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Arin is WPL’s first round draft pick; but sponsors and fixtures missing

Trinidad and Tobago’s 2014 Player of the Year and “Women Soca Warrior” defender Arin King had the distinction of being the first selection of the inaugural Women’s Premier League League (WPL) draft, which was held yesterday afternoon at the Hasely Crawford Stadium’s VIP Lounge in Port of Spain.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender and 2014 Player of the Year Arin King (left) in action against Guatemala during the 2014 CONCACAF Championship. (Copyright Patrick McDermott/AFP 2015)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender and 2014 Player of the Year Arin King (left) in action against Guatemala during the 2014 CONCACAF Championship.
(Copyright Patrick McDermott/AFP 2015)

The six-team WPL tournament is due to kick off on Thursday June 18 with a double header at the St James Police Barracks. All games will be free of charge for patrons.

“Come and lime with your clip and enjoy some great football,” said Sport Minister Brent Sancho.

However, with just five days before kick off, the Ministry of Sport is yet to name the franchise holders for the respective outfits while the teams are still finalising their rosters. There are no fixtures for the competition available either.

By means of comparison, the United States’ Major League Soccer (MLS) draft was held on January 15 while coaches then had two months to prepare their team for the 2015 season opener on March 6.

In contrast, WPL coaches will have less than a week to conduct their pre-season training.

Sancho had fighting words for the small audience of roughly 60 people as he unveiled his brainchild.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Sport Minister and Senator Brent Sancho. Sancho is a former World Cup 2006 player and CEO of local Pro League club, Central FC. (Courtesy SPORTT)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Sport Minister and Senator Brent Sancho.
Sancho is a former World Cup 2006 player and CEO of local Pro League club, Central FC.
(Courtesy SPORTT)

“Do not use this opportunity to play politics with sports because the only people who suffer at the end of the day are our young athletes,” said the Sport Minister. “The WPL then is a tangible platform that our women warriors have earned in blood, sweat and tears…

“They deserve their own brand and their own legacy to pass on to future generations.”

The six teams named for the inaugural tournament are: Oilers, Fuego, Dragons, Rush, Wave FC and Angels. It offered little clue about the financial backers or geographic home base of the respective outfits.

One of the five teams, Oilers, was labelled as a “developmental team” which will comprise of university students and girls hoping to gain scholarships as well as National Under-20 and Under-17 players. They will be steered by Arnold Murray and National Under-17 Women’s Team coach Rajesh Latchoo.

Oilers did not participate in the draft but representatives from the other five outfits were there to select their marquee players.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago star Kennya "Yaya" Cordner (right) runs at the Guatemala defence during the 2014 CONCACAF Championship. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago star Kennya “Yaya” Cordner (right) runs at the Guatemala defence during the 2014 CONCACAF Championship.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

The coaches for the remaining clubs are: Anthony Creese and Jinelle Noel (Angels), Karla Aleman and Joanne Daniel (Dragons), Richard Hood and Joel Warrick (Fuego), Marlon Charles (Rush) and Derek Arneaud and Allister Ramdoo (Wave FC).

Maylee Attin-Johnson, Ahkeela Mollon, Kennya “Yaya” Cordner and King were among the Women Warriors in attendance as the coaches drew numbers to determine their fortune. The five teams had two rounds to select one player each.

Former Costa Rica National Women’s Team coach Karla Aleman seemed visibly excited as she pulled lucky number one and promptly selected King for the Dragons.

“I’m so glad to have gotten the first pick and choosing King,” Aleman told Wired868. “She has good leadership qualities and a good head on her shoulders… We need a good strong spine for the team and she was the only defender among the marquee players.”

Aleman said King, a tough and perceptive Canada-born defender, is the perfect starting point for her favoured 4-5-1 formation. The Dragons had the final pick of the second round and chose 22-year-old Manchester native, Isabella Hayes.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Ahkeela Mollon (left) tries to win space from Costa Rica right back Diana Saenz during the 2014 Women's CONCACAF Championship. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Ahkeela Mollon (left) tries to win space from Costa Rica right back Diana Saenz during the 2014 Women’s CONCACAF Championship.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

After the Dragons flew off with King, ex-National Women’s Team senior coach Marlon Charles scooped up skilful winger Ahkeela “Lady Latapy” Mollon as the second pick of the first round for his Rush team.

Charles’ next pick went to the US Virgin Islands goalkeeper Emily Marie Cota.

Wave chose third and they might have the most potent strike force in the competition as they selected Cordner and Jamaican striker Shakira Duncan in their two rounds.

“Ideally, we would have gone with Arin King, Yaya or Ahkeela Mollon but they were already chosen,” said Hood, whose Fuego team selected fourth.

He went for Jamaican midfielder Christina Murray, who was the first foreign player selected in the draft.

“Our top foreign player was always going to be Murray,” said Hood, who also coaches Pro League team, Police FC. “We were very impressed with what we saw of her in the scrimmages, especially with her quality and flair.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Tasha St Louis (right) keeps the ball away from Costa Rica midfielder Katherine Alvarado during the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship semifinals in Chester, Pennsylvania. (Copyright Mitchell Leff/AFP 2014)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Tasha St Louis (right) keeps the ball away from Costa Rica midfielder Katherine Alvarado during the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship semifinals in Chester, Pennsylvania.
(Copyright Mitchell Leff/AFP 2014)

Fuego’s second round choice was no slouch either, as they selected veteran attacker Tasha St. Louis.

The Angels, who got the fifth pick of the first round, selected Women Warriors captain and playmaker Attin-Johnson and then further solidified their midfield with Jamaican Jodi Ann McGregor in the next round.

Maverick Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Kimika Forbes had a special place in the draw as she was the “Golden Ball” pick after the two rounds were completed.

All five coaches drew strips of paper and, one by one, turned them over to reveal blank sheets to the anticipating crowd. It boiled down to the Wave and Rush representatives.

Charles and Ramdoo unfolded their sheets simultaneously. And Ramdoo’s cheeky smile acknowledged that his Wave outfit had gotten a steal of a deal.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Kimika Forbes (right) holds on to the ball while United States attack Abby Wambach looks on during the 2014 CONCACAF Championship. (Copyright AFP 2014)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Kimika Forbes (right) holds on to the ball while United States attack Abby Wambach looks on during the 2014 CONCACAF Championship.
(Copyright AFP 2014)

After the draft, Arneud oversaw a scrimmage with players still vying for selection on one of the six WPL teams. The Women Warriors still available include Karyn Forbes, playmaker Dernelle Mascall and sisters Khadidra and Khadisha Debesette.

There is likely to be a scramble over the coming days as the WPL teams try to complete their rosters while the Sport Ministry finalises fixtures and venues.

Hood, a former National Women’s Team coach, is optimistic about the competition.

“Some of the girls are not up to standard but we expected that given the short period we had to work with the players,” he said. “If the initiative continues for another few years then we would be able to attract players from the better footballing nations around the region and raise the standard of the league.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction.”

Photo: Women's Premier League (WPL) coach Derek Arneaud (centre) talks to his combined squad, during a scrimmage against the "Women Soca Warriors.) (Courtesy Allan V. Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Women’s Premier League (WPL) coach Derek Arneaud (centre) talks to his combined squad, during a scrimmage against the “Women Soca Warriors.)
(Courtesy Allan V. Crane/Wired868)

Inaugural 2015 WPL Draft

Dragons: Coaches Karla Aleman and Joanne Daniel

First Pick (Round 1): Arin King (T&T); Fifth Pick (Round 2): Isabella Hayes (Eng);

Rush: Coach Marlon Charles

Second Pick (Round 1): Ahkeela Mollon (T&T); Fourth Pick (Round 2): Emily Marie Cota (USVI);

Wave FC: Coaches Derek Arneaud and Allister Ramdoo

Third Pick (Round 1): Kennya Cordner (T&T); Third Pick (Round 2): Shakira Duncan (Jam); Golden Ball Pick: Kimika Forbes (T&T);

Photo: Jamaica striker Shakira Duncan (left) shoots past Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Shalette Alexander during a practice match. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Ministry of Sport)
Photo: Jamaica striker Shakira Duncan (left) shoots past Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Shalette Alexander during a practice match.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Ministry of Sport)

Fuego: Coaches Richard Hood and Joel Warrick

Fourth Pick (Round 1) Christina Murray (Jam), Second Pick (Round 2): Tasha St Louis (T&T);

Angels: Coaches Anthony Creese and Jinelle Noel

Fifth Pick (Round 1): Maylee Attin-Johnson (T&T); First Pick (Round 2): Jodi-Ann McGregor (Jam).

About Roneil Walcott

Roneil Walcott
Roneil Walcott is an avid sports fan and freelance reporter with a BA in Mass Communication from COSTAATT. Roneil is a former Harvard and St Mary's College cricketer who once had lofty aspirations of bringing joy to sport fans with the West Indies team. Now, his mission is to keep them on the edge of their seats with sharp commentary from off the playing field.

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53 comments

  1. Of course King was the first player picked. Bess pick out

  2. Why is tge GOV’T starting a pro league?
    Not saying we don’t need to invest in the women’s game, but this is outside the normal parameters of state support for sport.
    In this land of bacchanal I have little faith that we would ever see value for money, or the best qualified people given the opportunity to serve.
    I expect to see the man who washes Mr. Sanko’s car show up as a coach/owner.

  3. Kurtwyn Baird hahahaha yuh have a point there yes so from now I will say good bacchanal . Them really good yes.

  4. Earl Mango Pierre stop using the word bacchanal some people think you on this forum to pull them or others down,and if your goal scorer would unfriend you she get bought already⚽️

  5. Kurtwyn Baird and you know that they will never keep two good men down and if is real bacchanal they want eh, we will continue to bring it to them.

  6. Well as I always say the results speaks for itself all the tournaments so far that all our nationals teams have taken part in either lost or didn’t qualify so some of our players needs to really humble themselves and stop accepting mediocrity and we have a very long way to go before even qualifying for another World Cup because our uncle Jack is no longer there in FIFA to orchestrate things for us anymore. Them really good yes.

  7. D Boss! Earl Mango Pierre I told you they trying to stop you and Dion Sosa haha!

  8. So true Joel they think they are way better than they really are they have a false confidence in their abilities that most of the times never manifests 2 reality

  9. This country has a very disturbing syndrome where players minds have reached milestones their ability and talent have not even dream to reach. And this is my contribution as a well travelled and experienced former player. It’s really a sad state of affairs. We need to deal with the brain and mind before we can properly and fruitfully develop any kind of potential nowadays.

  10. hahaha stop it Dion Sosa stop it! That is someone wanting to get their two cent!lol all long as they aint jump out theyself

  11. Ha ha ha ha ha ha Gordon Pierre you did not know we have big big players living in Trinidad we have Drogba Ballack James Cristie Messi zizou the only problem is they are frauds cause they don’t have the name legal or copyrighted

  12. To demand a company spend profits on sport is not a tenent of democracy. I understand the thought but most companies wouldnt want to put money into any organization that is corrupt, and without accountability.

  13. Gordon Pierre yuh know my prolific goalscorer unfriend me as her fb friend yes, I really don’t know why our players cannot handle the TRUTH nah they really say that ignorance is really a hell of ah thing yes. Them really good yes.

  14. Yes they do. Should be playing far far from here!

  15. Guess you woke yaya!! i am not uncle earl!! Check yourself before you wreck yourself!! The talk might leave football and make headlines so keep it professional if you know what that means!!

  16. Shakira Thompson I agree with you 1000% she really have a lot of potential to be a real professional player along with my prolific goalscorer Kennya Yaya Cordner but they definitely need to stay away far from our sweet country in order to do so and I always use this example the great Ato Boldon, he would have never been very rich today if he didn’t do his thing abroad.

  17. If yaya on your birth paper i wont although you are a public figure! But thats over your head i guess!!

  18. Earl Mango Pierre I like that Arin King is just solid as a rock, she is as composed, her passin accuracy is great, she can play out from the back, she has good foot work Etc. I didn’t see the Mexico games but the games I went to she was a brick wall. To me, she is the franchise player. While Yaya is a big time goal scorer and plays a very entertaining brand, their roles are different and I just like her more

  19. Gordon don’t call my damn name Steupss

  20. Uncle Earl Mango Pierre, Lasana Liburd thinking out loud! Had the TTFA organise a proleague this poorly i wonder if the senor players would have been supportive to it the way they have been to the WPL! Some people are their own worse enemy!!

  21. Yea i passing on my info to i fearfull for my life alla jack warner!! lol

  22. Gordon Pierre well I am not telling either ah tired taking front and bussing files eh. Mr. Live Wire will have to write about their salaries in ah timing. Them really good yes.

  23. Uncle they waiting for something happens then! Wonder tho what are the salaries though out the league? Do not ask me i am not telling!! lol

  24. Shakira Thompson I doh know nah I saw the Mexican prolific goalscorer turn her up and down and then buss up our nets yes, she still needs some training about playing in the defense but I am sticking with my prolific goalscorer Kennya Yaya Cordner.

  25. KING and any 10. She is just the baddest!

  26. I wonder if the players are covered by insurance in case of injuries. Them really good yes. Gordon Pierre

  27. Uncle Earl Mango Pierre i not hearing
    you tho!! Since you get buff like u leaving women football alone!! lol

  28. ..Additionally , This would be MY proposal If a PROPER government wanted to be at the TOP of sports = Once YOU ( a company – Incuding Banks ) could boast of 50 million profit per quarter , I would DEMAND . 05 ( 1/20 th ) of that Profit to a Sports Fund . .. . ..I am fedup of Trinidad has talent , but GOVERNMENT has to Fund every Outing in Every Arena . ..LET the Private companies MAKE contribution . .

  29. She looked to have a good touch to me. The only thing I felt with YaYa is that she can rush the game and tries to do something special with every possession.
    The top, experienced players know how to pace themselves over 90 minutes and play mind games with opponents. And also they understand the areas of the field to be simple and the areas to be adventurous.
    The UK always has nice ideas for their youth football. And every two years they are ripping that up and trying something new. Time will tell. But there are several reasons why their game will never be built on technique and imagination. And that has to do with culture, temperature and their league calendar. Physique, endurance and pace will always be the top assets there.

  30. If the person who came up with the competition had women football a heart he would of consulted properly with persons of knowledge and all the great points that have come out on wired and elsewhere would have been taking into account but the competition was all about pay back to selected person and gain political mileage through women’s sport!!

  31. Lasana I just spent a month in the UK ,I looked at a few coaching sessions and some youth games ,what was interesting was the change in the Coaching philosophy at the youth level ,where more stress is being placed on the ?Technical ability of the player,tactically they this means that they will allow the players more individual freedom on the field. We may start to see these changes in the English National teams soon . That has to do with development and planning. In terms of Yaya I think she has a lot of Technical shortfalls ,this can only be overcome on the training ground, I have no idea of what her work ethic is but she will have to be industrious if she wants to go further, athletic ability and passion are Andy some of the elements in the matrix which makes up a good player.

  32. Agree with u lasana on yaya a top talent! An trevor u are very correct!!

  33. Not really but at the end of the day i am about sport and development of young people!! I have made my points know, was the first to publicly state the reasons it is a tournament not the great proleague it was promised to be and a lot of other things now is time to support the young ladies and hope things work out for them

  34. And you know I was an attacking player… For me, Arin, like most defenders, have limits to how much they can progress as players.
    An attacking talent like YaYa has no limits.
    I only wish she knew how good she can be. If she buckles down and gets the right tactical guidance, I think she can be world class.

  35. Ummmm good football eh all players not here yet, some not able to speak proper English and games start Thursday? also where are all the teams training? Does not really predicate good football. Will see better in Tobago this weekend. same fete match scenario.

  36. Hahaha!! nah two reasons first i was a defender and then yaya pops down too often. remember i have followed these players a while!! She is definitely a gamechanger but King is consistency day in day out!!

  37. Like you’re warming to the idea as the season opening draws close Gordon Pierre! 🙂

  38. And Gordon Pierre, I rate Arin highly… But for me it is Kennya and any 10. 🙂

  39. Lasana Liburd forget the standard of the games note coach hood comments and mine a couple days ago when i saw the players train. We can hope tho that it stimulates women football interest!

  40. For the sake of the women’s players, I hope the games are up to standard and somehow overcome a very difficult start. So far, it has been far from ideal, although not surprising considering the time frame.

  41. And the plot thickens!! Good top draft point King and any ten! And for the sake of football especially women’s football hope it goes well !!

  42. I wanna see if it will work …. nothing wrong with trying this wtf not?

  43. Them mad yes you giving a coach 1 week 2 prepare a team of individuals and produce a good quality product good luck

  44. Does this make sense?No structure in place,just money available to be spent.

  45. I’m not fully understanding a few things with this league still. A lot of things not making sense. This is nonsense.