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Woo Ling shines on debut as St Anthony’s whips St Augustine

Who can tame the “Westmoorings Tigers?”

St Augustine Secondary joined the list of overwhelmed school teams this season as the “Green Machine” fell 3-0 to St Anthony’s College despite playing at home.

The Tigers have won all six SSFL Premier League Division matches thus far this season and, at this point, it seems that they have a tougher time negotiating match officials than school boys.

Photo: St Anthony's College midfielder Jules Lee (centre) is sandwiched between teammate Isai McIntyre (right) and a St Augustine opponent during SSFL Premier Division action today. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: St Anthony’s College midfielder Jules Lee (centre) is sandwiched between teammate Isai McIntyre (right) and a St Augustine opponent during SSFL Premier Division action today.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

In five games, St Anthony’s collected four red cards despite not being an overtly nasty team. There were no expulsions today although coach Nigel Grosvenor might have been concerned when captain Mawasi Charles was needlessly booked for a word out of turn to the referee’s assistant.

However, today’s script centred on Trinidad and Tobago national under-20 midfielder Matthew Woo Ling who debuted for St Anthony’s College with two assists; although his triumphs at this level might be met with mixed emotions from local football fans.

KFC Munch Pack

Woo Ling made his Pro League debut with W Connection at 15 while he had two trials with England Premier League team Tottenham Spurs’ academy. On Friday night, he was a late substitute as the young “Soca Warriors” whipped Haiti 3-0 to lift the Under-20 Caribbean Cup trophy.

Yet, while his national teammates like Levi Garcia, Kadeem Corbin, Aikim Andrews, Jesus Perez and Neveal Hackshaw are entering their second or third seasons as adult players, the 18-year-old Woo Ling transferred from Fatima College to St Anthony’s for another taste of schoolboy glory.

If it is any consolation, he is fairly certain to get it at St Anthony’s.

Woo Ling can look frustratingly casual at times and St Augustine did have some success, albeit limited, in hustling him off the ball. But St Anthony’s undoubtedly possessed the ball better with the silky midfielder in its ranks and the fresh faced Green Machine must have sensed it was in trouble.

Photo: St Anthony's College midfielder Matthew Woo Ling tries to hold off a St Augustine player during SSFL Premier Division action today. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: St Anthony’s College midfielder Matthew Woo Ling tries to hold off a St Augustine player during SSFL Premier Division action today.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Credit to St Augustine’s collective effort, which saw the host team still level at the break. But, five minutes into the second half, Woo Ling changed that.

Woo Ling won a free kick just outside the opposing penalty area and dusted himself off to spank an impressive curling effort that came off the underside of the bar and ricocheted off St Augustine goalkeeper Michael Logie for a corner kick.

Woo Ling took the corner too and Charles headed downward for Adriel Kerr to hook the ball past Logie for the opener in the 53rd minute.

It was time for Kwesi Allen to make his customary mark on the match. Allen scored a whopping nine times in his first four games and he gave St Augustine a taste of his speciality with a quickfire double in the 77th and 80th minutes.

The first came off Allen’s favoured left boot from 22 yards as the St Augustine defence stood off. His second came with a stopping header from a Woo Ling cross after a flowing St Anthony’s move.

Woo Ling, despite playing at half pace, made a good St Anthony’s team seem almost invincible.

But fans of the technically accomplished midfielder, who once seemed tipped for higher things, might have hoped he was contracted to a more illustrious Premier Division team than the north zone school by now.


St Anthony’s College (4-2-3-1): 1.Carlton Alfonso (GK); 2.Jared Flament, 23.Mawasi Charles (captain), 4.Isaiah McIntyre, 18.Simon Joseph; 6.Leon Whyle, 14.Matthew Woo Ling; 11.Adriel Kerr (21.Brent Joel 59), 8.Jules Lee, 9.Darius Olliveira (20.Yevan Rajpaul 82); 10.Kwesi Allen.

Coach: Nigel Grosvenor


St Augustine Secondary (4-5-1): 1.Michael Logie (GK); 17.Alexis Blackwell, 4.Ainsworth Grant, 5.Joshua Marshall (captain), 13.Romario Villafana; 7.Keishawn Marcellin (15.Nyamekye Martin 74), 12.Brandon Reyes, 14.Tyriq Alexander (11.Keno Samuel 81), 6.Jeremiah Taylor, 9.Anthony Samuel; 26.Kwinsi Williams (25.Jelani John 54).

Coach: Michael Grayson

Photo: St Augustine goalkeeper Michael Logie uses unconventional methods to keep out a free kick from St Anthony's College midfielder Matthew Woo Ling. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: St Augustine goalkeeper Michael Logie uses unconventional methods to keep out a free kick from St Anthony’s College midfielder Matthew Woo Ling.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

SSFL Premier Division results

(Sat Sep 20)

St Augustine 0, St Anthony’s College 3 (Adriel Kerr 53, Kwesi Allen 77, 80) at St Augustine

San Juan North 3 (Jermell Britto 32, Brent Sam 72, 85), Shiva Boys HC 2 (Marvin Seuradge 45, Quinn Rodney 65) at San Juan;

Naparima College 6 (Stephon Smith 12, Nicholas Dillon 13, 45, Nicholas Thomas 51, Shane Sandy 84, Jeremiah Kezar 87), Arima North 1 (Joshua Alexander 2) at Lewis St, San F’do

St Mary’s 1 (Aaron Noel 23), Carapichaima East 1 at St Mary’s;

Fatima College 1, St Benedict’s College 3 at Fatima;

Presentation (San F’do) 0, Trinity College East 3 (Deyshawn Edwards 23, Tyrik John 31, Atiba Lucas 82) at Guaracara Park;

Chaguanas North 2 (Louie Johnson 67, 69), East Mucurapo 1 (Ishaq Abdullah 91) at Chaguanas;


Upcoming fixtures

(Tue Sep 23)

St Anthony’s v San Juan North, 3.45 pm, St Anthony’s;

St Augustine v Naparima College, 3.45 pm, Larry Gomes Stadium;

Shiva Boys HC v St Mary’s College, 3.45 pm, Guaracara Park;

Arima North v Fatima College, 3.45 pm, Arima;

Carapichaima East v Presentation (San F’do), 3.45 pm, Carapichaima;

St Benedict’s College v Chaguanas North, 3.45 pm, La Romaine;

Trinity College East v East Mucurapo, 3.45 pm, Trincity.


Editor’s Note: Please be advised that the September 23 SSFL Premier Division fixture between St Augustine Secondary and Naparima College has been moved to the Larry Gomes Stadium due to a sewer problem at the St Augustine school. 

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. For the record, I don’t believe in the NCAA rules. If a football team has a $30 million annual contract and the coach is getting $5 million. Why shouldn’t the players get match fees and bonuses?
    And those some players probably have to take odd jobs painting the school or working at the cafeteria to make ends meet.
    I don’t buy it.

  2. NCAA rules are so archaic, if yuh coach see yuh walking home in the snow he cannot give you a ride… #truestory
    That’s why when I hear dudes helping kids with scholarships and in the same sentence they using the term agent… I does cringe.

  3. NCAA rules are as strict for high schoolers in terms of their dealings with colleges and pro teams. Remember the Larry Johnson issues when he went to UNLV. It was said that his mom got a house in the suburbs and he drove a corvette which was traced to a member of the school’s booster and an agent. (lol)

  4. Aaron Pollard in the US college athletes are amateurs. Anything to do with professional clubs are prohibited pretty much. If any player plays in the pro league good luck getting thru the NCAA clearing house… not happening!!!. High school athletics in the US are designed specifically to support compliance with NCAA rules. Trini eh have much rules so it’s easy for a kid to become ineligible by the NCAA.

  5. Yes yes. I believe it’s the same all high schoolers.

  6. Sorry…I meant rules in the US. Do you know if there are such rules for high school students?

  7. I don’t think it’s regulated here. Shaquiel Henry was playing with Pres and was signed to T&TEC and their may be other too. Shakiel Smith was at eldo or was it Gustine and was being paid by Cali.

  8. Kester Lendor are there any rules that govern participating in high school sports? Professional/amateur and academic rules?

  9. Hear nuh, NCAA rules aren’t made for football but for all the collegiate sports. They were designed specifically to deal with what was happening with basketball, baseball and American football the big money sports that could accommodate future recruits and pass sum under the table without anyone knowing. While I was at college we trained with the Charleston Battery after spring season and in the summer. I Played in a friendly with them too. That is not allowed anymore and even though the school and battery are in the same town college players are not allowed to train or play with them in the off season.

  10. The SSFL and the SSCL badly needs a body to check eligibility. As a teacher I feel bad to part of a system that allows students to participate in sport when they do not meet basic amateur and academic standards. We are setting up these students

  11. I don’t know of any SSFL rule where that is concerned. I think that would only matter if he wants to take up a US scholarship.

  12. Brent Bennett one of the Arima coaches left. They then lost 3 and drew 1 in their last 4 games

  13. If he didnt sign forms he wasn’t a pro

  14. Is there a rule with playing with a pro team and also school? I thought there was such a rule. It seems to be a serious conflict of interest to me

  15. I was informed that Woo Ling never signed professional forms for W Connection, so he is still eligible for a scholarship. And that he still has hopes of playing in Europe.
    That was the reason he supposedly didn’t join a Pro League club.
    Of course, he could have easily signed on a six month deal. So I don’t think that is the whole story.

  16. The La Romaine Lions St. Benedict’s College can tame the West moorings Tigers

  17. Hahaha. St Anthony’s on top man. But I’m thinking of either watching Naps at St Augustine or Chaguanas North at St Benedict’s on Tuesday.
    It depends in part on my photographer. It is better when we are both at the same match.

  18. never knew wired 868 was the official domain for St Anthony’s college football news,anyways thanks for at least putting the other scores and the standings eh,next Saturday its ON.LOL

  19. Olliviera plays off the striker or as a winger. Skillful, quick and arrogant in a good way.

  20. I haven’t seen all the teams yet. Kwesi Allen, Darius Olliviera and Dereem Daniel are best strikers I’ve seen.
    Stern John’s son, Tyrik, is fierce too. And Chinua Bernard is a pretty clever player.

  21. Marcus Joseph got a serious left-foot from what I recall…

  22. Well, the league only started last night. We have talented strikers but the national team doesn’t play often enough so they are not getting the exposure they need to develop.
    I can give a list of guys with hardly any caps who I think have the necessary talent: Shahdon Winchester, Trevin Caesar, Dwight Quintero, Hashim Arcia, Kadeem Corbin, Rundell Winchester, Neil Benjamin, Marcus Joseph…
    I think any of them can play at the top level if we nurtured them. Just depends on the characteristics we want up there.

  23. Lasana Liburd who’s the striker on fire right now?

  24. Malik, I think he lacks the explosiveness of those players. He is a good technical player and he has a good football brain. Maybe he isn’t good enough for Connection but that is the top team in the country. There are other teams he can try for. Or he can bide his time and try to fight his way into the Connection squad.
    It depends on if his goal is a scholarship or a professional contract.

  25. But if he’s not making the u20 team and I assume not playing for W Connection anymore … does he have any better options … I understand the kid has decent technical ability but as a young player the prodigy tag normally comes with his temperament to perform against tougher bigger opposition consistently. In terms of ability for those whose seen him what level is he on..Latas …Dwarika ….Rahim…..Yorke….what kind of talent are we talking about here??

  26. Dwight Yorke thankfully didn’t tell Aston Villa that he would like to repeat two or three more times before he joined them.
    And players like Khaleem Hyland and Robert Primus knew when to quit too.
    Others like Shackiel Henry stay too long in the school game and curbed their own development in my opinion. Hopefully Levi Garcia won’t.

  27. Brent Rahim was able to get a scholarship to UCoNN despite playing for Joe Public because he proved he was not a paid member of their squad.
    And Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy played regular senior football from the age of 16 or younger.
    There was no pro football then but they played school football in between other engagements.
    Yorke was starting against the likes of the Costa Rica adult team by 17 and was signed to play with the Aston Villa adult reserve team before his 18th birthday.
    To me there is no comparison with a 18 year old boy still playing school football. Woo Ling should have bigger priorities in my opinion. But I respect that it is his life and his choice in the end.

  28. Lasana Liburd ask Matthew..i can’t say anything

  29. People have different opinions,for sure in Yorke and Latapy time wasn’t any pro football in Trinidad and Tobago.My opinion is that the player need a professional environment to developed.Sports @school is very important(not only football) for the physical and mental wellness ,but that’s it. I’m talking Pro football here,growth of the player.

  30. The french guy played for Embry Riddle. Pretty crazy

  31. Kester Lendor 4 years ago there was a french player that played for Maseille in the champions league. I am pretty sure if he just signed to a local club and played at 15. He will be able to play. I am not sure but if you are attached to a club then yea you will get rejected. The way to find it out is doing the NAIA eligibility paperwork and they will let you know.

  32. I cant help but feel there is a rule around it based on his age and probably the number of games played ..a lil research could verify this…ignorance in this case is not bliss …oh and by the way ..The statement sad to see a talent like that play secondary school ball is a real kick in the teeth. ..most of us here played including latas and yorkie ….don’t diminish the league

  33. Prince Borde some years ago Kerry Baptist and Kerry Noray went off to Lindsay Wilson College. After a couple months they were both back here as it was discovered that they were both attached to pro club Cali. LWC was an NAIA school at the time.

  34. Shakiel Henry was signed and played major minutes with T&TEC while he was @ Pres. U do remember he was their franchise player last season. I’m don’t think (don’t know really) if the colleges league has a rule against it.

  35. Malik you take the words out of my mouth. And he may still be able to play NAIA. If he is willing to sit our a year.

  36. Well if he played pro then how can he play secondary school league then?

  37. Stolen might be a more appropriate adjective.

  38. Damn…. He already lost his amateur status? My goodness

  39. Brentie scholarship is totally out of the question. The kid was signed by W when he was either 14 or15. They made the gamble I think after he was selected as part of the digicel program to go to England for a 10 training stint. He played in Pro league games for W.

  40. So Kester Lendor what yuh saying is either he peak really early or he fizzle out. Sounds like scholarship material…. keep me posted

    • Bennett – making some good points pal. Unfortunate if this youth is not eligible for schol. How to reach you outside of this forum, would like to vibes regarding JMU.

  41. I actually don’t think the U-20s were short on talent. I think they were short on cohesion, which could have something to do with their preparation time.

  42. Lasana & Stefano, the reality has probably struck Connection. The kid got minimal minutes with the U20s a team which seemed to be a little short on talent.

  43. I agree Stefano Monti. Why didn’t he stay with Connection?

  44. very sad to see a talent like Matthew play in the school league….

  45. Yeah. I can’t remember a top season for us since Grayson and Jamerson went. At least U-20 players Neveal Hackshaw and Jesus Perez are old boys. And coach Derek King!

  46. Like ah have tuh come back and coach the Dial Dynamos? The town of Arima has so much talent but yet we struggle to put a quality product

  47. Yeah. Funny enough. I was warned that the resignation of a member of the coaching staff might have dire consequences about two weeks ago. That was no joke boy!

  48. St Anthony’s actively recruiting? Then again it eh have no rules against it. Surprised Grovy play him after breaking camp last night….. by the way Lasana like Arima really starting to struggle…

  49. Finally Chaguanas North Sec hit the back of the net more than once, even had a gol disallowed!!