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Tue, Aug

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IT is unfortunate that Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy ended their international careers in the controversial manner in which they did in late June.

The pair brought tremendous pride to Trinidad and Tobago, not to mention many hours of pleasure to the many fans who were privileged to see them wearing the red, white and black colours of their country.

How can anyone who was there on November 19, 1989, forget Yorke being lifted off the field following our 0-1 loss to the United States in that tragic World Cup qualifier?

And wasn't it Latapy who promised so faithfully to make sure that his career did not end until Trinidad and Tobago reached the World Cup finals?

Well, another three World Cups have passed and, despite their presence, Yorke and Latapy have failed to provide the inspiration to put their country on the world's most prestigious football stage.

Unfortunately, they will never have the chance again.

But in a few days' time, Trinidad and Tobago will host the Junior World Cup in which 16 of the top teams in the world will be taking part.

Several of the young men in this tournament are certain to make their mark on the international scene in the next two decades.

Within the local team, we will seeking to unearth another pair to fill the boots of Yorke and Latapy and probably go on to realise much more success for their country.

Before Yorke and Latapy, we had Cummings and Archibald. Even before them, stars such as Corneal, Aleong and Gellineau dazzled the fans.

And I could go further back to Matthew Nunes, "The General"Carlton Franco and Squeakie Hinds - naturally talented players who provided yeoman service to the country.

Yorke, of course, led our youth team to the World Cup finals in Portugal and today, we see what that experience has done for him.

There is every possibility that lurking within the T&T team, there are several Yorkes and Latapys, waiting for the opportunity to make their mark.

If only for this reason, Trinidad and Tobago should rally around these youngsters and give them full support during the tournament.

It's farewell to Yorke and Latapy. Let us now welcome the new generation of football hope for Trinidad and Tobago!