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I’m sorry! Molino pledges loyalty to Soca Warriors; TTFA president commends apology

Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team star Kevin Molino has apologised for his “recent decisions” and, indirectly, threw himself at the mercy of head coach Stephen Hart in a dramatic about-turn following his latest indiscretion on international duty, two weeks ago.

Last Wednesday, Molino vowed to take a year off from international football after Soca Warriors coach Stephen Hart dropped the Orlando City midfielder for a Caribbean Cup qualifier away to Martinique for a breach of discipline.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago and Orlando City playmaker Kevin Molino (right) hurdles a tackle against Panama during an international friendly in March 2015. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago and Orlando City playmaker Kevin Molino (right) hurdles a tackle against Panama during an international friendly in March 2015.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Molino was accused of breaking camp to party at the Vas Lounge nightclub on Rust Street on 7 October in between Caribbean Cup outings against the Dominican Republic and Martinique. It was the second time in a month that the two-time World Youth Cup player was accused of sneaking out of the team hotel to party while on international duty.

Incidentally, Molino apologised for the first incident at the time yet quickly repeated the transgression.

Initially, Molino refused to admit guilt on the second occasion and insisted on seeing photographic evidence while he subsequently vowed to quit the Warriors. However, just 24 hours after team captain Kenwyne Jones urged him to “apologise properly” so the team could move forward, the 26-year-old MLS maestro decided to do just that.

Last week, he vowed to go on a one-year self-imposed exile via SnapChat. Today, he reversed his decision on Instagram:

“Playing the beautiful game is all that matters to me, especially for my country. It’s what I’ve dreamt of all my life. My recent decisions do not reflect that, and for this I’m sorry.

“I am also aware of the effects my choices have had on my teammates, fans & friends. And I apologize for this as well. My childhood dream is still alive and I’m 100% committed to representing the red, black & white if I am lucky enough to be selected again.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevin Molino apologises for breach of discipline on Instagram on 18 October 2016.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevin Molino apologises for breach of discipline on Instagram on 18 October 2016.

Molino signed off in hashtags, presumably directed at his critics over the past week: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

The ball is now in Hart’s court and Molino might have been helped by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s (TTFA) initial sluggishness in dealing with the issue.

More than a week after Molino was axed for the crucial Gold Cup qualifier against Martinique, the TTFA is yet to take an official position on the matter or support Hart’s handling of it. It meant that the Warriors ace was able to soften his initial stance before a ruling from the local football body.

TTFA president David John-Williams confirmed that he spoke informally to both parties on the matter. At present, Hart is out of the country.

“Coach Hart sent a report and we are to meet on this and another matter on his return,” John-Williams told Wired868. “I actually just spoke to Molino telling him I saw his apology and I commended him and asked what is prompting such behaviour. He was a bit cagey but accepted responsibility.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago international midfielder Kevin Molino (right) trains with his teammates at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 21 March 2015. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago international midfielder Kevin Molino (right) trains with his teammates at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 21 March 2015.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

Hart told the TTFA Media it was important that Molino accepted responsibility for his actions, although he stopped short of stating definitively whether he was satisfied with the apology and if there would be further disciplinary action against the player.

“It is important that he accepts responsibility for his actions,” said Hart. “Kevin’s attitude towards training and playing was never in question. His work ethic in this respect is commendable.

“He made some poor decisions and it is important that he accepts responsibility for his actions. Wearing the national team shirt is an honour. Yes! More so it is a great responsibility.”

Ironically, the situation was reversed last month when Hart fined Molino, along with Joevin Jones and Mekeil Williams, for breaking camp but played them in World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala and the United States.

John-Williams suggested then that the punishment was light and contemplated further disciplinary action against the players. However, now that Hart has dropped Molino, the TTFA president did not publicly applaud his coach and instead commended the player for apologising.

Photo: Caribbean Football Union (CFU) president Gordon Derrick (second from left) is sandwiched by TTFA president David John-Williams (second from right) and TTFA employee Sharon O'Brien (far left) before the CFU Under-17 final on 25 September 2016 at the Ato Boldon Stadium. John-Williams tried unsuccessfully to replace Derrick as CFU president on 23 July 2016. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Caribbean Football Union (CFU) president Gordon Derrick (second from left) is sandwiched by TTFA president David John-Williams (second from right) and TTFA employee Sharon O’Brien (far left) before the CFU Under-17 final on 25 September 2016 at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
John-Williams tried unsuccessfully to replace Derrick as CFU president on 23 July 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Although John-Williams and Hart have spoken warmly about their professional relationship in public, doubts linger as to whether the current Warriors coach—who was on CONCACAF’s Coach of the Year shortlist for two of his three years on the job—enjoys the full support of his boss.

Jones made it clear that the players supported Hart, although he insisted too that Molino remains “a great addition to the squad”.

“We all want Kevin to put everything behind him—apologise properly to coach, staff and players and, by extension, Trinidad and Tobago—and move forward together as a unit.

“He has been and will always be a great addition to the squad. But when it comes down to it, this is about representing yourself and Trinidad and Tobago, and nobody is ever bigger than the game…

“Moving into The Hex, the players [and myself] sincerely believe that coach Hart at the helm will give the team the best chance to qualify for Russia 2018… This is the best team we’ve had in a while and there’s no doubt that we cannot go forward without him.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team coach Stephen Hart (centre) and players (from right) Mekeil Williams, Daneil Cyrus, Kenwyne Jones, Radanfah Abu Bakr and Sheldon Bateau at a national training session. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team coach Stephen Hart (centre) and players (from right) Mekeil Williams, Daneil Cyrus, Kenwyne Jones, Radanfah Abu Bakr and Sheldon Bateau at a national training session.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images)

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 15 years experience at several local and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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168 comments

  1. Stephen Hart may be an excellent coach but he needs help in his man management skills. He needs a psychologist to assist him to get the best out of his players. Why not try it, you may be surprised,

  2. steups….run him. typical, no accountability in this country. drop him permanently

  3. He do it once twice never wear national colours most are we sportmen and women jus like dat no DISCIPLINE

  4. Well leaving this up to them I don’t think that it will really happen because it would have been done a very long time ago eh Keith Look Loy. Them really good yes.

  5. Hey all coaches here want to perfect is drills so youngsters are well drilled tactics never taught solveing problems on the playing feild absent taking them and do a classroom session none coaches need to recognize players can be coached off the pitch

  6. ..This is why I say that this new TTFA “elite youth programme” MUST include 1) coaching education, 2) youth player/club development, and 3) youth competitions, if it is to make any sense of the ten million dollars they are crowing about..

  7. So when will they seriously get it right instead of continuously going down this same road all the time maybe the TTFA also needs to have this on their agenda and not only the youth development program or maybe a Coaching Academy really needs to begin in our sweet country eh Keith Look Loy some of these want to be Coaches needs some serious help so start the thing nah man, another observation was even made by Coach Russell The Magician Latapy who also attended the game yesterday, the Coach of St. Anthony’s Coach Hustler instead of shifting his tallest attacker to the middle of the field to deal with their opponent last defender who was always free with no pressure heading out the balls, he had him as the winger on the flank and I am positively certain that he would have scored a goal because he is very good in the air, our football is really in a sad state and before I always use to be blaming the TTFF/TTFA but now I will continue to blame many of these bootleg Coaches until they get it right or leave the Coaching business alone and just to note we always have the talent in our sweet country. Them really good yes.

  8. I don’t think coach qualification is the problem ,more like coach game intelligence.

    • Agreed. Would also look at experience level coaching this age group..

    • Well we have a lot of Coaches at Championship,Premier in the SSFL who never coached at lower levels same for pro league so I assume they got the theory and then did practical assessments over a period of time . I don’t know .
      Or could you pass the coaching exams and get a team because you played football but never coached. I don’t know perhaps Lasana or Keith can shed light.
      BTW this includes national age group teams as well.

  9. Well I visited a school football game for the first time ever St Anthony’s vs St. Benedict’s and I was very disappointed in the crowd support, then the football itself wasn’t what I expected at all, St Benedict’s defenders all they were doing is boom kicking the ball instead of putting the ball on the floor and making constructive passes and I guess this was coming from their Coach Leonson Lewis on the other end St. Anthony’s was playing a more passing game and really should been the victors especially with Che Benny my midfield general who as usual was getting the ball to his attackers and they should have scored, so as the saying goes when you miss your opportunities your opponents will always score a goal to hunt you, and this was done when St, Benedict’s got a free kick and the game ended St. Benedict’s 1 vs St. Anthony’s 0 and on the other hand some of our present Coaches really needs to be Coached because when you looked at the game one really doesn’t see what is the game plan of the teams so therefore the schools should really hire more qualified Coaches to really bring out the best in our young players, especially St Benedict’s because the players that I saw were all like a big breed and I wasn’t surprise because it seems that the players from South eats better food, they were much stronger on the ball than their opponents and there is no way that they should be at the bottom of the table and after the game I was really surprised that it was pizza that was the menu for the players to eat. Them really good yes.

  10. Talking about the national team is almost pointless. No one wants to do the right thing. Please share results of Wednesday’s SSFL

  11. Mango what injustices. ..please explain…

  12. Gordon if your man ‘Trump’ umm I mean DJW 🙂 was more forthcoming maybe you wouldn’t have to come and put forth alleged facts so frequently …that ever occurred to you? Technically you’re his pr person …hope yuh getting paid for that ish ….peeps doh work for thanks no more … Jah know dat 2 ……

    • Tell u u all judging ppl on u all crooked standard!! I receive not a cent bc i am not doing pr but just clearing up d nonsense bc evil flourish when good men do nothing!!! U all think u are all brilliant and intelligent when u bring only negativity but real brilliance is laying building blocks for future generations and if DJW is doing this he have my support. Note when he makes missteps I will acknowledge and demand better but doers know that we learn as we go but armchair critics only critize

    • On “our” crooked standards …did we set the benchmarks for corruption in the ttfa? Now yuh just contradicting yuhself all we are saying is exactly what the ttfa have been doing nothing less nothing more. Do you even know your own endgame? #confused

    • I done realize ur trumpability!! The crooked standard refer to d statement ppl don’t do things for free any more!! But guess alot goes over ur head!!

    • Lol you’re hilarious. You only wish you were as smart as you’d like people to think. Newsflash …probably not …. which is why you will be called out on here anytime yuh reveling in yuh ignorance and bias. People here aren’t idiots .. wrong is wrong …strong is strong but wrong and strong is just stupid ….guess which one of these traits fits your profile? lol anyway I’m good take last word …ah know yuh need it ….:-)

    • Malik Johnson good thing d neutrals who read does get to c ur stupidity!! All d call out talk if u don’t realize alot of persons who use to make contributions stop bc they realize is only anti ttfa sentiments being encouraged and applauded!! Just imagine one of the strongest anti DJW critics Chabeth Haynes have realized this!! He who have eyes to c let him c!! Facebook warrior!

    • I’m focussing specifically on you and your level of stupidity …..you seem to have a talent for it.

  13. When people are enthusiastic and movers mistakes will happen! Get the real story about the last U 16 coach and yes u are allowed ur skepticism but don’t make it seem like facts!! Malik Johnson like wise my putting additional information in the public domain to clear up is not Trump like supporting if based on fact!! JAH KNOWS

  14. Everything you said has been reported here …but since you wanna go there …going behind the coaches back to the players to get an additional game when he thought it wasnt the best idea ….wasn’t undermining? …. having meetings without the presence of your vice president. Firing the former U16 coach then bringing in Latas one mth before the tournament…… who you think you really talking to. Yo is grown ass men here who been through it. I’ve known this guy since I was a youth, when w connection was a fete match side and we used to admire DJW. Nobody is denying some of his recent ventures but until it comes to fruition how bout you allow us our skepticism. Yuh think yuh could do that? Jah kno …..

  15. Malik Johnson i wonder which on of DJW actions have been shady? The getting a sponsored trip to China and South America, the getting sponsorship for an elite youth program, the first time in years all national coaches employed under this administration paid, the honoring of football legends, the introduction of season passes and i could go on but don’t want to be a cheerleader!! That’s y neutrals with football at heart such as Chabeth Haynes starting to get fed up as well as a number of people who don’t write they comments but could pick sense from nonsense. Right now most ppl reading this thread involved in sport or just teams of ppl will know who really behaving like Trump supporters!!! Stupz

  16. Gordon you said it yourself Jack left the ttfa in a mess …and his two successors have been similarly as shady. So how is it “anti ttfa” and not “face value”? …. further more wired is a ‘medium’ ‘a platform if you may’ for people to express their own opinion. Wired’s opinion is not ours or my opinion. Our opinion I might add is formulated via our own logic and intellectual assessments. To assume otherwise is fantastically arrogant of you. My question to you is why is it bias because someone sees something different from you. ….if we’re biased because we’re seemingly ‘anti ttfa’ does that not make you similarly biased for you being ‘pro ttfa’ as well? So who’s right …who’s wrong ……….

  17. To much I’m sorry and hardluck

  18. Note Malik Johnson it have little to do with DJW bc Raymond Tim kee was my president bc i dont know where u all was but the mess ttfa was in when Jack left is very great the job he did have to be appreciated and the job DJW is doing is unbelievable so all arm chair critics should get on board!!

  19. No Malik Johnson u could remember when Hart spoke of his uncertainty of tenure i confirm and suggested certain things!! What i am against is the blind anti ttfa sentiments that have become par for the course on wired now so i am putting out logical and intellectual reasoning behind many decisions so that folks will be able to come to understand and appreciate. My wish is that all football lovers come together to propel d game forward it seems tho than some want d blog to be a place of bacahnal and confusion

  20. This man almost like ah Trump supporter yes ….. like djw could do no wrong in his eyes even if he step on yuh throat hah lol

  21. Untill another hot boat ride come up

  22. No games. Order in the place.

  23. Once…ok…cool…twice…play me for a fool…SMH

  24. stay focus bro wc dreams alive be more discipline

  25. He is just one of the mean examples of poor discipline in T&T sports. But then again it being displayed in Parliament so everyone must feel its right. He should be dropped permanently and used as an example.

  26. He is not bigger Dan de game.de man is a real Trini.if we drop him we ent win a next game .de man say sorry .cause it ent even have a next hunger Dan him for us now ,wen we needs golds

  27. No one is bigger than the game. Hope this is a lesson learned and let’s refocus on the goal which is qualifying for Russia.

  28. Vital player for the team n more so TT world cup qualifiers

  29. This is like cheating in a relationship, knowing full well the repercussions, and then asking for forgiveness….

  30. He should still be disciplined ,and if he is sincere accept his punishment

  31. Thank you young man despite all that has happened you are human remember to every action there is a reaction, forget all you will hear in the coming weeks your team is what is important let them know you erred to err is human and to forgive divine, there is a time for everything son put them in their place thank you for saying “SORRY” M.E

  32. Ironically, that’s the double standard that is ah norms in T&T.

  33. Lasana Liburd now u bs ing he didn’t deal with it wrong according to law but d way it was dealt with by all parties caused ill will and affected team chemistry!! Anybody who deal with groups and teams know that sometimes u are right but managing men is different from managing machines so the interpersonal relationship is important!! Ask murhino and Chelsea u trying to be difficult ur bias starting to show

  34. Actually, I think that’s just BS Gordon. And I think the TTFA president hasn’t given Hart his backing on this because he wants to see if he can exploit it for his own ends first.
    Come off your soap box. If the president realised he dealt with the situation wrong the first time, then where is his apology?

  35. Sry he contract on the line…no I in team…go back in the Savannah and kick ball…ur attitude towards the game the team and the fans were atrocious….

  36. Go on boy and score more goals for tnt

  37. After the first instance everyone realized that it was wrongly dealt with by all parties so to avoid a repeat, firstly a report was requested followed by a meeting coming out of which a unified statement will be made so all involved can move forward positively!! Lasana Liburd we need to divorce the personalities and come up with policies so next time there will be a set structure to follow!! Good leaders learn from situations so i guess both coach Hart and DJW are learning and finding ways to improve team management and discipline going forward

  38. Wow amazing when he was scoring he was the best he made two mistake n under the bus for him. That’s why the world is how it’s today no compassion. If some of us was God sad be our portion yes. Forgive others the same way you will like to be forgiven. ✌
    #myopinionjustsaying