Home / Volley / Global Football / Central keep noses ahead; but Pro League rivals criticise their stance on T&T call-ups

Central keep noses ahead; but Pro League rivals criticise their stance on T&T call-ups

Central FC are in a league of their own at the moment, in more ways than one.

Last night, the Couva Sharks maintained their four-point gap at the top of the Pro League standings with a 2-0 win over second from bottom Morvant Caledonia United at the Ato Boldon Stadium.

Central are unbeaten in the league this season, as they chase the honour of becoming the first club in Trinidad and Tobago’s professional era to win three successive titles.

Photo: Central FC goal scorers Jason Marcano (left) and Johan Peltier celebrate during their 2-0 win over Morvant Caledonia United in Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC goal scorers Jason Marcano (left) and Johan Peltier celebrate during their 2-0 win over Morvant Caledonia United in Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Towards that end, goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams and midfielder Nathaniel “Spanish” Garcia played 90 minutes for Central last night, at the expense of their immediate international prospects.

Current Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team coach Tom Saintfiet selected the Central pair—along with midfielder Sean De Silva who was injured in national training—on his squad to play away to Nicaragua in friendlies on 27 and 31 December. But it would have meant that they enter camp last night and skip all club duties for the remainder of the year.

Central managing director Brent Sancho, a former World Cup 2006 defender, and operations director Kevin Harrison refused to hand them over and insisted that they were under no obligation to do so, according to FIFA and Pro League rules.

But they stood alone on Tuesday night, as the remaining Pro League clubs sacrificed for what they considered to be a greater good: the Trinidad and Tobago team, the potential ripple effect for the Pro League—once the Soca Warriors do well—and the players themselves.

San Juan Jabloteh and Club Sando were, arguably, affected more than most as Saintfiet selected three players from within their ranks—as a means of offsetting absences—less than 48 hours before their Tuesday fixtures.

Photo: Defence Force striker Devorn Jorsling (right) cushions the ball while San Juan Jabloteh defender Jevon Morris stands guard during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 September 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Defence Force striker Devorn Jorsling (right) cushions the ball while San Juan Jabloteh defender Jevon Morris stands guard during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 September 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Suddenly, Jabloteh lost both wingers in one fell swoop as Nathan Lewis and Tyrone Charles were both late call-ups to enter the Warriors camp.

Last night, Jabloteh drew 1-1 with Ma Pau Stars at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. They are still third but—12 points behind Central and with six games left—their title chase is essentially over.

“From a full roster of 21, I only had 13 players [in my first squad last night],” Jabloteh coach Keith Jeffrey told Wired868. “And going into the game on Friday, I just have a bare 11 because of two more injuries. I now have to register [Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 midfielder] Jodel Brown and 17 year old Jabari Mayers, just to have numbers…

“Long time, clubs would have a 25 or 26 man roster, so you wouldn’t have this problem. But because the [government] subvention is not coming and the private sector is not buying in, it allows you to only have a roster of 21.

“And with injuries or [national] call ups, you can easily end up with 13 or 14 players.”

Photo: San Juan Jabloteh defender Jerome Isaiah McIntyre (left) finds himself on the end of a crunching tackle from Defence Force left back Akile Edwards during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 September 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: San Juan Jabloteh defender Jerome Isaiah McIntyre (left) finds himself on the end of a crunching tackle from Defence Force left back Akile Edwards during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 September 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Jabloteh trailed to a Jerrel Britto item at half time yesterday. But, ironically, their equaliser came from a player who should have been in camp: Willis Plaza.

Plaza was forced to withdraw from the Warriors team to pursue a professional deal in the Far East over the Christmas period. And, although it ruled him out of the upcoming friendlies, the talented striker was able to represent Jabloteh yesterday and will be in the squad again on Friday.

“It would have been worse if Plaza didn’t pull out [of the National Team],” said Jeffrey. “But I would have done the same thing, even if we had to lose all three of them. These boys deserve their call-up and I want to help them.

“We will play two under-17s on Friday and we stand by that.”

Club Sando lost just one player to national duty, Akeem Roach, but the effect might be just as emphatic. The speedy attacker scored seven of his team’s 19 league goals so far this season and is integral to the way his club plays.

Worse, Sando coach Angus Eve only found out that Saintfiet wanted his player on the eve of Tuesday’s fixture. Sando, who held Central 1-1 in their previous outing, lost 2-0 to Defence Force last night.

Photo: Club Sando attacker Akee Roach (left) looks to glide past fallen Central FC defender Kevon Villaroel during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 16 December 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Club Sando attacker Akee Roach (left) looks to glide past fallen Central FC defender Kevon Villaroel during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 16 December 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Still, Eve, who is Trinidad and Tobago’s all-time most capped player, mirrored Jeffrey’s thinking.

“We have to help the players—that is our first goal,” said Eve. “I am trying to help Akeem get out of the country and being on the National Team will help his resume. The timing [of his call-up] wasn’t great [for our match day preparation]. But I understand the importance of the National Team to this Pro League. So it is a balancing act.”

St Ann’s Rangers coach Anthony “Prowler” Streete probably had special dispensation to pout on Tuesday night.

Rangers released 21-year-old winger Jomoul Francois for Warriors duty, as he was named in Saintfiet’s initial 29-man squad. The Belgian coach promised to select his final 23 players for camp by Monday afternoon. But that did not happen.

So, on Monday, Streete selected his 18 players to face Police FC. On Tuesday morning, though, Francois relayed word that Saintfiet had not picked him.

“[On Monday, the Trinidad and Tobago technical squad] were still not sure of their final squad, so I assumed Jomoul would be occupied on Tuesday,” said Streete. “Then, he called me on Tuesday morning when I had already named my squad… So, I told him to take the game [off against Police].”

Photo: St Ann's Rangers attacker Dylon King (left) tries to outpace Police FC defender Dillon Kirton during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: St Ann’s Rangers attacker Dylon King (left) tries to outpace Police FC defender Dillon Kirton during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Rangers played four teenagers last night: Josh Toussaint, Rushawn Murphy, Kathon St Hillaire and Micah Lansiquot. The quartet all represented the Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team, earlier this year.

The St Ann’s-based team lacks the financial clout to hang on to their young talent and most players usually move on before they become senior internationals. So, Streete was proud to send a player to the National Senior Team, even if it did not work out for player or club in the end.

“Rangers are not a team to get a [National Team] call-up usually, so I am happy to give the player an opportunity to market himself,” Streete told Wired868. “I was a national player myself and you feel a pride in that. I would want them to experience that and feel that way too.”

In the end, at least Streete’s young brigade had an outing to cherish last night, as they held Police 1-1 to snap a three game losing streak.

The “Lawmen” were gifted their opening goal in the 25th minute, as Rangers’ 20-year-old custodian Christopher Biggette sent a goal kick straight at opposing striker Jameel Perry, who held off a retreating defender before blasting home.

Photo: Police FC attacker Dylon King (right) tries to round Police FC goalkeeper Theon Browne during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: St Ann’s Rangers attacker Dylon King (right) tries to round Police FC goalkeeper Theon Browne during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

But Streete’s fresh-faced outfit came charging back and should have equalised in the 34th minute, as striker Dylon King ran on to a clever threaded pass from midfielder Sedale McLean but failed to round Police custodian Theon Browne.

Browne, incidentally, was filling in for first choice goalkeeper Adrian Foncette, who was also in Saintfiet’s camp. And the rotund shot-stopper was intent on making the most of his chance last night.

Midway through the second half, Browne stole the spotlight again as he denied Rangers defender Shakiyl Phillip from the penalty spot, after referee Joel Cox penalised a handled ball from Police defender Anton Hutchinson. And there were vital saves from King and St Hillaire to boot.

Two minutes into second half stoppage time, the pressure finally told though.

The Police defence failed to clear a left side cross from the lively Lansiquot—an East Mucurapo Secondary schoolboy—and Rangers right back Lester Durham became the unlikely hero, as his sweetly struck half volley arrowed through a crowd and into the far corner to rescue a point.

Lansiquot apart, Murphy was probably the pick of the fresh faces in Streete’s squad in an orthodox holding midfield role.

Photo: St Ann's Rangers substitute Kathon St Hillaire (left) tries to find a way around Police FC goalkeeper Theon Browne during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: St Ann’s Rangers substitute Kathon St Hillaire (left) tries to find a way around Police FC goalkeeper Theon Browne during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Murphy failed to spark as a winger in the Under-20 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) qualifiers and was omitted for the CFU finals. But perhaps Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team coach Brian Williams should take a look at him in his new position

Streete is ensuring that his schoolboys—who also include St Anthony’s Che Benny and East Mucurapo’s Kazim Donald and Jesse Williams—improve their football education during their Christmas holidays.

“I think it is a pride to coach them but they are still missing that professionalism,” said Streete. “They are sometimes over-holding [the ball] and looking for the glamour instead of playing a bit simpler. Sometimes they have the pass [available] and still want to run with the ball…”

Central had St Anthony’s captain Jules Lee in their squad last night. But the Sharks had enough professional players available to ensure that he remained as an unused substitute.

Morvant Caledonia, who won just two of their previous 11 league matches, just were not good enough—a determined performance from winger Jameel Neptune notwithstanding—and the final 2-0 scoreline flattered the losers.

Photo: Morvant Caledonia United flanker Jameel Neptune (left) tries to evade Central FC midfielder Kishun Seecharan during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Morvant Caledonia United flanker Jameel Neptune (left) tries to evade Central FC midfielder Kishun Seecharan during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Veteran attacker Jason Marcano slammed an effort off the upright in the 13th minute while National Under-20 striker Nicholas Dillon and Marcano somehow conspired to miss from six yards, just seconds before the interval.

Substitute Johan Peltier finally broke the deadlock in the 64th minute, as he chased a ball over the top to convert his first goal of the season. And, two minutes from time, Marcano prodded home from close range—and possibly an offside position—to double their advantage.

Caledonia, incidentally, were playing without their first choice goalkeeper, Marvin Phillip, who was also released to the Warriors.

For Jeffrey, Central had followed the letter of the law, which said Pro League clubs would not postpone games because their players were on international duty but did not specify that they were bound to release them in the first place. But they had violated the spirit of that Pro League agreement between the 10 member clubs.

“We had come to an agreement in a Pro League board meeting that, whether is in the [FIFA international] match window or not, we would let our players go to the National Team,” Jeffrey told Wired868. “I understand Central’s position; that is their call. But, for us, the players have to go because this is bigger than the club.

Photo: Central FC substitute Johan Peltier (right) shrugs off a challenge from Morvant Caledonia United defender Maestro Mensah en route to scoring his team's opener during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC substitute Johan Peltier (right) shrugs off a challenge from Morvant Caledonia United defender Maestro Mensah en route to scoring his team’s opener during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

“Yes, it wasn’t said in that way in the board meeting. But we understood it to mean that, at all costs, the National Team comes first.”

Eve pointed to recent arrests to former Pro League and National Under-20 defender Damani Richards and Jabloteh utility player Noel Williams, as examples of the role that sport can play in rescuing at-risk youths. And, closer to home, robbery charges were dropped against Sando defender Kemuel Rivers last week.

“I am prepared to bend somewhat to help the National Team in order to help the Pro League because there is a bigger picture,” said Eve. “[Wired868 has] done articles on some of these boys who have gotten involved in crime and, if they are not [playing football], there are plenty boys [in the league] who don’t have the education to do anything else. So we need this League.

“I am looking at the bigger picture. So even if we lose a few games, I am thinking about helping my players who are from Cocorite, Morvant, Laventille and so on.”

W Connection, who have the largest squad in the league, dusted off the absence of their national call-ups to maintain momentum last night with a 4-0 win over table proppers, Point Fortin Civic.

Photo: Point Fortin Civic poacher Jamille Boatswain (right) evades Ma Pau Stars goalkeeper Shane Mattis en route to the opening goal during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 September 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Point Fortin Civic poacher Jamille Boatswain (right) evades Ma Pau Stars goalkeeper Shane Mattis en route to the opening goal during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 September 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Only Connection can feasibly catch Central now and, even then, they would need a surprise slump by the Sharks to get close.

Sancho and Harrison are taking no chances, as Williams and Garcia can testify—having lost the opportunity to make an early impression on the new Warriors coach.

As Central pull away from their rivals on the league table, they might be similarly alienating themselves from their colleagues off the field too.

(Teams)

Central FC (4-4-2): 21.Jan-Michael Williams (GK); 5.Keston George, 3.Keion Goodridge, 24.Kevon Villaroel, 26.Jem Gordon; 14.Nicholas Dillon (17.Johan Peltier 53), 11.Darren Mitchell, 19.Nathaniel Garcia, 12.Kishun Seecharan; 7.Jason Marcano, 99.Marcus Joseph (18.Rhondel Gibson 89).

Unused substitutes: 30.Akel Clarke (GK), 4.Andre Ettienne, 10.Keron Cummings, 28.Jules Lee, 29.Jabari Casaquero.

Coach: Dale Saunders

Morvant Caledonia United (4-2-3-1): 30.Stephon Seepersad (GK), 12.Kareem Joseph (captain), 4.Ordell Flemming, 5.Seon Thomas, 6.Taje Commissiong; 14.Keron Bethelmy (13.Jordan Devonish 83), 18.Maestro Mensah; 23.Lester Joseph (7.Kordell Samuel 61), 8.Anthony Charles (11.Dominic Douglas 64), 22.Jameel Neptune; 10.Sheldon Holder.

Unused substitutes: 2.Kevin Layne, 15.Otev Lawrence, 16.Amos Ramsay.

Coach: Rajesh Latchoo

Referee: Nicholai Nyron

Wired868 Man of the Match: Jason Marcano (Central FC)

Photo: Central FC attacker Jason Marcano (left) offers Morvant Caledonia United goalkeeper Stephon Seepersad a hand during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC attacker Jason Marcano (left) offers Morvant Caledonia United goalkeeper Stephon Seepersad a hand during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 20 December 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Pro League results

(Tuesday 20 December)

Defence Force 2 (Devorn Jorsling 32, 86), Club Sando 0 at Hasely Crawford Stadium;

Ma Pau Stars 1 (Jerrel Britto 35), San Juan Jabloteh 1 (Willis Plaza 55) at Hasely Crawford Stadium;

Point Fortin Civic 0, W Connection 4 (Daniel Diaz 18, Shackiel Henry 20, 22, Dimitrie Apai 80) at Mahaica Oval;

Morvant Caledonia Utd 0, Central FC 2 (Johan Peltier 64, Jason Marcano 88) at Ato Boldon Stadium;

Police FC 1 (Jameel Perry 25), St Ann’s Rangers 1 (Lester Durham 92) at Ato Boldon Stadium.

Photo: Defence Force playmaker Hashim Arcia (right) attempts to glide past San Juan Jabloteh defender Jerome Isaiah McIntyre during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 September 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Defence Force playmaker Hashim Arcia (right) attempts to glide past San Juan Jabloteh defender Jerome Isaiah McIntyre during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 September 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Standings (Tabulated as Won-Drawn-Lost-Goals For-Goals Against-Points)

Central FC           12-10-2-0-26-11-32

W Connection    12-9-1-2-3611-28

S/Juan Jabloteh 12-6-2-4-21-16-20

Defence Force    12-6-1-5-20-18-19

Ma Pau Stars      12-5-3-4-22-20-18

Club Sando         12-4-2-6-19-22-14

Police FC              12-3-4-5-24-23-13

S/A Rangers       12-3-3-6-14-20-12

M’vt Caledonia  12-2-4-6-17-23-10

Point Fortin       12-0-2-10-1045-2

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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68 comments

  1. Former Minister of Sport showing what true patriotism is all about..

  2. Salaam Jamaal Shabazz just to change the conversation for a few, I need to know when and where the U20 ladies team training next.

  3. A lion is hungry sees a deer kills and eats the deer that is fair….but fair for the Lion …..not the Deer

    • Lol nice saying but if that is the case ….. then …. you’ve just negated your argument against Central FC ….think about it lol

    • Fair in team selection is very relative to coaches my friend. The team the fans pick never loses but nobody checks it never wins either because it never gets to play. Someone has got to be the deer and someone the Lion. Very often when the Coach is the Deer he does not last long in the job

      • Assistant Coach Jamaal Shabazz you do realize that the CV of Head Coach Tom Julianus Maria Saintfiet shows “he does not last long in the job”?

        Are you saying he is a DEER? Well who is the LION?

    • Would rather think of this as a workplace scenario than one from the Jungle book, but I hear you..

    • Jamaal Shabazz but when there is a plan and structure that has been well communicated and the public has an understanding of the product we as a nation will put onto the field, there won’t be such a wide gap between the various ideas.

    • Yeah but here what Brian I am seeing good pot shots taken identifying the problem . I am not getting a spirit of let’s get together and solve it. The problem is either the President…the coach… before him the former pres…jack Warner.. ..The talk shop makes for a great show of intellectual capacity but my aim is to take it out of the realm of old talk and let’s get together and find solutions

    • Some would pretend that most of the problematic issues facing local football came about with DJW ….

    • Jamaal Shabazz yes – I’m all for action but what’s the avenue or forum. Our leaders treat the organizations as though they are their personal fiefdoms.

    • There will come a forum and it is the membership and the representation to contribute is what will take the thing from A to B. Any leader will be foolish not to adopt ideas that are progressive …..however any leader when faced with treachery and hostility will also take steps to protect themselves

    • I am not the most truthful person…you know how much time I had to lie to save my marriage ….but a lot of things are said here that are half truths and men run with it without ascertaining……the streets are filled with blood of our youth spilled by another youth who hear this and hear that…half truths and innuendos

    • Jamaal Shabazz so why are our leaders so thin skinned? “Uneasy is the head that wears the crown “. If you fraid heat don’t get into the kitchen. I agree that trinis are. EDU disagreeable and like bacchanal but leaders will get flack because we’ve not had many or maybe any that we can trust . So it’s a negative cycle because leaders then hunker down with their bad behavior and the citizens continue to be frustrated. So where do we gov?

    • Jamaal Shabazz!The streets are filled with blood because of poor leadership and a lack of parental guidance in my opinion..then most people in high TTFA positions lie to keep power and have very little to show in terms of progress…We all await to see the progress of the present body…the business side of football in a third world country have no compromise, and if you don’t believe me just watch as the song goes..I once told my student Jan Michael Williams speak the truth all the time to the public, his teammates and his employers regardless if it’s against their policies in my opinion there are too many people within the TTFA with club alliances to avoid conflicts of interests and discourage presumption of unfairness..in my opinion🇹🇹

    • First of all Kurtwyn my lying to my wife to save my skin is by no way suggesting any other person (s) has done same. So do not feel I am advocating same eh. Please be very clear on that ….

    • And there is no singular reason for the violence to blame lack of leadership is extremely broad. I know of instances where a man brings a story to another man ..that is untrue about another…the listener does not ascertain the truth …and acts and kills the other…..who do you blame for this behaviour…..do you generalize and blame lack of leadership ?

    • Jamaal Shabazz I think I know you to be an honest hardworking person…but what I also know is that those two persons that you spoke of..both lack morality and common sense but of course I would not generalize it…that’s why I said in my opinion,I am greatly saddened by the state of our country but hopefull🇹🇹

    • Jamaal Shabazz lack of leadership in not a generalization! One unquestionable outcome of good leadership is results! Leaders also ar always the people at the top . TT is suffering from leadership voids at many levels.

  4. Fair in team selection for international football is too subjective not worth the argument. Teams are most times selected on what a Coach have in his/ her head thus as coaches we live and die by such decisions . So lets not talk fair

  5. Personally, I would be super happy for young men to stake a successful claim, but not at the expense of disrespectful treatment to veterans and team leaders. Let’s have them get the callup and earn it by treating everyone in a similar fashion, and fairly at that, is all I am saying.

  6. I think if they only had 17 healthy players and then lost Da Silva, they were justified. Agreed on Jan and I believe for other Central players as well, due to their short staffedness. Compromise has to be applied. Every decision has to be situation specific, and this seemed overly heavy handed to me.

  7. Maybe it’s a great opportunity for Adrian Foncette and Glenroy Samuel to stake a claim and give us four instead of two gks to choose from.

  8. I think by now everyone accepts that Central had every right to withhold their players. The question is just whether it was the moral thing to do regardless.
    And it is true that the foreign-based players got a bligh. For instance, Kevan George is out of season and yet was allowed to skip the training camp AND the first game in Nicaragua.
    So should a keeper with over 70 international caps like Jan-Michael Williams not get the same respect and more?
    But I understand that Saintfiet is probably afraid that he might have to do the same for everybody.
    I think he could have compromised. Leaving a player like Jan-Michael out in this manner is disrespectful in my opinion. I can understand that Nathaniel Garcia and Sean De Silva might be obliged to force their way in on the training ground.
    But Jan-Michael probably deserves better at this stage in his career.

  9. I might be missing something, but according to KH, the Pro League meeting minutes are supporting the Central position, and all clubs agreed to what was stated in the meeting minutes. Also, I would like to understand why is it possible for players from overseas to skip the camp and play in Nicaragua, but this isnt possible for the Central players??

  10. Brent is all about himself is image he survives being in the limelight offer him a job an you will see the difference .

  11. Can I get some clarity on the question Lasana or Nigel

  12. At which meeting Nigel be specific for me

    • The meeting where Pro League clubs decided to release players to national training regardless of whether it was a FIFA window or not.

    • At the start of the season the Marketing Committee which was headed by Mahabir of Ma Pau Stars made a suggestion that the League should not stop even in the Fifa window. And that club’s whose players are called up should play without their national players similar to the MLS. Incidentally the Central reps are both on that Committee.

    • The Clubs agreed on the proposal.

    • Harrison is contending that it was only for Fifa dates we agreed to not stop the League and play without your players. I will leave the legal minds to find the spirit in this matter

      • Actually Jamaal, you are incorrect when you refer to my position. 1. We the clubs, did agree to play through the FIFA windows. I do believe it was Brent that promoted this concept. This was because, as a marketing committee, we felt that there should be continuity in the fixtures instead of the previous stop-start scenario. As Central would be one of the key clubs effected, we felt it right to propose this option. 2. Central have adhered to that proposal and offered to release their players so they could travel with the squad. (It is possible that they would be unavailable for the clubs first game of 2017) 3. I have absolutely no recollection of anybody at that meeting suggesting that players would automatically be released for national training camps. The minutes of the Pro League meeting reflect this. If there had been such a suggestion, Central would have opposed it. There is no way a club could unilaterally agree to release players at any old time that the national coach fancies a camp. At one point last year, there were 5 Central players called up. With limited squads, how could any club agree to release as many as 5 players at any point in time just to train? With 14 players minimum required for a Pro League game, a couple of injuries and/or suspensions could damage the whole shape of the team. I understand clubs who have nothing to win releasing players, and I applaud that. But there should never be an occasion when a national coach (or his staff) encourage an employee to disregard the wishes of his employer or encourage a conflict of interest. Finally, the players were training with the national squad. de Silva got injured and we now have to manage that situation. I note that some players are joining the squad in Nicaragua. So why are they different from the Central boys? It’s not like Sainfeit would be taking a gamble by not seeing Jan-Michael Williams every day. He’s trained with the squad, but he’s dropped, even though he can travel with the squad, while others just pass by the squad in Nicaragua? It seems to me that Saintfeit is trying to prove a point, by punishing the players because Central stood up to him. Could I be wrong, or is this dictatorial stance an example of the mentality found in third world countries? Finally, Central fully appreciate the value of players being selected on the national team. Since inception, we’ve had a policy of playing with an all T&T team whee possible. I believe we’ve only signed 5 foreigners in our 5 seasons. We won the Caribbean Club Championship with a 100% Trini team. I don’t believe that’s been achieved before? We encouraged Yohance Marshall to return to T&T and he promptly won a recall to the national team. So I don’t believe anybody can point at Central and claim we do not have the national team interests at heart. However, the unwillingness of Saintfeit (who told our players it was not his decision to drop them) to compromise is very worrying as its our national team who could suffer because of his bullishness.

    • Off Course it’s a club’s right to refuse to send there players to the national team in a non Fifa window as coaches have done in the past. I won’t call names. However is it not the right of the Coach to select the players from the club (s) that sent their players?

    • What I find distasteful is your club make your decision and good for you if you win the League but don’t try to make it look like…this obscure white boy coach…looking down at we country….as if to rile up the mob. ….

    • But does he not have the right to select players if you withheld yours ?

    • So all that is to say as you have your right the Coach has his right

    • At the end of the day Central have their right and the Coach has his right.

    • When Terry Fenwick did this with Jabloteh some years ago he became public enemy ……men convenient with rights yes

    • Jamaal Shabazz , of course the coach has that right and as you quite rightly state, so does the club. But the issue is the victimization of the players and the clear statement that if you play for your club, you won’t be selected. And then other guys are brought in just so who missed the whole first week. The players are being disciplined for following their employees decisions. Can’t be right and totally different to the Jabloteh scenario.

  13. Credit to Wired868 for posting more [updates] about the TT Pro League than the Pro League website, facebook group and individual clubs!

  14. Is this the first time that Pro League clubs have agreed in spirit to allow players to go to the national team whenever they come calling? Who and how was the topic originally brought up at the meeting?

  15. Like Angus rightly said it’s a balancing act also the exposure is good for players with international aspirations. I would want to side with the others on this, Sancho could have been more accommodating especially since they are in the most comfortable position in the league.

  16. Great shooting again Chevaughn Christopher and Sean-miguel Morrison.