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Gally Cummings: Let’s think local and show the world our own football capabilities

“It is time we remove ourselves from the shackles of colonialism and have some confidence in our own strengths and talents. We need to ask whether we are getting the best technical advice and to let the population know what is the vision for our football.”

The following Letter to the Editor was submitted to Wired868 by former Trinidad and Tobago star footballer and coach, Everald “Gally” Cummings HBM; CMTT:

Photo: The Port of Spain National Stadium on 19 November 1989 during World Cup qualifying action between Trinidad and Tobago and the United States.
Photo: The Port of Spain National Stadium on 19 November 1989 during World Cup qualifying action between Trinidad and Tobago and the United States.

We do not need Foreign help to turn around the fortunes of Trinidad and Tobago football. We have the technical capacity right here amongst our local fraternity.

Problem is they have been fighting and undermining each other for decades. And created space for others to exploit!

Time to stop and take stock. We cannot be throwing money away, especially in times of scarce financial resources and with the TTFA’s debt situation.

This is not 2005 and there is no Dwight [Yorke] or Russell [Latapy]. It was Russell who changed the momentum and gave us that chance after his outstanding game against Guatemala. Before that, [Trinidad and Tobago] suffered a 5-1 away loss to Guatemala.

We need persons who understand the players, know intuitively their special traits, our style and someone who could, in a few weeks, turn the team into an attacking dynamic and cohesive force.

I did it in two weeks in 1987, after we lost 5-1 to USA under [then national coach] Muhammad Isa—who is now our acting technical director.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker and future Manchester United star Dwight Yorke (left) was just 17 when he came to prominence during the 1990 World Cup qualifying series.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker and future Manchester United star Dwight Yorke (left) was just 17 when he came to prominence during the 1990 World Cup qualifying series.

It is time we remove ourselves from the shackles of colonialism and have some confidence in our own strengths and talents. We need to ask whether we are getting the best technical advice and to let the population know what is the vision for our football.

We have been making the same mistakes for the last 20 years and more. Making the same mistakes over and over and expecting different results!

I would like to add these questions for the media to answer:

  1. Has ‘Kaisoca soccer’ been the most successful style of football? Why has it not been implemented or encouraged?
  2. What was the state of football like under coaches Isa and [Roderick] Warner before I replaced them and changed it around in two weeks, back in 1987?
  3. Why don’t the media houses start replaying some of the Strike Squad’s 1990 World Cup qualifying games so the public can see what good football used to look like?
  4. Now in hindsight—with all the information on the fraud and corruption in Concacaf football under the now disgraced former FIFA official—why hasn’t the media vindicated me and apologised to me? It is clear that the game was stolen! I would have been the first local coach at senior level to take the country to a World Cup.
Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago stand-out player and coach Everald "Gally" Cummings (right) is recognised by former President Maxwell Richards at the TTFF's Centennial function.
Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago stand-out player and coach Everald “Gally” Cummings (right) is recognised by former President Maxwell Richards at the TTFF’s Centennial function.

It is time the T&T media starts to do some research on the history of Trinidad and Tobago’s football. You might come up with some answers and stop having to ask the same questions over and over.

Take a page from sports journalism in the USA. They use statistics going back decades! They don’t hide one person’s achievements to try to make other mediocre people look good.

Wake up Trinidad and Tobago!

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40 comments

  1. Conceding is not and should never be an option ….

  2. Frankly, we need to concede Russia. We must stop and reset. Get a forum of local coaches together and build a vision for what our football should look like. It’s important that people play according to some natural preferences- it’s no different to the way people work. Once we establish that “style and vision” frame we can then decide what type of coach best takes us forward and all the other structural pieces we need – academies, development programs, administration, etc. If we have a comprehensive blueprint we could move ahead. With our current approach we will not be able to “hit a bull on his ass with a handful of sand” – a Texan saying

  3. So much pong… Imagine if Gally actually WASN’T a successful coach. Lol.
    Don’t forget the man had everyone here jumping up when the Strike Squad was blazing the trail back in 1989. And he had a second stint when he won trophies too like in the 1995 Caribbean Cup when we whipped Martinique 7-2 in the final. David Nakhid was in that squad eh Earl Mango Pierre. So they worked it out, I think.

    • I eh think people forget what Gally accomplished, and I think the vast majority of people appreciate and value his contributions to T&T football. It’s just that it makes no sense to suggest that what worked almost 30 years ago will work today. Furthermore, what has Gally been doing since his heyday to improve himself and reach new heights? And for some reason he feels that he has not gotten his due, which is what? What does he really want, a stadium named after him?

    • AHEM!!!! Mr Live Wire if I remember well the Coach of that winning team was Kenny Joseph (Army) eh, and before the game started David Nakid called a meeting to talk about more monies for the players eh and my corrupted Jack Warner told the manager to use the younger national team to play against Martinque eh, and when he realized that the players was very serious about boycotting the game he agreed to their demands because his right hand man Havolenge R.I.P. and my greatest player in the universe was coming to attend the game eh so he wanted to make a good impression with respect to our football and hence the reason why they beat up their opponents 7-2 eh so Alyuh see when my players are not exploited and get their well deserve monies eh they will always put out 1000% eh and that was the same team that represented our sweet country in the first Caribbean Professional league that also won eh “Hawks” but the league also crashed some years after. Them really good yes.

    • Earl Mango Pierre you’re right in that Gally was the TD. Although back then, TDs were much more involved.
      FIFA only separated the TD from the coaching staff within the last decade or so.

    • So if Gally and Kenny Joseph cudda worked together eh why my Prof Stuart Charles Fevrier and Coach Terry Fenwick cannot work together the same eh. and be the next two most wining Coaches to coach our Soca Worries eh Them really good yes.

    • Well, that’s up to them. Hutson Charles and Jamaal Shabazz did it. But the two coaches must have the same philosophy and I don’t think they do.

  4. He has a tabanca ah nearly qualified tabanca

  5. Loom at one of the main names calling Zorn vranish i believe the selection committee has all lost its way where is he now when last has he coach a team do we forget his last performance with our national u 20 team .if the president could put aside his difference a good candidate will be Terry frenrick he has what it takes he knows the players he has been part of the system that most of the players came through he is strick no nonsence guy an he commands his players well

  6. Steeuuppss eh Everad “Gally” Cummings you should be the last person talking about colonialism eh why did you get rid of the only real professional foreign base player David Nahkid on your Strike Squad team eh, because he challenged you on your Coaching abilities after being around the real professional Coaches abroad eh Steeuuppss again eh Them really good yes.

  7. This is really grasping at straws. What vindication? What apology?

    “Now in hindsight—with all the information on the fraud and corruption in Concacaf football under the now disgraced former FIFA official—why hasn’t the media vindicated me and apologised to me? It is clear that the game was stolen!”

  8. Albert said that is the definition of insanity. We seeing the problems little talent big ego’s, lets talk about development where are the under 21 players under 23 players young Rochford and company when will they be allowed to step up at age WHAT? so reality we do not want to develop our players we want to dream about overseas players, but to get them out they need “NATIONAL CAPS” look i am starting to get emotional on the key pad. I want to say this the ones entrusted with the game we all love so much can you see what is happening? My son told me press the reset button. There are so many ideas that can be harnessed but we keep the same ones and tend not to give anyone else a chance. Try this F.T.F.A 1. Find The problem. 2. Isolate the problem 3. Either fix or remove the problem. If you cannot do that then Sir’s do the honorable thing step down, call elections. I keep hearing since i have been here that let football run football but there are horses for courses, you guys that believe you have what it takes to coach do that, let administrators to what they are good at. Then meet and put together the best product.

  9. That isva different time to now the playing field was level at that time since then us and ither concacaf nations left us behind and pther c f u contries catching up on us gally all of them still striving off 1989 nearly since then we went a world cup an he an his x players still holds on to that ghost .

  10. Bertil St Clair doesnt get the kind of credit he rightfully deserves. Gally has some points but the article comes across as being kinda “self promoting” …”turn it around in 2 weeks”? Gtfoh …. I do think we have resources here …. Sherwood, Look Loy, Fenwick …Hartie ….but these resources need to be brought together with a desire to work together and sadly the person with that power to do so is the gracious, self serving, pimp of a ttfa president …who based on current moves lacks the intelligence to oversee such a move …. sigh

  11. is this Gallys attempt to be reinstated as coach? is he seeking vindication for the strike squad loss NOW? whilst we in the doldrums of another almost failed quest??

    didnt the 2006 warriors have good games? and the team under potterfield were good until mickey died…. Why only strike squad games

    smh Trinidad sweet yes

  12. Trinidad is to curropt now the teachers themself want to coach for the money through the ministry of sport they want to offer a highly trained coach by the session

  13. we need a football academy for secondary sch aged children probably with tutors …let the curriculum be football rather than it be extra curriculum

  14. Lord have mercy, what Gally talking about now:) What he mean, “it’s clear that the game was stolen?” Is comess after comess with we yes…smh

  15. So true an is a certain group of that 1989 team feel they rule the roots of local foitball as they continue to fail at every level an they jus keep recicling

  16. Because of this mentality the T&T National teams are in such a state. Check local crime, politics, corruption, crime detection rate, infrastructure, football, cricket…. smh

  17. An go back to gally this is a morden game an nealy is a fail we since went to a world cup since 1989 when he nealy since then he tried at utt where are they . Brasil recalled scalar e an watch what was the result of it even the great zallo these felkas are washed up an still living in past glory we has to move on with the times an stop all the old talk ab go with morden times morden game.

  18. Nothing is wrong with hiring a foreign coach so the argument about colonialism and depending on others is a weak one. T&T lacks a football foundation. We need to start developing our local talents and improving our infrastructure to support local clubs and develop a competitive local league. Additionally, we need to improve the quality of local coaches and develop a style of football and use that as a template to develop present and future footballers.
    It will take time to do so but Germany has done it with considerable success. T&T need a ground up approach in the development of football. It seems that all we do is concentrate on WC qualification and other tournaments without really thinking long-term. It’s time we start developing a football culture in T&T.

  19. SERIOUSLY??? And yet the ONE time we qualified for a SENIOR World Cup was under a DUTCH Coach who replaced our most successful local youth coach….Besides Bertille St Clair and Jamaal Shabazz which Trini Coach had any Coaching success OUTSIDE these shores…How many Trini Coaches have taken countries to a World Cup…Gally does DESERVE recognition for the work he did but as great as the strike squad was the fact is they choked on the final hurdle.

  20. De only thing I get from dat letter is dat he want tuh be recognized, and he would like de wuk, please and thanks.

  21. You can start by getting rid of DJW and his minions then getting Hart back. Start investing money into facilities. From that point the only direction is up.

    • We need an administration that focuses on development from U10 all the way to the senior team. For both men and women. One that puts programs in place to identify and develop this talent…throughout the twin island republic

      We need an administration that can provide proper accountability for revenues and expenses and implement independent auditing of financial records

      We need an administration that can attract sponsorship for T&T football at all levels of the game. One that can have as financial independence as a REALISTIC goal and not always having to depend on government handouts. One that is creative and motivated enough to derive various forms of revenue for the game. One that engages with the community and gets their involvement.

      We need an administration that has the vision to emphasize nutrition, sports psychology, established and innovative training methods etc at all levels. One that works with all stakeholders in T&T football to ensure a consistency of these intiatives throughout the game….be it at youth, international, or domestic league level.

      We need an administration that focuses on these things and truly leaves footballing matters to football people….and that includes selection. Support coaches by providing the resources they need to effectively do their jobs.

      We need facilities that are properly maintained to meet international standards.

      We need coaches that understand and are experienced with the modern game. We need coaches that are qualified.

      We need players that are disciplined, that understand what it really is to be professional. Players that are highly motivated to play for the country. Players that are decently paid so they can give of their best.

      In other words……we fukced

      • Earl Best

        Gary, your analysis is very sound but you are four words short: IN THE SHORT TERM.

        And it would have been nice of you to suggest what we might do to save ourselves in the CURRENT campaign. You think Gally can make a difference as he is indirectly suggesting? Latapy? Yorke? Anyone?

        In short,do you really think we are fukced after the Hex as well, down the road?

        • Earl, I have an igloo in Sea Lots to sell to anyone who truly thinks we are able to be saved in the CURRENT campaign under this administration.

          Great value.

          As for the second part of your question, a COLOSSAL “PARADIGGUM” SHIFT needs to be made by the TTFA for those”short term” items that were pointed out to become reality.

          And yes…..as long as the status quo remains….we are fukced…short, medium, long term…same khaki pants.