A DEFIANT Richard Ferguson, managing director of local professional football club Terminix La Horquetta Rangers, insists that while he will make his players available for national selection on FIFA match days, he will not release them otherwise to train with the national team.
Ferguson was responding to a Trinidad Express enquiry, after national coach Angus Eve hinted that Rangers was among the local clubs not looking at the “bigger picture” when it came to developing the national squad.
Speaking via Zoom, Eve hinted that he had not selected players from local clubs Rangers and Point Fortin Civic for upcoming CONCACAF Nations League matches, because they had not been part of recent national team preparations.
Eve is the third T&T coach who has expressed difficulty getting Rangers footballers released for national team preparations, following similar complaints by former head coaches Dennis Lawrence and Terry Fenwick.
Ferguson was appointed managing director of Rangers after Terminix Trinidad Limited purchased St Ann’s Rangers FC in June, 2018, moved the club to the La Horquetta community and changed its name to Terminix La Horquetta Rangers FC.
Ferguson a Trinidad and Tobago Football Association presidential aspirant, insisted that he is within his rights to withhold his players outside of official FIFA match-day windows.
“When there is a FIFA window we have to release the players. But if is he’s asking for them to go and train.... nah. That isn’t happening,” stated Ferguson.
“We does train harder than them,” he declared.
“I am not sending no players to train,” Ferguson insisted. “We training three times a week, eight hours a day. To send them to train other than that, they will get injured. I does pay my players. He (Eve) does not pay them.”
Ferguson supported his argument that Rangers had not boycotted the national team by pointing out that Real Gill had scored a goal for T&T against St Martin on January 29, and defender Russ Russell Jr also came on as a substitute.
Ferguson was reminded that while dominating the local professional league, teams such as Defence Force and W Connection had in the past always released their top players to train with the national team.
W Connection at one point played a national final with youth players such as then 15-year-old Mark Ramdeen included.
“That is W Connection. We are Rangers, a different club,” Ferguson insisted.
“We does ask him (Eve) to play us a game and he never does. He will play Army three times a week. He will play Police. He will play Club Sando. But he will never play Rangers.”
Rangers recently played five international games in ten days on a successful Caribbean tour, which ended with Saturday’s 1-1 draw with the senior national team of St Vincent and the Grenadines.