Shiva Boys banned from using Penal base; plus SSFL probes Mason and Fyzo’s Dick

Defending champions Shiva Boys Hindu College must try to defend their Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division crown without the benefit of their Penal home ground, after the SSFL general council yesterday declared the venue unfit for matches at this level.

The Lachoos Road venue—which is formally referred to as the David Williams Recreation Ground but otherwise known as the “Dog Patch”—was condemned by the majority of Premier Division schools who complained about the poor facilities and high security risk at the unfenced venue.

Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College coach Hayden Ryan (centre) poses with school supporters after their 3-0 SSFL Premier Division win over St Mary’s College at Lachoo Road on 19 October 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Last year, Shiva Boys played all their home matches at the Penal ground, en route to a record 37 points in the competition. But they will not have that luxury this season—effectively immediately.

“Basically the schools were saying they didn’t feel secure playing at the venue, in terms of the behaviour of supporters at past games,” SSFL president William Wallace told Wired868. “It was discussed at length and the principal [Dexter Sakal] agreed that, under the circumstances, he would make alternative arrangements.”

With just 24 hours notice to find a new ground for today’s contest, the “Penal Princes” accepted an offer from Trinity College East principal Derek West to play their match in Trincity from 3.40pm.

Wallace suggested that the SSFL executive will try to make the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella available to Shiva Boys for their remaining “home” games in the league against St Augustine Secondary, St Mary’s College and Signal Hill Secondary respectively.

Shiva Boys team manager Sheldon Maharaj told Wired868 that, although he was disappointed to lose their Penal base, the school accepted the SSFL’s decision.

Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College attacker Junior Asson (centre) prepares to fire at goal while St Mary’s College goalkeeper Jordan Bidaisee (left) and defender Emilio Saunders look on during SSFL Premier Division action at Lachoo Road on 19 October 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

“My principal [Dexter Sakal] attended the meeting and, from what I gathered, he understood the concern of the other schools,” said Maharaj. “At the end of the day, the children’s safety should always be the first priority, so he agreed to make that move…

“Definitely it is disappointing because your home crowd is your 12th man; but our support is strong and I know—whatever our circumstance—our supporters believe in the school and they will be at our game. They were even there with us in Tobago!”

The SSFL could be forced to take more serious disciplinary actions, though, if Shiva Boys and Fyzabad Secondary are unable to settle queries regarding the eligibility of players Kierron Mason and Maurice Dick respectively.

Shiva Boys had their opening 2-1 win over Naparima College on 8 September overturned once it emerged that Mason, a former ‘Naps’ student and Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 utility player, had not been registered 72 hours before kick off as mandated by SSFL rules.

However, it could get worse for coach Hayden Ryan’s team after it emerged that Shiva Boys might not have properly addressed another clause in the constitution.

Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College midfielder Kierron Mason in action against Fatima College during SSFL action at Mucurapo Road on 30 September 2017.
(Courtesy Annalisa Caruth/Wired868)

The SSFL constitution states that any player who competes in another TTFA competition from 1 September is ineligible to play in the schoolboys league unless he gets special permission from the school body.

On 2 September, Mason scored a hattrick for Marabella Family Crisis Centre in their 6-3 loss to the Youth Stars in the Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL).

If Shiva Boys applied for the requisite permissions from the TTSL and SSFL, there is unlikely to be any issue. But, at least one school team—believed to be Trinity College Moka—have questioned whether Mason was “duly registered” in light of his outing for Marabella.

The SSFL constitution states that the penalty for infringing that rule is: “Suspension of the school from further competition in the division for the remainder of the season.”

It means, as a worst case scenario, Shiva Boys may find themselves relegated from the Premier Division. The best case, if Mason was not properly registered, is not rosy either—since Shiva Boys used the lanky utility player in every fixture, even after the protest against his eligibility was lodged.

Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College captain Judah Garcia (second from left) celebrates with teammates after their opening goal from Junior Asson during SSFL action against Naparima College at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 8 September 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

It could mean the south zone titans, who have not been beaten on the field of play this season, stand to lose every one of the 16 points they earned so far.

With eight games left in the 2017 Premier Division competition, there is likely to be enough time for the squad to save themselves for relegation though—if they are found in breach of SSFL regulations. However, Maharaj was confident that Shiva Boys are on the right side of the law.

“I have to say no comment [since the matter is under investigation],” said Maharaj, “but, from my perspective, Kierron Mason is a legitimate player.”

There are, arguably, even more serious consequences for Fyzabad Secondary if found guilty in their matter.

In the case of the “Fyzo Tigers”, a challenging side—believed to be Naparima College—are querying the authenticity of Dick’s CAPE certificate. At present, Dick is a lower six form student at Fyzabad.

Photo: Fyzabad Secondary midfielder Maurice Dick (centre) is surrounded by teammates [from left] Tyrese Reefer, Sharkeel Louison, Shamor Mahabir and Aron Jordan during SSFL action against Trinity College East on 20 September at Trincity.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)
“As far as we are concerned, the documents that we received from Fyzabad meant that Dick was eligible to play,” said Wallace. “But we are hearing now that the documents might not be authentic documents. That has not been proven yet [and] we have given Fyzabad until Friday to bring original documents.

“Once they produce the documents and can verify the boy is good, we can continue.”

Wallace, who took up the mantle from former SSFL president Anthony Creed earlier this year, admitted that he has his fingers crossed for the best possible outcomes for both schools—for the sake of the league’s image. But he said he would not pre-empt the disciplinary committee or interfere with the administration of justice in either case.

The SSFL is in the second season of a three-year million dollar deal with SportsMax while games remain well attended. Last week, Soca Warriors head coach Dennis Lawrence lauded the passion and excitement of the games he saw and said the TTFA’s biggest challenge is to replicate that in its national teams.

But there remains much work to be done.

Photo: Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) president William Wallace (centre) greets players before kick off in a SSFL match up between Shiva Boys Hindu College and Naparima College at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 8 September 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

“We are doing so many things to lift the image of the league [with] rules and regulations provided to every school that covers guidelines for registration and everything,” said Wallace. “Yet some schools are not doing basic things like providing stretchers for games and I heard one case in which a parent had to actually lift his son off the field because there were no stretchers provided.

“Schools have also gone to play games where they were no security arrangements. We cannot wait for something to happen; we have to be proactive.

“All these things [to be done] are provided in a list to all schools [but] then they come [SSFL meetings] and act like it is the first time they are hearing about it.”

Wallace pointed to a first responder medical course—which is being carried on by the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force—as well as ‘B’ and ‘C’ license coaching courses as examples of new initiatives by the current board.

“It is mandatory that all schools send a representative to our first responder course, which [trains their staff on how to react to] stuff like a concussion or heart attack,” said Wallace. “[…] We also did ‘B’ license and ‘C’ license coaching course and we are trying to empower our coaches to get a better standard at our schools.

Photo: Fatima College coach Wayne Sheppard (centre) passes on instructions while player Andrew-Peter Abraham takes a water break during SSFL action against Shiva Boys Hindu College at Mucurapo Road on 30 September 2017.
(Courtesy Annalisa Caruth/Wired868)

“[TTFA] technical director [Anton Corneal] said to me that he is seeing a certain level of organisation on the field of play that he was very impressed with; and we are getting good feedback from people who attended games.

“But when little things like [the eligibility protests] happen, it tends to throw the spotlight on us in the wrong way.”

Last year, the SSFL was rocked by illegibility issues regarding Mucurapo Secondary defender Abdus Ramcharan and Presentation College (San Fernando) utility player Kori Cupid, which led to a late upheaval of the standings.

It meant that Fatima College and Queen’s Royal College (QRC) both avoided relegation while Mucurapo went down. And, controversially, the SSFL general council voted that San Juan North should beat the drop—despite being set for demotion by the adjusted standings—and transformed the top flight from 15 to 16 schools.

This time, any decisions made on the status of Shiva Boys and Fyzabad will be done midway through the season with plenty of time for the remaining teams to adjust to the fall-out.

Photo: Fyzabad Secondary coach Brian Williams (left) instructs defender Gregory Charles during SSFL action against Trinity College East on 20 September at Trincity.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

Still, if the SSFL Disciplinary Committee rules against Mason for a second time, it could mean curtains for Shiva Boys’ title defence.

Upcoming SSFL fixtures

(Wednesday 4 October)

Shiva Boys HC v Trinity College East, 3.40pm, Trincity;

Carapichaima East v Signal Hill, 3.40pm, Carapichaima;

QRC v St Augustine Secondary, 3.40pm, QRC;

Speyside High v Presentation College (San F’do), 3.40pm, Speyside;

Fyzabad Secondary v St Mary’s College, 3.40pm, Fyzabad;

Trinity College Moka v St Anthony’s College, 3.40pm, Moka;

Naparima College v St Benedict’s College, 3.40pm, Lewis Street;

San Juan North v Fatima College, 3.40pm, San Juan.

Photo: St Mary’s College captain and midfielder Gabriel Nanton (left) crashes at shot towards goal during SSFL action against St Augustine Secondary at Serpentine Road, St Clair on 2 October 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)
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  1. naps are sore losers. They can’t win on the field so them nastiness trying outside tactics

  2. Its so sick that big hard back people fighting down this one school because they not prestige,here nah San Juan cussing d reff ,fyzo some player slap d reff ,caps n pres game big fight n no one ent get banned ,but Shiva playing on their home ground no baccanal n they get banned is ah heavy evil wicked force controlling them to b doing our boys that ,but we Shiva boys got Jesus on our side ,hold your head high Shiva. BOYS

  3. Even the Siva principal admit the facilities are not good enough to host games yet the fans claiming fight down. How can you not have change rooms?

  4. Mr. Livewire i went to this ground
    No change rooms
    They actually put tents for chirren to change

  5. They was not banned from the ground. The ground was declared unfit for use. Report the correct ting nah man

  6. whappen to debe rec grounds, bakal grounds,powergen groumds?????

  7. Jealousy is SOOOO fuckin bad leave Shiva

  8. Don’t worry boys we still taking it this year

  9. Mr. Sherwin Young of you do not know anything you should shut your mouth. All home teams us their home ground to their advantage. St.Anthony have their spectators behind the opposing team goal intimidating their keeper. And other grounds do it. But just like the SEA exams only the prestige schools must benefit and the lower name schools must not be on top so flight them down to frustrate them. SSFL you could do what you want that is why T&T football will never reach anywhere. Not until the attitude of the SSFL changes. I have attended games in Penal for over 10years and all the visiting teams get is respect. Just because the people in the area come out to support their team and the opposing team is intimated by the crowd size is not the fault of the school. So if you do not know Mr. Young I advise you to keep quiet. I quote A wise man keeps a still tounge.

    • St Anthony’s don’t tell spectators which part of the field to stand. Plus look at any sporting event where spectators attend if they have home advantage who cheers the most to intimidate the visitors. Make sense when you are making your points. No one expects to visit someone’s home ground and not expect them to have no supporters. They actually expect them to have the majority. So supporters aren’t an issue. Unless they become violent for some reason. And like the old people say “prevention better than cure “. I have no idea why persons are not realizing that this is a kids league just be fair.

    • Mister YOUNG you should come to penal at the David Williams ground and witness the atmosphere us fans create when our boy’s go into battle… we intimidate the visiting team not because we threaten them via action or verbal but because of the massive crowd which cheers and support the home boy’s…

  10. To dam Racial because is a team from south, and the name is Shiva boy, them don’t like that,

  11. How come all of a sudden them prestige schools getting their asses handed to them by a small time school from deep South is all kinda thing. Bigger schools got away with the same thing for years

  12. People talking about supporters intimidating officials and players in penal…. anywhere you go to play football, is the same thing all teams encounter, no matter where you go!!! So this is nothing more than politics only because shiva is not a “PRESTIGE SCHOOL”! This is very distasteful and stuff like this is what kills a youngsters spirit and drive!

    • Supporters should also have to be careful if they really have their teams back because its the teams who feel the pain in the end. Not them.

  13. Wait Devant Maharaj and Sat didnt on e question….no indians on d national team where the indian footballers for this team…..we only good to play football for them….how many will be Nat Schol winners???? Wake up pple

  14. Yea dog remember when we could of kill them and the ref said he did not see

  15. Is an elitist colleges must always be on dey cyar win is a problem.same ting when john d and technical was winning..dey start to find fault and wanted to start dey own league…even dis year shiva on top and yuh cyar see dem on sports max..but u seeing pres back to back

  16. South schools not supposed to win nothing. As south on top and is not a “prestige school” they have all kinda problems. Take the crown again this year shiva boys

  17. They to dam petty and small minded…. Continue to share licks

  18. All school games the officals does be under pressure.Is just in Penal the fans are passionate about d football if yuh playing good soccer and they lost no problem but if they getting shit calls from d officals and they lost all hell will break loose!!

  19. Yo! like you does only watch football penal Orr I actually went games on the outside of Shiva home base and heard ppl using same languages you’ll speaking of towards players official and even us the outside spectators even racial hush allyuh ass because none of the dame prestige school can’t see they way politics ..start to kick in ..

  20. Shiva boys only sharing lixs thats wat allyuh fraid every year issa fight down for shiva boys…. take allyuh lixs n go home n cry nothing eh wrong wit this ground

  21. Unrestrained “country bookie” behaviour…with a taste of failed to grow-upsy…. immaturity in short.

  22. Shiva boys lets go .Its just fear they fear shiva boys team thats all to it .Is fever for them

    • Has nothing to do with fearing the team but fearing for the safety of the other team and the officials. I have watched officialls afraid to call Shiva’s infringements. The opposing team can’t even have students from their school to support -again for safety reasons. This is ridiculous for school football. Since last year they were supposed to use another field and refused.

    • What safety. Have you seen anyone in problems at our field when shiva boys playing. Safety is a must. Its just the bias ref calls the supporters dont like. Give us good game. Police are alway there so if the ref or whoever have problems take it to the officers of the law.

    • Gail Roberts … I’ve been to almost every single home matches of shiva boys at our home ground since 2010 and I’ve never witness any player,students from the visiting school,fans or officials being attacked or abuse at that venue.. We do give the officials a hard time but any football match in any part of Trinidad and Tobago the home fans tent to do same,give the match officials a hard time so what’s the difference when we do it at home?

  23. One of the worst venues to play on,be it football or basketball the spectators are very intimidating to players and officials as well..great decision

  24. Something to keep a close eye on. This is dejavu to me as the dominant St.Benedict’s team of the 1960’s underwent something very similar, to the extent it signaled the death knell of the then dominant LaRomaine boys.

  25. Honestly, so were gonna have to commute to siparia at the closest to watch a game

  26. I have been to see football there good field but spectators cussing and threatening from Referees to assistant s made the game scary

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