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Offline Tallman

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #210 on: April 05, 2021, 01:33:58 PM »
Player to watch - Keron Cummings

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Offline Controversial

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #211 on: April 06, 2021, 01:02:26 AM »
We could use Kerron in that midfield presently

Curious why he wasn’t even selected

Offline pull stones

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #212 on: April 06, 2021, 02:23:55 AM »
We could use Kerron in that midfield presently

Curious why he wasn’t even selected
where have you been mate? the la horqetta rangers owner did not release his players to train with the national team so fenwick moved on, can't say that i blame him. i think i heard that just before the team was getting ready to leave for the DR mr ferguson was in a war of words with terry over him not selecting his players, then he challenged terry to a match citing if terry won he would give the national team $100,000.

some how i can't get past the childishness of these local trinidadians who hold some influence on that big stone in the atlantic, it's always some rigmarole over the smallest things and in the end it's only the innocent who gets hurt. that is why we languish on the bottom of every sport discipline, these jokers always put their self interest to the fore front and ignore their responsibilities to the nation. you already know the deal.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2021, 02:27:49 AM by pull stones »

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #213 on: April 06, 2021, 05:24:10 AM »
This player is a baller.

Always interesting to hear players reflecting on aspects of their game that they had previously neglected.

At this stage of the proceedings, I wouldn't think twice about Cummings. Bring him! He's a weapon. No pun intended.

He's also a rhythm player.

Offline Flex

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #214 on: April 06, 2021, 07:56:07 AM »
We could use Kerron in that midfield presently

Curious why he wasn’t even selected

I think L.H Rangers (Cummings Club) boss Richard Ferguson is/was not releasing any of his players?

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Offline palos

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #215 on: April 06, 2021, 09:12:58 AM »
Isn’t Plaza a Rangers player?

Good to “see” you Flex.  Hope all is well with you and yours
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Offline Trini _2026

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #216 on: April 06, 2021, 11:30:02 AM »
Isn’t Plaza a Rangers player?

Good to “see” you Flex.  Hope all is well with you and yours

 played with  the national team in a warm up against police ...then got selected  . Plaza joined without rangers permission and would be diciplined when he returns ... i think his contract will be terminated ...
« Last Edit: April 06, 2021, 11:34:32 AM by Trini _2022 »
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Offline Flex

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #217 on: April 06, 2021, 07:22:02 PM »
Isn’t Plaza a Rangers player?

Good to “see” you Flex.  Hope all is well with you and yours

Glad to see you as well.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Controversial

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #218 on: April 07, 2021, 12:08:59 AM »
We could use Kerron in that midfield presently

Curious why he wasn’t even selected
where have you been mate? the la horqetta rangers owner did not release his players to train with the national team so fenwick moved on, can't say that i blame him. i think i heard that just before the team was getting ready to leave for the DR mr ferguson was in a war of words with terry over him not selecting his players, then he challenged terry to a match citing if terry won he would give the national team $100,000.

some how i can't get past the childishness of these local trinidadians who hold some influence on that big stone in the atlantic, it's always some rigmarole over the smallest things and in the end it's only the innocent who gets hurt. that is why we languish on the bottom of every sport discipline, these jokers always put their self interest to the fore front and ignore their responsibilities to the nation. you already know the deal.

Yeah I missed that, the ttfa should have taken the 100k and played the match but Fenwick is afraid to lose..

And in the process Kerron gets left off the team, but we have never played with a full strength team in a while, or our best players.

Plenty egos in TT and little consideration for the players and our football

Offline Controversial

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #219 on: April 07, 2021, 12:10:09 AM »
This player is a baller.

Always interesting to hear players reflecting on aspects of their game that they had previously neglected.

At this stage of the proceedings, I wouldn't think twice about Cummings. Bring him! He's a weapon. No pun intended.

He's also a rhythm player.

Exactly but Cummings don’t want to burn his bridge with his club from what I’ve read above :beermug:

Offline Flex

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #220 on: June 25, 2021, 03:33:09 AM »
‘I will be back!’ ‘Ball Pest’ Cummings on his football education, silencing Mexico, and his international exile.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).


“I will be back on the pitch soon,” said Terminix La Horquetta Rangers playmaker and ex-Trinidad and Tobago international star Keron ‘Ball Pest’ Cummings. “So I hope Mr [Angus] Eve keeps a place open for me!”

Cummings was not among the 60 players selected by Men’s National Senior Team interim head coach Angus Eve in his provisional squad for next month’s Concacaf Gold Cup. And the omission followed his non-appearance at the Concacaf Futsal Championship in May, after a medical scare.

But the gifted 33-year-old maestro assured his fans that it is just a temporary hiccup.

Four days before the National Futsal Team’s departure to Guatemala, the players had a pre-tournament physical check-up inclusive of an ECG scan. On the eve of their flight, the results returned with a note of concern for the attacker.

Cummings and team doctor Dr Akash Dhanai immediately headed to see a specialist, but there was not sufficient time for the athlete to be cleared before the team travelled.

“They said my heart is large but they also said that is a normal thing for sportsmen,” said Cummings. “But for them to give me clearance, I needed to do a stress test first—and it was Sunday night and it would be 48 hours for me to get back the result. If I did that, I would not have been able to leave with the team.

“[…] The coach asked me to still travel with the team to help motivate the players, because of my seniority in the squad. So I went and said I would do the stress test when I get back.”

On his return, though, Cummings found a public health sector reeling from a surge in Covid-19 cases. More than a month later, he is still waiting for his medical appointment. He expressed gratitude for the Robert Hadad-led Fifa-appointed normalisation committee, which is helping him to navigate the health system.

A National Futsal Team technical staff member, who preferred to remain anonymous, confirmed Cummings’ account of the doctor’s visit in May.

“I went with Cummings and it is true that they told us that what they saw was not abnormal for athletes,” he said, “but they still wanted to rule out the possibility that it might be something serious. I think they wanted to be sure he wasn’t the one in a million case like [Denmark and Inter Milan midfielder Christian] Eriksen.

“[…] The advice at that time [from the cardiologist] was he could not authorise him until he did a stress test, a MRI of the heart, and a third thing that I cannot recall at the time, which would rule out the possibility of a particular condition. Those tests would have been able to confirm that it was just a case of him having that size heart-wall because he is an athlete.

“[…] It definitely is not a case where he can’t play anymore.”

Trinidad and Tobago football fans could breathe a bit easier then. Whether they will get to see him in national colours again is a different story. But, before we get there, it might be instructive to understand why this left footed maestro became such a cult figure in the first place.

Cummings’ entire national senior team career so far adds up to just seven starts and nine substitute appearances with three goals. He has made only one appearance more than forward Trevin Caesar and one less than left back Triston Hodge, who can hardly claim to have established themselves at that level.

But Cummings feels different.

Trinidad and Tobago have never lost a competitive match with Cummings on the field. And before you sniff suspiciously at those stats, his appearances comprise fixtures against: Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, and the United States—only the final outing was played on home soil.

(Trinidad and Tobago lost on penalties to Panama in the 2015 Gold Cup quarterfinal fixture, but Fifa records games decided by penalties as drawn—even though the loser goes home.)

His three goals came in two matches against Mexico: a double in a thrilling 4-4 group stage tie, and then a single item in the rematch, which ended 3-3.

Cummings’ last competitive international appearance was also the last occasion in which the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) had anything resembling a sell-out crowd, as over 20,000 patrons watched the Soca Warriors play to a goalless draw against the United States on 17 November 2015—with thousands more forced to leave the venue, due to poor management of the gates and unholy lines.

But let’s go further back still to the birth of ‘Ball Pest’, near his home in Simeon Road, Petit Valley.

As a boy, Cummings would slip outside and down to the nearest recreation ground to watch minor league action at night. And, as the teams caught a breather during the intermission, he was one of several children who would snatch a ball and run on to the field—pretending to be football stars themselves.

“During half-time, I would take the ball and try to dribble everybody who would come out with me,” he said. “I remember a man there told me one night: ‘come off the field nah boy, you’re a pest eh!’ And it went from there to them calling me a ‘ball pest. And the nickname just stuck.”

Cummings played Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) competition with a talented East Mucurapo Secondary team that included Khaleem Hyland, Tyrone Charles, Ataulla Guerra, and Richard ‘Shaka’ Roy, who all went on to win national senior team caps. Current Soca Warriors stars Kevin Molino and Joevin Jones were two younger members of that school team.

The Mucurapo stand-outs were not short of offers from Pro League clubs. Cummings chose W Connection in Couva.

“I was the only Port of Spain player there at the time,” he said, “and that was when they had all the Brazilians, like Gefferson Goulart and them.”

While Hyland went straight into the San Juan Jabloteh first team under then coach Terry Fenwick and won a professional contract in Belgium before his 20th birthday, Cummings’ rise was slower.

“For a young player in Connection at that time, it was hard to get into the team and I had to wait my turn,” he said. “But I think that’s the club where I learnt the most about professional football. From the Brazilians in particular, I learnt about professionalism, about developing your technique, and the sacrifice you have to put in for the game.

“At the time, we were travelling a lot and playing in the Caribbean Championship and so on. It was exciting and a really good opportunity for me.”

By then, Cummings already knew how he wanted to play. He offered a clue when asked to name his favourite player.

“I can’t name one favourite player—I have to name four,” he said. “My four favourite players are Ron La Forest, Russell Latapy, Kerwin Jemmott, and Nigel Pierre. I love technical players!

“[…] The game has changed now and it is just about energy. But before it was what you could bring to the table with your touch.”

North East Stars, rather than W Connection, finally unleashed Cummings on the Pro League. And there was plenty to appreciate about the slim ball handler with dancing feet and a booming left foot shot that could extend goalkeepers from almost any distance.

Eve, who was Stars’ head coach at the time, is not the type to encourage ball possession just for the sake of it, though. Cummings was a playmaker who relished attackers running off of him to create passing angles. Instead, Eve stuck him upfront as a ‘false 9’ and challenged him to become a finisher.

“Eve for me is one of the coaches who knows how to get the best out of you,” said Cummings. “He takes you out of your comfort zone. I was a creator before; it was not that I couldn’t finish but my game was built around trying to create for others. He brought out the goal scorer in me, by teaching me how to play with my back turned [to the opposing defence].

“One of my most exciting times as a player was with Eve playing me on top as a false nine.”

As it turned out, then National Senior Team head coach Stephen Hart was looking for just that sort of player, as Molino was out with a serious knee injury.

In June 2015, Hart selected Cummings for the first time in his provisional squad, just weeks before the July Gold Cup. Initially, he was back-up to Guerra—remarkably, all three Trinidad and Tobago ‘number 10s’ at the time were former Mucurapo teammates.

However, while Molino perfected the role of an advanced midfielder, playing in tandem with giant, talismanic centre-forward Kenwyne Jones, Guerra was often unwilling to follow suit. Instead Guerra preferred to drop deep or slide to the side of the field in search of a pass to feet.

Cummings, thanks to his new role at Stars, was a natural fit.

His first game under Hart was a 3-0 loss away to Jordan, after which the coach criticised the players for an ‘awful’ showing. Cummings said they were just jet-lagged. A few days later, they managed a 1-0 win over Haiti in a scrimmage before entering the competition.

“For the Jordan game, I feel after the hours we spent travelling we didn’t get to settle in so we could play properly,” said Cummings. “But for me when I got to see the level of those teams, I knew I could compete. Against Haiti too, I realised that these teams are beatable. They are not more talented than us; they just work hard and are a bit more focused.

“Once we applied ourselves, we could get a good result.”

Cummings was an unused substitute in Trinidad and Tobago’s Gold Cup opener, which was an impressive 3-1 win over Guatemala. But Guerra did not distinguish himself and was replaced by forward Willis Plaza in the 62nd minute.

In the second outing, the Warriors defeated Cuba 2-0 with both goals in the first half. Again, Guerra came off after just over an hour. On this occasion, Cummings replaced him.

For the final group match, the Warriors led Group C by two points and facing a Mexico team that were not used to being runners-up to Caribbean opposition.

With nearly 56,000 partisan Mexico supporters at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, Hart decided the time was right to give the then 27-year-old ‘Ball Pest’ his first international start.

“[Hart] said he wanted me to stay close to Kenwyne Jones to feed off the second balls,” said Cummings. “He kept stressing to me ‘stay close to Kenwyne and the chances will come’, and that is exactly what happened in the game.”

Mexico, as expected, went ahead through an opportunistic far post finish by Paul Aguilar in the 31st minute. Ex-Arsenal forward Carlos Vela put ‘El Tricolour’ two goals clear in the 51st minute with a fine solo effort, after a wayward pass by Jones (K).

But then the Warriors tore up the script. Jones (K) got a chance to run at the Mexican defence and played a square pass to Cummings who was at his side—just as Hart instructed—to tuck past the opposing goalkeeper.

Cummings was involved in the equaliser too, three minutes later, as he released Cordell Cato down the right flank and his cross was steered home by Jones (K). Then, in the 66th minute, Trinidad and Tobago scored the type or route one goal that was only possible with the big forward.

Jones (K) chested down an Aubrey David long throw and Cummings beat Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa with a sublime angled shot into the far corner.

The Warriors were ahead 3-2!

There would be three more goals in the last six minutes of the breathless affair, with defender Yohance Marshall tying the scores at 4-4 with a memorable stoppage time header off a Jones (J) corner kick.

Cummings was the only outfield Trinidad and Tobago-based player in Hart’s starting team that evening; and if that didn’t matter to you, it sure did for him.

“Honestly speaking, I don’t fear no player—I respect players for what they bring to the table, but I don’t fear any player at all,” said Cummings, after brushing shoulders with the likes of Giovani Dos Santos, Herrera, Andres Guardado and Vela on his full international debut. “[…] I wanted to do well for my people back home, to let them know I am representing them. I was also representing the local players in the Pro League.

“Many times, you don’t get a fair chance when you are fighting for your place against the foreign-based players. I wanted to show that the local-based players are people to respect too!”

In the Gold Cup quarterfinal, Phillip saved two penalties while a Panamanian kicker skied a third. However, Sheldon Bateau, Jones (J) and Daneil Cyrus all failed to score from the spot as the Warriors were eliminated on penalties.

Mexico went on to win the 2015 Gold Cup. But they were not done with the Warriors yet. The Mexican Football Federation (FMF) rang the TTFA and proposed a return match on 4 September, at altitude in Salt Lake City, to see if Trinidad and Tobago could match them a second time.

“I had an abscess in my mouth and I remember Hart saying: ‘Cummings, you sure you could play with your mouth swell up?’” said Cummings. “And I said it is not if I want to play; I have to play! Plenty people were saying it was a fluke. It was the greatest game in the history of the Gold Cup and people thought we couldn’t do it again.

“I wanted to show them!”

The Warriors were ahead after just seven minutes as Cummings dribbled between two opponents and his right footed shot deflected off a Mexican defender and looped into the air, before being headed in by forward Jonathan Glenn.

And, six minutes before halftime, Cummings doubled T&T’s lead with a close range finish after flanker Lester Peltier stole the ball from the dozy opposing left back.

This time, Mexico were the ones who had to claw their way back; and they did. Jones (J) scored a second half free kick but the game finished 3-3.

Cummings was wearing number 20, but the ‘number 10’ role—at least in Molino’s absence—was his. He played for 90 minutes in a 2-1 friendly win away to Panama, as the Warriors continued to defy the Concacaf’s top nations.

Then, Orlando City offered him the chance to play alongside Molino for the Major League Soccer (MLS) club.

“I was training with them and it was going well,” said Cummings. “They wanted me to stay with the team so I could fit in with their players, and they would sign me for the next season. But then we had the game coming up against America.

“So far, all my games for my country were away and I didn’t feel the people in Trinidad really saw the level I was playing at. I mean they saw me on tv but it is always better to see someone live. So I asked [Orlando] to let me come home.”

Cummings played from the start in a 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Guatemala in Guatemala City on Friday 13 November. And, with Hart starting a slightly more conservative line-up against USA on Tuesday 17 November at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, the attacker featured for just the closing 10 minutes in a goalless draw.

He was still in Trinidad, biding his time to return to Orlando and become a MLS player when he went to a boat cruise put on by a Pro League colleague.

“After two months outside and hardly doing anything, we decide we will take a little go out,” he said.

Cummings was shot in the leg by an unnamed assailant after the party, just outside his home, on the morning of Sunday 27 December. By the time he recovered fully, Hart had been sacked while the Orlando City offer was a distant memory.

His international heyday lasted just six months, between June and November 2015.

He got two subsequent caps as a substitute for Lawrence against Barbados and Grenada in 2017. But he never felt the former World Cup 2006 hero had confidence in him.

“I had a good Gold Cup and then I had an unfortunate injury—and after that you don’t see Cummings again,” he said. “It was the same for Ataulla [Guerra]. You keep asking yourself, if you were getting success with something and the players are still there; how can you turn away from that and pretend that there aren’t people to do the job, even when you’re losing games?

“I remember when [Tom] Saintfiet was here and Tyrone [Charles] got picked. He was playing amongst the foreign-based players and showing form. Then a new coach comes (Lawrence) and you don’t see Tyrone again; and you ask yourself why are you not seeing Tyrone?

“There are local players who have the ability to do well and are not getting a fair chance. Football is not forever [and they are denying us our opportunity].”

He slammed Lawrence’s decision to leave him out of the national squad for the remainder of Trinidad and Tobago’s 2018 World Cup campaign, the 2019 Gold Cup, and the 2019 Concacaf Nations League. The Warriors finished bottom of the table in all three competitions.

“You saw me play [for Central FC] against ‘Army’ in the [2018] First Citizens Cup final,” said Cummings. “Did I look like I had lost it to you? Can a man in bad shape play like that?!

“A coach can give any excuse and say anything in the press and people will just go with it. That’s unfair.”

Cummings left Central for Terminix La Horquetta Rangers in 2019. The style of play there—Rangers play a direct game at high speed—is not tailor-made for the silky playmaker, but he found a way to fit in.

He hopes Rangers provide him with a launchpad to return to the national team.

As Rangers managing director Richard Ferguson and then Warriors head coach Terry Fenwick butted heads over the national team’s training schedule, with the former refusing to release his players, Cummings turned temporarily to Futsal.

National Futsal Team manager Nigel Roberts said he is still heartbroken that Cummings could not play. He suggested that American coach Constantine Konstin’s decision to take him as a non-playing team member was a master stroke, though.

“Cummings played an invaluable role for us at the Futsal Championship,” he said. “I never knew he had that side to him. He has such a calm demeanour and he is very analytical, and also assertive when he needs to be. Whether it was in the hotel, at training, or on the field, he was excellent with the players and they responded to him.

“Had he been able to play though, it would have been a different story. We were depending on him to make a difference on the court, but if we didn’t carry him at all it would have been a huge disadvantage.”

Cummings, he said, would make an excellent coach in the future. But the player still believes he can have more glorious adventures on the field.

“I have goals that I still want to achieve,” he said. “I’ve never stopped training. The doctor said I can do fitness work at 70 percent, so I keep doing work. I am looking forward to getting back on the team.

“[…] My ambition is to get back on the pitch as soon as possible and compete for a pick with Mr Eve. He asked me about the health scare and he knows I am waiting to do the medical tests. He said once I get the clearance, I can compete for a pick.”

At 33, it might seem unlikely that Cummings can reclaim his international place—after six years in the wilderness. But then Mexico might have thought they had nothing to worry about with a 27-year-old debutant who was still a Pro League player.

And we all know how that went.

The Simeon Road kid dismissed any suggestion that his international career was over. Ball Pest has no intention of being chased off the football field.

Watch Keron Cummings - T&T international - July 2018 amazing match First Citizens Cup

Watch Mexico vs. Trinidad and Tobago - 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup Highlights

Watch MEXICO VS TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO 3 - 3 AMISTOSO 2015 Resumen

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #221 on: June 25, 2021, 07:56:14 AM »
Quote
“They said my heart is large but they also said that is a normal thing for sportsmen,” said Cummings. “But for them to give me clearance, I needed to do a stress test first—and it was Sunday night and it would be 48 hours for me to get back the result. If I did that, I would not have been able to leave with the team.

Ah suppose there are NO doctors and similar testing in Guatemala.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2021, 08:00:16 AM by asylumseeker »

Offline Controversial

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #222 on: June 25, 2021, 02:06:09 PM »
‘I will be back!’ ‘Ball Pest’ Cummings on his football education, silencing Mexico, and his international exile.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).


“I will be back on the pitch soon,” said Terminix La Horquetta Rangers playmaker and ex-Trinidad and Tobago international star Keron ‘Ball Pest’ Cummings. “So I hope Mr [Angus] Eve keeps a place open for me!”

Cummings was not among the 60 players selected by Men’s National Senior Team interim head coach Angus Eve in his provisional squad for next month’s Concacaf Gold Cup. And the omission followed his non-appearance at the Concacaf Futsal Championship in May, after a medical scare.

But the gifted 33-year-old maestro assured his fans that it is just a temporary hiccup.

Four days before the National Futsal Team’s departure to Guatemala, the players had a pre-tournament physical check-up inclusive of an ECG scan. On the eve of their flight, the results returned with a note of concern for the attacker.

Cummings and team doctor Dr Akash Dhanai immediately headed to see a specialist, but there was not sufficient time for the athlete to be cleared before the team travelled.

“They said my heart is large but they also said that is a normal thing for sportsmen,” said Cummings. “But for them to give me clearance, I needed to do a stress test first—and it was Sunday night and it would be 48 hours for me to get back the result. If I did that, I would not have been able to leave with the team.

“[…] The coach asked me to still travel with the team to help motivate the players, because of my seniority in the squad. So I went and said I would do the stress test when I get back.”

On his return, though, Cummings found a public health sector reeling from a surge in Covid-19 cases. More than a month later, he is still waiting for his medical appointment. He expressed gratitude for the Robert Hadad-led Fifa-appointed normalisation committee, which is helping him to navigate the health system.

A National Futsal Team technical staff member, who preferred to remain anonymous, confirmed Cummings’ account of the doctor’s visit in May.

“I went with Cummings and it is true that they told us that what they saw was not abnormal for athletes,” he said, “but they still wanted to rule out the possibility that it might be something serious. I think they wanted to be sure he wasn’t the one in a million case like [Denmark and Inter Milan midfielder Christian] Eriksen.

“[…] The advice at that time [from the cardiologist] was he could not authorise him until he did a stress test, a MRI of the heart, and a third thing that I cannot recall at the time, which would rule out the possibility of a particular condition. Those tests would have been able to confirm that it was just a case of him having that size heart-wall because he is an athlete.

“[…] It definitely is not a case where he can’t play anymore.”

Trinidad and Tobago football fans could breathe a bit easier then. Whether they will get to see him in national colours again is a different story. But, before we get there, it might be instructive to understand why this left footed maestro became such a cult figure in the first place.

Cummings’ entire national senior team career so far adds up to just seven starts and nine substitute appearances with three goals. He has made only one appearance more than forward Trevin Caesar and one less than left back Triston Hodge, who can hardly claim to have established themselves at that level.

But Cummings feels different.

Trinidad and Tobago have never lost a competitive match with Cummings on the field. And before you sniff suspiciously at those stats, his appearances comprise fixtures against: Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, and the United States—only the final outing was played on home soil.

(Trinidad and Tobago lost on penalties to Panama in the 2015 Gold Cup quarterfinal fixture, but Fifa records games decided by penalties as drawn—even though the loser goes home.)

His three goals came in two matches against Mexico: a double in a thrilling 4-4 group stage tie, and then a single item in the rematch, which ended 3-3.

Cummings’ last competitive international appearance was also the last occasion in which the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) had anything resembling a sell-out crowd, as over 20,000 patrons watched the Soca Warriors play to a goalless draw against the United States on 17 November 2015—with thousands more forced to leave the venue, due to poor management of the gates and unholy lines.

But let’s go further back still to the birth of ‘Ball Pest’, near his home in Simeon Road, Petit Valley.

As a boy, Cummings would slip outside and down to the nearest recreation ground to watch minor league action at night. And, as the teams caught a breather during the intermission, he was one of several children who would snatch a ball and run on to the field—pretending to be football stars themselves.

“During half-time, I would take the ball and try to dribble everybody who would come out with me,” he said. “I remember a man there told me one night: ‘come off the field nah boy, you’re a pest eh!’ And it went from there to them calling me a ‘ball pest. And the nickname just stuck.”

Cummings played Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) competition with a talented East Mucurapo Secondary team that included Khaleem Hyland, Tyrone Charles, Ataulla Guerra, and Richard ‘Shaka’ Roy, who all went on to win national senior team caps. Current Soca Warriors stars Kevin Molino and Joevin Jones were two younger members of that school team.

The Mucurapo stand-outs were not short of offers from Pro League clubs. Cummings chose W Connection in Couva.

“I was the only Port of Spain player there at the time,” he said, “and that was when they had all the Brazilians, like Gefferson Goulart and them.”

While Hyland went straight into the San Juan Jabloteh first team under then coach Terry Fenwick and won a professional contract in Belgium before his 20th birthday, Cummings’ rise was slower.

“For a young player in Connection at that time, it was hard to get into the team and I had to wait my turn,” he said. “But I think that’s the club where I learnt the most about professional football. From the Brazilians in particular, I learnt about professionalism, about developing your technique, and the sacrifice you have to put in for the game.

“At the time, we were travelling a lot and playing in the Caribbean Championship and so on. It was exciting and a really good opportunity for me.”

By then, Cummings already knew how he wanted to play. He offered a clue when asked to name his favourite player.

“I can’t name one favourite player—I have to name four,” he said. “My four favourite players are Ron La Forest, Russell Latapy, Kerwin Jemmott, and Nigel Pierre. I love technical players!

“[…] The game has changed now and it is just about energy. But before it was what you could bring to the table with your touch.”

North East Stars, rather than W Connection, finally unleashed Cummings on the Pro League. And there was plenty to appreciate about the slim ball handler with dancing feet and a booming left foot shot that could extend goalkeepers from almost any distance.

Eve, who was Stars’ head coach at the time, is not the type to encourage ball possession just for the sake of it, though. Cummings was a playmaker who relished attackers running off of him to create passing angles. Instead, Eve stuck him upfront as a ‘false 9’ and challenged him to become a finisher.

“Eve for me is one of the coaches who knows how to get the best out of you,” said Cummings. “He takes you out of your comfort zone. I was a creator before; it was not that I couldn’t finish but my game was built around trying to create for others. He brought out the goal scorer in me, by teaching me how to play with my back turned [to the opposing defence].

“One of my most exciting times as a player was with Eve playing me on top as a false nine.”

As it turned out, then National Senior Team head coach Stephen Hart was looking for just that sort of player, as Molino was out with a serious knee injury.

In June 2015, Hart selected Cummings for the first time in his provisional squad, just weeks before the July Gold Cup. Initially, he was back-up to Guerra—remarkably, all three Trinidad and Tobago ‘number 10s’ at the time were former Mucurapo teammates.

However, while Molino perfected the role of an advanced midfielder, playing in tandem with giant, talismanic centre-forward Kenwyne Jones, Guerra was often unwilling to follow suit. Instead Guerra preferred to drop deep or slide to the side of the field in search of a pass to feet.

Cummings, thanks to his new role at Stars, was a natural fit.

His first game under Hart was a 3-0 loss away to Jordan, after which the coach criticised the players for an ‘awful’ showing. Cummings said they were just jet-lagged. A few days later, they managed a 1-0 win over Haiti in a scrimmage before entering the competition.

“For the Jordan game, I feel after the hours we spent travelling we didn’t get to settle in so we could play properly,” said Cummings. “But for me when I got to see the level of those teams, I knew I could compete. Against Haiti too, I realised that these teams are beatable. They are not more talented than us; they just work hard and are a bit more focused.

“Once we applied ourselves, we could get a good result.”

Cummings was an unused substitute in Trinidad and Tobago’s Gold Cup opener, which was an impressive 3-1 win over Guatemala. But Guerra did not distinguish himself and was replaced by forward Willis Plaza in the 62nd minute.

In the second outing, the Warriors defeated Cuba 2-0 with both goals in the first half. Again, Guerra came off after just over an hour. On this occasion, Cummings replaced him.

For the final group match, the Warriors led Group C by two points and facing a Mexico team that were not used to being runners-up to Caribbean opposition.

With nearly 56,000 partisan Mexico supporters at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, Hart decided the time was right to give the then 27-year-old ‘Ball Pest’ his first international start.

“[Hart] said he wanted me to stay close to Kenwyne Jones to feed off the second balls,” said Cummings. “He kept stressing to me ‘stay close to Kenwyne and the chances will come’, and that is exactly what happened in the game.”

Mexico, as expected, went ahead through an opportunistic far post finish by Paul Aguilar in the 31st minute. Ex-Arsenal forward Carlos Vela put ‘El Tricolour’ two goals clear in the 51st minute with a fine solo effort, after a wayward pass by Jones (K).

But then the Warriors tore up the script. Jones (K) got a chance to run at the Mexican defence and played a square pass to Cummings who was at his side—just as Hart instructed—to tuck past the opposing goalkeeper.

Cummings was involved in the equaliser too, three minutes later, as he released Cordell Cato down the right flank and his cross was steered home by Jones (K). Then, in the 66th minute, Trinidad and Tobago scored the type or route one goal that was only possible with the big forward.

Jones (K) chested down an Aubrey David long throw and Cummings beat Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa with a sublime angled shot into the far corner.

The Warriors were ahead 3-2!

There would be three more goals in the last six minutes of the breathless affair, with defender Yohance Marshall tying the scores at 4-4 with a memorable stoppage time header off a Jones (J) corner kick.

Cummings was the only outfield Trinidad and Tobago-based player in Hart’s starting team that evening; and if that didn’t matter to you, it sure did for him.

“Honestly speaking, I don’t fear no player—I respect players for what they bring to the table, but I don’t fear any player at all,” said Cummings, after brushing shoulders with the likes of Giovani Dos Santos, Herrera, Andres Guardado and Vela on his full international debut. “[…] I wanted to do well for my people back home, to let them know I am representing them. I was also representing the local players in the Pro League.

“Many times, you don’t get a fair chance when you are fighting for your place against the foreign-based players. I wanted to show that the local-based players are people to respect too!”

In the Gold Cup quarterfinal, Phillip saved two penalties while a Panamanian kicker skied a third. However, Sheldon Bateau, Jones (J) and Daneil Cyrus all failed to score from the spot as the Warriors were eliminated on penalties.

Mexico went on to win the 2015 Gold Cup. But they were not done with the Warriors yet. The Mexican Football Federation (FMF) rang the TTFA and proposed a return match on 4 September, at altitude in Salt Lake City, to see if Trinidad and Tobago could match them a second time.

“I had an abscess in my mouth and I remember Hart saying: ‘Cummings, you sure you could play with your mouth swell up?’” said Cummings. “And I said it is not if I want to play; I have to play! Plenty people were saying it was a fluke. It was the greatest game in the history of the Gold Cup and people thought we couldn’t do it again.

“I wanted to show them!”

The Warriors were ahead after just seven minutes as Cummings dribbled between two opponents and his right footed shot deflected off a Mexican defender and looped into the air, before being headed in by forward Jonathan Glenn.

And, six minutes before halftime, Cummings doubled T&T’s lead with a close range finish after flanker Lester Peltier stole the ball from the dozy opposing left back.

This time, Mexico were the ones who had to claw their way back; and they did. Jones (J) scored a second half free kick but the game finished 3-3.

Cummings was wearing number 20, but the ‘number 10’ role—at least in Molino’s absence—was his. He played for 90 minutes in a 2-1 friendly win away to Panama, as the Warriors continued to defy the Concacaf’s top nations.

Then, Orlando City offered him the chance to play alongside Molino for the Major League Soccer (MLS) club.

“I was training with them and it was going well,” said Cummings. “They wanted me to stay with the team so I could fit in with their players, and they would sign me for the next season. But then we had the game coming up against America.

“So far, all my games for my country were away and I didn’t feel the people in Trinidad really saw the level I was playing at. I mean they saw me on tv but it is always better to see someone live. So I asked [Orlando] to let me come home.”

Cummings played from the start in a 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Guatemala in Guatemala City on Friday 13 November. And, with Hart starting a slightly more conservative line-up against USA on Tuesday 17 November at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, the attacker featured for just the closing 10 minutes in a goalless draw.

He was still in Trinidad, biding his time to return to Orlando and become a MLS player when he went to a boat cruise put on by a Pro League colleague.

“After two months outside and hardly doing anything, we decide we will take a little go out,” he said.

Cummings was shot in the leg by an unnamed assailant after the party, just outside his home, on the morning of Sunday 27 December. By the time he recovered fully, Hart had been sacked while the Orlando City offer was a distant memory.

His international heyday lasted just six months, between June and November 2015.

He got two subsequent caps as a substitute for Lawrence against Barbados and Grenada in 2017. But he never felt the former World Cup 2006 hero had confidence in him.

“I had a good Gold Cup and then I had an unfortunate injury—and after that you don’t see Cummings again,” he said. “It was the same for Ataulla [Guerra]. You keep asking yourself, if you were getting success with something and the players are still there; how can you turn away from that and pretend that there aren’t people to do the job, even when you’re losing games?

“I remember when [Tom] Saintfiet was here and Tyrone [Charles] got picked. He was playing amongst the foreign-based players and showing form. Then a new coach comes (Lawrence) and you don’t see Tyrone again; and you ask yourself why are you not seeing Tyrone?

“There are local players who have the ability to do well and are not getting a fair chance. Football is not forever [and they are denying us our opportunity].”

He slammed Lawrence’s decision to leave him out of the national squad for the remainder of Trinidad and Tobago’s 2018 World Cup campaign, the 2019 Gold Cup, and the 2019 Concacaf Nations League. The Warriors finished bottom of the table in all three competitions.

“You saw me play [for Central FC] against ‘Army’ in the [2018] First Citizens Cup final,” said Cummings. “Did I look like I had lost it to you? Can a man in bad shape play like that?!

“A coach can give any excuse and say anything in the press and people will just go with it. That’s unfair.”

Cummings left Central for Terminix La Horquetta Rangers in 2019. The style of play there—Rangers play a direct game at high speed—is not tailor-made for the silky playmaker, but he found a way to fit in.

He hopes Rangers provide him with a launchpad to return to the national team.

As Rangers managing director Richard Ferguson and then Warriors head coach Terry Fenwick butted heads over the national team’s training schedule, with the former refusing to release his players, Cummings turned temporarily to Futsal.

National Futsal Team manager Nigel Roberts said he is still heartbroken that Cummings could not play. He suggested that American coach Constantine Konstin’s decision to take him as a non-playing team member was a master stroke, though.

“Cummings played an invaluable role for us at the Futsal Championship,” he said. “I never knew he had that side to him. He has such a calm demeanour and he is very analytical, and also assertive when he needs to be. Whether it was in the hotel, at training, or on the field, he was excellent with the players and they responded to him.

“Had he been able to play though, it would have been a different story. We were depending on him to make a difference on the court, but if we didn’t carry him at all it would have been a huge disadvantage.”

Cummings, he said, would make an excellent coach in the future. But the player still believes he can have more glorious adventures on the field.

“I have goals that I still want to achieve,” he said. “I’ve never stopped training. The doctor said I can do fitness work at 70 percent, so I keep doing work. I am looking forward to getting back on the team.

“[…] My ambition is to get back on the pitch as soon as possible and compete for a pick with Mr Eve. He asked me about the health scare and he knows I am waiting to do the medical tests. He said once I get the clearance, I can compete for a pick.”

At 33, it might seem unlikely that Cummings can reclaim his international place—after six years in the wilderness. But then Mexico might have thought they had nothing to worry about with a 27-year-old debutant who was still a Pro League player.

And we all know how that went.

The Simeon Road kid dismissed any suggestion that his international career was over. Ball Pest has no intention of being chased off the football field.

Watch Keron Cummings - T&T international - July 2018 amazing match First Citizens Cup

Watch Mexico vs. Trinidad and Tobago - 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup Highlights

Watch MEXICO VS TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO 3 - 3 AMISTOSO 2015 Resumen



Like I said before, Lawrence didnt want to win, he saw Kerron and left him off the squad.. right there is sabotage

Offline Deeks

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #223 on: June 25, 2021, 09:53:13 PM »
‘I will be back!’ ‘Ball Pest’ Cummings on his football education, silencing Mexico, and his international exile.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).


“I will be back on the pitch soon,” said Terminix La Horquetta Rangers playmaker and ex-Trinidad and Tobago international star Keron ‘Ball Pest’ Cummings. “So I hope Mr [Angus] Eve keeps a place open for me!”

Cummings was not among the 60 players selected by Men’s National Senior Team interim head coach Angus Eve in his provisional squad for next month’s Concacaf Gold Cup. And the omission followed his non-appearance at the Concacaf Futsal Championship in May, after a medical scare.

But the gifted 33-year-old maestro assured his fans that it is just a temporary hiccup.

Four days before the National Futsal Team’s departure to Guatemala, the players had a pre-tournament physical check-up inclusive of an ECG scan. On the eve of their flight, the results returned with a note of concern for the attacker.

Cummings and team doctor Dr Akash Dhanai immediately headed to see a specialist, but there was not sufficient time for the athlete to be cleared before the team travelled.

“They said my heart is large but they also said that is a normal thing for sportsmen,” said Cummings. “But for them to give me clearance, I needed to do a stress test first—and it was Sunday night and it would be 48 hours for me to get back the result. If I did that, I would not have been able to leave with the team.

“[…] The coach asked me to still travel with the team to help motivate the players, because of my seniority in the squad. So I went and said I would do the stress test when I get back.”

On his return, though, Cummings found a public health sector reeling from a surge in Covid-19 cases. More than a month later, he is still waiting for his medical appointment. He expressed gratitude for the Robert Hadad-led Fifa-appointed normalisation committee, which is helping him to navigate the health system.

A National Futsal Team technical staff member, who preferred to remain anonymous, confirmed Cummings’ account of the doctor’s visit in May.

“I went with Cummings and it is true that they told us that what they saw was not abnormal for athletes,” he said, “but they still wanted to rule out the possibility that it might be something serious. I think they wanted to be sure he wasn’t the one in a million case like [Denmark and Inter Milan midfielder Christian] Eriksen.

“[…] The advice at that time [from the cardiologist] was he could not authorise him until he did a stress test, a MRI of the heart, and a third thing that I cannot recall at the time, which would rule out the possibility of a particular condition. Those tests would have been able to confirm that it was just a case of him having that size heart-wall because he is an athlete.

“[…] It definitely is not a case where he can’t play anymore.”

Trinidad and Tobago football fans could breathe a bit easier then. Whether they will get to see him in national colours again is a different story. But, before we get there, it might be instructive to understand why this left footed maestro became such a cult figure in the first place.

Cummings’ entire national senior team career so far adds up to just seven starts and nine substitute appearances with three goals. He has made only one appearance more than forward Trevin Caesar and one less than left back Triston Hodge, who can hardly claim to have established themselves at that level.

But Cummings feels different.

Trinidad and Tobago have never lost a competitive match with Cummings on the field. And before you sniff suspiciously at those stats, his appearances comprise fixtures against: Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, and the United States—only the final outing was played on home soil.

(Trinidad and Tobago lost on penalties to Panama in the 2015 Gold Cup quarterfinal fixture, but Fifa records games decided by penalties as drawn—even though the loser goes home.)

His three goals came in two matches against Mexico: a double in a thrilling 4-4 group stage tie, and then a single item in the rematch, which ended 3-3.

Cummings’ last competitive international appearance was also the last occasion in which the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) had anything resembling a sell-out crowd, as over 20,000 patrons watched the Soca Warriors play to a goalless draw against the United States on 17 November 2015—with thousands more forced to leave the venue, due to poor management of the gates and unholy lines.

But let’s go further back still to the birth of ‘Ball Pest’, near his home in Simeon Road, Petit Valley.

As a boy, Cummings would slip outside and down to the nearest recreation ground to watch minor league action at night. And, as the teams caught a breather during the intermission, he was one of several children who would snatch a ball and run on to the field—pretending to be football stars themselves.

“During half-time, I would take the ball and try to dribble everybody who would come out with me,” he said. “I remember a man there told me one night: ‘come off the field nah boy, you’re a pest eh!’ And it went from there to them calling me a ‘ball pest. And the nickname just stuck.”

Cummings played Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) competition with a talented East Mucurapo Secondary team that included Khaleem Hyland, Tyrone Charles, Ataulla Guerra, and Richard ‘Shaka’ Roy, who all went on to win national senior team caps. Current Soca Warriors stars Kevin Molino and Joevin Jones were two younger members of that school team.

The Mucurapo stand-outs were not short of offers from Pro League clubs. Cummings chose W Connection in Couva.

“I was the only Port of Spain player there at the time,” he said, “and that was when they had all the Brazilians, like Gefferson Goulart and them.”

While Hyland went straight into the San Juan Jabloteh first team under then coach Terry Fenwick and won a professional contract in Belgium before his 20th birthday, Cummings’ rise was slower.

“For a young player in Connection at that time, it was hard to get into the team and I had to wait my turn,” he said. “But I think that’s the club where I learnt the most about professional football. From the Brazilians in particular, I learnt about professionalism, about developing your technique, and the sacrifice you have to put in for the game.

“At the time, we were travelling a lot and playing in the Caribbean Championship and so on. It was exciting and a really good opportunity for me.”

By then, Cummings already knew how he wanted to play. He offered a clue when asked to name his favourite player.

“I can’t name one favourite player—I have to name four,” he said. “My four favourite players are Ron La Forest, Russell Latapy, Kerwin Jemmott, and Nigel Pierre. I love technical players!

“[…] The game has changed now and it is just about energy. But before it was what you could bring to the table with your touch.”

North East Stars, rather than W Connection, finally unleashed Cummings on the Pro League. And there was plenty to appreciate about the slim ball handler with dancing feet and a booming left foot shot that could extend goalkeepers from almost any distance.

Eve, who was Stars’ head coach at the time, is not the type to encourage ball possession just for the sake of it, though. Cummings was a playmaker who relished attackers running off of him to create passing angles. Instead, Eve stuck him upfront as a ‘false 9’ and challenged him to become a finisher.

“Eve for me is one of the coaches who knows how to get the best out of you,” said Cummings. “He takes you out of your comfort zone. I was a creator before; it was not that I couldn’t finish but my game was built around trying to create for others. He brought out the goal scorer in me, by teaching me how to play with my back turned [to the opposing defence].

“One of my most exciting times as a player was with Eve playing me on top as a false nine.”

As it turned out, then National Senior Team head coach Stephen Hart was looking for just that sort of player, as Molino was out with a serious knee injury.

In June 2015, Hart selected Cummings for the first time in his provisional squad, just weeks before the July Gold Cup. Initially, he was back-up to Guerra—remarkably, all three Trinidad and Tobago ‘number 10s’ at the time were former Mucurapo teammates.

However, while Molino perfected the role of an advanced midfielder, playing in tandem with giant, talismanic centre-forward Kenwyne Jones, Guerra was often unwilling to follow suit. Instead Guerra preferred to drop deep or slide to the side of the field in search of a pass to feet.

Cummings, thanks to his new role at Stars, was a natural fit.

His first game under Hart was a 3-0 loss away to Jordan, after which the coach criticised the players for an ‘awful’ showing. Cummings said they were just jet-lagged. A few days later, they managed a 1-0 win over Haiti in a scrimmage before entering the competition.

“For the Jordan game, I feel after the hours we spent travelling we didn’t get to settle in so we could play properly,” said Cummings. “But for me when I got to see the level of those teams, I knew I could compete. Against Haiti too, I realised that these teams are beatable. They are not more talented than us; they just work hard and are a bit more focused.

“Once we applied ourselves, we could get a good result.”

Cummings was an unused substitute in Trinidad and Tobago’s Gold Cup opener, which was an impressive 3-1 win over Guatemala. But Guerra did not distinguish himself and was replaced by forward Willis Plaza in the 62nd minute.

In the second outing, the Warriors defeated Cuba 2-0 with both goals in the first half. Again, Guerra came off after just over an hour. On this occasion, Cummings replaced him.

For the final group match, the Warriors led Group C by two points and facing a Mexico team that were not used to being runners-up to Caribbean opposition.

With nearly 56,000 partisan Mexico supporters at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, Hart decided the time was right to give the then 27-year-old ‘Ball Pest’ his first international start.

“[Hart] said he wanted me to stay close to Kenwyne Jones to feed off the second balls,” said Cummings. “He kept stressing to me ‘stay close to Kenwyne and the chances will come’, and that is exactly what happened in the game.”

Mexico, as expected, went ahead through an opportunistic far post finish by Paul Aguilar in the 31st minute. Ex-Arsenal forward Carlos Vela put ‘El Tricolour’ two goals clear in the 51st minute with a fine solo effort, after a wayward pass by Jones (K).

But then the Warriors tore up the script. Jones (K) got a chance to run at the Mexican defence and played a square pass to Cummings who was at his side—just as Hart instructed—to tuck past the opposing goalkeeper.

Cummings was involved in the equaliser too, three minutes later, as he released Cordell Cato down the right flank and his cross was steered home by Jones (K). Then, in the 66th minute, Trinidad and Tobago scored the type or route one goal that was only possible with the big forward.

Jones (K) chested down an Aubrey David long throw and Cummings beat Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa with a sublime angled shot into the far corner.

The Warriors were ahead 3-2!

There would be three more goals in the last six minutes of the breathless affair, with defender Yohance Marshall tying the scores at 4-4 with a memorable stoppage time header off a Jones (J) corner kick.

Cummings was the only outfield Trinidad and Tobago-based player in Hart’s starting team that evening; and if that didn’t matter to you, it sure did for him.

“Honestly speaking, I don’t fear no player—I respect players for what they bring to the table, but I don’t fear any player at all,” said Cummings, after brushing shoulders with the likes of Giovani Dos Santos, Herrera, Andres Guardado and Vela on his full international debut. “[…] I wanted to do well for my people back home, to let them know I am representing them. I was also representing the local players in the Pro League.

“Many times, you don’t get a fair chance when you are fighting for your place against the foreign-based players. I wanted to show that the local-based players are people to respect too!”

In the Gold Cup quarterfinal, Phillip saved two penalties while a Panamanian kicker skied a third. However, Sheldon Bateau, Jones (J) and Daneil Cyrus all failed to score from the spot as the Warriors were eliminated on penalties.

Mexico went on to win the 2015 Gold Cup. But they were not done with the Warriors yet. The Mexican Football Federation (FMF) rang the TTFA and proposed a return match on 4 September, at altitude in Salt Lake City, to see if Trinidad and Tobago could match them a second time.

“I had an abscess in my mouth and I remember Hart saying: ‘Cummings, you sure you could play with your mouth swell up?’” said Cummings. “And I said it is not if I want to play; I have to play! Plenty people were saying it was a fluke. It was the greatest game in the history of the Gold Cup and people thought we couldn’t do it again.

“I wanted to show them!”

The Warriors were ahead after just seven minutes as Cummings dribbled between two opponents and his right footed shot deflected off a Mexican defender and looped into the air, before being headed in by forward Jonathan Glenn.

And, six minutes before halftime, Cummings doubled T&T’s lead with a close range finish after flanker Lester Peltier stole the ball from the dozy opposing left back.

This time, Mexico were the ones who had to claw their way back; and they did. Jones (J) scored a second half free kick but the game finished 3-3.

Cummings was wearing number 20, but the ‘number 10’ role—at least in Molino’s absence—was his. He played for 90 minutes in a 2-1 friendly win away to Panama, as the Warriors continued to defy the Concacaf’s top nations.

Then, Orlando City offered him the chance to play alongside Molino for the Major League Soccer (MLS) club.

“I was training with them and it was going well,” said Cummings. “They wanted me to stay with the team so I could fit in with their players, and they would sign me for the next season. But then we had the game coming up against America.

“So far, all my games for my country were away and I didn’t feel the people in Trinidad really saw the level I was playing at. I mean they saw me on tv but it is always better to see someone live. So I asked [Orlando] to let me come home.”

Cummings played from the start in a 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Guatemala in Guatemala City on Friday 13 November. And, with Hart starting a slightly more conservative line-up against USA on Tuesday 17 November at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, the attacker featured for just the closing 10 minutes in a goalless draw.

He was still in Trinidad, biding his time to return to Orlando and become a MLS player when he went to a boat cruise put on by a Pro League colleague.

“After two months outside and hardly doing anything, we decide we will take a little go out,” he said.

Cummings was shot in the leg by an unnamed assailant after the party, just outside his home, on the morning of Sunday 27 December. By the time he recovered fully, Hart had been sacked while the Orlando City offer was a distant memory.

His international heyday lasted just six months, between June and November 2015.

He got two subsequent caps as a substitute for Lawrence against Barbados and Grenada in 2017. But he never felt the former World Cup 2006 hero had confidence in him.

“I had a good Gold Cup and then I had an unfortunate injury—and after that you don’t see Cummings again,” he said. “It was the same for Ataulla [Guerra]. You keep asking yourself, if you were getting success with something and the players are still there; how can you turn away from that and pretend that there aren’t people to do the job, even when you’re losing games?

“I remember when [Tom] Saintfiet was here and Tyrone [Charles] got picked. He was playing amongst the foreign-based players and showing form. Then a new coach comes (Lawrence) and you don’t see Tyrone again; and you ask yourself why are you not seeing Tyrone?

“There are local players who have the ability to do well and are not getting a fair chance. Football is not forever [and they are denying us our opportunity].”

He slammed Lawrence’s decision to leave him out of the national squad for the remainder of Trinidad and Tobago’s 2018 World Cup campaign, the 2019 Gold Cup, and the 2019 Concacaf Nations League. The Warriors finished bottom of the table in all three competitions.

“You saw me play [for Central FC] against ‘Army’ in the [2018] First Citizens Cup final,” said Cummings. “Did I look like I had lost it to you? Can a man in bad shape play like that?!

“A coach can give any excuse and say anything in the press and people will just go with it. That’s unfair.”

Cummings left Central for Terminix La Horquetta Rangers in 2019. The style of play there—Rangers play a direct game at high speed—is not tailor-made for the silky playmaker, but he found a way to fit in.

He hopes Rangers provide him with a launchpad to return to the national team.

As Rangers managing director Richard Ferguson and then Warriors head coach Terry Fenwick butted heads over the national team’s training schedule, with the former refusing to release his players, Cummings turned temporarily to Futsal.

National Futsal Team manager Nigel Roberts said he is still heartbroken that Cummings could not play. He suggested that American coach Constantine Konstin’s decision to take him as a non-playing team member was a master stroke, though.

“Cummings played an invaluable role for us at the Futsal Championship,” he said. “I never knew he had that side to him. He has such a calm demeanour and he is very analytical, and also assertive when he needs to be. Whether it was in the hotel, at training, or on the field, he was excellent with the players and they responded to him.

“Had he been able to play though, it would have been a different story. We were depending on him to make a difference on the court, but if we didn’t carry him at all it would have been a huge disadvantage.”

Cummings, he said, would make an excellent coach in the future. But the player still believes he can have more glorious adventures on the field.

“I have goals that I still want to achieve,” he said. “I’ve never stopped training. The doctor said I can do fitness work at 70 percent, so I keep doing work. I am looking forward to getting back on the team.

“[…] My ambition is to get back on the pitch as soon as possible and compete for a pick with Mr Eve. He asked me about the health scare and he knows I am waiting to do the medical tests. He said once I get the clearance, I can compete for a pick.”

At 33, it might seem unlikely that Cummings can reclaim his international place—after six years in the wilderness. But then Mexico might have thought they had nothing to worry about with a 27-year-old debutant who was still a Pro League player.

And we all know how that went.

The Simeon Road kid dismissed any suggestion that his international career was over. Ball Pest has no intention of being chased off the football field.

Watch Keron Cummings - T&T international - July 2018 amazing match First Citizens Cup

Watch Mexico vs. Trinidad and Tobago - 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup Highlights

Watch MEXICO VS TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO 3 - 3 AMISTOSO 2015 Resumen



Like I said before, Lawrence didnt want to win, he saw Kerron and left him off the squad.. right there is sabotage

Dred, you again with that noinsense again. You do know that currently DL got a job as a coach with Coventry City.

Offline sjahrain

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #224 on: June 26, 2021, 08:01:36 AM »
Deeks...lets wait and watch. and see how long he is tenured there...all the best to him

Offline Deeks

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #225 on: June 26, 2021, 08:46:27 AM »
Deeks...lets wait and watch. and see how long he is tenured there...all the best to him

I am always for a local coach. This is TT. But there are times when we(TTFA) have gone against the grain and hired a foreigner for a fresh perspective. The list is there to see. I have had no issue with that. The problem is the TTFA is most unstable institution in the land. How the f--k will we ever have proper development in our football with such a downright abysmal organization. I wish Angus success. We need local club football. But looking at videos of long lines of people waiting for covid shots and hampers does not bode well. can you see these people going to support football?
« Last Edit: June 26, 2021, 08:50:10 AM by Deeks »

Offline ZANDOLIE

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #226 on: June 26, 2021, 09:35:39 AM »
Did I just watch this guy put a ball between a man legs then sombrero a next one in the space of 4 seconds lol. Its a shame such a talented player could not represent us more than a handful of times because we can't get our sh*t together for the past six years.
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Offline Flex

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #227 on: August 30, 2021, 02:00:17 PM »
Trinidad and Tobago footballer Cummings cleared to resume play.
By Joel Bailey (T&T Newsday).


TRINIDAD AND Tobago footballer Keron "Ball Pest" Cummings has been medically cleared to resume play, according to a post on the TTFA (TT Football Association) Instagram page.

"The TTFA facilitated investigations and (obtained) medical clearance following a suspected cardiac condition prior to the 2021 Concacaf Futsal Championship in Guatemala," the TTFA post read. "(Cummings) has had all the relevant cardiac tests done as requested by the cardiologist and has been deemed medically fit by the cardiologist to partake in competitive football."

The 33-year-old midfielder, who is currently a member of Terminix La Horquetta Rangers, has earned 15 international caps, from 2010-2017.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Tallman

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Rangers cut Keron Cummings for training with national futsal squad
« Reply #228 on: October 26, 2021, 12:24:13 PM »
Rangers cut Keron Cummings for training with national futsal squad
By Jelani Beckles (T&T Newsday)


KERON “Ball Pest” Cummings has been kicked out of Terminix La Horquetta Rangers for seeking to fulfil his dream of playing for T&T.

Cummings was called up to train with the national senior men’s futsal team earlier this year. He was set to represent T&T at the Concacaf Futsal Championships in Guatemala in May, but a suspected cardiac condition prevented him from playing. Two months ago, Cummings was cleared to play football again.

Rangers cut him after training with the national futsal team.

“I am without a club from today (Monday), but by tomorrow (Tuesday) please the Lord I will be back with a club but there is no football playing,” Cummings told Newsday, on Monday.

Cummings wants to train with the national senior football team, coached by Angus Eve. He has represented the national senior team 15 times from 2010-2017.

For years, Rangers have barred the player from training with the national team.

In the past, Rangers owner Richard Ferguson gave reasons why he has not allowed his players to train with the national team.

Ferguson said the Rangers coaches developed an extensive training and nutrition programme and releasing the players from the club’s programme for national duty for lengthy periods may set the players back.

Clubs are not obliged to release their players for national duty outside the FIFA window. Ferguson has said he is willing to release his players for international matches during FIFA windows.

In an April 2019 Newsday story, Ferguson said, “We support the national team beyond any bonds – I want to make it clear.”

Cummings said the national senior football team must have all players available for selection.

“The reason we have to go through all this drama and can’t qualify for all these tournaments because we don’t have the best team representing.”

T&T failed to get past the first round of the 2022 World Cup qualifying tournament earlier this year.

Rangers have produced many national players over the years.

“It’s sad to know that somebody (Ferguson) has a club and don’t want to send the players to the national team because the country supposed to be first.

“We actually could do plenty better in some of those competitions if we could have our best players out.”

Discussing being cut from Rangers, Cummings said the national futsal team contacted clubs throughout the country requesting that players attend trials.

“They would send a letter to the clubs. The past coaches have been sending letters to the clubs for certain players for the futsal and the senior team and he (Ferguson) will actually tell you (that) you can’t go.”

Cummings said all footballers dream about playing for national teams. “Everybody has goals and people want to play in the biggest tournaments for their country,” Cummings said.

Local club football has been at a standstill during the covid19 pandemic, but Rangers have been training periodically and have been paid a monthly salary.

Cummings believes Rangers players should be released to represent the national team because there is no club football.

“When last Trinidad had a league?

He added, “No football (and) look at the period of time and he still don’t want to send the players. So what could be the reason? I think media people should put the pressure on him to find out why you are not supporting the national team because you are a club of Trinidad and you are the club who have the majority of quality players.”

Newsday tried to contact Ferguson, but attempts proved futile. Cummings knows he has the ability to play at the highest level and accepted the offer to train with the T&T futsal team.

“I know I don’t deserve just playing club football in Trinidad and not serving my country.”
The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.

Offline maxg

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #229 on: October 27, 2021, 11:25:40 AM »
What happen ? The Men's National team not training ? Why Futsal ? Does Futsal train (indoors- small field???) more than the potential snr Ntl team. This guy has to beg for an invite ? Didn't he have a heart issue when called previously ? Is a potential Ntl team training now ? Is Angus and staff working ? Will they be paid ?

Offline Trini _2026

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #230 on: October 27, 2021, 11:27:44 AM »
Bad move Keron.
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/sh8SeGmzai4" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/sh8SeGmzai4</a>

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #231 on: October 28, 2021, 08:07:47 PM »
Bad move Keron.

He might as well make one. De clock ticking.

Offline Trini _2026

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #232 on: October 31, 2021, 06:30:37 AM »
Bad move Keron.

He might as well make one. De clock ticking.

“I am without a club from today (Monday), but by tomorrow (Tuesday) please the Lord I will be back with a club but there is no football playing,” Cummings told Newsday, on Monday.

come on asylumseeker leave his  club where he getting  pay for uncertainty  ?? futsal team just training
« Last Edit: October 31, 2021, 06:33:20 AM by Trini _2026 »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/sh8SeGmzai4" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/sh8SeGmzai4</a>

Offline Deeks

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #233 on: October 31, 2021, 08:29:17 AM »
Keron like many ball players want to play football. It is very frustrating for footballers and fans to see football being played elsewhere and is unable to play at home.We don't have the money to create a bubble to have small competitions to keep our players match fit. We saw what happen in the WC and GC. We were woefully lacking  in every aspect of the game. If the knuckleheads were to get vaxxed and create the herd immunity that crying out for, we would be playing football.

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #234 on: October 31, 2021, 11:58:36 AM »
The stands are bubbling over all over the planet. Peñarol v Nacional is about 1.25 hours from kicking off and the stadium has been jammed pack for about two hours. Yes, a contrast from Argentina but an example of what compliance with protocols and recognizing that no conspiracy is afoot ... can produce. 30000 fans ... 2000 visiting fans included in that number.

Money is one thing but without will, prestige and collective discipline it will never happen.

Apparently we have no $, no prestige, no will and no blasted discipline. Administer the last rites.



« Last Edit: October 31, 2021, 12:00:30 PM by asylumseeker »

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #235 on: October 31, 2021, 12:02:00 PM »
Bad move Keron.

He might as well make one. De clock ticking.

“I am without a club from today (Monday), but by tomorrow (Tuesday) please the Lord I will be back with a club but there is no football playing,” Cummings told Newsday, on Monday.

come on asylumseeker leave his  club where he getting  pay for uncertainty  ?? futsal team just training

When yuh read things that doh add up, conclude there's more in the mortar than the pestle.

Offline Rastaman

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #236 on: November 09, 2021, 08:10:42 AM »
Who wrote this article ???? He forgot to mention that the training with the Futsal Team took place months ago.  That bit of information changes the dynamic of the article...
The real question is why now...months after the situation took place are they now releasing him. Or are they using the Futasl thing as an excuse ????????????????????????

Offline Tallman

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Re: Keron Cummings Thread.
« Reply #237 on: March 07, 2022, 09:59:42 PM »
New direction: Keron "Ball Pest" Cummings opens his own coaching school
By Ian Prescott (T&T Express)


KERON “Ball Pest” Cummings is preparing for life after active football and is also seeking an opportunity to pass on the knowledge he has gained by opening his own football coaching school at Simeon Road, Petit Valley.

Cummings, 33, came to national prominence with his performances at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, but he had always been a top player in the local professional football league. Former Trinidad and Tobago and Canada head coach Stephen Hart once described Cummings as one of the best players he had ever coached. Cummings has now revealed his own ambition to coach children.

“During the Covid (19), I started to do one and one training, and now that the restrictions are dropping, I plan on opening it (coaching school) officially, probably next week,” stated Cummings.

A naturally gifted footballer, Cummings said it had always been his ambition to pass on his expertise to the younger generation.

“When children look up to you, there is the opportunity to do something for the youth and dem, by giving them an opportunity to learn the game, “he explained. “I always believed I should give back to my community because after my time, I will want a next youth to pick up the same trade as me.”

Cummings’ coaching school will cater mainly for youths in the Western region such as Petit Valley, Carenage and Diego Martin but he says that anyone willing to learn will be welcomed.

Cummings will be catering for children between ages four and 12 and will also have an Under-17 group for older youths. He revealed that he is also on the search for a few sponsors, since many of the youngsters in his target group do not always have the means and finances needed to be involved in the game at an organised level.

“Many of the kids barely come with shoes,“ Cummings stated.

A technically gifted midfielder, Cummings was spotted by Hart while having a great season for North East Stars in the Trinidad and Tobago Pro League and was drafted into the Gold Cup squad, where in July 2015 he scored twice in a wildly-exciting 4-4 draw with Mexico—voted one of the best-ever matches in the tournament’s history. Having had 14 national caps, Cummings’ other international goal also came against Mexico, in September 2015, during a 3-3 friendly international draw in the United States.

However, with a Major League Soccer (MLS) contract beckoning, Cummings’ career took a hit when at age 27 he was shot in the leg. He reported that a gunman was waiting to rob him of his gold chain after a night out. His career resumed locally with Ma Pau Stars, Central FC, Morvant Caledonia United and more recently Terminix La Horquetta Rangers.

Cummings is taking a philosophical approach to the low points in his career and believes that when one door closes, another opens.

“When something is your bread and butter and you don’t have it, you have to find something else. So, I focused more on the kids,” said Cummings, “I would not say it was a hard thing, because I got more opportunity to stay home with the children.”

Although he is looking in the direction of coaching, Cummings said that he had not retired from football, and is among a group of players training with senior men’s national team coach Angus Eve. He is looking at a couple of clubs as well.

“I started training with Eve,” he announced, “and I am now focusing on getting back sharp.”
The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.

 

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