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Carrington quits Civic; Point coach cites demotivated players

The Point Fortin Civic football club look likely to take to the field without Reynold Carrington for the first time in three years after the coach announced his shock resignation from the club this morning.

Carrington told Wired868 that he informed the players of his decision after training this morning. He has not discussed his departure with club officials yet but he doubts anything would change his mind.

Photo: Point Fortin Civic coach Reynold Carrington. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Point Fortin Civic coach Reynold Carrington.
(Courtesy Wired868)

“I just believe that it is time (to go),” said Carrington. “I think the players have lost motivation to play and I don’t feel the players are giving everything. I don’t think the players really understand the effort and support we have from the community and I’m not really seeing the improvement I want from them…

“So I want to allow someone fresh to come in with new ideas to take them forward.”

Club manager Ken McCree had not heard the news up until he was contacted by Wired868. He hopes that Carrington reconsiders.

“I called but I haven’t gotten on to (Carrington),” McCree told Wired868. “I called the chairman and he said that he heard that also… I hope it is just a rumour or a frustrated moment and we can talk about it soon.”

Should Carrington hold firm, his exit is likely to send shockwaves through the Point Fortin community and the top flight league.

Photo: Point Fortin Civic defender Andre Ettienne had the community behind him in their return to the Pro League in 2013. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Point Fortin Civic defender Andre Ettienne had the community behind him in their return to the Pro League in 2013.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

A Point Fortin native himself, Carrington had brief professional stints in Indonesia and the United States. He won 36 international caps for Trinidad and Tobago and, as a deep-lying midfield playmaker or sweeper, set a platform for more illustrious teammates like Dwight Yorke, Russell Latapy and Stern John to deliver the goods.

When W Connection joined the inaugural Professional Football League in 1999, club chairman David John Williams paid TT$75,000 to sign Carrington, Wesley Webb and David Atiba Charles from Point Fortin. And Carrington went on to captain Connection while he was the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation’s (TTFF) Player of the Year in 2000.

Carrington worked primarily as an assistant coach at Connection after he retired although he did lead the club for one season while Stuart Charles-Fevrier was in charge of the “Soca Warriors.” He also had a spell as a National Under-17 Team coach before he took over at Point Fortin in 2012.

Point Fortin were in the Southern Football Association (SFA) but, after an exciting season in which they advanced to the FA Cup quarterfinals, the club decided to skip a level and head straight for the Pro League.

Photo: Point Fortin Civic attacker Marcus Joseph prepares to unleash a free kick against Central FC. Joseph's form with Connection earned him six national senior team caps. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Point Fortin Civic attacker Marcus Joseph prepares to unleash a free kick against Central FC.
Joseph’s form with Connection earned him six national senior team caps.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Civic’s hurried rise did create some problems. The club added Trinidad and Tobago national goalkeeper Marvin Phillip and former international players Andre Toussaint and Andrei Pacheco to its roster and stormed to the top of the Pro League for much of the first three months. They ended the season fourth and just three points shy of a qualifying spot for the 2015 Caribbean Club Championships.

But financial issues always loomed beneath the surface and Civic struggled to meet its financial obligations for much of 2014, which wreaked havoc on its pre-season preparation for the ongoing season.

“We were unable to even hold a screening session before we joined the Pro League (in 2013),” said Carrington. “We got word that we were in the Pro League late and we made the transition in such a short space of time that we could not hold trials.

“Then because of sponsorship problems we were unsure if we would be back in Pro League in (2014) and we could not invite players to try out in those circumstances… It was unavoidable.”

It meant that, according to Carrington, there was never the competition for places and creative tension he would have liked at the club.

Photo: Point Fortin Civic midfielder Andrei Pacheco (centre) holds off Police FC players Elijah Belgrave (right) and Todd Ryan in Pro League action. Pacheco represented W Conection and had a stint in the US MLS before joining Civic. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Point Fortin Civic midfielder Andrei Pacheco (centre) holds off Police FC players Elijah Belgrave (right) and Todd Ryan in Pro League action.
Pacheco represented W Conection and had a stint in the US MLS before joining Civic.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“There must be competition for places,” said Carrington. “If a player doesn’t have to compete for his spot, he will feel it is almost promised to him.”

The club’s precarious financial situation meant several players also had to seek employment outside to complement modest salaries, which affected training sessions and focus. And Carrington felt they were never really recaptured the enthusiasm that players showed as amateurs in the lower league.

“At the lower level, the players were all hungrier and their attitude to training and focus was much better even though they were not getting paid,” he said. “So I thought that wouldn’t be a problem at the top level. Now it seems they care more about what they can get out of it and not what their contribution can be…

“Almost all the players were there from in the (southern football league) and they knew what the club was trying to achieve. But that focus went away. Players started focusing on who plays or who in the 18 (man squad) but not what they need to do to get out there.”

Carrington stressed that he was not accusing all the players of having poor attitudes. But, collectively, their intensity was not good enough.

Photo: Point Fortin Civic defender Weslie John (right) keeps the ball from Police FC player Elijah Belgrave. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Point Fortin Civic defender Weslie John (right) keeps the ball from Police FC player Elijah Belgrave.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Civic’s only win from its first seven League games this season came against perennial stragglers, St Ann’s Rangers, while they were eliminated in the first round of the First Citizens Cup. However, they put a run together in the Toyota Classic Cup and eliminated Central FC en route to the final where they lost on penalties to San Juan Jabloteh.

“When we qualified for the Toyota final, I thought that would be enough for them to realise that we can accomplish something and their work won’t be in vain,” said Carrington. “We only had ourselves to blame for not winning the final. But I was hoping to see better effort in training and game preparation individually after that.

“Coaches have their roles but we are not magicians. Some supporters and even some players might think we just pick a team and, once we get the system and tactics in place, everything will be right. But players have to take responsibility too.

“Some of the players have been around and know what it takes to succeed at the top level. But as a group we are not getting that collective effort… And we need to be all for one or one for all.”

Civic spluttered to life briefly with successive Pro League wins over Police FC and a 6-2 annihilation of Caledonia AIA. But that was followed by narrow defeats to North East Stars and Jabloteh.

Photo: Referee Neal Brizan (centre) has to separate Point Fortin Civic attacker Andre Toussaint (second from left) from San Juan Jabloteh's Fabian Reid during the Toyota Classic final. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Referee Neal Brizan (centre) has to separate Point Fortin Civic attacker Andre Toussaint (second from left) from San Juan Jabloteh’s Fabian Reid during the Toyota Classic final.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Incidentally, their 2-1 loss to Jabloteh came on Carrington’s 45th birthday on January 27. It might be his last game in charge of the club.

Carrington spoke candidly about the challenges he faced at Civic.

“With the financial constraints (at Civic), the coach is more of a caretaker and motivator whereas the top clubs have a structure in place so the coaches can focus on his job more,” he said. “He has an equipment manager and grounds in place for training and all the little things. But, in our set up, sometimes players cannot reach to training in time after work and so on.

“So it was challenging but I was grateful for the opportunity and I gave my best.”

The Civic club still hopes to get their coach to reconsider. But, for now, Carrington thinks they will be better off getting someone with fresh enthusiasm and ideas for the post.

Photo: Point Fortin Civic supporters cheer on their team at the Mahaica Oval in Point Fortin. The Mahaica ground lacks lighting, a covered stand or adequate bathroom facilities. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Point Fortin Civic supporters cheer on their team at the Mahaica Oval in Point Fortin.
The Mahaica ground lacks lighting, a covered stand or adequate bathroom facilities.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“The most important thing is the club stays alive not me remaining coach,” said Carrington. “The high point for me was in the first year when we had a run and got to the FA Cup quarterfinal. The way the Point Fortin supporters responded to the team gave me a glimpse of the potential of the club and I hope it still materialises.

“Point is a football community but, going forward, we need things like a proper facility for our supporters. It is tough for people to pay their money and stand in the sun with nowhere to sit or no toilet facilities and so on.”

Carrington insisted that he will stay in the game although he is not sure what his next job will be.

“There is a saying that coaches don’t buy houses, they rent,” he said. “So they leave themselves open for opportunities wherever they come. It is not the end of the world for me.

“I am giving someone else the opportunity to try and get (Civic) back on track. And I will see what happens next and then dust myself off and go again.”

Photo: Central FC midfielder Ataulla Guerra (second from left) celebrates with his teammates while Point Fortin Civic defender Andre Ettienne looks on. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC midfielder Ataulla Guerra (second from left) celebrates with his teammates while Point Fortin Civic defender Andre Ettienne looks on.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Wired868 failed to reach Civic captain Andre Ettienne or goalkeeper Marvin Phillip for comment on Carrington’s impending exit.

On Tuesday afternoon, Civic play defending champions DIRECTV W Connection from 3.30 pm at the Mahaica Oval in Point Fortin. More likely than not, Carrington will not be leading their charge against his former employers.

AboutLasana 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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38 comments

  1. Brother needs help hope this action sends a message to the big players on his squad. Maybe he should start building next season and give the young talent some exposure now!

  2. To hear this coming from this part of the country is difficult, i mean this club is situated in the heart of the oil belt, surrounded by large and small companies which can and should assist the development of the youth in the area.
    This brother has show his dedication to the development of young minds in his area and is giving every effort to effect change, yet there is no help offered. So let me go on record, you guys have a clear advantage over the rest of us in the Pro League, that is a venue. I know you want to be effective but the business of the game has to be placed in the hands of another team so you can concentrate on coaching.
    Some one before us has set this up wrong! Everyone has a role and function in a football club, but in T&T too much power is given to a coach and as a result he becomes the be all end all there is no front office to assist with his problems. Looking on from the outside you guys have what it takes a community team with upward mobility for youth players and the nurturing of young minds.
    Rome was not built in a day but was destroyed in one. Hold strong Carrington don’t be afraid to use the youngsters when need be start giving them the exposure they need look at “W” take a page from Mr Williams. You have what is needed to succeed do not give up now and do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it man that is why it is called help. Please reconsider!

  3. There are a lot of young and educated persons who in my opinion can help sport and clubs progress, even with the challenges that currently exist. UWI has a Sport Management programme running some years now. Where are these skilled individuals ? Are they maximizing potential to build sport – barring the challenges stemming from the top (to some extent)

  4. I think clubs have a responsibility to become more financially viable too. Clubs should see themselves as a business and not rely on sponsors and the little prize money. There’s a need for innovation with local sports clubs (not only football). We heard talk in the past about taking sport to the community, but ultimately, who’s responsibility is it to do so ? The administrators of local football or the clubs ?

  5. I once heard about some symposium at Cascadia hotel…where I think a few persons came together to discuss the issues….but as always talk, talk, talk and no action…people are afraid to make the tough decisions. …lets stop the nonsense lets make the decisions lets build, lets put the work in and change the mentally of our young people. ..lets put the right systems in place …sports its a way out for our people…let’s change the culture of our young sports men and women people…stakeholders. ..please!!!!

  6. I agree earl jean players are 2 selfish and don’t want 2 invest in themselves or in the community its all about them and what they want 4 themselves

  7. At last I can say well said dion…lol

  8. Sports is a recreation in this country. If we happen to make money from it…well it’s a bonus. If it was a case of true survival there may be a more passionate and dedicated response. Apart from that there are host of limiting factors. Poor financial structures in clubs, poor turn outs at games – I remember dozing off in a pro league game!!! The energy was so low in the stadium i almost borrowed CFC’s defibrillator!

    There is also the case of too many unqualified people in important decision making positions. I have had conversations with a number of coaches and owners in the Pro League in the past and they are passionate and driven – not only from a business standpoint but from wanting to see football develop. But they are faced with players not motivated to train and even play games. Why though? Has anyone thought to ask the players what’s going on at home? What challenges are they faced with in getting to practice? Are they eating regularly and on time? Do the players feel cared for by the clubs? Are they making enough money to live? These are merely questions not accusations and they have to be taken into account when the issue of demotivated players come up.

    I read the article this morning on part 2 of Look Loy’s concern about players preferring to play on the colleges league rather than challenge for a spot on a Pro League team. In a college league game there are 10 times more people to see those kids play. Of course they would be motivated to play there than in a near empty stadium. In sport, one’s external environment is key in either lifting or breaking down the moral of players.

    This is a very complicated issue and it starts at the very top. Don’t blame the players entirely but blame the system we all continue to exist in.

  9. Hannibal Najjar

    From my personal knowledge and set of experiences with “Carry”, I have to say that it would sadden me greatly if he leaves this prematurely from that said team. Point is potentially one of the best, “hot-bed” areas in T&T along with Carenage and possibly, Mayaro. There were the three areas in my revival plans for the T&T and I had very meaningful support to proceed. Today, if I were attempting to do the same, I’d again earmark these three areas again, with the possible addition of the larger Arima. With that, I’d be seeking to have Carry and other Point stalwarts at the helm of that reconstruction and resurgence. We spoke recently by phone and I gave him my fullest support and encouragement – he was an absolutely solid player for me while in the U-20 team in the late 80’s and was destined to be a contributing factor had things blossomed in my senior team sojourn in 2002-03. Strange enough, I called for him a few days ago to give him a heads up my up-coming visit to T&T and wanted to meet with him to further our discussions and reassure him of my support. I care deeply about him, Point as a football district, and T&T as my motherland. I hope, Lasana, that his departure is not final. Carry, if you are reading this, please hold out and allow us to speak, that is, if you are in control. Thanks, Coach.

  10. On the Carrington situation. …if he goes point will lose a very dedicated , hard working professional some who knows the game played the game at the highest level…but the players have to take blame as always we want money but dont wantbto work, dont want to train, dont want to make sacrifices, want, want, want, but nothing giving back to community or to the team all clubs go through this…the mindset of the younger generation. ..all about the glamor. …thats why we drill so much into our players. ..

  11. Lasana so true…its the transition, the caribbean has been amature for so long….its all about the mind set….even some of our very said professionals in certain careers are not… so its a serious problem. ..getting our stakeholders to come together to make progressive decisions about sports is a massive problem. …its all about self interest…nothing about “the sport itself”….school football as it is right now is stifling the development of the player….but iam enjoying the discussions lasana…

  12. Reynold Carrington first indoor season he scored 35 goals and we won the tournament along with Marvin Oliver, Andre le Gendre, Sheldon Mousy Brawaite, Andrew Ali ( national and Technical Keeper), Earl Sausy Bailley, Shelly Noel, Roger Wilson, Brian Griffith, Christopher, Andy Haynes and Leston Paul……a real bomb squad..

  13. Being part of an organization now entering into the Pro League, Club Sando F.C, I welcome this discussion and appreciate the comments made by all. I wud also agree with most of the points put forward but we are forgetting the main ingredient d TTFA. I agree the clubs must know what they are getting into before they jump into it. As the Bible tells us in Luke 14:28 “for which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, cnad counteth the cost, whether he has sufficient to finish it”. So yes team/clubs are first responsible for their survival BUT what is the parent body doing to ensure the sustainability of clubs & organization (TT PRO League) under its perview. Where is corporate T&T? Then the players, as a players could kick a ball they feel they are professional players and their attitude towards the game are totally poor. Clubs try their best with the players at their disposal to assist them as an alternative to something sustainable but they (players) are sometimes too greedy and would negate their responsibility and go to play Minor League for money. This thing needs everybody input, TTFA with a proper structure for football in T&T, all the Leagues (TTPro League, Super League, Secondary Schools, Regional Association and even the Minor Leagues), the Clubs, Government, Corporate T&T to bring about meaningful change to football in T&T. I hope some one is listening

  14. The professional league needs to be played in the communities so while I understand that most of the fields in the communities are not ready as yet well this should be the aim for the immediate future so that the teams can get their crowd support to raise the standards of their game performance and also some of our local coaches .and this is what I have always been saying and will continue to say and of course the salaries and getting paid on a timely basis is also a very serious issue especially when our players have their families and themselves to support.

  15. Sighh every time I read or hear of the plight of any club in any part of the region and the pressures they face be it financial or otherwise I have to appreciate Caledonia AIA its staff and especially the players who remain loyal we have had these same issues year in year out and if not for our dedication to not only do better for ourselves but to make certain cale “exist” if not to the higher standards of european football but sustainable to the point where we can still compete and keep afloat if not for this sacrifice and commitment of a few in the past as well as the present we would make these headlines as well..I hope this is just a blip in the long road to success for both point fortin fc and Reynold Carrington

  16. peter i think u need to recheck that eh

  17. Its very difficult 2 run a pro team effieciently in trinidad and a lot of clubs come in the pro league with no plan or structure its not about having quality players but its sustaining a team and having the proper youth system to keep adding 2 the players already there most of them guys in point have no resale value or are not marketable overseas 2 bring revenue back 2 the club

  18. Football is big business. The question is whether we have the market to sustain a fully professional league ! Our population size is not much smaller than Central America yet their respective leagues are flourishing.

  19. It has to do with the general public attitude and mentality !

  20. The thing is, there are stipulations for entrance into the ProLeague and staying up there as a “professional” club. The ProLeague has a responsibility to ensure this happens and whatever sanctions (if any) are adhered too. It’s for the viability of their business.

  21. The professionalism is a cultural issue, not a sport issue.

  22. We said that with the generation of Arnold Dwarika and so on. But we always assumed that the players like Molino and Joevin who grew up in the professional era would be different.
    Clearly it is not that simple.

  23. Well, there is no indication that Point Fortin or Carrington are finished yet. Just they might be going their own ways unless a last ditch intervention works.

  24. The situation at Point is not all that surprising because look how many years now so called “Pro” players have been taking the chance to play Minor League ball. We lack a culture of professionalism in sports and it is difficult to change that mindset. It also has to be tied in to discipline. It has to be instilled from a young age. As a matter of fact, sport is just a specific instance of a wider malaise.

  25. Sad, I like seeing them play. I hope he does not go far away or leave the game. His contribution on off the field has been great thus far. PFCC is a nice team, they play well and I think they are needed in this Pro League

  26. Not only the players have to be professional, but the club as well.

  27. Then it boils down to the management and administration of the club.

  28. I wonder if Civic is set up to properly handle issues like raising money.

  29. Perhaps it is the transition from amateur to pro that needs work. The different mindset and motivations. It would be nice to hear more about how that can be addressed.

  30. Before even dealing with Hippo’s situation, I am just amazed that with all the industry in the South, Point has been unable to secure steady sponsorship. Especially given Civic’s history.

  31. For so many years we had a culture of amateurism and even up to the present time it hasn’t changed much if at all, when it comes to domestic sports.

  32. Exactly ! This is a wake up call for pro football in T & T. How many clubs are really sustainable ?

  33. !! Sad to say! But Trinidad is not ready nor ever been ready for Professional Sports!! and its rigours !! period!! its just not in our dna!! doh matter how much we may try to be.. we just can’t!!

  34. I think if you read this story carefully you will see issues that affect not just Point Fortin but the entire professional game in Trinidad and Tobago.

  35. There is a serious, thoughtful discussion to be had here about not just Point Fortin Civic but professional football on the whole.