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U-20 campaign back on; Sportt Company funds young Warriors

The Trinidad and Tobago national under-20 football team will be financed to compete at next month’s CONCACAF Championship in Jamaica after all.

Sportt Company acting CEO Adrian Raymond and Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) official William Wallace confirmed today that the government will fund the youth’s team travel and accommodation to Jamaica as well as its trip to Fort Lauderdale for a pre-tournament camp.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national under-20 captain Shannon Gomez (centre) takes the Caribbean Cup trophy from CFU president Gordon Derrick in September. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national under-20 captain Shannon Gomez (centre) takes the Caribbean Cup trophy from CFU president Gordon Derrick in September.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Wallace said that, in a Monday meeting, the Ministry of Sport’s Permanent Secretary Richard Oliver informed the local football body that there was no funding available to send the young “Soca Warriors” into action.

By Tuesday afternoon, the government had amended its position though as the two parties agreed to dip into the subvention allocated for the national senior team, which is managed by the Sportt Company.

“I spoke to the PS who said they have no money,” Wallace told Wired868, “and I asked him, since we have a subvention for the senior team, can we use money from that?

“Yesterday I got a call from the Ministry of Sport saying that the PS had approved our airfare and accommodation in Jamaica.”

Raymond confirmed that Oliver had approved the payment via the Sportt Company.

“The PS sent a note to us yesterday asking us to make a draw down, so we are doing that right now,” said Raymond. “We are trying to organize for the flights and right now we are just waiting on an invoice from Caribbean Airlines. So it will happen today or first thing on Monday.”

Raymond assured the sporting community that, although the country is bracing for a tough economic period, the government will do its best to protect sport’s National Governing Bodies (NGB).

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Aikim Andrews (right) forces his way past Haiti defender Stephane Lambese during the 2014 Under-20 Caribbean Cup. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Aikim Andrews (right) forces his way past Haiti defender Stephane Lambese during the 2014 Under-20 Caribbean Cup.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“We are looking to cut costs wherever we can cut costs,” said Raymond. “(But) the last area we would look at cutting is the NGBs, specifically when it comes to teams representing the red, white and black in tournaments. We are just asking the NGBs to very judicious in terms of (travelling) contingents.

“There are people who go (on overseas tours and tournaments) because they are nice to have and there are people who are absolutely necessary…

“This (under-20 football) team has to participate and they will go. I don’t know if they will make the Saturday fly out but they will certainly go.”

The young Warriors were due to head for the United States on Saturday but, even if the Sportt Company makes the necessary arrangement on Christmas Eve, they still won’t keep their initial schedule. The players do not have visa appointments until next Monday.

“I put a hold on the visa (applications) when I heard the funding was a trouble because that is about $17,000,” said Wallace. “There was a definite ‘no’ from the PS on Monday who said that there were no funds. So we were then hoping to train here and travel to Jamaica directly and we wouldn’t need visas for that.

“So I put a hold on it until I was sure about the funding. Not knowing put a spoke in our planning.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago playmaker Jabari Mitchell (second from left) celebrates the winning goal against Suriname during the Under-20 Caribbean Cup. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago playmaker Jabari Mitchell (second from left) celebrates the winning goal against Suriname during the Under-20 Caribbean Cup.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Meanwhile, the national under-20 players and staff are trying to stay focused despite missing out on a camp in Mexico and suddenly being informed that their entire camp was in jeopardy.

Head coach Derek King said the team trained this morning at the Hasely Crawford Stadium and will now have two days off for the Christmas period before returning to the training ground at 8 am on Saturday.

“The sessions have been good and you are seeing the intensity because all our players are here except (goalkeeper Johan) Welch who will join the team in Miami,” King told Wired868. “This is the future of Trinidad and Tobago’s football. Regardless of the situation, we are going there to do well.”

At present, King has 27 players in training and the squad is so competitive that there was no room for San Juan North Secondary stand-out striker Brent Sam or his school teammate and defender Josiah Trimmingham. United States-based midfielder Andre Fortune and prolific St Anthony’s College striker Kwesi Allen failed to make the cut as well.

“Sam has ability but his problem is he doesn’t like to train,” said King. “His attitude towards football is not there (yet) And Trimmingham’s level has dropped since the Caribbean Cup.”

Photo: San Juan North's Josiah Trimmingham (centre) is tackled by St Anthony's College defender Isaiah McIntyre while St Anthony's captain Mawasi Charles (far right) and San Juan captain Brent Sam (far left) look on in SSFL Big Four action. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: San Juan North’s Josiah Trimmingham (centre) is tackled by St Anthony’s College defender Isaiah McIntyre while St Anthony’s captain Mawasi Charles (far right) and San Juan captain Brent Sam (far left) look on in SSFL Big Four action.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The new additions to the Caribbean Cup champions are: versatile WASA FC defender Justin Garcia, Defence Force winger Akeem Roach and the United States-based contingent of Leland Archer (College of Charleston), Duane Muckette (University of South Florida), Ricardo John (Virginia Tech), Brendon Creed (Temple University), Rashad Hyacinth (Belmont University) and Adrian Welch (St John’s University).

The final 20-man team will be announced on Saturday but King hinted that Creed, who has trained in central defence but can also play in central midfielder, and Muckette, a robust and clever midfielder, might have already forced their way into the CONCACAF team.

“Creed is very solid and is a leader,” said King. “Muckette, (Levi) Garcia and (Kadeem) Corbin have been playing very well too.”

Corbin was the MVP of the Caribbean tournament while the then 16-year-old Garcia (L) was the competition’s hottest property. Wired868 understands that Garcia, who is now 17, is on the verge of a move to Europe but agent Dion Sosa is remaining tight-lipped as his prospective employer tries to facilitate his move as a minor.

There are six players who competed in the 2014 Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) competition in the current training squad.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (centre) steams past Cuba players Yendri Torres (right) and Roberto Peraza during the Under-20 Caribbean Cup in Port of Spain, Trinidad. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (centre) steams past Cuba players Yendri Torres (right) and Roberto Peraza during the Under-20 Caribbean Cup in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Goalkeeper Aaron Enil lifted the National and North Zone Intercol trophies this year with Mucurapo East Secondary while defender Martieon Watson, playmaker Jabari Mitchell and striker Nicholas Dillon won the Premier Division and Big Four titles with Naparima College. St Anthony’s College playmaker Matthew Woo Ling and Garcia (Shiva Boys Hindu College) also played school football this season.

The CONCACAF under-20 tournament consists of five group matches in 12 days, which runs counter to the FIFA bylaw for the welfare of players. Faced with a similar situation in the senior Caribbean Cup last month, the CFU allowed teams to travel with 23 players which allowed more liberal rotation.

King said CONCACAF refused a similar request for the upcoming youth tournament. It means the fittest squads with the most strength in reserve will have a significant advantage in the gruelling competition. The top four nations will advance to the New Zealand 2015 Under-20 World Cup in May.

“We need players who can play in more than one position,” said King. “The 20 we select will more or less be players who can play in more than one position so it gives us an opportunity to rotate.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago striker Kadeem Corbin (left) eludes Suriname defender Nigel Zandveld during an Under-20 Caribbean Cup fixture. Corbin is one of several under-20 players capable of excelling in more than one position. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago striker Kadeem Corbin (left) eludes Suriname defender Nigel Zandveld during an Under-20 Caribbean Cup fixture.
Corbin is one of several under-20 players capable of excelling in more than one position.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Trinidad and Tobago national under-20 shortlist:

Goalkeepers: Johan Welch (Houston Dynamo Juniors), Javon Sample (Central FC), Christopher Biggette (St Ann’s Rangers), Aaron Enil (Mucurapo East);

Defenders: Shannon GomezMartieon WatsonMaurice Ford (all W Connection), Justin Garcia (WASA FC), Brendon Creed (Temple University), Leland Archer (College of Charleston), Jesus Perez (North East Stars);

Midfielders: Aikim Andrews, Akeem GarciaJabari Mitchell (all W Connection), Akeem Roach (Defence Force), Neveal HackshawKeon Joseph (both North East Stars), Kevon Goddard (Central FC),  Akeem Humphrey (Club Sando), Matthew Woo Ling (St Anthony’s College), Duane Muckette (University of South Florida), Levi Garcia (Shiva Boys HC), Kishun Seecharan (unattached);

Forwards: Kadeem Corbin (St Ann’s Rangers), Nicholas Dillon (Central FC), Ricardo John (Virginia Tech), Rashad Hyacinth (Belmont University), Adrian Welch (St John’s University).

 

Technical Staff:

Derek King (head coach), Hutson Charles (assistant coach), Michael Maurice (goalkeeper coach), Stephen Hart (technical advisor), Douglas Archer (manager), Wayne Cunningham (assistant manager), Terrence Babwah (doctor), Michael Taylor (physio), Sharon Joseph (trainer), Michael Williams (equipment manager), Shaun Fuentes (media officer).

 

Editor’s Note: The final Trinidad and Tobago national under-20 squad will be selected on 27 December 2014.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and 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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49 comments

  1. I believe its Adrian Welch not Welsh, Mr.Editor

  2. Any country that values the contribution of their athletes

  3. same bullshit still happening over n over they don,t give me any thing i pay my way so i could talk on the vargentina did they not bounce off the BROW MICHAEL MAURICE the goal keeping coach so nothing has changed ent TTFA

  4. I hope Brent Sam sorts himself out. He is very talented. But this is definitely a gifted bunch of players.

  5. If I have children and they are into sports, I will NEVER let them play for this country. This country has no respect at all for their athletes.

    • A country doesn’t lack respect for anything …the people of that country lack respect. if you tell you’re children to not play for their country you are telling them their country is not worth loving …and it is not worth sacrificing for its good.We are in this situation because we are a nation of unpatriotic people who only show up when we are on the verge of success,or to be more precise, qualification.

    • I totally agree with you. I wouldn’t tell them not to play for their country bcuz at d end of d day, it is their choice. But what is the sense of training/representing a country dat don’t support u on any level, b it financially or otherwise. This country love u wen u do good and say d worst things ever when u don’t. Imagine our soca princesses went to represent our country and d govt didn’t fund them. D coach had to beg for money for them to get something to eat. Imagine Haiti, Haiti out of all country had a fund raiser for our athletes. So tell me, why would I want my child/children play for a country that clearly don’t give a damn about them??? The govt does find money of endless proportion to fund what them want.

  6. I see Kendall Tull saying that the rules are put in place for a reason and we should never lose sight of that. I agree with that. There are loopholes. Macheda’s father got a job as a security guard in Manchester so his son could move before his 18th birthday. Who knows what the story was with Cesc Fabregas.
    We will see what happens with Levi. But, of course, we wish him the best.

  7. 20 players does seem like a deficit. Good to see Aaron Enil getting a call up but with 20 to choose from only 2 GK’s going I guess. Sam’s situation is, “typical”. Glad Coach King made his reason public though.

  8. thats good to know ,think this batch of players have a bright future once managed properly,hope they avoid the pit falls of their predecessors.

  9. Cue Benjai ah tired of the same ting over and over

  10. you know is free ride for officals so less players lol

  11. 11 members of technical staff. Way that is an entire team there

  12. That’s cause the ncaa is set up 4 them 2 make money not the athlete. its a big scam but 2 be fair 2 them its like a contract where school pay 50 to 60000 us a year 4 u 2 get a education. if you screw it up that’s on the athlete. even if u get injured on schol, u can finish school and get your degree.

  13. each year we send out scores of boys to suffer and eat Ramen and tuna and the false hope of getting an education that will guarantee them some “wok” somewhere. if we support more efforts like Dion’s where youth are instead pointed toward academy-styled environments…and not waste their athletic potential kicking ball for SSFL and NCAA peanuts. is not everybody is gonna be an attorney or lawyer or doctor. we ALSO NEEED footballers to be PROS

  14. you got to blame Mr 2 bull for that

  15. so much attention is placed on ONE legit pro contract…yet no one ever questions the value of NCAA scholarships to players who might get injured and lose their scholarships. who play four years and get ZERO worth for their footballing talents and how this has affected our youth development and the young men (and women) who should come into the senior teams and the pro league in T&T.

  16. Thank you for your best wishes and I wish him well in the upcoming u20 tournament

  17. He is not transferring until he is 18 kendall tull. levi cannot sign or play professionally until he is 18

  18. As I said before, good luck to the young man.

  19. Barring injury, levi is going 2 be a star with his talent as the club referred to him as out of this world. so he will be doing his thing 2015 when he turns 18 and I will let everyone know how things are going with him

  20. Let’s hope so Dion Sosa but you still haven’t said how the transfer will be done given the FIFA rules.

  21. That would be great Dennis because in the end, he is a child.

  22. Kendall tull I can assure you and the entire tnt public that this was done clear and transparent together with the player and his parents so everything is 4 levi”s benefit and we will guide his career through out and he will be a mega star in a few yrs trust me

  23. Lasana – that profit will never be spoken of again and with no financials being done by the TTFA, it’s anyone’s guess as to what was done with that money.

  24. this same issue had been raised in a wired article some time ago. i hadn’t seen anything since then that pointed to the offer not being above board or out of alignment with FIFA protocols for contracts with minors.
    i spoke with Dion on this issue at length in the show he did with me and i was satisfied then that he has these players’ best interests at heart.
    Dion is not going to send someone out there to suffer.

  25. “Under Fifa rules brought in to protect children from “exploitation and abuse”, a player must be 18 to be transferred internationally, unless he or she falls into one of three specific categories: the player’s parents have moved country for their own, non-related reasons; the move takes place within the European Union if a player is aged 16-18; or the player’s home is less than 50 kilometres from the national border being crossed.”

    This is what I was referring to Dion Sosa. Frankly I am a bit surprised by your response to my concern since I was clear about what I was referring to in my post. As an agent, surely you know these facts. How are you going to get the player signed without breaching these rules?

  26. Dion Sosa – the education given by the academy was in fact one of the counter arguments given by Barcelona that ultimately did not reverse their being found guilty of breaching the rules.

  27. Mr. Dennis Allen – all I am saying is that as a minor, I would hope that his best interests are being looked after – specifically by his parents and guardians. I am not suggesting anything other than being aware of all the circumstances and risks.

  28. Mr. Dion Sosa – perhaps illegal is the wrong term. What I was referring to are that FIFA rules that prohibit the signing of minors from other countries unless very specific criteria are met. The Messi transfer was in fact one of the cases mentioned in the sanctioning of Barcelona if I remember correctly.

    Surely you know what I am referring to and are aware of the Barcelona issue.

  29. SO WHERE ME POSH #1 FAN LEFT OUT AGAIN LOL

  30. Interesting that they didn’t use from the $1.6 million to sort out their visas in advance…

  31. At the academy the player is taught languages ethics diverse culture and football

  32. No Sam or Trimmingham..hmm. But 20 players per squad seems a bit short

  33. Mr kendall tull 4 your information there is nothing illegal about a minor going 2 an academy. messi ronaldo and many others have been with a professional team since age 13 so what are you talking about

  34. I’m happy they’re going but again taxpayers are footing the bill. What then is the purpose of TTFA?! To beg for money from Gov’t?! Best wishes young men…make us proud!

  35. history is also replete with teenagers who sat home and scratched their balls too…what’s the point you trying to make? that he shouldn’t go? that you have a better option for him to consider?

  36. I am very thrilled that these young men who would have prepared themselves to give of their best in representing their country, got the needed assistance in realising their dreams. If this did not happen, I was calling on the Christian church fraternity to pay their tithes (10%) of the monies they received recently from the government, to have these youths” wishes fulfilled. But God in His words, still requires that you should not rob Him, so I would like to see that the $5.5 millions be given to some charities, God Bless.

  37. Not sure why stuff like this not in place months ago. It’s not like they just finding out they have a tournament. Fly by night thing Kirwin Weston

  38. I actually don’t care about Sosa. I am concerned for the young man and his future. History is replete with teenagers being bought and sold on the transfer market and never seeing their dreams and aspirations fulfilled. I wish him luck on his journey.

  39. i think Dion Sosa is well aware of the specifics involving contracts with minors.

  40. “Wired868 understands that Garcia, who is now 17, is on the verge of a move to Europe but agent Dion Sosa is remaining tight-lipped as his prospective employer tries to facilitate his move as a minor.”

    I found this troubling as the transfer of minors is illegal unless some specific criteria are met. Barcelona’s transfer ban was a result of breaching this rule.

  41. “Not knowing put a spoke in our planning…”

    Newsflash geniuses in the TTFA:

    It is NOT called planning when you leave issues like funding to the last minute. My daughters have a school trip coming in July and all the plans including funding are already in place – That’s planning.

    Tired of these idiots and fools making a mockery of our National team programmes.

  42. Nice move! SporTT Company leaves TTFA in the dust. I hope SporTT Company doesn’t look to the government for reimbursement but writes off the expense and try to find a way to help TTFA to buckle up, reorganize, and live up to its charter.

  43. What kind of message are we sending to our youngsters when we act before we think! My best wishes to the team in their endeavours.

  44. R.Walcott

    Only 20 a squad….