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Offline Tallman

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Re: 2017 TT Super League Thread.
« Reply #120 on: December 15, 2017, 10:32:15 PM »
WATCH: Trinidad and Tobago Super League’s End of Season Awards

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The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.

Offline Flex

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Re: 2017 TT Super League Thread.
« Reply #121 on: December 16, 2017, 06:08:35 AM »
Look Loy to write to FIFA for referees.
By Walter Alibey (Guardian).


Says TTFRA illegal

Keith Look Loy, president of the T&T Super League (TTSL) is threatening to write to the world governing body for football-FIFA- if the illegal functioning of the T&T Football Referees Association (TTFRA) continues in the coming year.

Look Loy, coach of League One campaigners in the TTSL, FC Santa Rosa, said the country has been subjected to a double-role by the T&T Referees Committee, which is the recognised body in the eyes of the FIFA, and the T&TFRA, which is an interest group dedicated to promoting the interest of referees, as stated in its constitution.

Look Loy, a former FIFA Development Officer, believes the dual-function of the two has led to a crossing of the lines in football which has proven to be detrimental to the sport. He referred to the TTFRA as a social club which has been given key responsibilities in the affairs of the sport and called on the TTFA to deal with the duplication of roles taking place.

He also cited a clear conflict of interest among the administration of refereeing with Joseph Taylor, head of the TTFRA also being Chairman of the Appointment Committee of the Referees Committee to the TTFA.

He quoted from the FIFA Constitution that says “The Referees Committee shall be composed of a chairman, a deputy chairman and the members deemed necessary to discharge its duties. Its members may not be affiliated to any clubs, leagues or any other football organisation.”But Taylor dismissed claims of interlapping roles among the administrators of refereeing in the sport, saying both the referees’ committee and TTFRA have been complimenting each other.

“They work alongside each other to ensure the sport progresses. This is done in every football territory the world over and it has in fact, been encouraged by the FIFA,” Taylor explained.

Meanwhile Osmund Downer, referee aficionado also dismissed talks of overlapping roles as he sought to clear the air on the function of the TTFRA. “The appointment of referees is done by the Appointment Committee of the Referee’s Committee of the TTFA. The first aim of the TTFRA is to seek welfare or represent the interests of referees in their Leagues and Associations all over the world,” Downer said. The Referees Committee of the TTFA, on the other hand, has an overall responsibility for the management, development and progress of the quality of officiating. Downer said since referees function on a voluntary basis in T&T, they are not obligated to officiate at any match, especially one in which they are subjected to abuse.

The veteran referees believes the TTSL’s request for reimbursement is a senseless call as referees in T&T have no contract with any league or association.

Look Loy, in his capacity as president of the TTSL, said he will hold the referees firm to a promised consultation aimed at dealing with the issues affecting the sport. The veteran coach who has been at the helm of his club FC Santa Rosa for the past 25 years, said he will also continue the super league’s request to be reimbursed for matches that referees were not appointed to in the TTSL this season.

He was slapped with a one match ban and $1,000 fine along with his assistant at Santa Rosa, Jovan Rochford, for abusing referee Cecile Hinds in a hotly contested match between his team and Hydro Tech Guaya United on November 5 at the Arima Velodrome.

RELATED NEWS

Stand-off! TTSL say they paid referees in advance; Downer: “We had no contract”
By Roneil Walcott  (Wired868).


Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) Referees’ Committee Board member Osmond Downer is denying that the Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) had any written contract agreement with referees for the just-concluded TTSL season.

Yesterday, acting on behalf of the TTSL, the League’s general secretary Camara David requested reimbursement from the refereeing body to the tune of TT$19,206 for three boycotted games during the inaugural TTSL season which ended on 10 December. However, Downer, who is also vice-president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees’ Association, stated that the referees did not breach any contractual arrangement.

“The Referees’ Committee has no written contract with the TTSL,” Downer told Wired868, recalling the meeting the bodies had before the start of the TTSL season. “All they had were discussions regarding the supply of referees. The only thing that was agreed upon was the conditions of service.”

Downer was of the view that refereeing locally was completely voluntary, and he stated that the boycott of TTSL games on 12 and 19 November occurred because the referees were fearful of abuse at the hands of players and team officials.

“The individual referees expressed trepidation and fear of abuse and they wanted the abuse to stop,” said Downer, driving home the point that referees cannot be required to come out and officiate.

TTSL president Keith Look Loy confirmed that conditions of service were discussed before the start of the season but travel allowances and match payments for referees and assistant referees, he said, were also covered in the meeting. And David noted that the referees were paid in advance. According to Look Loy, it was a payment which the TTFA advised was to be paid to them and not to the Referees’ Committee.

And the TTSL proceeded on that basis.

Meanwhile, TTFRA president and Referees’ Committee chairman Joseph Taylor told Wired868 that he had taken note of David’s letter and would be taking the matter to TTFA general secretary Justin Latapy-George.

Just last month, the TTFA acted as mediator when the TTSL and TTFRA tried to break the impasse that threatened to prevent a smooth end to the TTSL season, which saw Hydrotech Guaya United walking away with both League and Cup titles. And although David noted that the TTSL had enquired who would be reimbursing them for the “unrecoverable expenses” they had incurred in November, the response had so far been slow in coming.

So are Joseph and company going to accede to the TTSL’s reimbursement request, which came as a result of a TTSL Board meeting on 4 December?

“We have noted the letter and we are going to take it up with the general secretary of the TTFA,” Taylor said.

It is uncertain if Latapy-George and the TTFA will act as mediators on this occasion but the general secretary told Wired868 that he was yet to hear from Taylor on the issue. Latapy-George did say that the doors for dialogue are always open and he would not be surprised if a meeting with all parties were held before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, TTSL president Keith Look Loy assured Wired868 that the TTSL Board will be forced to act if the Referees’ Committee does not offer a response by the first week in January.

“We are going to have to make a decision if we don’t get a response in reasonable time,” Look Loy said. “We will have to bring TTFA president David John-Williams into this because the Referees’ Committee is an agent of the TTFA.”

“Logically and legally we are in the right,” Look Loy continued. We are waiting on the Referees’ Committee and we want to know if the answer is ‘no’, if they will leave us hanging in space or if the answer is a ‘yes.’”

On 12 November, players from WASA FC and Siparia Spurs were left out in the cold as their away games in Tobago against 1976 Phoenix FC and Bethel United respectively were postponed after Tobago officials failed to turn up.

At the time, Tobago Referees’ Association head Noel Bynoe was adamant that, unless Look Loy apologised for the comments he had allegedly made about a Tobago referee following an FA Trophy game in October, referees on the island would not abandon their boycott stance.

Look Loy subsequently apologised and the Tobago referees resumed service. However, on 19 November, no match officials turned up for Siparia’s match with Look Loy’s club, FC Santa Rosa, and Wired868 even had sight of a document which showed that no referees had been assigned to the game, carded for the Palo Seco Velodrome.

Taylor and the TTFRA were not pleased with the TTSL’s Disciplinary Committee’s decision to hand Look Loy and his assistant Jovan Rochford one-match bans and $1,000 fines following their verbal spat with referee Cecile Hinds on 5 November in a pivotal Santa Rosa versus Guaya clash. The referees head demanded assurances that in the future certain standards would be adhered to by coaches and players.

Santa Rosa’s fixture against Siparia eventually went ahead in Palo Seco on 26 November, when referee Roger Smith and his assistants Devon London and Junior Geoffrey ignored any boycott action and turned up for duty.

Thereafter, the TTFA intervened and managed to get the TTSL and the TTFRA to call a truce in the interest of successfully completing the 2017 season.

However, on Sunday, Look Loy slammed the performance of referee Rodphin Harris in Santa Rosa’s final league match against UTT on 10 December and declared that the truce was over.

“This referee […] can’t even pass the fitness test but he keeps coming back match after match after match,” Look Loy declared, after his team let the TTSL League One title slip from their grasp at the Larry Gomes Stadium. “Now the season is done, I can begin talking again and I can begin posting videos again…”

So we might be in for a return to the silly season. Perhaps not. It’s the festive season so the Santa Rosa boss can perhaps be persuaded to let peace and goodwill reign if Santa Claus, in the form of the Referees’ Committee or the TTFA, decides to fill their stockings with almost $20,000 in “unrecoverable expenses.”

TTFA await word from Super League.
By Joel Bailey (Newsday).


The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) are yet to receive any correspondence from the Trinidad and Tobago Super League regarding claims for a sum of $19,206 from the TT Football Referees Association.

Earlier this week, Super League president Keith Look Loy admitted his body had written to the TT Football Referees Association requesting a refund of the aforementioned sum for three 2017 Super League matches which were boycotted by match officials.

Justin Latapy-George, general secretary of the TTFA, admitted yesterday, “we haven’t received any official correspondence regarding any sort of claims or any kind of reimbursements or repayments.”

When asked whether or not the TTFA would get involved in the matter, Latapy-George replied, “I wouldn’t want to comment that far as yet. We are the overarching governing body.

“Once it falls under our remit, it’s something we have to look at very objectively to see how best we can come to some sort of compromise and resolve whatever the issue would be,” he added.

The TTFA, TT Super League, TT Football Referees Association and TT Referees Commission, recently met at the TTFA’s office in Couva, to discuss issues between Look Loy and the local crop of referees.

Latapy-George pointed out, “I wouldn’t say it would be going down the drain at this point. We did a joint press release that stated the provisions that were adopted by the parties that were in attendance.”

The TTFA general secretary continued, “We committed to approaching the matter in a very dignified and respected way. We do appreciate the fact that emotions would run high based on the matter on hand. We have limitations and we’re improving on the limitations.

“We’re in the business of football, to be as efficient and as professional as we can be,” he ended.

« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 06:31:16 AM by Flex »
The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: 2017 TT Super League Thread.
« Reply #122 on: December 16, 2017, 08:17:12 AM »
Look Loy retires as Big Cannons head coach.
FC Santa Rosa Release.


FC Santa Rosa wishes to inform the members and supporters of the club, and the public as a whole, of the resignation of Big Cannons head coach Keith Look Loy.

The resignation brings to an end of Keith's eight-year tenure as head coach of the club's elite team, and a thirty-year career that began with Malick Senior Comprehensive School in 1987 and saw him win titles in schools', youth and elite football..

Keith founded the club in 1992 and coached its several junior teams to regional and national titles over many years.

The Big Cannons were created in 2010 to participate in the men's division of the Eastern FA and quickly won successive promotions from the two-division EFA to the National Super League in 2012.

The Big Cannons finished seventh in their first season and quickly established themselves as a bona fide Super League team. The club won the last NSL title in 2016 and finished second in the new TT Super League this season.

At the start of the 2017 season Keith had advised the club of his intention to retire at the end of the season and he has held to his decision. He will now continue coaching the Under 12s in FC Santa Rosa's football school, which he has done for many years.

He will, of course, remain president of the club. He will also now focus on his role as president of the TT Super League.

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

Offline Deeks

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Re: 2017 TT Super League Thread.
« Reply #123 on: December 16, 2017, 08:34:14 AM »
I swear, Downer has to a 100 yrs old.

Offline Flex

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Re: 2017 TT Super League Thread.
« Reply #124 on: December 19, 2017, 08:23:34 PM »
La Forest’s kids get expert advice.
By Walter Alibey (Guardian).


The young budding players from the Ron La Forest Soccer Coaching Academy received words of advice from some of the country’s sporting icons Hasely Crawford, Everald ‘Gally’ Cummings and Kenwyne Jones when the school held its end of year function on Saturday at the Nelson Mandela Park, St Clair.

Crawford, the country’s first Olympic Gold medallist encouraged the players to work hard, saying there is no benefit without hardwork.

Crawford, who had his Olympic medal of 1976 with him on display, also encouraged youngsters to work towards having a proper diet, saying it can adversely affect their health.

Jones, who recently called it quits from all football, called on parents to support their lads in whatever field of endeavour they chose.

It was actually this support that help Jones move from youth football to international status where he represented English clubs Sunderland, Stoke City, Cardiff City, Bournemouth AFC, Southhampton and Sheffield Wednesday among others.

Gally urged the young players to be respectful to those in authority, particularly referees. And he called on local football administrators to select La Forest as a coach on the country’s technical staff.

“Gally” who took the “Strike Squad” to within a point of qualifying for the 1990 World Cup in Italy said if coaches are being chosen based on their achievements then La Forest, who is called the professor of coaching at his club Hydro Tech Guaya United, should be considered.

Under La Forest the Guayaguayare men copped the Caribbean Football Trust League (CFTL) League Cup and League titles in the T&T Super League. Cummings said La Forest’s return to his young players was a show of humility that is needed by all coaches locally.

The young players were engaged in football matches among themselves before taking on their parents in a feature game. Afterwards they were showered with trophies, calendars, medals and certificates of participation at the academy.

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

Offline Flex

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Re: 2017 TT Super League Thread.
« Reply #125 on: December 19, 2017, 08:23:52 PM »
Look Loy unplugged: Why I quit as Rosa coach, Malick and the “Susconosco sorcerer” Arnold Dwarika.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).


Keith Look Loy coached his last top-flight football match on 10 December 2017 when FC Santa Rosa were surprised 1-0 by UTT at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar, a result that cost them the chance to repeat as Super League champions.

Barely a week later, Look Loy confirmed that he has retired as Santa Rosa head coach and will now focus more on his administrative post as Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) president.

No doubt, the outspoken administrator will continue to grab the headlines for his fierce verbal deliveries, whether the target is the local refereeing body or the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association.

So what is the legacy of Look Loy as coach?

Wired868 talks one-on-one with the TTSL president about his career, which first came to public prominence with Malick Secondary in 1990—Look Loy was actually listed as assistant to head coach Kenneth Franco but got much of the credit for the surge in the school’s fortunes—before going on to include coaching jobs with Trinidad and Tobago and Joe Public and developmental roles with CONCACAF and FIFA:

Wired868: Why have you given up your job as head coach?

Keith Look Loy: Well, I started coaching in 1987 and I told my club that this would be my last year. I tried to do it once before but had to come back. That was 2015. I had put one of my former players, Jason Hope, in charge. He was inexperienced […] and the team started very badly. We got six from Club Sando and six from WASA, so I re-assumed leadership of the team and we finished seventh, I think.

But this year, I told them whatever the result, I had to go out. It would have been good to go out as double champions but I stand by my decision… It has got nothing to do with the refereeing situation—I’ve never seen a fight I’d want to run from. Thirty years is a lifetime in coaching and that is enough.

So I will focus on coaching the Under-12s and I will support whoever takes over. I will not turn my back on the club, of course, because it is my club and I am still the president… We have already had approaches from five coaches who are non-Santa Rosa coaches [but] we will take our time and make what we think is the best decision—all factors considered.

Ultimately, I will make the decisions although other people will no doubt factor in. The players believe that Jovan Rochford, who is the former captain and my former assistant, should be the coach… He is a leading candidate if not the leading candidate but I will let it stew and then make a decision.

Wired868: Why didn’t you advise of pending retirement before? Were you giving yourself room to change your mind?

Look Loy: I just didn’t want to affect things [at the club]. Those who needed to know knew. We would have just gone ahead with our business without it going public [but] somehow the [Trinidad] Guardian newspaper found out… The timing of the release was not ours but it is not like it was a national security secret.

Wired868: Has your dual role as Santa Rosa head coach and TTSL president been a distraction to your club and the TTSL?

Look Loy: It was not a distraction to the club. I am retired so I have 24 hours to work on football and I am a good time manager. So I went about my different time portfolios and the evidence is there that I did a great job. The TTSL had a great season and Santa Rosa could have and should have won the league. Also our Under-15 team won the National Youth League and we were losing finalists in the Under-13 division.
[…] It affected the League in the sense that the referees decided they would disrupt the League in their fight with Santa Rosa. But we have taken action to have a refund of our money and that was a board decision.

On the first Wednesday of every month, the [TTSL] Board meets and, in the 12 months since our foundation, we have had 10 general meetings. That is more than the TTFA. In the Super League, the  general membership is the ultimate decision maker and takes the heavyweight decisions—and, in particular, the commercial decisions like to bring the Caribbean Football Trust and bMobile on board. The Board decides on the administration of the League and gives guidance but the general meeting decides what to do.

We also have a good administration run by Camara David with his two assistants. I am in constant touch with all of them and they are very capable young people.

Wired868: Will you return as Santa Rosa head coach after your term as TTSL president?

Look Loy: I am a man of my word. For me, the best part about coaching is coaching the little children; that is the coaching I have always loved and that is what I will finish my career as coach doing. I will coach up to Under-12 level.

I am [club] president so I will be asking questions [of the new head coach] and giving guidance and placing demands but I will leave them to do their business. They will still have to answer to me as president but that is only fair.

Wired868: What would you say was your best moment as coach?

Look Loy: Apart from coaching these little children, it would have to be winning the [National] Intercol title with Malick [Secondary] in 1990 and winning the Super League in 2016. I have won a lot of titles but those two stand out.

It was the first time that Malick had ever won an Intercol. When I started coaching Malick in 1987 in the East Zone, the nickname for Malick then was ‘more licks.’ We finished in second place to San Juan then on goal difference and, in 1990, we won our first ever title and we won all the titles. North, National Intercol, Big Seven, MVP, Most Goals. Everything! I will always remember when we won that Intercol title, you couldn’t fit a pin into the National Stadium; there were 25,000 people in there.

Then, of course, with Santa Rosa, we won in our 25th year. We had started the [senior] team in 2010 [after initially opening the club in 1992] because we were tired of losing [our young] players, so we took the decision to start our own men’s team. In our fifth season, we won the League title and just the march towards that—as a club without any major sponsor or big resources—that was very special.

We had boys who joined Santa Rosa from 6 or 7 years old like Jean-Paul Aqui-Blanc, Jovan Rochford, Shaka Pilgrim, Osei Sandy, Gary Bart, Keston “Zico” Henry, Kitwana Manning. It was a validation of our work [over the years] and we were very happy about that.

Wired868: Tell us about Arnold Dwarika. How did you come across him?

Look Loy: Well, we were in pre-season just a few weeks before the start of the 1990 season and the boys told me that a village team wanted a practice game in Susconosco. I said where? They said Susconosco, which is a little village in the back of Santa Cruz. So I said okay, let’s go.

That season, we had played against some big men like teams in the NFA and won, so I wasn’t expecting much from a village team. So we are playing this village side and this little fellah only disrupting our defence. And I’m there on the sidelines pulling my hair out because we just couldn’t stop him. So I turned to Azaad Khan, who was the manager, and asked him who is this boy and what school does he go to. So he told me it was Arnold Dwarika and he goes to a technical school called St Bede’s up in Mount St Benedict’s and he lived just 50 feet from field. They told me his father is a policeman and he was really dread. So I went over there that evening and I said ‘Good evening, ma’am, I would like to talk to you about your son playing for Malick.’

While I was talking to her, his father came home. I told them ‘Send your son to play for me in Malick and he will eventually play for Trinidad and Tobago.’ Well both of them looked at each other and started to laugh. I said don’t laugh.

So they agreed and they brought him into Malick. They were restructuring the League and we had the chance to play in the North, which meant better grounds, more media coverage and closer to home…

In the first five or six games, Arnold struggled and people told me all sorts of things on the sidelines. I remember somebody said, ‘Look Loy, where you get this coolie from? You’re with his mother or what?’

But by the end of that season, Bertille [St Clair] called him up to try out for the 1991 World Youth Cup team. The problem was he would miss the [SSFL] Big Seven and he said: ‘No. Because nobody knew me before I came to Malick so I will stay and play. And if you don’t want to pick me because of that, then don’t pick me.’

Wired868: What advice did you give him about that choice?

Look Loy: I left it to him. I told him if you stay, we will win but if you go to play with the team then there are benefits to that too. But then Bertille picked lots of boys for that team, including [Malick players] Shawn David and Mark James. But he didn’t pick anybody from Signal Hill [Secondary], who he was then coaching. And when we looked at that, we felt that was very transparent. His parents also said [Dwarika] would finish the season with Malick and that was that. If we had never played that match in Susconosco, who knows…

[Editor’s Note: No Signal Hill players made St Clair’s final World Cup squad so it seems fair to say that the Tobagonian coach had not tried to give his school team an advantage].

Wired868: Where do you rate Dwarika among the local talents you’ve seen in your coaching career?

Look Loy: Anybody who knows me as a coach knows that my teams are very structured. Everybody has their job to do for the team and I make no bones about that. The only player I would tell ‘just go and play’ was Dwarika. I just left him to invent his game. I never once told him what to do and that’s the truth. He is the best talent I ever coached. He is better than even Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy in my book but what they had on him was discipline.

The boy was just too indisciplined. I could tell you stories about him from even in Malick. He was not a good trainer—and it took me a little while to realise this—but he would always deliver on match day. But as you get older, you cannot get away with that. When he came back to Trinidad from [East Fife in] Scotland because he was injured, Jack [Warner] and myself brought him back and I picked him at the airport and took him to his sister. I told him ‘You are 25 years old; this is the time you should be leaving Trinidad, not coming back.’

I don’t think he ever fully recovered [from the Scotland experience]. Don’t get me wrong, he went on to play for Trinidad and Tobago many times and he made the CONCACAF Gold Cup All-Star team and so on but he never had the mentality and drive like Dwight Yorke.

While Dwarika was at Joe Public with me, we got offers from clubs from the Mexico Primera Division all the way to Saudi Arabia. But he just wasn’t interested. He should have achieved a lot more. He could play cricket, basketball, table tennis; everything with a ball he could play at an expert level. But he didn’t have the drive.

Wired868: And can you tell us about when you received a ban from the SSFL?

Look Loy: It was 1991 and we were trying to repeat [as champions]. It seems that I can’t repeat. Anyway, we were playing against Trinity College [Moka] on St Mary’s College ground in a make-up game. Brent Sancho was playing for Trinity at the time.

Before the game, some Malick supporters came to me and said: ‘Coach, get up and go inside; the referee come here smelling of alcohol and we want to mash up the game.’ I told them to behave and leave the game to us.

Well, Trinity beat us 1-0 after a player hit the ball with his hand and, as my players stood up waiting for the whistle, he ran after the ball and scored. So our crowd was in volatile form. I went to the referee after the match to ask him about what he did in the match and one of the [Malick] fans hit him. I had to jump in to protect him.

After that, we were in our dressing-room and a policeman came and knocked on our door and said we have a report you hit the referee. I asked who said that and he pointed to an off-duty referee. I said ‘You saw me hit the referee?’ He said no and I asked the referee if he wanted anything else from me and that was it on that evening.

Then the SSFL said I incited violence. Ewing Davis was in charge of the disciplinary meeting and I turned up for it with two lawyers and they immediately cancelled the meeting. Then, they announced that I would get a two-year ban without even giving me a hearing. I took them to court and won and, in the end, they had to pay damages and legal costs. That case finally ended in 1993.

I never went back to coaching Malick. I left and went to work for the TTFA as Jack Warner put me in charge of national youth development and made me the National Under-20 coach. I went on to take teams to three international youth tournaments.

Editor’s Note: In the second and final part of this two-part interview on 20 December, Keith Look Loy will discuss Trinidad and Tobago football during the Jack Warner era, David John-Williams’ failure at the helm of national football, why local football should be in crisis mode and who should be the next TTFA president.

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

Offline Deeks

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Re: 2017 TT Super League Thread.
« Reply #126 on: December 19, 2017, 11:16:56 PM »
Susconosco. Dudes,  I is a real Trini history buff. I can't recall hearing that village name.

Offline Flex

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Re: 2017 TT Super League Thread.
« Reply #127 on: January 07, 2018, 07:08:14 AM »
Thomas replaces David as Super League secretary.
T&T Guardian Reports.


The T&T Super League has announced the immediate appointment of Peter Thomas, as the new General Secretary of its League, only in its second year being managed by its clubs.

Thomas, a graduate from the University of the West Indies (UWI), the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) and the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) Sports Management programme, replaces Camara David who tendered his resignation at the end of the 2017 season in the interest of advancing his career.

David’s tenure as the League’s first Secretary ended on December 3, and saw a highly competitive tournament in which Hydro Tech Guaya United dominated by winning the the coveted League and its Caribbean Football Trust League (CFTL) League Cup titles.

David in his letter of resignation said, “I must say that I am grateful for the opportunities provided for me during the season and the invaluable experiences gained, but in the best interests of my career advancement and future development I have decided to terminate my contract as an independent contractor and go back to Europe to gain more international experience.”

Thomas is set to hit the road running and continue from where David has left off. After his appointment he said, “I am thankful for the opportunity to work for TTSL, which, in its first year, set a high standard for football organization in T&T. I hope to make a valuable contribution to the league’s continuous growth and development, and I very much look forward to the challenge.”

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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Cunupia FC coach lauds team’s debut League One season
« Reply #128 on: January 18, 2018, 01:49:46 PM »
Cunupia FC coach lauds team’s debut League One season
T&T Newsday


Cunupia FC had an exceptional debut season in the 2017/2018 edition of Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) as the side which was promoted into the League One division, following winning the Championship (League Two) title the season before, shocked many of their opponents by finishing on the top half of the table. The newcomers not only managed to finish in the top half, but after 22 games, Cunupia FC registered 13 wins, four draws and five losses as they finished third on the standings with 43 points, behind league winners Guaya United (52) and runners up Santa Rosa FC (50).

Discussing the historic season for the club was head coach, Michael DeFour where he reviewed the club’s season with Newsday during a recent interview.

He began by stating, “Well, in our first season, without any hiccups and setbacks to adjusting to the level of football, we could have gone on and challenged for the title and that in itself shows the characteristics of this team and their ability to achieve success.”

Speaking about some of the characteristics the team possess and how the chemistry within the camp grew throughout the 2017 campaign, he said, “Being able to generate these sort of performances came from hard work and patience.

While we were a little nervous as a group, only as the season progressed and time went on, the players really settled down and found their rhythm again.” He confessed, “Sometimes, as coach, I did not realise or take into consideration the jitters and anxiety (of athletes) because you take for granted that the players understand team professionalism, what it means, and being able to deliver week-in-week-out at a higher level of competition.”

He went on to explain, “I think as coach, I did a fair job in preparing them during the season and a pretty good job in anticipating the level of football we would have been playing at, but, with 80 per cent of our players never playing at this level, they needed an adjustment period and were not given the opportunity to adjust at the beginning of the season.”

Cunupia FC’s first five fixtures of the season saw them vying against arguably some of the top teams in the league, including, Santa Rosa FC, 1976 Pheonix FC, WASA FC, Defence Force and eventual winners Guaya United. The Central boys managed to escape being thrown into League One’s fire with three victories and two losses which helped build momentum for the season to follow.

DeFour detailed some differences he witnessed first-hand between League One and Two, saying, “The level of football is arguably better than the level played at the championship. The discipline that is required to play consistently at the League One level is more pronounced because of the talent and technical abilities of players in the league.”

He noted, “For a championship team, one or two players can standout and make a difference over the other average players, but in this division, you find everybody has a higher average of technical ability, however, more mental discipline is necessary for these players to excel and reach another step further.”

As players found it more difficult to take on the initiative and use their abilities to get past an opponent, the coach’s role changed slightly to develop a working formula for the team to compete successfully. He stated, “You have to get them (the athletes) to work as a team and to understand the responsibility of playing their role in the system, than trying to be a good individual player. “

DeFour refrained from highlighting individual performers for the 2017 season, instead, he took the time to boost the entire team, as he expressed, “To be honest, I was blessed with the 11 standout players who were on the field of play, at any given time, and wearing a uniform.”

Cunupia FC adopted a 3-4-3 formation for the majority of the season and benefitting from the squad line-up were TTSL League One Team-of-the-Season picks, midfielder Michael Darko and forward Kevon “Showtime” Woodley.

From the first round the Ghanian midfielder, Darko, showed that he was ready and able to command the middle of the park in any League One match. Whether it was picking the right pass to free his team mates or even bursting into the box to score one of his 11 league goals, Darko was the heartbeat of a Cunupia FC team that finished the season in blistering form.

Darko got a helping hand from Woodley, aka “Showtime”, when he joined the Predators of Cunupia during the mid-season transfer window.

Showtime began his season with Youth Stars in League Two and registered a league high of 8 goals for the Tobago outfit before making the switch. It did not take him long to settle as he quickly located his scoring touch in his new team, flooding the field with his bag of tricks and wowed crowds, ending the League One campaign with a total of 10 goals and 7 assists.

When asked the question “What’s next?” for the team and their approach to the season ahead, the coach responded, “Well seeing the results throughout this season and us being able to finish third, I can say this is not a one-off season for this team as we will be back and placing a lot more effort into winning the title.” He detailed, “The team currently plays a nice, fluent attacking style of football so we would want to pay some attention to the defensive aspect of our game and working on a faster transition (from defense to attack) on the field.”
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