:23 PM »
I've heard that Defence Force coach, Ross Russell has had a stroke.

I sincerely hope this is not true, but it came from a good source. I have no news of the severity of the stroke.

All at Central F.C. pray that Ross will be on the touchline in September for Army's first game of the season.

How much more does this Defence Force squad have to suffer this year?

Football / Double celebration for Central F.C. in Pro League Awards
« on: March 12, 2014, 04:18:28 PM »
Central duo Plaza and Fenwick are Player and Coach of the Month for February.

Central FC forward Willis Plaza believes his prayers are being answered, but not without hard work, as he enjoys life as a footballer.

The 26-year-old Trinidad and Tobago international was voted the TT Pro League/Wendy’s Player of the Month of February, becoming the second Central player to get the award this season after forward Rundell Winchester picked up the accolade in September.

Meanwhile Central head coach Terry Fenwick picked up his second TTPL/Blue Waters Coach of the Month award in February. The other was in September for the First Citizens Cup winning coach.

Both Plaza and Fenwick were influential in the “Sharks” jump to second position on the league standings in February, and Plaza’s 6 goals in four matches surely didn’t go unnoticed.

“It’s like prayers coming through for me,” said a thrilled Plaza.

“It’s all that I’ve been praying for – like this (award) and being on the national team are blessings from the lord above. So praise and thanks to him.”

Plaza who represented San Juan Jabloteh between 2010-2012 before moving to Vietnam in late 2012 for a stint with Navibank Saigon, and later joined Song Lam Nghe An for the 2013 season, joined Central during the December/January transfer window.

“I have fans now, and people to play for,” added Plaza.

“I’m already making my family and friends proud, so it inspires me to keep working hard, because without hard work every day, things aren’t possible.”

Plaza, who is desirous of returning abroad, “maybe Europe”, continued, “I’ve made a great difference at Central we are actually winning games at the moment. I want to continue and help the team finish in the top two. I know Connection are very hard to compete with (at this stage) but I’m focused on doing my best.”

Plaza, who was influential in two goals during Central’s 3-2 comeback win over Defence Force last Sunday, believes he also has a shot at the Golden Boot.

“I’m also looking at the golden Boot. I’m six goals behind the leading (league) goal-scorer and it’s just for him to slip up …and I’m (ahead).”

2013/2014 Wendy's Player of the Month

Rundell Winchester/Central FC – September

Kerry Baptiste/San Juan Jabloteh – October

Joevin Jones/W Connection – November/December

Marcus Joseph/Point Fortin Civic – January

Willis Plaza / Central FC – February

Blue Waters Coach of the Month

Terry Fenwick/Central FC – September

Stuart Charles Fevrier/W Connection – October

Stuart Charles Fevrier/W Connection – November/December

Reynold Cartington/Point Fortin Civic – January

Terry Fenwick/Central FC – February

Football / Cesc Fabregas interview
« on: December 06, 2013, 10:15:47 AM »
Excerpt from a Cesc Fabregas interview with Sid Lowe:

Can Özil provide some of those goals?

I think he's going to enjoy it enormously. He's the man who has to make the difference in the final third. His last pass is brilliant, he'll get more space and with space he kills you. He's going to score more goals himself because of that space. There's no one better than him for that mediapunta role. In England opponents follow you, but if a player comes out to you it is easier to play a quick one-two and go beyond him into space. In a tactical-defensive sense, it is much more calculated in Spain; it's harder to score goals than in England.

Yet the assumption is that the Premier League is harder than La Liga ...

More ....

Football / Generous community aids Sharks hunt for food
« on: December 06, 2013, 05:31:18 AM »
 Central F.C. began their annual Christmas parcels collection on Saturday when they collected food items outside of the California Supermarket, Southern Main Road, California. Sharks players, Dwight Quintero, Javon Sample and Shem Alexander were on hand to sign autographs while shoppers donated tinned food and non perishable items. “The community really got behind the collection” said 18 year old goalkeeper, Javon Sample. “We asked shoppers on the way into the Supermarket to purchase an extra item, and they deposited it in our barrel on the way out.”

“Everyone was supportive” said 19 year old striker, Dwight Quintero. “If they didn’t deposit an item, they made a cash donation. Virtually everybody gave something.” Quintero who is Central F.C.’s joint top scorer with Rundell Winchester, added “ One lady even went home to bring more tins from her cupboard! Fantastic effort!”


Football / Adidas launch World Cup Brazuca football in Trinidad
« on: December 05, 2013, 05:37:18 PM »
Central F.C. helped Adidas launch the 2014 World Cup football by organising an exhibition football tournament in Ariapita Avenue.

It was originally carded for Friday evening but due to a delay in Panama, the event took place on Tuesday.

The formal launch of the ball took place simultaneously around the world and Anil Roberts and Raymond Tim-Kee attended the Wednesday morning Trinidad launch.

Mr Tim-Kee was instrumental in organising the permissions to stage the tournament while Brent Sancho was the Trinidad event host.

TTFA presents 'one world' footballs to primary schools
Shaun Fuentes (TTFA Media via

Friday, November 22 2013

THE Trinidad and Tobago Football Association commenced its distribution process of the indestructible footballs to schools at the Finals of the Atlantic LNG Primary Schools Finals at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Wednesday.

Twenty-one schools received 20 footballs each which TTFA Technical Director Anton Corneal says will aid in the development of the game at the respective schools. Corneal conducted “C’ License Coaching Courses for several Primary School Coaches this year in a collaborated effort with Atlantic LNG.

Representative from each of the schools received boxes of footballs from a presentation party that included Corneal, National Senior Team head coach Stephen Hart and TTFA General Secretary Sheldon Phillips. The distribution process will continue in coming weeks at various points in the country.

“This will go a long way in promoting the sport and the playing of the game at the various schools throughout the country,” Corneal told TTFA Media.

“What we noticed was there was an obvious need for more equipment at this level and these balls through an initiative between One World Futbol and the TTFA came at an ideal time as it falls directly in line with our youth development programme.” ”I think it’s going to help in a lot of ways. Some of the schools had two or three footballs which was not enough. It’ a first where we have ever given so many balls to schools or communities, These balls will also be used in our grassroots programme, In a few weeks we have a shoreline programme where we go to places like Mayaro, Icacos. Toco and other areas will receive manuals and coaching courses will be conducted in these areas,” Corneal added.


Pope steps in to remove Central‘s cup disadvantage while the Winny & Quinny show.
Central F.C. Media press release

20 year old defender, Dwight Pope, scored in the 6th minute of the Toyota Classic match against Joe Public to overcome The Sharks’ perceived disadvantage at the Marvin Lee Stadium on Saturday night.

The fixture had raised complaints from the California based team because the venue, Joe Publics artificial surface at Marvin Lee Stadium clearly gave the Super League club an advantage.

“The shocking thing about this issue is; not only was a supposedly neutral draw compromised, but that it appears that nobody can see the ramifications” said Central F.C. Operations Director, Kevin Harrison.

“The competition rules clearly state that there is not necessarily home advantage for teams drawn first.

They also state that a factor in the awarding of venues is the leagues desire to maximise the numbers of supporters attending the games. While we fundamentally support these concepts, how can we then be carded to play a game where the second drawn team is at home? It makes no sense.”

The Central F.C. players, who were determined to play the game wherever it was staged, clearly have set their sights on a second trophy this season, and exploded into action. In a game that The Sharks totally dominated, Joe Public had no chance of using their knowledge of the artificial surface to their advantage. It was a poor game for goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams to use as preparation for the forth coming clash between T&T and Jamaica, as he hardly touched the ball and had no saves to make.

Central F.C. squandered many clear chances, with  Dwight Quintero looking lively up front. But it was the introduction of his strike partner, Rundell Winchester, in the 62nd minute that produced the destruction of Joe Public. Within 2 minutes of his appearance, the “Quinchester” partnership produced the second goal, with the two 19 year olds combining.

Winchester, who has again been selected for the national squad for the upcoming Jamaica games, is looking more like the all round strike partner that Kenwyne Jones has been looking for. With his blistering pace and his ability to find a team mate when at high speed down the flanks, Winny could build a partnership with Jones that may provide a handful for any of the regions defenses.

Winchester stated his claim for a starting place against Jamaica with his own strike three minutes later, to prompt the question: is this the deadliest strike force in the Pro League?

“One remembers classic strike partnerships such as the Blackburn S.A.S. – Sutton and Shearer or, of course, our own Dwight Yorke’s partnership with Andrew Cole at Manchester United.” said Harrison.

“And, of course, we’ve seen the deadly Defence Force partnerships combining Jorsling, Carter and Roy. But you have to remember that Winny and Quinny are both only 19. I can’t think of a formidable strike partnership like “Quinchester” where both players were under 20.

But despite their overwhelming victory, Central F.C. intends to continue their complaint surrounding the choice of venue. “We will play at any reasonable venue, including Marvin Lee Stadium. But we will write to the Pro League’s competitions committee to express our concern.”

Said Harrison “Whenever Joe Public are drawn as an away team, using whatever criteria you choose, they cannot compete at Marvin Lee Stadium where they have a clear perceived advantage. This is just plain common sense. There was a very simple solution, but our concerns were totally ignored. If we aspire to be a league of international reputation, we must ensure that we deal with issues correctly and a proper format is followed to deal with such issues.”

Harrison also hit out at the lack of venues available to professional football. “We clearly have huge problems” he said.

“We have the F.A. Trophy just beginning, the Toyota Classic underway and school football reaching it’s climax, yet we only have Ato Boldon, Marvin Lee and Hasely Crawford available. Julia Baptiste at the Pro League does a magnificent job under the circumstances, shuffling fixtures, sometimes at short notice. Praise must also be give to the grounds man at Ato Boldon Stadium, which is taking a real pasting in the wet conditions. Mr John, the stadium manager, is trying to accommodate as must as possible, but I’m sure he’d prefer to see less football at the moment!”

20 year old defender, Dwight Pope, scored in the 6th minute of the Toyota Classic match against Joe Public to overcome The Sharks’ perceived disadvantage at the Marvin Lee Stadium on Saturday night. The fixture had raised complaints from the California based team because the venue, Joe Publics artificial surface at Marvin Lee Stadium clearly gave the Super League club an advantage.

“The shocking thing about this issue is; not only was a supposedly neutral draw compromised, but that it appears that nobody can see the ramifications” said Central F.C. Operations Director, Kevin Harrison.

“The competition rules clearly state that there is not necessarily home advantage for teams drawn first. They also state that a factor in the awarding of venues is the leagues desire to maximise the numbers of supporters attending the games. While we fundamentally support these concepts, how can we then be carded to play a game where the second drawn team is at home? It makes no sense.”

The Central F.C. players, who were determined to play the game wherever it was staged, clearly have set their sights on a second trophy this season, and exploded into action. In a game that The Sharks totally dominated, Joe Public had no chance of using their knowledge of the artificial surface to their advantage. It was a poor game for goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams to use as preparation for the forth coming clash between T&T and Jamaica, as he hardly touched the ball and had no saves to make.

Central F.C. squandered many clear chances, with  Dwight Quintero looking lively up front. But it was the introduction of his strike partner, Rundell Winchester, in the 62nd minute that produced the destruction of Joe Public. Within 2 minutes of his appearance, the “Quinchester” partnership produced the second goal, with the two 19 year olds combining.

Winchester, who has again been selected for the national squad for the upcoming Jamaica games, is looking more like the all round strike partner that Kenwyne Jones has been looking for. With his blistering pace and his ability to find a team mate when at high speed down the flanks, Winny could build a partnership with Jones that may provide a handful for any of the regions defences.

Winchester stated his claim for a starting place against Jamaica with his own strike three minutes later, to prompt the question: is this the deadliest strike force in the Pro League?

“One remembers classic strike partnerships such as the Blackburn S.A.S. – Sutton and Shearer or, of course, our own Dwight Yorke’s partnership with Andrew Cole at Manchester United.” said Harrison. “And, of course, we’ve seen the deadly Defence Force partnerships combining Jorsling, Carter and Roy. But you have to remember that Winny and Quinny are both only 19. I can’t think of a formidable strike partnership like “Quinchester” where both players were under 20.

But despite their overwhelming victory, Central F.C. intends to continue their complaint surrounding the choice of venue.

“We will play at any reasonable venue, including Marvin Lee Stadium. But we will write to the Pro League’s competitions committee to express our concern.” Said Harrison “Whenever Joe Public are drawn as an away team, using whatever criteria you choose, they cannot compete at Marvin Lee Stadium where they have a clear perceived advantage. This is just plain common sense. There was a very simple solution, but our concerns were totally ignored. If we aspire to be a league of international reputation, we must ensure that we deal with issues correctly and a proper format is followed to deal with such issues.”

Harrison also hit out at the lack of venues available to professional football. “We clearly have huge problems” he said. “We have the F.A. Trophy just beginning, the Toyota Classic underway and school football reaching it’s climax, yet we only have Ato Boldon, Marvin Lee and Hasely Crawford available.

Julia Baptiste at the Pro League does a magnificent job under the circumstances, shuffling fixtures, sometimes at short notice. Praise must also be give to the grounds man at Ato Boldon Stadium, which is taking a real pasting in the wet conditions. Mr John, the stadium manager, is trying to accommodate as must as possible, but I’m sure he’d prefer to see less football at the moment!”

Central F.C. now look forward to playing Defence Force, who they defeated last month in the First Citizens Cup Final.

As a tribute to T&T’s armed servicemen who fell during armed conflict, Central F.C. will be wearing a red, white and black uniform in their F.A. Trophy clash, and will present a wreath of remembrance to Defence Force before their Toyota Classic encounter.

“As much as we sometimes get over passionate about football” said Harrison “We have to put things into perspective. Trinidad & Tobago servicemen lost their lives fighting to free the world from oppression. We should not take our freedom for granted and we should never forget their sacrifice.” 

Harrison added about the fixture: “The army is always a tough game.They’ve had a shaky start to the season, but you can never write them off. Both defences will have to be on top form, as T&T’s deadliest striking partnerships will be on duty that night!”

Football / Norris Ferguson: Poacher turned gamekeeper
« on: October 30, 2013, 11:27:10 PM »
Central F.C. General Manager Norris Ferguson has done, seen and won just about everything in football.

After joining the Trinidad & Tobago Police Service in 1971, Norris immediately became an active member of both their football and cricket teams, and eventually captained the football team. By 1975, Ferguson had become a much feared striker and scored two goals against Lantern Giants to win the Durity Cup and two goals against the same team to win the F.A. Trophy, in which he managed to score in every round of the competition.

Moving on to administration, Ferguson became PRO of the South Zone in 1989 and was appointed to the TTFA General Council. 1991 saw Ferguson appointed as liaison officer to the Guatemalan national team during the Under 17 CONCACAF championship, while the following year, he was appointed as the TTFA representative to the Under 20 national team.


Football / Fenwick hits out at flood of foreign imports
« on: October 05, 2013, 10:15:20 AM »

Central FC head coach Terry Fenwick has a point to make against DIRECTV W Connection, and wants to do it on Friday when both teams meet in the semi-final round of the First Citizens Cup at the Ato Boldon Stadium.

“I’m just hoping that (our) local boys come through,” he said.

The highly anticipated Couva derby between Central and six-time First Citizens Cup winners (2001, 2004-2008) Connection will kick off from 8pm in semi-final two.

Two hours earlier, 6pm, San Juan Jabloteh and two-time winners (2002 & 2009) Defence Force will kick off semi-final one.

Jabloteh defeated St. Ann's Rangers 2-1 to reach the semi-final, while Defence Force, the defeated finalists to Caledonia last season, edged the Morvant/Laventille club 1-0.

As for Central and Connection, the Couva clubs reached the semi-final round by defeating North East Stars 2-1, and Point Fortin Civic 6-5 following a goalless draw, respectively.

Connection head coach Stuart Fevrier, has played down the magnitude of the derby, saying that the semi-final clash against Central it as a typical day for his team.

But there is more to it for Fenwick, than just the precious spot into the First Citizens Cup Final onOctober 18.

“The magnitude of the game is on several fronts,” said Fenwick, a longtime rival of the “Savonnetta Boys” and a former England international.

“W Connection made a statement by bringing in fourteen foreigners,” the three-time Pro League winning coach continued.

“They clearly don’t have faith in local development. It’s disappointing that a club like W Connection isn’t helping the cause whether it be the Pro League or the national team.

“(Connection coach) Stuart Charles (Fevrier) and (Connection owner) David John Williams have gone for third rate Brazilians and Colombians. None of these players are Brazilian, or Colombian national team players.

“There are criteria everywhere else in the world when it comes to foreign players. So why isn’t there a more critical criteria? Where is the development in that?

“(Caledonia head coach) Jamaal Shabazz and (North East Stars head coach) Angus Eve have been very vocal when it comes to foreign coaches, but nothing was said when Connection signed fourteen foreigners. That’s clear contradiction!"

Fenwick went further to add, “We are doing our best not just for Central, but for the national effort as well. Our objective is to get as many players from Central into the national team. Clearly, Connection doesn’t have that sort of ambition.”

But contrary to some of Fenwick’s views, Connection made seven new foreign signings this season.

Twenty-one year-old midfielders Yefer Steven Lozano Rubiano and Yhon Stiven Reyes Lopez, and 23 year-old striker Camilo Andres Ortega Diaz were all snapped up from their native Colombian Club Deportivo Orsomarso; 25 year-old Brazilian midfielder Celio Guilherme Da Silva Santos, formally of Brazil’s second division club Gremio Anapolis, and fellow countryman 22 year-old right-back João Ananias Jordão Júnior on a six-month loan deal from Brazil's First Division outfit Clube Nãutico Capibaride. St. Kitts/Nevis international goalkeeper Julani Archibald and former Italy Under 20 striker Mirko Delia were also new signings.

But the 24 year-old Delia returned home last month and could possibly quit the game because of chronic knee pain according to Fevrier.

Last month Fevrier defended the club's decision to shop outside T&T for talent. He explained that a number of players had renege on contracts while others were unprofessional in their attitude towards the game at a time when Connection were preparing for the Concacaf Champions League.

Central Football ClubThe rest of Connection’s squad includes T&T Senior Team internationals Joevin Jones and Daneil Cyrus; T&T Senior Team capped players Hashim Arcia, Mekeil Williams and Jamal Clarence; ex-T&T Senior Team internationals Silvio Spann and Clyde Leon; T&T U23 players Jerrel Britto and Jomal Williams; T&T U20 players Neil Benjamin and Alvin Jones; ex-T&T U23 defender Leslie Russell; while former T&T youth player Andell Noray and fellow Tobagonian Gem Gordon were new signings.

St. Lucia Senior Team Internationals Kurt Frederick and Tremain Shayn Paul; Suriname Senior International Stefano Rijssel; and St. Kitts/Nevis Senior International Davaughn Elliot were part of the Connection set-up prior to this season, while Colombians Christian Viveros and Alejandro Figueroa, and St. Kitts/Nevis Senior International Gerard Williams are seasoned Pro League campaigners.

“Our boys are pumped up and they are ready to go," said the Central coach, turning his focus on Friday’s First Citizens Cup semi-final clash. "They have recognized the statement Connection have made.

"We have a nice mixture of youth and experience and played particularly well in the first 45 minutes against North East Stars [in our last game] and should have been 3 goals up. We are hoping to keep lifting our standard."

Fevrier meantime, was cool as ever ahead of the Central contest.

“It’s a normal game for me,” said the St. Lucian. “Every game we play is a derby for us. Everyone is always motivated when they are against us, and this one is no different.”

However he didn’t trim down the physical task ahead, adding, “Normally, teams that Fenwick coach, tend to be very physical. So that’s the type of game we are expecting. That’s the sort of the game our players are expecting.”

This week Connection welcomed back Trinidad and Tobago Senior Team duo Joevin Jones and Cyrus to the squad after the pair served a retroactive two-match suspension following a breach of contract.

Jones and Cyrus, the club's then captain and vice-captain respectively, were guilty of playing in a minor league match last month.

Fevrier left the duo out of his squad for the team's final group match of the Concacaf Champions League away to Houston Dynamo of the United States Major League Soccer, and against Point Fortin at the Mahaica Oval.

Jones and Cyrus were fined two month’s salaries of which one month was suspended pended any further infractions within the next six months, as part of the club’s Disciplinary Committee’s ruling.

Fevrier said that all his players are available and whatever the selection on Friday, "We always have confidence in our ability. We always back our team to do well against any opponent. And I have confidence in all my players, and at any point in time, anyone will play.”

Football / Brazil's Hiroshima: 'The man who made a nation cry'
« on: September 09, 2013, 08:56:50 PM »
This was written in June, but I thought it may be worth sharing.

Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium was packed to the rafters: 200,000 expectant spectators prepared to celebrate Brazil's first World Cup triumph and its arrival as a football superpower.

It was the moment the South American country's love of the game, and of its most prestigious competition, became a dangerous obsession.

July 16, 1950, the final match of the final group stage. Brazil faced Uruguay, and a draw would be enough to see the host crowned as champion.

The champagne was put on ice when winger Friaca gave Brazil a 1-0 lead just after halftime.

But the samba beat was silenced when Juan Alberto Schiaffino equalized for Uruguay -- and then the unthinkable happened.
Will Brazil be ready for the World Cup?
Brazil prepares to host World Cup and Olympics Brazil prepares to host World Cup and Olympics
Brazil\'s World Cup rescue mission Brazil's World Cup rescue mission

Uruguay came forward, Brazil goalkeeper Barbosa stepped off his line, Alcides Ghiggia scuffed a low shot towards the near post ... and the ball nestled in the back of the net.

Brazil had lost.

A nation's hearts were broken. Lives were forever altered and a national obsession was born.

The 63 years since have seen Brazil become football's dominant force. The five World Cups won by "A Selecao" is more than any other country in the quadrennial competition's 83-year history.

But not one of Brazil's quintet of triumphs has banished the shadow cast by the failure of Moacyr Barbosa Nascimento and his teammates.

"The idea the rest of the world has about Brazil, and perhaps Brazil has about itself to a certain extent, is that it is all about 'joga bonito,' it is all about the beautiful game," says Jonathan Wilson, journalist and author of "The Outsider: A history of the goalkeeper."

"Actually it is all about winning in Brazil, far more than anywhere else despite the perception," he told CNN. "There's no such thing as heroic failure in Brazil.

"Barbosa was named goalkeeper of the tournament, but he was scapegoated in Brazil because of what happened in the final game.

"He didn't get picked for the next couple of years. He was a very good goalkeeper, but all he is remembered for is that one mistake."

The error which led to Uruguay's second goal hung over Barbosa until his death in 2000.

But the saddest moment of his life, he said, was not in the final or its immediate aftermath.

Some 20 years later, a woman in a supermarket pointed towards him and declared to the young boy by her side, "Look at him, son. He is the man that made all of Brazil cry."

"Under Brazilian law the maximum sentence is 30 years," Barbosa remarked on his 79th birthday, just two weeks before he passed away. "But my imprisonment has been for 50 years."

The disappointment looms large in Brazil's national psyche, and all the more so with the country to host the World Cup again next year for the first time since that fateful day.

"Nelson Rodriguez, the playwright, spoke about 'Our Hiroshima," Wilson said. "It seems monstrously disproportionate and it is, but I think what he means is that it's Brazil's national disaster.

"They've never been in a war, they've never really had a great disaster. They just expected to win. The newspapers on the morning of the game were saying 'Brazil World Champions.' "

The newspapers were wrong.

It is this weight which the present day team must carry as it prepares to host the Confederations Cup, a warmup event for the World Cup, which Brazil kicks off against Japan on Saturday.

Once again the World Cup is coming to Brazil and once again a nation expects.

"Everybody knows the bad experiences we had in the World Cup in Brazil in the '50s -- we lost, but now we have to recover," says Pele, one of football's greatest players and a triple World Cup winner with Brazil between 1958 and 1970.

Barbosa's tale is a cautionary one for the current Brazil squad. A mistake by any player next year could be the costliest they ever make.

Luiz Felipe Scolari, coach of the last Brazil team to lift the World Cup in 2002, was reinstated in November 2012 to inspire a floundering team.

The results have been unspectacular.

Scolari has won two, drawn four and lost one of his seven matches back at the helm and the team languishes in 22nd in the FIFA world rankings.

A 2-2 draw with England in June was the first match at the refurbished Maracana, a stadium which is both a monument to Brazil's sporting prowess and a mausoleum for past failure.

"We always have good players, but we don't have a good team right now," Carlos Alberto, captain of Brazil's World Cup winners of 1970, told CNN. "We don't have experience, the players are very young.

"Everybody says to these players, 'You have to win, you have to win.' It's not good because they are young, they don't have the experience to play an international tournament."

That 1970 team is often referred to as the greatest of all time, given the style and swagger with which it crushed Italy 4-1 in the final match of the Mexico tournament.

The advent of color television made the players, bedecked in iconic vibrant yellow with green trim, appear as if soccer stars from another planet.

Alberto does not think the current generation is yet capable of emulating his team's achievements, but he is backing his countrymen to succeed four years later.
Thiago Silva targets PSG dominance
World Cup stadium in Amazon rainforest

"They are going to take the experience of playing in the World Cup next year into 2018. In Russia, I bet you any money Brazil will win!" he declared.

"Next year, if they get to the semifinals it is OK."

Edu, a midfielder capped 15 times for Brazil between 2004 and 2005, shares Alberto's reservations.

The former Arsenal player is concerned a change of management has disrupted a squad short on international experience.

"We're not prepared yet," Edu, now director of football at Club World Cup winners Corinthians, told CNN. "We've changed the coach, which is not normal.

"Usually a coach has four, five, six years to get used to his team. Scolari is lucky, because Brazil has a lot of players to build a good squad. But I'm not sure if they will be prepared enough for the World Cup.

"The Brazilian team is not in the best moment."

One player of whom a huge amount is expected is Neymar, a flamboyant attacker recently signed by Barcelona who is frequently hailed as "the new Pele."

If Brazil is to finally win the World Cup on home soil, the fleet-footed, shock-haired attacker will have to prove he has shoulders broad enough to carry a nation's hopes.

"Listen, winning the World Cup is very hard because it is a box of surprises. No doubt Brazil is one of the best, but this doesn't mean Brazil is going to win ... The best players in Europe, they are Brazilian," Pele told CNN.

"In Brazil we have had a lot of excellent players like Zico, Tostao, Rivelino, Pele, Ronaldinho, but the last two years we have had Neymar.

"He is very talented. I hope he has luck in Barcelona. I didn't like it so much because he used to play in my team, Santos, I lost a good player. He deserves to go to the best team.

"I said to be the new Pele would be very difficult, because my mother and my father, they closed the machine (gestures). But no doubt he is one of the best players who we have in Brazil."

Football / The future for T&T national team
« on: July 20, 2013, 07:14:03 PM »
I'm betting that many of the guys on the field tonight won't be in Hart's next squad.

Hart has a clear mandate: Qualify for 2018.

That's 5 years away. He will want to form a nucleus of 35 players who are currently under the age of 25. He has to assume that T&T will be at the WC2018.

So he will try out a lot of guys between 18 and 25. He won't worry about losing friendlies.

Some of tonights squad will be in the mix in the qualifying faze, but many such as Glen, Edwards, Birchall etc may have played their last game.

This is a very important 2 years for T&T and if Hart knows his stuff, I feel that given a decent WC draw, we will be there in 2018.

Football / Volunteers wanted to fly "We big flag"
« on: July 02, 2013, 10:14:32 PM »
Having spoken to Tallman, I think it would be great if some forumites came to the Central F.C. vs Walsall game to fly "we big flag"

As it's a T&T vs England contest, the flag will be patriotic. It will also be photographed and be seen on Walsall's  website and facebook page thus promoting T&T football.

Finally, with Gold Cup Fever in the air, it may be a catalyst to ignite national pride and support for the National team and encourage a bit more support at National and Pro League games.

We will give 12 free tickets to a crew who can fly the flag.

Any takers?

Game is on Tuesday 9th July at Hasley Crawford at 7pm. There will be a game between Central F.C.'s Lady Sharks and Barataria Ball Players at 5pm. 

Saturday 1.30pm

Also, at 4.30 streaming of Treat Her Like A Lady

Football / ProLeague pioneer film maker passes away
« on: May 17, 2013, 07:46:37 AM »
Derek "Short Man" Elliott sadly passed away on Wednesday.

For those who didn't know Shortman, he was probably the best known media character around T&T football. He filmed virtually every Pro League video and filmed hundreds of Pro League games.
Everybody in football liked Short Man and he was easy to work with (well, most times!)

He will be sorely missed, both as a torch bearer for local football, and as a friendly face around the Pro League.

RIP Short Man   :beermug:

Football / Sancho making another movie
« on: May 01, 2013, 04:49:53 PM »
Not sure if this is the right board for this, but mods can move it, if necessary!

A behind the scenes look at the latest Triniwood production by International Performers Guild...A Break For Sue.
Featuring Road March winner, Sanelle Dempster with guest appearances by 4 times Boxing World Champion, Ria Ramnarine and T&T international footballers, Brent Sancho and Kevin Jeffrey.

With an all T&T cast and crew, the film is being made entirely on location in Trinidad.

Which club would be the World's best if a rule was in place saying you can only sign players who came from a 30 mile radius of your home stadium?

I haven't thoroughly researched every team, but it seems to me that Barca, Real, Man U, Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea etc, while able to put out a team, would not be the dominant force that they are now.

Much like a country such as Wales, where extraordinary talent such as Ryan Giggs, and Ian Rush hail from, a club may unearth one or two local jewels, but never enough to win anything.

I mean, originally, Association Football pitted the best from one town against the next. Certain clubs would benefit if they had a nearby army base to draw from (particularly during times of National Service).

In those days, you could get an indication of where the best footballing talent came from.

Nowadays, clubs can sign players from anywhere so we have the situation where England (supposedly) has the strongest collection of clubs yet never win anything internationally. Maybe this year, domestic football will replicate international football with Germany proving that a strong domestic league doesn't necessarily weaken the national team.

I just wondered, because Pro League teams have a very small pool to draw from. Look at the area that Brazilian clubs can draw from or Argentinian clubs or even France and Germany. So when we say Brazil is the best, or Spain is the best, they have a player pool 100 times larger than T&T. Therefore, their domestic teams have advantages over teams from countries like T&T, Jamaica etc.

But if say, Caledonia had the top players born in T&T could they beat Man U or Real Madrid if they fielded only local players?

So when we measure T&T football against other nations, are we using the correct barometer? If we lose 3-0 to Mexico, is that actually bad? Would we still lose 3-0 if Mexico could only select from an area of the country with 1.3 million in it? (like a regional side)

T&T have a huge disadvantage, yet many supporters forget this when we play internationals. Peru is the Worlds 20th largest country and has 30 million people, so shouldn't they have beaten us 20-0?

So, maybe, per capita, T&T are actually better than Brazil???

Football / Gillingham win promotion to third tier
« on: April 06, 2013, 04:48:51 PM »
Sorry, guys, but this is obviously big news for me!!

With 3 games remaining, Gillingham have amassed enough points to guarantee promotion to League 1 after 3 seasons in the basement.

With 3 games remaining, if they win away to 4th place Cheltenham next Saturday, they could be crowned champions at home to 21st place AFC Wimbledon on Saturday 20th April. Port Vale trail by 8 points with a game in hand.

Martin Allens's side have won 23 out of 43 games and drawn another 13 games, losing only 7 times this season.

Come on you Gills!!!

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