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Saintfiet allegedly knocks Sancho’s third world mentality; Central block players from T&T training

Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team head coach Tom Saintfiet has accused Central FC managing director and ex-World Cup 2006 defender Brent Sancho of displaying a lesser mentality than developing nation, Bangladesh—his former employers—after the pair clashed over the release of players for national training, which began on Thursday 15 December at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.

Saintfiet selected 29 players for his first training squad—Ma Pau Stars midfielder Elton John was added to the initial 28 players. However, none of his three Central FC call-ups took part in training yesterday evening or this morning.

Photo: LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena (centre) congratulates Central FC custodian Jan-Michael Williams, after their 1-1 tie in CONCACAF Champions League action in August 2015. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena (centre) congratulates Central FC custodian Jan-Michael Williams, after their 1-1 tie in CONCACAF Champions League action in August 2015.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams, who has been the regular first choice for the Soca Warriors over the past four years, and two-time World Youth Cup midfielder Sean De Silva both turned up. But, according to interim assistant coach Jamaal Shabazz, the two Central players informed the coaching staff that they were instructed not to train until Sancho authorised it.

Bustling Central midfielder Nathaniel “Spanish” Garcia, who is the elder brother of Warriors winger Levi Garcia, did not show up at all. Otherwise, the only absentee was John, who had not yet been informed of his selection due to an administrative mix-up.

“Jan and De Silva came but did not train,” Shabazz told Wired868. “They told the coach they could not train and that Brent said he will come and talk to the coach [first]. Brent came [after the training had started] and did not stay to speak to the coach. Garcia did not show up.”

The situation remained unchanged this morning with the three Central players and John all missing out. It is uncertain whether team manager Azaad Khan has contacted the Stars player yet.

The tension between the new national coach and the Pro League’s defending champions was days in the making, as Sancho allegedly took exception to Saintfiet’s decision to have mandatory training sessions in the midst of the domestic season and outside of the FIFA match window.

Photo: Former Sport Minister and Central FC managing director and chairman Brent Sancho. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Former Sport Minister and Central FC managing director and chairman Brent Sancho.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

On Wednesday, Saintfiet, Shabazz and Khan met representatives from the Pro League clubs but Sancho did not turn up. Khan, according to Shabazz, called Sancho on the phone in the presence of the room to clarify his stance regarding the team’s training schedule.

“[Sancho] explained that he was down to only 17 players,” said Shabazz. “And Tom got angry and said [Central] were not sticking to an agreement made with the Pro League about the release of players, long before he came to Trinidad. And [Saintfiet] said even in a developing country like Bangladesh, they are more serious about their national team.”

Shabazz said the 10 Pro League clubs agreed, at the start of the season, to release players for international duty when required to help the Russia 2018 World Cup campaign and not to postpone matches, so as to ensure an early end to the competition in February 2017.

“As clubs, we had an agreement that even for the FIFA window we will not stop the league,” said Shabazz. “And once the players were required for national duty, clubs would play without their national players.”

The rushed, abbreviated format of the 2016/17 competition is meant to facilitate a switch in the Pro League’s schedule, which will revert from April to December from next year onwards.

Photo: Central FC captain Darren Mitchell (centre) shoots through a crowd of Defence Force players during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 14 October 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC captain Darren Mitchell (centre) shoots through a crowd of Defence Force players during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 14 October 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

The change means the Pro League will avoid fixtures around the Carnival and Christmas periods while, ironically, the main beneficiaries are likely to be teams who participate in the CONCACAF Champions League—like Central FC—who will now be facing North and Central American opposition in mid-season rather than pre-season form.

Saintfiet, according to Shabazz, agreed to allow his players to participate in Pro League games on Friday and Sunday but has still demanded they train on mornings on both days. From Tuesday, the national team players enter camp and will not be allowed to join their clubs at all.

Wired868 understands at least one of the three Central players was unaware that he was obliged to train with the national team and suggested, through an intermediary, that Sancho claimed to have agreed a compromise with Saintfiet. The special arrangement, according to the player, would have allowed them to skip national sessions on Thursday and Friday and enter camp after their Tuesday game.

Shabazz insisted that no such pact was in place between the national team and Central. It means De Silva, Garcia and Williams may be forced to choose between the two parties, unless either Saintfiet or Sancho gives way.

However, Central operations manager Kevin Harrison said the the league leaders and defending champions were sticking to their guns.

Photo: Central FC operations manager Kevin Harrison is also the former Advisor to ex-Sport Minister Brent Sancho. (Copyright Lime.TT)
Photo: Central FC operations manager Kevin Harrison is also the former Advisor to ex-Sport Minister Brent Sancho.
(Copyright Lime.TT)

He said the club explained their position to the trio, which is that they would be allowed to have “a few sessions” under Saintfiet in the coming week but will not be released until Christmas Eve, which is on the eve of the national team’s departure for Nicaragua.

Harrison suggested that their extra outings for Central should be a benefit to the Warriors.

“Players will be released from 24th December,” Harrison told Wired868. “However, we also agreed that they can join the camp for a few sessions before that. Obviously they will be more match fit than the players who are in the training camp. And Mr Saintfiet will be able to watch them in competitive action, unlike those in camp…

“Brent told Sean [De Silva] and Jan-Michael [Williams] to tell Saintfiet that we would allow them to train on several occasions over the next week.”

Harrison disagreed with Shabazz’s interpretation of the Pro League’s agreement with the Soca Warriors.

“There seems to be some confusion here. Pro League clubs agreed to play through FIFA windows even when players were with the national team. In fact, I believe it was Brent who proposed this. That decision did not obligate clubs to release players unilaterally outside of FIFA windows.

“While we wish to remain as supportive as possible to the national head coach, we also have three Pro League games in the coming week.”

Photo: Central FC forward Kenwyne Jones (second from right) is congratulated by midfielder Sean De Silva (second from left) after his decisive goal against W Connection during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 12 December 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC forward Kenwyne Jones (second from right) is congratulated by midfielder Sean De Silva (second from left) after his decisive goal against W Connection during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 12 December 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

The actual Pro League clause reads: “All teams have agreed to play their matches through the FIFA international windows without any breaks once matches are not carded on the actual FIFA Match Day.”

Harrison pointed the finger of blame squarely at the national football team’s management for Garcia’s failure to turn up to meet Saintfiet on Thursday evening.

“The only request we received [for our players to join the national team] did not give training times,” said Harrison.  “Garcia [who lives in Mon Repos] arrived for our training [on Thursday] unaware of when national training was taking place. We read it in the papers!

“It made no sense for him to travel home after our training and then travel back in the evening. Jan-Michael [Williams] was asked to explain this to Saintfiet.”

The “Couva Sharks”, who have a six point lead atop the standings, face fifth placed Club Sando this evening from 6pm in the opening game of a double header at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva. Police FC and W Connection clash from 8pm in the second fixture.

Photo: Defence Force striker Devorn Jorsling (left) chases Central FC midfielder Nathaniel Garcia during the Digicel Charity Shield on 10 September 2016. Central won 3-1 from kicks from the penalty mark after a 2-2 regulation time draw. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Defence Force striker Devorn Jorsling (left) chases Central FC midfielder Nathaniel Garcia during the Digicel Charity Shield on 10 September 2016.
Central won 3-1 from kicks from the penalty mark after a 2-2 regulation time draw.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Central are due to face face second from bottom, Morvant Caledonia United, on Tuesday evening. Morvant Caledonia will also be without national goalkeeper Marvin Phillip.

Of course, the hardest hit Pro League club is second place W Connection who have released Daneil Cyrus, Hughtun Hector, Alvin Jones and Maurice Forde to the national team.

In other national football news, Saintfiet will have to do without Belgium-based midfielder Khaleem Hyland for next month’s 2017 Gold Cup playoffs against Suriname and Haiti on 4 and 8 January respectively.

Hyland’s employers, KV Westerlo, have refused to release the midfielder, who returned to the top flight Belgium club with a hamstring injury after their last World Cup qualifier against Honduras on 15 November. Russia-based defender Sheldon Bateau has also been denied the chance to join the squad.

Clubs are not obliged to release players for this month’s friendlies away to Nicaragua on 27 and 30 December or next month’s competitive affairs, as the games all fall outside the FIFA international match window.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland (centre) roars during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action in Guatemala City on 13 November 2015. Hyland scored in a 2-1 win for the "Soca Warriors." (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland (centre) roars during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action in Guatemala City on 13 November 2015.
Hyland scored in a 2-1 win for the “Soca Warriors.”
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Wired868 understands that Saintfiet still hopes to have AZ Alkmaar (Netherlands) winger Levi Garcia and Dagenham & Redbridge (England) midfielder Andre Boucaud available but is not assured of landing either player.

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) is understood to be waiting for confirmation from Louisville City FC (USA) goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh and RC Lens (France) midfielder John Bostock. Bostock agreed to represent the Warriors, under former coach Stephen Hart, but only showed up on one of the three occasions that he was summoned and remains uncapped.

(Trinidad and Tobago 29-man squad)

Goalkeepers: Jan Michael Williams (Central FC), Glenroy Samuel (Ma Pau Stars), Marvin Phillip (Morvant Caledonia United), Adrian Foncette (Police FC);

Defenders: Carlos Edwards (Ma Pau Stars), Daneil Cyrus (W Connection), Sheldon Bateau (Krylia Sovetov Samara—Russia), Triston Hodge (Toronto FC II—Canada), Mekeil Williams (Colorado Rapids—USA), Carlyle Mitchell (Seoul E-Land FC—Korea Republic), Radanfah Abu Bakr (Sillamae Kallen—Estonia), Maurice Ford (W Connection), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Aubrey David (Dallas FC—USA);

Midfielders: Nathaniel Garcia (Central FC), Alvin Jones (W Connection), Elton John (Ma Pau Stars), Hughtun Hector (W Connection);

Attacking midfielders: Aikim Andrews (W Connection), Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes—USA), Sean De Silva (Central FC), Kevin Molino (Orlando City—USA), Jomal Williams (Murcielagos FC—Mexico), Hashim Arcia (Defence Force), Joevin Jones (Seattle Sounders—USA), Jomoul Francois (St Ann’s Rangers);

Forwards: Willis Plaza (San Juan Jabloteh), Shahdon Winchester (Murcielagos FC—Mexico), Trevin Caesar (Orange County Blues—USA).

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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479 comments

  1. So why don’t you close down URP and CEPEP and run the Caroni workers

  2. What sanko did was BS to the highest

  3. Jamaal i want to see our best team wear out national colours, not handout clubs preventing the selectees from representing us

  4. But look at the players the League exported over the years and it’s its contribution to the national teams

  5. Well ok I am not offended by that ….go on

  6. Only the clubs that are self sufficient are really professional

  7. We going back into an old argument

  8. Trini Don, don’t be naive eh. Every industry in the country leans to some extent on government. Ask Junior Sammy to be self sufficient nah. Or the Hadeeds.
    I never get why people pick on the football industry in this regard.

  9. The taxpayers want to see the best possible national team available…

  10. It’s an easy step give us the grounds in our communities that our foreparents slave for. Like how it is in the other communities Don

  11. When gov’t for years pull out the horse industry I did not hear all this weeping and wailing

  12. Why dont clubs become self sufficient ???? They only professional in theory…

  13. And yes Keith some people want a professional league and some people don’t that is also life. And we can fashion things to suit what is able to work from what is not. It’s not a sin to want a professional league and struggle through from trial and error as you grow

  14. And is time for the socalled Professional clubs to stop taking financial assistance from the Govt coffers, which by extension is taxpayers funding !!!!!

  15. And I agree with that too Jamaal. Such is life.

  16. So too does a Coach have a right to select the players available or who made themselves available to him or her

  17. ..A club has the absolute right not to release players outside of FIFA windows. People want a professional league but want to treat the member clubs like they can’t treat THE EUROPEAN CLUBS. Can’t have it both ways..

  18. I really don’t know why my dictator still have him around for nah, the word ‘snake’ rings a bell Them really good yes.

  19. BLAST from the PAST (2007). In addition to Fenwick, look who was supporting Jabloteh’s right to keep players from national training. The current Acting General Secretary of the TTFA, Azaad Khan. Ah wonder what is his take on the issue today?
    http://legacy.guardian.co.tt/archives/2007-04-11/sports2.html

  20. Kenwyne needed to go. If only as a wake up call because these are not the next round of games. Did he drop Kenwyne or pick these players? I highly doubt that…the man already looks like a puppet for DJW to play with as he feels.

    Was Kenwyne the reason we lost? No. But granted in the game against Costa Rica it was easily the best we have played against that team in a longgggg time (or maybe the worst they have played against us) because they usually run all over us.

    Kenwyne though, as the lone player with such vast international experience has shown a paucity of effort on the field. His effort has been embarrassing, and maybe his role needs to change because a player with such a horrid first touch can never to me be greatly effective as a hold up man.

    I do think though he suffered from the lack of molino pulling some strings to get him better service…but above all else i must see effort on the field…there were two wing plays by Jones against Costa Rica where Jones was down the line looking to cross and Kenwyn gaping close to half line…that is inexcusable.

  21. When you look at the agreements between ttpro league teams and ttfa I get where Sancho is coming from ,this is more complicated than we thought

  22. Why don’t we ever put country first, is always some nonsensical agenda on the part of folks who don’t care anything about country

  23. Some former Minister of Sport. And just imagine this fool people voted for as a candidate in the last General Election.

  24. I wish to hear Brent’s explanation.

  25. We all know that he full of it feels that political what an Ass,trying to block players from repesenting T@T?

  26. Lets face the TRANSPARENT FACT.i.e.
    Our national team just cant cut it at the moment.Our players just dont matchup with our concacaf neighbours. We aint good enough and the players aint serious. More than that the country must accept this fact and stop the blame game even if Sancho is a clown

  27. Sanko has not moved on, he is still in UNC mode

  28. Guess he had his international opportunity and doesn’t care to have others experience the honour of representing country…….selfish xxxxxxx!!!

  29. MYOPIC NEVER COULD HAVE SEEN THE BIGGER PICTURE. It does not matter who is the coach or administration, the NATIONAL TEAM must always take priority over club matters, there is no meaningful argument or explanation against this principle. At every level in our society JOKERS keep showing up in leadership positions.

  30. This Brent San-Co is one big dunce eh…. How will players get international recognition with that dotish mentality…. as if he was ever good to begin with…. Lock he up for being a traitor

  31. Well yuh better hurry up and apply for the Coaching job as soon as my dictator president buss the throat of the new Coach Tom that isn’t expected to win the next two games eh. Kurtwyn Baird. Them really good yes. hahahaha

  32. Lasana Liburd I am very rarely wrong..I am not being negative and most people would say the coach is innocent until proven guilty in his manner and approach to his job…so wait and see before we speak.
    I have seen so many failures with TNT football and one success in all my years of observation and the key that unlocked the door to success was that in the face of defeat JW brought in Leo…there was a new vibe and most of all Belief by the public as well as the players because he was a recognized face.It didn’t work instantly then JW brought in the magician at that point more belief was injected into the team since someone positive was included in the fight.
    Sadly this appointment has not triggered belief in anyone even the people who are saying he needs time, if they truly were students of the game they would know you need a strong figure head or a strong skilled team anything less would be a disaster🇹🇹

    • Kurtwyn tells us he’s very rarely wrong so I conclude that he’s either very young or not married or both.

      On another note he’s correct that at this time of uncertainty, it would have been a fillip to our nation to have someone who could bring a sense of what’s possible and thus a positive vibe. “Give him a chance” is not a battle cry

    • I agree that I am young but also married 20yrs happily,the coach would have his chance regardless of what I say but in my opinion if the President said that a new coach have only 2 games to get it right.. you should have said that wasn’t much faith and he should haven’t given him more time but I guess the President and his staff also is not too confident in the coach to finish the World Cup campaign.
      Mr Harry I was never a person to look at what a person wants me to see but what you try for me not to see.
      I also tried looking at what gives you a football IQ but….Nothing to speak about🇹🇹

    • Kurtwyn, Brian isn’t attack you. He just opened with a joke but otherwise agreed with you. Lol.
      And I agree Brian. This “give hime a chance” wishy washy stuff… Of course we want the team to do well. But we have every right to question a suspect appointment.
      If they named Anil Roberts as National Security Minister, there would be outrage. Doesn’t mean we would want the police to down tools or anything.

    • I think we need a mad man like that in charge of national Security

    • Lasana Liburd just picong I don’t hate whether we share different views we are all entitled too🇹🇹

    • I don’t think anyone was happy with this appointment. Most expected a big name appointment but surely they would have known Trinidad and Tobago cannot pay the wages of a big name manager. Neither the government or the private sector are willing to pay say £100,000 a month. Trinidad and Tobago can easily pay that. They bloody well squander 50 times that.. anyway… anyone saying it was kenwyne fault we have been poor do not know football. We cannot defend; period. Every attack against us look dangerous. We give away goals end of.. too many people talk utter rubbish.. of course the captain needs to improve but the team is tactically naive and don’t control games.

    • Some of these comments make it clear why things are the way they are in TT. This is about more than football. This is about governance, the way we manage, the way we think and the way we lead. God bless TT. I guess because I live my country, I continue to be surprised because I hope for more.

    • Kelvin, I understand Troussier wanted US$60,000 a month or thereabouts. That’s absolutely market rate or less.
      Jamaica was paying Schafer about US$55,000 a month.
      The South American coaches were largely willing to come for less.
      Exactly what money was the TTFA shopping with?
      Hart was on roughly US$22,000 a month. That’s a steal and they were never going to get someone of a comparable CV or better for anywhere near that.

    • DJW I’m sorry to say is clueless.. in fact I’m not sorry to say it.. you want to get a top class manager you pay top prices. We are babies in world football.. no ambition and not serious

    • We need the people who have worked in professional football such as yourself Kelvin Jack and Shaka to come back and help run the ship before you get old

    • Ian Fitzwilliam no we need professional executives to come and run our football. I respect t Shaka and kelvin but we need professional leadership . Running football is running a business. They understand strategy, vision, performance management, marketing etc.

    • Brian to be fair, there are past players who do have experience running a business, even if just a small or medium sized one. I believe Kelvin and Shaka both have some experience there. These aren’t men who just stepped off a football field last month.
      Whether they can run a multi million dollar company is another story. But I think both have some business experience.

    • Lasana Liburd but that’s my point – if we are to go anywhere we will be running a multimillion dollar business. So what you want to run a $100,000 parlor. I’m talking big business. We keep saying that the private sector will not invest . Duh! Why should they? What is packaged to be sold to them? We need professional executives who understand how to run large businesses . I don’t know what you are saying lasana because you start out saying that I should be Fair then ends by making my point. To compete properly we need a big business machinery and money behind football. We not getting there on a $10000 USA a month budget or whatever it is. If I win the USA lottery tomorrow and want to invest $30 million in TT football you will present me with a management team of kelvin, Shaka, Dwight, …. really? So I will not then invest it

    • Just remember my comments are not personal about these guys!! In talking structure and management. I’m taking about what it will take to be consistent winners in concacaf at a minimum

    • We want transformational change in our country but we discuss approaches that are at best incrementalism. Transformational change is difficult, disruptive, dispassionate, expensive, unpopular except for those who want a difference. For all of our nation’s history we’ve been about incrementalism – we fight crime with incremental measures, we aim for social development incrementally, industry and innovation incremental. We make the argument that “oh we don’t have money”. Really? We spend a lot stupidly and find it to spend. To make and attract investment you must be able to present a proper vision, some objectives and goals and a strategy for football. There must be a clear plan about where you going and how and how long it will take. There must be proper budgeting and controls and a solid management in place . Only then will the private sector take you seriously . Why should they invest shareholder money with a half baked organization? Why should they listen to DJW when he goes to them with a half assed plan for our football built around a coach no one ever heard of as one example of the lack of vision and planning. So once more, I’m not personally attacking our former players but running the kind of organization I’m describing is not their role. We need people of the caliber of Sunil Gulati, bob cordiero, Dan Flynn etc running our beloved game

    • I’m not debating the merits of big business experience Brian. I’m only saying that these guys are more than just ex-players. I won’t argue that they have experience at the level of a multi-million dollar enterprise because they don’t. But it isn’t like either man is a Kevin Molino whose only job was on the field. So I just wanted to add that in.
      I would also say that the president doesn’t run football in T&T. In fact, that has NEVER been the case in the history of our sport before David John-WIlliams, as far as I know.
      Jack Warner was general secretary and not president, for instance. And it was Sheldon Phillips who ran the day to day operations in the previous administration as general secretary and not Raymond Tim Kee.
      According to the constitution, we can get along just fine with a figurehead president because it is supposed to be be the general secretary who runs the shop with the direction of the board.
      Of course the more astute the president, the better. But the way our football is being run now is not what was is proper under the constitution.

    • Lasana Liburd I’m still not sure the point about their off the field experience, if in the end you are saying that they have no record of running large enterprises . Regarding the structure, are you saying that we should be happy with that? Will that take us up to the top 25 in the FIFA rankings? Will that structure attract private sector dollars? Will that structure provide us with a rigorous approach to youth development?

    • Lasana Liburd I am debating the merits of bug business and it’s relevance to our football! So maybe we are speaking past each other as we are discussing separate items

    • Maybe. Big business experience can only be a plus. But it is more handy in a general secretary than a president.
      The word “president” sounds grand but the president is not suppose to run football under our constitution. I’m not sure if you are clear on that so I am just pointing it out.
      The general secretary runs football although he/she can be fired by the board on the direction of the president at any time.
      The person you want to have big business experience is the general secretary. It is a plus if the president has it too but not absolutely necessary.

    • Lasana Liburd so change the constitution! I’m talking transformation so there are no sacred cows. If where we are today is where we get to under the present constitution then maybe its time for a new and different one. We can’t get to the world stage while we protect a piddling senseless constitution at home (yes I’m being purposefully inflammatory) because it’s time for a major shake up. I believe that we TT can do better! I believe that we should be THE perennial #1 in the Caribbean! I believe that we should be ranked right along Mexico and USA in CONCACAF! I believe that we can attain and sustain a world ranking of top 25. And because I believe the above, I’m not happy with doing things as we always have.

    • I always wonder if what we need is constitutional reform when we haven’t really used the original constitution in the first place. Lol.
      That being said, I won’t be against an executive president once there is accountability and the power to remove him or her democratically.

    • Lasana so you see that is the first step. As long as the process around selection, performance evaluation, operating principles, regarding an executive president are in place and as long as we believe that it will bring a step change in results I’m all for it

    • Brian.. you have good points.. but you are disrespecting the footballing knowledge and business of some ex players. Do not be fooled that because someone was a footballer they are inferior to an “expert business executive’. Trinidad and Tobago need a structure.. we need to build an identity. I agree with you that a lot of money is needed. Trinidad and Tobago could easily afford it. You are also correct in saying that the private sector will not invest because the plan presented is half assed. DJW is a businessman and I’m almost sure many in the business community knows him. One of the main problems with the business community in Trinidad and Tobago is that the dont love sports. A big “business executive” is not the answer. I can guarantee you that if I ever become president I can convince the business community to invest in football. A holistic and clear plan must be presented to them and it must show how it benefits them. I’m also certain I can rally the government to invest like never before. I request you not insult my intelligence as I’m not insulting yours. You don’t need some special degree to get our football right. You need passion, vision, patience, intelligence and most importantly.. you need to understand football.. as a good understanding of knowing what it takes to be successful will aid in being you make the right technical decisions.. also.. Trinidad and Tobago top 25? Maybe.. very very difficult.. possible.. with total total change.

    • Sorry about typos.. on my phone

    • Kelvin I hope you understand that I mean absolutely no disrespect to you or any of the former players. I’ve done a good deal of work in my consulting career in the area of sport administration. The major point in making is that I want a corporate structure, I want to attract large $$$$ investment and I want a good plan and governance. If I’m a private person with a lot of $$$$ to invest I will give it to Sunil Gulati, Dan Flynn or Robert cordiero any day! Why? They have Demonstrated the ability and a record of success working at the top of large organizations charged to do what I’m asking. A man like Sunil we don’t have anyone even in the ministry of finance to match his money management skills – he’s the president of USA soccer. Dan Flynn led global marketing for Anheuser Busch (Budweiser) in several locations for 20 + years . Tell me the TT team to compare. They will beat us for the next 20 years if we don’t change

  33. Tom Saintfiet known in Africa and Bangledesh by his full name…Tom Julianus Maria Saintfiet. Hope we not getting half the man like half the name. Googling the full name gives you a quantity of information to better evaluate the man and coach based on his actions and results while in Togo, Nigeria and Cameroon. Judge for yourself or just swallow the videos and what you have been given to eat.

  34. Could someone state if known, what was the justification for the players being blocked.

  35. Hope and prayer..is not a plan. That is all..

  36. There is no secret in world foitball i guess he did not just appear from space an say i want the job with out a clue what challenges he will be facing .he would of have some data on the players an team.

  37. Good question Lasana.. I often find it quite senseless when some national coaches take over and call up a huge number of players. Most of the new players have zero chance of making the squad. For one the manager will not know theses players he called up and he would barely know the players who were playing the qualification games. He will be essentially trusting the instinct of his support staff or maybe TTFA officials? If it were me I would have immersed myself into videos of the games and call up the players that impressed me. I would then ask the assistant coaches about players potentially good enough and then watch them play for their clubs to assess them. Personally I don’t like big numbers. He dropped Kenwyne which I think is quite ridiculous as he is not the reason we were poor. We were poor because the team was naive, lacked discipline, lacked enthusiasm and had poor concentration levels.. but listen this is the managers way so we need to leave him to it.

    • Kenwyne needed to go!!!! His return on investments was poor…so you are being ridiculous to suggest same Kelvin Jack

    • I think there’s a method to what appear to others as madness. One way to quickly establish yourself as a new coach, especially one seeking to have an immediate positive impact on a previously unproductive squad, is to drop a key player. That lets everyone know that you’re in charge and meritocracy rather than seniority or reputation matters more to you. Secondly by naming a big training squad you’re telling previously overlooked players that they will be given a fair chance to compete for a position on your squad.

    • Trini Don – agree. He needed to be dropped. I think he can still contribute to the squad, but need to up his game. I do hope this drop is the kick in his behind he needed to re-motivate him.

    • Excellent point Carlos, about giving the team a shake up.

    • What about you pick a team and you bench him on merit same effect….. he wasn’t picked to the squad at all because when time came for match fees for players there would be no adversarial opposition. You talk about picking a team for speed and Abu Bakr is there? All about perspective ….. the man strings is being pulled … clearly ….

    • Coach wants to send strong message. What better way to do that than by dropping the capitan. If he was in the training squad the other players would think status quo. Not what you want. And you’re right there’s likely some outside influence on the coach. And that’s expected until he understand the landscape a bit. I imagine his assistant coaches are the ones doing the influencing in the interim and I think that’s fine.

    • Shake up the team by dropping one player–Kenwyne Jones? Carlos, you watched Trinidad play and tell yourself once we drop Kenwyne we will be okay?
      Smh. Well let’s see. We won’t have to wait long to find out now will we.

    • Lasana – the man was out of shape and unproductive upfront. Until he gets himself in better shape and start delivering he should not be in the squad. And yes that one change can be the needed catalyst.

      • Shaking up the team by dropping ONE player? HaHaHa

        If you want to send a message, bench KJ, strip him of captaincy but remove him from the team is the actions of an ASS not a man with a psychology degree and certainly not a manager with any quality.

        KJ has been coached by Harry Redknapp, Steve Burley, Steve Bruce, Tony Pulis, Mark Hughes. Do you really think he will be influenced by Tom cat??? Do you think he has any respect for this clown?

        Our defense is the area of most concern but Tom cat picks the same players that leak goals like WASA pipes.

    • Carlos Lee you have alot of time to debate with lasana…u spinning top in mud….it aint worth it

    • Sure right. Drop Kenwyne and pick Cyrus and Cato. Somebody spinning in the mud for sure.
      The man says he doesn’t know the players, he hasn’t decided on tactics. But the only thing he knows is the team captain, top scorer in the last three years, sole current player from 2006 World Cup and only player with extensive Premier League experience since Dwight Yorke and Shaka Hislop…
      The only thing the Saint knows is THAT fellah ent good enough to be around his team which even has players from semi-pro teams in it.
      👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾

    • Lol well played Lass well played lol

    • I would be lying if I said I disagree Sean! 🙂

    • Lasana – maybe the new coach spent some time reading Wired868 and is acting on the sentiments of most of its followers. Most have been calling for the capitan’s sacking.

    • Carlos, I guarantee you the new coach did just that and probably still does. Because even before the first press conference and having never met, he called me name in the lobby and discussed my story on the site.
      I think he has done his research there as far as supporters and so on. Clearly not so much research on available players though… Lol.

    • So Lasana, you beating up on him becuz you know he reads Wired? Hhmm..I hope he skips over yours and Jamaal’s comments yes. 🤔

    • No Savitri Maharaj. Carlos just asked a question and I answered.
      I am not beating up on him. I’m not saying I don’t like his head.
      I’m telling you specifically what concerns me.
      People are acting as though suddenly you cannot judge someone by their cv and their interactions with club owners.
      So what was the big deal with Reshmi then?

    • KJ is an obvious target to get the axe, but our problems are at the other end of the pitch though!! my view

    • Lolol..Lasana..this not so important to me nah

    • I’ve worked in the sport industry for a long time Sav. It isn’t fun and games. It is to be treated the same as any other field to me.
      I would use the same thinking as if I was hiring someone to work for my own company.
      If I was just a fan I would say: More power to you Tom and the TTFA.
      But I’m not just a fan.
      So I have to think things through a bit deeper than just: He is my football president/coach/manager/etc so I must support him or her and whatever he or she does.

    • Lasana – comparing apples and oranges Lasana. Reshmi falsified/embellished her CV. No such occurrence here.

    • Carlos it was an exaggeration on my part. But I’m just making the point that someone’s historical body of work counts in football as it would in any other industry.
      Saintfiet has little to no experience of even a medium tier football team. But he is no fraud. He is a properly certified football coach.

    • Carlos Lee do you know HART CV before coaching tnt ?….less impressive than Tom, he never took any team to the worldcup, he only coach in canada, which not any top european footballing nation, with a great league…but he got the job….no one is talking about that, but they talking about Tom….#balancejournalism

    • Steups. No, Hart’s CV was easily more impressive. But I’m not even going to debate that.

    • Go look for balanced journalism where you can find it yes Trini Don 😉

    • They talking bout ‘Tom’? You and ‘Tom’ pitch marble together? Some of allyuh trinis as soon as you hear foreign you bow down to some form of allegiance. Like he gonna come and pat yuh head and give yuh a scooby snack. If you wanna thrown in your allegiance blindly so be it but stop trying to create a resume for us to see that only exists in your mind. If he succeeds so be it but no blind allegiance …earn it or bounce!!! He may have a point about the ‘third world mentality’ tho where we naturally assume foreign is better and we are incapable of getting to their level. Me ….I call bulls#!@ on that to the tenth power!!

    • Thats why Hart had to bounce !!! He was poor poor poor Malik Johnson…it was a foreign coach took us to the WC…. should we put latapy or stuart charles ? Does the local coaches have the experience at a high level ???? Just asking

    • Trini ….if Harty had to go he had to go but how can you seriously just cast him aside like that KNOWING that DJW and then fellas was undermining him from the get go? My difficulty with this is why would DJW undermine the man who was trying to get us to the world cup? It’s mindblowing to me all of a sudden KJ get drop. ….the doctor and his nurse get call back and latas is now an assistant coach. The truth is the piece of manure that really perturbs me is DJW. ….Tom I don’t even know him ….he is simply a tool and of he does succeed I’ll be happy for it as much as I may not like his approach to “us” …. I want my team to succeed ….but the plague…virus if you may in this whole …. reality tv show is DJW. I just want people to see the situation for what it is …they can make their own conclusions afterwards but don’t be naeive enough to think this entire situation wasn’t undermingly engineered by him!

    • I take note if what you said, but lets hope the best for our national team !!! Regardless of the conspiracy theories

  38. So the only thing the coach knew for sure about his available players was that Kenwyne Jones wasn’t good enough then? After that he is just winging it. Hahaha.
    Let me hush and sing my national anthem and paint my face red, white and black yes! 😂😂😂

  39. Kelvin Jack or Keith Look Loy, if you had three weeks before Gold Cup play offs… Would you select a big training squad with players of wildly different skill levels? And essentially put technical players like Kevin Molino and Joevin Jones alongside guys who are now learning their craft…
    Or would you want an immediate core team to drill into shape with the hope that a smaller better group would mean more intense sessions?

  40. Some people also expect miracles when a new coach just comes in and quick to find fault without giving the man a chance.
    Not like he have an elite squad from Brazil to work with either.

  41. People see a 5 minute video from a 90 plus minute training session and conclude that the coach knows what he’s doing. I’m not doubting that he might know what he’s doing but I wish that as a society we will begin to be a little more analytical and begin to use real information to make judgements. Just saying because it feels to me like we looking for “feel good ” moments

  42. Wasn’t it said that if our players isn’t representing a team in our professional league that they wouldn’t even be looked at eh, and there are some really good players in the Super League eh. Them really good yes.

  43. The man know what he doing. On the field though on match days it’s up to the talent and condition of the players. Could do just so much with what you have to work with.

  44. mr look loy let them join W they go get thru real fast