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Brian WilliamsFormer United Petrotrin FC head coach Brian Williams expressed disappointment over the club’s 2010 withdrawal in the TT Pro League.

“As a former coach at the club, I can say it’s a sad day for the football community especially in the southern part of Trinidad,” said Williams.

On Tuesday morning United Petrotrin FC chairman and Communications Manager at Petrotrin Arnold Corneal broke the disappointing news saying that the club will not be part of the 2010 TT Pro League season, with the major reason being high costs of running the professional club in which the financially strapped petroleum company isn’t capable of sustaining at this point.

“I’ve already received a lot of calls,” continued Williams. “I know that we are in a global recession, but it’s sad at this point. A lot of young footballers in the south will feel the hurt as well.”

Williams was sacked in September 2008 and temporarily replaced by then Carapichima Senior Comprehensive school coach Leon Carpette. At the time of his sacking Williams had the ‘Oilmen’ fourth on the League standings after Round Two. The club finished sixth in that season.

Williams joined the club as head coach in its inception back in 2005, and only in his first season won the Big Six title followed by the Toyota Classic in 2006. He also led the team to a number of semifinals and finals before being replaced in 2008.

In 2009 Williams joined friend and former teammate Stuart Charles Fevrier at W Connection where he stood as assistant coach to the St Lucien.

And while Williams made himself at home with Connection (helping Fevrier guide the team to the 2009 Caribbean Club Champions, Lucozade Sport Goal Shield and a creditable performance in the CONCACAF Champions’ League), United Petrotrin had huge aspirations.

The ‘Oilmen’ hired Brazilian coach Marcos Tinoco and his staff, and high profile players Arnold Dwarika, Cyd Gray, Ian Gray, Aurtis Whitley, Gary Glasgow, Nigel Pierre, Nigel Daniel, Devon Caseman and Stokely Mason all on ‘rumored’ high salaries.

However with more resources than were available in Williams’ time and even a preseason trip to Colombia, the ‘Oilmen’ flopped in 2009—failing to even make the Big Six—a seventh position finish in the Digicel Pro League with just 30 points.

When asked about his former club’s performance in 2009, Williams responded, “Very disappointing.”

He continued, “If you employ a high profile coach, increase salaries and hire high profiled players, we would expect better results. The team never moved anywhere. Didn’t even make the Big Six.”

“I can speak for Philbert Jones, Larry Joseph, Floyd Lawrence and Edgar Vidale. Give us the respect we deserve for the foundation that we’ve laid down. We have won two titles and gave creditable performances in knockout competitions during our four years together at the club,” said the former Trinidad and Tobago international and assistant W Connection coach.

United Petrotrin FC chairman Arnold Corneal assured on Tuesday that the club would continue its youth development in the sport of football in the fence-line communities of Petrotrin.

Williams applauds the continuation of the youth developtment, however reiterated that the south-western communities are still at a loss without a professional club.

“Geographically its really sad,” he said. “It’s nice to embark on a youth development. But after we harness our youths, they will have to go play in other communities. There wouldn’t be any kind of continuity, and that’s the sad part. I am supportive of the youth development and as a Petrotrin employee I am committed to doing what’s best for the company and community.

“But after that, we can’t keep the pride of football in south. It’s a really serious blow for football in this part of the country, apart from looking for stable opportunities for players, like they had the opportunity of playing for Petrotrin,” Williams said.

Williams highlighted that FC SouthEnd are also located in south-western Trinidad, but doesn’t have the financial backing to create stable opportunities for players—the last time he checked.

Williams also used the opportunity to press his point that stakeholders of the League should continue hunting for bigger sponsorships and ways of increased prize monies, which could help sustain clubs and avoid withdrawals such as North East Stars in 2008 and now United Petrotrin.

He said even the League Champions payout of $350,000.00 covers a fraction of about one or two months salaries for players and staff of some clubs. However he admits that clubs too must accept blame for not coming up with suitable marketing strategies for sustainability. 


Skeene hopes for a quick return by Petrotrin.

TT Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene believes that withdrawn United Petrotrin FC have been a major contributor to Trinidad and Tobago football and hopes for a quick return by the south based club.

“Petrotrin have contributed, not only to Pro League football but football in Trinidad and Tobago in general for many years,” Skeene said on Wednesday.

“Petrotrin is a name that is synonymous with success and developing the raw talent and bringing it to fruition with names such as Russell Latapy, Stuart Charles Fevrier, Brian Williams and Leonson Lewis.

“So let me thank them for being involved (in the past) and hopefully (their withdrawal) will not be for a long time,” said the Pro League CEO over United Petrotrin’s decision to withdraw from the upcoming 2010 season that’s scheduled to begin in April.

On Tuesday morning United Petrotrin FC chairman and Communications Manager at Petrotrin Arnold Corneal broke the disappointing news saying that the club will not be part of the 2010 TT Pro League season, with the major reason being high costs of running the professional club in which the financially strapped petroleum company isn’t capable of sustaining at this point.

“With the economic climate as it is and the financial situation at present, we know that some organizations would be reviewing their objectives, and having to take certain decisions to ensure that they continue and that they will one day be able to rejoin the Pro League,” added Skeene.

United Petrotrin formed back in 2005 may have withdrawn from the 2010 season, however the Pro League CEO strongly believes that the League will survive.

“We take it in stride. That doesn’t say that football is dying. There are many teams that are vying to be in the Pro League.

“Let me say that professional football is very healthy, with people like Louis Lee Sing, Jerry Hospidales, Jack Warner, David John Williams and most recently John Walice to name a few, with the government supporting football for a number of years and Digicel also on board, football is in safe hands.

“Our performances in CONCACAF are improving as well, against teams from Mexico and the MLS. So we are moving in the right direction and seeing overall improvement,” he said.

Skeene also explained that the league continues to attract interest by new clubs as well as proposals from international businessmen but assured that the Pro League will carefully consider these applications.