Ex-TTFA coach ponders youth football return despite ‘sexting’ schoolboy scandal

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Terrence Marcelle, a former Pleasantville Secondary and Trinidad and Tobago national youth team football coach, has a passion for developing youths and the qualifications to place him in the top echelons of local coaches in that field.

Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago national youth team coach Terrence Marcelle coached at Pleasantville Secondary for 18 years.
Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago national youth team coach Terrence Marcelle coached at Pleasantville Secondary for 18 years.

However, Marcelle’s past indiscretion with a schoolboy is threatening to derail his effort to return to youth team coaching in south Trinidad.

Five months ago, Marcelle was removed from his posts at Pleasantville and the Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Under-17 Team after explicit messages emerged of an alleged exchange between him and a Pleasantville school boy. In the chat, relayed to Wired868 by an anonymous source, Marcelle supposedly told the student that he wants to show him a shot of his penis despite the latter’s objection.

Undeterred, the 38-year-old coach appeared to eventually send the boy the image of an erect penis. Wired868 could not confirm the age of the student.

Marcelle admitted that he had an “inappropriate” exchange with the schoolboy; although he did not take responsibility for all the messages.

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Photo: One of the messages allegedly sent by former Pleasantville coach Terrence Marcelle.
Photo: One of the messages allegedly sent by former Pleasantville coach Terrence Marcelle.

“That was not my picture,” he told Wired868, about the sexual image. “The picture was a trap because I alone don’t use my account.”

So who else uses his account?

“There are times when I use the cyber café and forgot to lock off,” said Marcelle.

So did he send the image?

“The picture was sent,” said Marcelle. “Sometimes you send something and it ends up in the wrong message and you say ‘sorry’… But parts of the chat were doctored…

“I have done what I had to do and I leave the rest in God’s hands.”

Marcelle claimed to be a regular at the San Fernando Open Bible Church and said he received counselling from elders at the church regarding the incident. He insisted that it was a “one-off.”

Photo: Terrence Marcelle lost his role as Pleasantville Secondary coach after the revelation of inappropriate messages with a student.
Photo: Terrence Marcelle lost his role as Pleasantville Secondary coach after the revelation of inappropriate messages with a student.

Marcelle’s two former employers, Pleasantville Secondary and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), gave wildly different reasons for his departure from their football teams.

Pleasantville football team manager and teacher Jillian Huggins insisted she never received any official complaint about Marcelle, who coached at the school since he was 20 years old.

“Under my watch as far, as I am concerned, he hasn’t given Pleasantville what we were looking for,” said Huggins. “His performance just wasn’t as impressive as it should be [and] I told my principal I think we should get someone better to bring the team where it should be.”

TTFA president and Port of Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee might disagree with Huggins’ assessment of Marcelle’s coaching value. Two months before Pleasantville sacked its coach, the TTFA selected him on a shortlist of three locals to represent the country at a CONCACAF D License course in Aruba.

Marcelle’s list of coaching qualifications includes two CONCACAF high level certificates, an England FA license, diplomas from the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) and Ministry of Sport and Sports Psychology I and II certificates from the WITCO Sports Foundation.

Photo: Former national youth team coach Terrence Marcelle.
Photo: Former national youth team coach Terrence Marcelle.

Pleasantville principal Phillip Allard refused to say anything at all and was unmoved when asked if his school had any responsibility to alert the wider public about the reason behind Marcelle’s removal.

“I have no comment,” said Allard. “Talk to Mr Marcelle. I suggest very strongly that you do that.”

Shawn Cooper, the national under-15 head coach, was more forthright.

He confirmed that his staff was alerted to the contents of Marcelle’s email and the national team manager and another assistant coach raised it with him. Cooper did not trust his diplomatic restraint enough to be a part of that conversation.

“I am a parent and if I had that information on a coach with my son, I don’t know if I could keep sane,” Cooper told Wired868. “They are in a vulnerable position. The coach dictates if you play or not and he can try to solicit certain behaviour from you…

“This is the modern world now with same sex marriage and, if that is someone’s preference, it is not my business. But not with children.”

Photo: The Trinidad and Tobago national under-17 team poses before a pre-tournament tour in 2013. Shawn Cooper was head coach of the youth team while Terrence Marcelle was an assistant. (Courtesy TTFF Media)
Photo: The Trinidad and Tobago national under-17 team poses before a pre-tournament tour in 2013.
Shawn Cooper was head coach of the youth team while Terrence Marcelle was an assistant.
(Courtesy TTFF Media)

TTFA technical director Anton Corneal sought and received support from general secretary Sheldon Phillips to have Marcelle suspended immediately.

“Youth team coaches have to always remember that they are role models on and off the field,” said Corneal. “And if they cannot carry themselves as role models then this is not the profession for them… We have parents trusting us as coaches and we have to be able to fulfil that.”

But what happens to Marcelle and his professional ambitions now?

Cooper said Marcelle was very passionate about his job and contributed a lot to his community. But he stopped short of recommending a future role for Marcelle with minors.

“In sport, there is no support group for things like that here in the way that there is ‘Vision on mission’ for prisoners,” said Cooper, who is an estate corporal at RBC. “He made a big error but we have to be willing to forgive—not forget—and convince him not to make that error again.

“Personally, I think he probably should not be involved in coaching youths again until we can feel certain that it will not happen again.”

Photo: Ex-Pleasantville coach Terrence Marcelle claimed that some of the explicit messages might not have been sent by him.
Photo: Ex-Pleasantville coach Terrence Marcelle claimed that some of the explicit messages might not have been sent by him.

After his disgraceful exits from Pleasantville and the TTFA, Marcelle, who works in a sport store, said he initially restricted himself to helping colleagues draw up developmental programmes for youth players who were trying to get football scholarships in the United States.

He said he also accepted a request to help with a youth football tournament that will be held in San Fernando during Easter holidays.

However, Marcelle told Wired868 that he is considering a return to active youth team coaching too.

“I won’t rule out coaching (boys) below 18 at this point in time,” said Marcelle. “I have my expertise in youth development and, despite the situation, a lot of people have come to me and I am not the type of person to neglect anyone from the knowledge that I have acquired over the years.”

Marcelle countered that anyone who feels he should not coach minors does not understand God’s word.

Photo: (From left to right) Akeem Garcia, Kishun Seecharan, Jabari Mitchell, Terrence Marcelle, Brandon Creed and Shannon Gomez pose for the camera during their time at the National Under-17 Team.

“My passion is developing players; that is my calling,” said Marcelle. “If God has a vision for someone, He will want them to continue that vision.

“Life is progressive. If people are non-believers and don’t know the word of God (about forgiveness), they will say that person shouldn’t do that again.”

Cooper sympathised with Marcelle but wondered if he could ever regain the trust necessary to handle children.

“I would never want to make a decision like that on somebody’s career, especially an individual like that who so loves that job,” said Cooper. “But, in my own judgment, we will have to find out that he will not be a repeat offender; and I don’t know how that is possible unless you are a mind reader.

“There were never any complaints about Marcelle in his six years as a national coach but then some people are good at spotting the vulnerable ones. There is an old saying that monkey knows what tree to climb.”

Photo: TTFA technical director and Fifa coaching instructor Anton Corneal recommended Terrence Marcelle’s removal from the national youth team, due to complaints about inappropriate behaviour with players.

For now, Marcelle, whose punishment did not extend beyond his dismissals from Pleasantville and the TTFA, aims to climb back into the technical area at youth level. The jury is out as to whether he should be re-admitted.

Editor’s Note: Victims of abuse of persons with knowledge of abuse should call Childline at 800-4321.

On another note, the T&T Police began work on a sexual offenders list two years ago. But the Police stated that list will not be available to the public. (Click HERE to read)

Scroll down and tell us whether or not you support Terrence Marcelle’s return to youth team coaching and why. Obscene and libellous comments will not be permitted.

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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  1. Warning: Undefined variable $userid in /www/wired868_759/public/wp-content/plugins/user-photo/user-photo.php on line 114

    Buh A A buh wah wrong with you eh, child pornography, beast pornography, normal pornography eh, all is the same pornography so buller man, batty boy, homosexual, and pedophile eh all means the same thing in my book eh, and he needs to be exposed. Them really good yes.

  2. Hannibal Najjar

    He could coach in the US if he wishes… the current administration’s pontificates and policies and practices, would suggest that he could find a job there. – the lights on the White House can shine on him.

  3. First of all Mr Earl Mango Pierre your ugnorance us shining through loud and clear. What does himosexuality have to do with this issue?

    Do homos go around rapung chdren?

    Thus us whg Trinidadvtemains in the sick state it us in!

    the issue is NOT one concerning “buller men” or “Batty boy,” it is one concerning the lack of leadership and the incompetence of law enforcement and will to protect children and by extension society.

    The man if guilty, is clearly a pedophile and you need to educate yourself!

  4. I personally wouldn’t trust him around kids ….it’s not a judgemental thing because ah man gay. ….but if you’re going after lil boys that’s pedophilia …….. that could have bad repercussions for everyone involved.

  5. Nah man, nah man, once ah buller man eh, he will always be a batty boy, expose Mr. Live Wire he shouldn’t be allowed to have no coaching school because he will continue to do it again. Them really good yes.

  6. The ole saying “nearer the church farther from God” plenty priest in this thing too. It’s always sad for the victims as they carry these traumatic experiences with them all their lives. Not my call to pass judgement but i think it might be wise not to put temptation in his path.

  7. He is a good coach I train under him but never know he like lil boys

  8. I hope people are not judging him because of his apparent preference. Needless to say, anyone who exploits or seek to use their power to influence children in a negative way ought not to be in positions that will make children prey.

  9. why wasn’t there a criminal investigation on this issue? Do they do anything with sexual predators in Trinidad.? coaches,teachers,taxi drivers etc

  10. We like to cover up things because …well for all kinds of reasons but sexual trauma is lifelong.

  11. That hint of such behaviour requires that he be removed from contact with any young person, regardless of his passion to coach. He must not be allowed to traumatise any other child. I speak as a parent.
    The calls for forgiveness is all well and good but he must not be ever near children.

  12. and the guy is deeply religious as well, like “married to Jesus” religious, I am so shocked reading this, know ppl he coached as well, heck when I was younger I used to hang out at his coaching sessions (my friends played for his various teams) he even coached one of my cousins like recently

  13. Lordy. Then he must be removed from any situation where they are children. Promptly.

  14. Tell him to do the right thing Gaiven Klavon Clairmont. He can coach adults.

  15. wow I never heard this story b4 and I know the gut personally 🙁

  16. I’m not sure William. Besides vigilance and making people aware.

  17. A clear dereliction of duty on behalf of the authorities involved. It’s nothing to do with this man’s sexual orientation but his predatory nature. Of course parents would be in the dark. Totally unbelievable little wonder we’re failing our children. Can anything be done about this?

  18. Part of that is selfishness I think Michael Samuel. People think: ‘so long as me and my immediate family are safe… then i don’t care about anybody else.’

  19. Some parents might genuinely not know William. And I do understand that he has coached youth football since then in south Trinidad.

  20. That’s because for many people in this society, ignoring the problem and prayers are the answers to everything Lasana.

  21. This guy is a clear and present danger to vulnerable youngsters. It’s clear that he is likely to exploit his position of trust in order to satisfy his sexual impulses. I am not surprised by the inappropriate response to this incident and individuals involved. This man needs help but more importantly children need protecting. That he could even contemplate having contact with young boys again beggars belief. The God’s would have to be crazy for that to happen. I can’t even believe we’re having a conversation about this. I can only surmise and the records will show that there are parents out there who take a very different approach to parenting than I do. That’s the only explanation for those willing to allow their children to be in this man’s care.

  22. When you read the responses from Pleasantville, they just wanted the problem off their school property. But, as far as the principal was concerned, everyone else could fend for themselves.
    That isn’t really dealing with the problem in a satisfactory way to me.

  23. The thing with this is that there was no proper investigation as far as I am aware. Same thing with the “incident” that happened with the Women’s U-17 team in Montego Bay in 2013. They seemed to be just swept under the carpet. WE HAVE A DUTY TO PROTECT OUR YOUTH!

  24. Parents really need to know who these people are and what their issues have been. I have no problem with someone deciding to send their child by his coaching school regardless… But they should be making an educated decision and know exactly what they are doing.

  25. This is very unfortunate for everyone especially those young people who would have been so viciously violated. This is yet another indictment on our systems and the need to protect our children and vulnerable communities. It should be policy and law that everyone allowed to work with children undergo some level of scrutiny beyond their qualifications. At a minimum they should be able to secure a certificate of good character and complete a self declaration. Additionally there should be systems for recognizing and accrediting persons who meet standards and uphold their ethical responsibilities. The issue is not about homosexuality but about integrity and responsibility. Let’s not sweep another case under the proverbial carpet. This is EVERYONE’s responsibility!

  26. The girls, now the boys. Would tHe beautiful game stay beautiful if nothing is done to at least prevent future occurrences? What would Sandusky say if he was trini?

  27. If a heterosexual coaches young girls, or a lesbian for that matter, their preference won’t be in question until they interfere with one of their underage charges. So sexual preference was never the question. The question is his predatory stance on the young charges he is responsible for. Look at the disgusting convo he is having with one of his charges. This would be no less disgusting if it were a heterosexual male to a female charge underage

  28. The issue here as Lasana Liburd said is not the person’s persuasion, it is the violation of trust and respectability

  29. Ppl march against homosexuals in T&T?

  30. I agree, there’s a code of conduct attached to the profession.

  31. The issue here isn’t sexual persuasion. It is about violating a position of trust as coach. And that is made much worse because we are talking about young boys.

  32. this is certainly worth investigating , there seems to be a ring of lecherous men preying on young boys , with impunity . something must be done using this as a test case

  33. Youths still ? Hmmmm, surprisingly this topic just died off. Maybe we’ll see him on P’Ville sidelines come September. Weren’t they investigating ? Another lost case ? Maybe they found nothing …

  34. i just heard he trains at skinner park in san fernando

  35. just how we march against homo sexuals and other things we should march straight to the field where he is coaching

  36. this is madness he should be stop from coaching, and after reading the article i found it very wrong that theprincipal of the school took this so lightly, but maybe supporters of football should find out where this man is coaching and demand he stop it asap

  37. im told he still is , he coaches a team in south called to the world

  38. Anyone knows if he’s still coaching ? Young boys especially ?

  39. only today my nephew was telling me about this man , and some of the things he did , disgusting

  40. He’s like that (EDITED) from long time. Who didn’t know playing they didn’t want to know.

  41. Aye aye ayeeeee keep this man away from people children. Please and thank you.

  42. It is time that teachers and persons working with children be given mandatory psychiatric evaluations that may hopefully be able to spot potential paedophiles. I pray that I never have to encounter persons like this with my child cause I cannot remain ‘sane or calm’

  43. Only in Trinidad, would he be allowed to work with minors again. The offender needs to understand this is not about forgiveness only, it is about temptation and if he cannot resist certain temptations, he should not put himself in those situations where he may be tempted to be inappropriate, because one cannot predict what will happen, considering he basically got away “scot free” this time around…which means next time the temptation will be even greater to go much further. He has spoken about forgiveness but somehow forgot to mention repentance. Is he sorry for what he did? Did he apologise to the people involved for the disruption in their lives not the mention the psychiatric repercussions for the target of his unwanted attraction? Monkey may know which tree to climb but humans don’t always know which person will welcome their advances or affections. In what way is he working to ensure he does not fall back into this behaviour?

  44. Lasana Liburd

    Did Pleasantville Secondary have a psychiatrist sit with the other players? Or talk to parents? Or put things in place to speak to former players?
    I think there are questions about their handling of this mess too. And maybe principal Phillip Allard will answer to someone at some point.

  45. It’s a question of trust and I think Marcelle has shattered it.

  46. Shocking! I can’t believe whether he should be allowed to work with minors again is even a question.

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