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Offline Winnipeg Fury

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Great interview with Stephen Hart.......
« on: July 22, 2006, 05:44:32 PM »
Lot's of T&T content for you boys, enjoy:

by Veersen Bhoolai:

Trinidadian, Stephen Hart  has recently been appointed as the Canada's Interim Head Coach. He was kind enough to grant a few words to Carib Sport:

Q: Give us a brief summary of your time in Canada, since leaving Trinidad & Tobago?
Stephen Hart:          Well I went to St. Mary's College where I got a degree in Marine Geography. Then I played for Mercenary Clubs.
Q: Mercenary Clubs. What does that mean exactly?
SH: Well, basically whoever had money to pay you.
Q: So was this pro or semi-pro football.
SH: Well, there was some semi-pro here and there.
Q: In the late 80s after the Canada had played in the '86 World Cup, the CSL was formed. Were you ever interested in playing in the league?
SH: I had discussions with the Toronto Blizzard. But the financial rewards for playing were not quite that encouraging. My life was going in a different direction. I was married. I had a serious life to think about. It was just not worth it to move to Toronto.
Q: Were you surprised that you got the call to be the (Interim) Canadian Coach?
SH: Yes, it was hinted before but I didn't take it seriously.
Q: Will you have to move to Ottawa?
SH: There's no need for that. We just gather where we have to play games. Unfortunately Canadian soccer has no National Training Centre.
Q: Who will be your assistant?
SH: That's up in the air. I have to chat with the staff. I haven't contacted them as yet. However, we have some staff who have been with us and  are accustomed working with each other. They will be given the first chance to accept or decline.
Q: Are there any other West Indian Coaches who we should know about in Canada?
SH: Yes, there's Keith Pritchard from Trinidad. He's an ex Fatima boy. Until recently he was the TD for Alberta. He has been heavily involved in women's soccer.
There are also some in Ontario; Laza Lowe (Jamaica) works with the Ontario Provincial Program. He worked with the Ontario Youth team three years ago. He works extensively  in Ontario. He has also had youth camps in Ontario with Gally (Cummings).
Rud Delascat (Haiti), he is one of the TDs for Quebec.
Hart also mentioned former internationals Randy Samuel (Trinidad) who coaches in British Columbia and Lyndon Hooper (Guyana), who works with the Toronto Lynx.
Q: What young Canadian prospects should we be looking out for?
SH: Well if you look at our Under 20 team that played in BC recently, a couple definitely have potential. Will Johnson, an attacker has played with the Sr. team before. Azma Bergovic is a good Goalkeeper who plays in Belgium. Kennedy Ansah, he's a full back of Ghanan parentage. He's young, only 17 and he's already on the U-20 team. He plays for the LA Galaxy. He's a huge prospect. Jamie Peters is only 19, he has already played for the Sr. team. He's an attacker/midfielder. He plays for Ipswich.
Q: Are there any WI players eligible for Canada that you may be looking at?
SH:  Well yes, Peters is of Grenadian parentage. Atiba Hutchinson who played for the TT U-20s and Acha Serraou, are two midfielders.
Q: During the last 15 odd years Canada although with some decent talent has seemed to underachive in terms of WC qualifying. How do you respond to that?
SH:  Well that's not quite true. We did quite well in 1993, we came second to Mexico and then lost to Australia away from home on an own goal. Australia then lost by one goal to Argentina, ironically on an own goal. But yes Canada hasn't always done that well. There are a number of reasons: One of the main ones being that Canada still doesn't have a national league. Therefore, it's difficult to develop professional talent. If you don't have a European passport you fall by the wayside. After the youth leagues, the players tend to stop after they're 20 years old. Because of this the talent pool is small.  yes it was a tough road in the nineties but in '93 we came the closest.
Q: But Canada does seem to have a quite a few players in the US and Europe.
SH: Actually there are only three players in the US and the ones in Europe aren't playing in the top leagues. If you do get these players, they have to fly for 14 hours and are released only two days before a game.
Q: Quite a few Coaches have come and gone. Canada's performances have been wanting. What difference can you make?
SH: This is a difficult situation. My eyes are not closed. The players know the situation. It's hard to motivate the players when you are the Interim Coach. But we have to keep pushing the program forward. Recent results show that the players are getting better. In the past we have played good football but didn't get the results. Recently our youth team lost to Austria 0-2 and beat Spain 2-1. The performances were pleasing. We are making an upwards progression.
Q: What does Canada need to do to qualify for the next World Cup?
SH: That's the million dollar question. We have to compete in the Gold Cup. We need to the experience of CONCACAF, because we have to play against them in the WC qualifiers. The GC is where you get the most experience. But right now Canadian football has no home. We have no stadium with an atmosphere of intimidation. We've had to beat teams like Trinidad, Jamaica and Mexico. But Canada couldn't bring it home. It's like we are playing away from home (because of the huge ethnic population in the Canadian cities).
Q: But Edmonton has been considered the home of Canadian soccer due to the support there?
SH:  Yeah. Edmonton has been very good for Canadian Soccer. But you can only get them during a certain time of the year. From December to April, they're out. And Vancouver is not a real Soccer Stadium.
Q: How will you feel if you have to play Trinidad & Tobago in a WC qualifier?
SH: There will be no feeling. It's like if you play against your brother on the other team. Both are trying to win. It's the nature of the game. When the whistle blows it's back to who you are. It's no different than playing against your best friend or brother. In the WC you had Zico (Japan) vs. Brazil, La Valope (Mexico) vs. Argentina. There's no time for sentiment in this situation. Everybody is trying to be a professional.
Q: Have you ever thought of coaching TT?
SH: The thought has crossed my mind. One looks forward to different challenges. Different  adventures.  There would have to be a lot in place for me to be interested. Maybe now with the success of Beehakker, there can be a structure around football to achieve something in CONCACAF.
Q: Let's fast forward to a year from now. You're no longer the Canadian Coach and TT offers you the job. Would you take it?
SH: As I said if the proper structure is in place, I would consider it. However, I am still under contract with the (Canadian) youth program. However, if the offer came, you look at it and talk it over with the family. I was contacted by a Technical Committee back around 2000. I was asked if I'd be interested. It was before I was hired by Canada on a full time basis. However, I never heard anything from them again.
Q: Proper structure? For example?
SH: For example even outside the sport. Professional players come from professional backgrounds and programs. You must do all that is possible  to compete. You must understand the importance of a build up. The importance of  carrying on a program. If Beenhakker had been any other Coach, you would have heard criticism for (the losses) in those exhibition games. The bottom line is that building towards something is the only thing that matters. The Federation must make life easier for the players and for the staff too and allow them to do their job. At one point TT changed three Coaches in one year. There is no continuity.
Q: What would you say has been your finest moment as a Coach?
SH: My finest moment is to deal with the youths and to see young players go on to fulfill their ambitions  their dreams. That definitely has to be the most rewarding; eg. Ante Jazaic, he's at the end of his career now but I had him since he was 10 years old. He's with the LA Galaxy now. He just left Russia and has played for Rapid Vienna in the Austrian League. I've also worked with a number of good players on the youth team: Bergovic; Jason Peters and Andrew Heinault. Heinault plays in the Czech Republic. However, I can't take all the credit for developing them.
Q:  What has been your worst moment?
SH:  What was very difficult was losing in the U-17 WC qualifiers in 2003 (in Victoria, BC). We lost to Mexico and Costa Rica. We beat Costa Rica 1-0 but lost to Mexico 2-0. We lost out to Mexico goal difference.
Q: Can you give us a quick summary of your footballing career in Trinidad.
SH: I played College ball for St. Benedicts in 1974. I was about 14 or 15.  We lost that year to Naps. Then we were taken out of the College's League. It was decision made by the Principal. Benedicts was the out of football for most of the seventies.
Q: Any noteworthy players from that team?
SH: Well, there was Junior Gopaul who played for Presentation  and San Fernando Strikers.
Q:  You also played for TT at youth level. Didn't you?
SH:  I played for the Under-14 and Under-19 teams. I also played for South in the North vs. South matches. I was only 17 or 18 at the time. I was playing with some of my heroes, Leroy Spann; Leon Carpette; Selwyn Murren; Lawrence Rondon and Peter Mitchell. Names that were legends in TT football.
Q:  What clubs did you play for?
SH:  I played for Paints Specialist Hurricanes in South with players like Bert Neptune and Michael Maurice. I also played for Texaco and San Fernando Strikers in the Premier League. It was Arthur Suite's League that was later banned by the TTFF.
Q:  Who were some of your teammates on the Stirkers team?
SH:  Wow! What a team! Players like  Hackette, Leon Carpette and Peter Mitchell.
Q: Do you still take a run now and again?
SH: I was still playing until last year. I played with some old timers. I also played in the Second Division here in Halifax. But it was nothing. Just plain football.
Q:  Did you go to Germany to see TT play?
SH:   Of course. I left after the England game (vs. TT). It was nice. Anybody from TT would have been very proud of the moment. It was nice to see the passion of the people for the game. In my time in the 60s and 70, football was the best thing in Trinidad. North vs. South would sell out. It was a big game. That sort of passion seems to have died away. Maybe now that the team has been to the World Cup, there is a resurgence of the passion.

Stephen Hart Announced as Interim Head Coach

Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Ottawa, Ontario  The Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) today named current U-17 head coach and mens national team assistant coach, Stephen Hart, as the interim head coach of the Canadian Mens National Team, effective immediately through to the end of 2006.
The team has been without a head coach since Frank Yallop resigned and returned to Major League Soccer on June 7, 2006.
"I am both honoured and flattered that the Association has shown the faith in me to take over the team in the interim, said Hart. Obviously this is another transition period for the National Program; however, this is the nature of professional sport.
Our results of late have been very encouraging and as the teams assistant, I am very familiar with both the players and what we have been trying to achieve over the last year so in many respects there will be some continuity until a permanent coach is appointed."
Hart will manage the team for the remainder of 2006 and his first game in charge of Canada will be the teams September 4th (Labour Day) international friendly against Jamaica at the Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard in Montreal, QC. Kickoff for the match is scheduled for 4pm ET.
Canada will then fly to Kingston, Jamaica for a second match against the Reggae Boyz. That match is scheduled for October 8th.
An international friendly is currently being planned for in the fall of 2006 in Europe. Information regarding this match will be released when the details have been finalized.
Stephen Hart  Bio
On December 21, 2001, Stephen Hart was hired as Canadas U-17 National Team head coach. Hart had been the Technical Director for Soccer Nova Scotia since 1993 and was the Director of the Atlantic Region National Training Centre in Halifax.
Holder of a CSA "A" License, Hart has been an instructor in the CSA coaching development program since 1992. His coaching experience covers a wide spectrum, having coached at the senior and youth levels, both, male and female. He has coached three Canada Games teams and several provincial teams in the last 11 years. He was an assistant coach with the Canadian Men's Under-17 Team at the 2001 CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament for the Under-17 World Championships. In 2003, Hart was a member of the U-20 National Team coaching staff that lost in the Quarterfinals of the FIFA World Youth Championships in UAE and most recently was the first assistant with the mens national team since 2005.
A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Hart played for Texaco in the National Football League and the San Fernando Strikers in the local Premier League. In 1980 he was selected to the Trinidad and Tobago national team. Later that year he moved to Canada to attend St. Mary's University.
Stephen lives in Halifax with his wife Lynn and daughters Eilish, Keva and Yara.


Offline Grande

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Re: Great interview with Stephen Hart.......
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2006, 06:01:06 PM »
I always want the Canada national team to do well and from what I read, SH seems to know the developmental challenges that lie ahead...his experience and knowledge of the youth players will be an asset. From de games I saw, the young players definitely have talent but the previous coach with his coachin background couldn't utilize it properly

i wish SH all de best and will try to attend de jamaica game and wave de T&T and Canada flag high  ;D :beermug:
« Last Edit: July 22, 2006, 06:02:43 PM by Grande man »

T&T welcomes back...the King

Offline Jefferz

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Re: Great interview with Stephen Hart.......
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2006, 06:02:14 PM »
Interesting interview, I enjoyed reading it.
since ah born or at least circa Copa Caribe

Offline football king

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Re: Great interview with Stephen Hart.......
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2006, 09:01:04 PM »
ttff just amazing contact the man about the wuck then never call him back.  So how is he to take them seriously in the future if we need him
ttff at its best

Offline pass(10trini)

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Re: Great interview with Stephen Hart.......
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2006, 06:43:54 AM »
ttff just amazing contact the man about the wuck then never call him back.  So how is he to take them seriously in the future if we need him
ttff at its best

SURPRISED ????????
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choose one

Offline football king

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Re: Great interview with Stephen Hart.......
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2006, 01:01:46 PM »
just business as usual

Offline weary1969

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Re: Great interview with Stephen Hart.......
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2006, 07:36:16 PM »
I sure once it wasn't jack who called he knew it was not a serious call.
Today you're the dog, tomorrow you're the hydrant - so be good to others - it comes back!"

Offline samo

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Re: Great interview with Stephen Hart.......
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2006, 01:26:18 PM »
Nice job vb...
Good luck SH.

Offline ribbit

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Re: Great interview with Stephen Hart.......
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2006, 01:31:02 PM »
Nice job vb...
Good luck SH.

this the same vb on the forum? cool - very nice interview!

Offline vb

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Re: Great interview with Stephen Hart.......
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2006, 03:41:56 PM »

sent it out on the mailing list...thought everybody knew about it.

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