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Stars replace ‘excellent Eve’; Clarke takes the reins at North East

North East Stars has parted ways with its former head coach Angus Eve in the first step of the Sangre Grande-based Pro League club’s financial restructuring.

Photo: Fourth official Neal Brizan (far left) listens attentively to complaints from North East Stars head coach Angus Eve (third from left) during a 2013/14 Pro League fixture. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Fourth official Neal Brizan (far left) listens attentively to complaints from North East Stars head coach Angus Eve (third from left) during a 2013/14 Pro League fixture.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Stars gave Eve, who club owner Darryl Mahabir once referred to as “the Maestro”, his first opportunity as head coach at Stars. And, three years later, Trinidad and Tobago’s most capped outfield player set a milestone in being the first coach to see out his contract under “Deadly Darryl.”

But Eve will not get a fresh contract as Mahabir has opted to cut his salary bill by promoting Stars’ youth team technical director, Roland Clarke.

“It was a more economical choice,” Mahabir told Wired868. “(Clarke) has been knocking on the door for years. And we think in this year we need to restructure, and to restructure you have to consolidate and then move forward.”

At present, Eve is in Jamaica where he is providing analysis on the 2015 Copa America tournament for SportsMax.

Photo: Former North East Stars coach Angus Eve. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Former North East Stars coach Angus Eve.
(Courtesy Wired868)

Stars team manager Maurice Eligon initially said the club preferred not to comment until his return. However, Clarke let the cat out of the bag by announcing his new appointment on Twitter yesterday.

Mahabir said Stars hope for “a very fruitful season” under Clarke but did not suggest what league placement would satisfy him. But then the Grande outfit, who lifted the Pro League crown once in 2004, have not been league contenders for some time.

Under Eve, Stars won the 2014 Toyota Classic Cup and the 2015 TTFA FA Trophy—both times via penalties against Defence Force and DIRECTV W Connection respectively—but finished fourth, fifth and fourth in the standings.

His teams were often solid and stubborn but rarely entertaining, although he did make the most of the few quality offensive players on his roster like Cornell Glen, Trevin Caesar and Keron Cummings. All three represented the “Soca Warriors” while at Stars.

Photo: North East Stars attacker Keron Cummings (left) goes for goal during a Pro League fixture while W Connection defender Maurice Ford looks on. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: North East Stars attacker Keron Cummings (left) goes for goal during a Pro League fixture while W Connection defender Maurice Ford looks on.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Eve will be commended too for giving top flight opportunities to teenagers and former Arima North schoolboys Neveal Hackshaw and Jesus Perez, who are both on the Trinidad and Tobago National Under-23 Team at present.

Mahabir described Eve’s work as “excellent.”

“Angus has been good as a team manager,” said Mahabir, who is also the owner of popular fast food franchise, Japs Fried Chicken. “His work with us was excellent (and some of) the results and standings at the end of the season didn’t give him the credit he deserved.

“His work behind the scene in managing players and finances was excellent.”

Stars are determined to be more financially viable now and Mahabir spoke at greater length about raising income than winning matches.

Photo: North East Stars goalkeeper and captain Cleon John (centre) takes the 2015 TTFA FA Trophy from TTFA vice-president Bryan Layne. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: North East Stars goalkeeper and captain Cleon John (centre) takes the 2015 TTFA FA Trophy from TTFA vice-president Bryan Layne.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“We have focused on football before and spending without any significant source of income rather than the subvention from the government,” said Mahabir, “and it has a put a lot of pressure on the business of Japs…

“So our focus is to put more attention on the business arm of North East Stars.”

As a result, Stars manager Maurice Eligon will become the club’s business manager while Mahabir’s brother, Kevin Thomas, will inherit Eligon’s former job.

The club intends to return to its Ojoe Road ground for the upcoming 2015/16 season and Eligon said they already begun work at reaching out to supporters within their community.

Fans, according to Eligon, can expect to see a young competitive team, led by the likes of Hackshaw, Perez, Kion Joseph, Anthony Diaz, Jomoul Francois and Taryk Sampson.

Photo: North East Stars supporters celebrate securing the 2014 Toyota Classic Cup after a penalty shootout win over Defence Force. (Courtesy Kenroy Ambris)
Photo: North East Stars supporters celebrate securing the 2014 Toyota Classic Cup after a penalty shootout win over Defence Force.
(Courtesy Kenroy Ambris)

“We have been contacting our fans and one of our first initiatives is to have our home games well attended,” said Eligon. “We want to give the club back to the community… If we can get 1,500 people to our games it will help us a lot financially…

“Every Pro League coach presents a deficit budget every year (the excess beyond the Government subvention) and depends on the club to pick up the deficit… We are going to make a surplus budget this year so we can upgrade the facilities, partner with schools and so on.”

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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28 comments

  1. Gentle men thank you for the comments, it is great for local football when there are strong critics hope it is for the betterment for local football .

  2. I think the surplus budget approach is a move in the right direction. Finally, someone says this is the way to go. Hope, they are successful with it.

  3. Every coach starts as a novice though Earl Mango Pierre and he has been an apprentice for some time.
    I agree Roneil. I think Angus was already doing a good job bringing through some young players. But Mahabir knows his financial situation better than I could.

  4. Interesting move by Stars. Eve’s young team just looked to be coming into its own.

  5. Gordon Pierre excuse me nah I forgot about Ross Russell and meh Army team yes. Well I will be waiting very patiently to see Angus win some championships himself.

  6. uncle Earl Mango Pierre i disagree strongly ross russell won the league twice and went close twice and they of the same type young intelligent and motivational Angus turn as league champion is not far away!!

  7. Angus Eve needs to stay at commentating at big tournaments yes because he will never be a winning coach with any other club in our professional league unless he coaches….. W- Connection, or Central F.C. and they have real professional coaches at the helm already. Them really good yes.

  8. Angus beef is noted to be the best in burgers in the US. I dare add, Angus’
    coaching beef in T&T soccer coaching is amongst the very best we have in
    T&T. He is certainly one that i’d love to team up with to sort out our
    soccer future. Stay as proud as I believe you are appropriately humble,
    Angus Eve, and things will fall correctly for you.

    *Hannibal Najjar – CoachTruth and Love Too Soon Old, Too Late Wise*
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  9. Oh lord another bootleg coach eh, will be coaching a professional team in our sweet country eh, no stats, eh, nothing to show eh, ah wonder if he ever represented our national teams or played any kind of football on any level eh, no wonder our football in a mess Them really good yes.

  10. I can understand Roland’s excitement Nigel Myers. But, as a colleague of mine would say, the world is round. He should be more careful.

  11. …Good Save Gordon Pierre…Good Save lol

  12. Brian Springer that slip! lol but is not me who bussing all the other files!! Lasana Liburd that how it is done in the real world so we just keep ur website first world!! lol

  13. Mango, read de article nah man.

  14. By the way who is Roland Clarke what stats does he have and which professional teams has he coached before?

  15. Well I am just sending the coaches where I think that they will definitely make an impact once they are released from their previous clubs yes. hahahaha

  16. Actually Roland Clarke let de cat out de bag since at least June 19th.

  17. ….Ha Ha Ha…Lasana Liburd they remind me of the UK Newspapers….rumours rumours and more rumours

  18. This is rumour central yes. Eve hasn’t even officially been relieved yet and you all already have him signed at two different clubs? Lol.
    Like allyuh are club owners yes.

  19. Mark Anthony Scott this is joke files eh, but just stay tuned for the real files to buss nah. Them really good yes.

  20. …..wait wait wait…Gordon Pierre….Earl Mango Pierre…allyuh ent tell me d files start to buss…wha is dah one lol

  21. Nah Terry Fenwick going to Ma Pau, Angus going Central F.C. and the other fella going Point F.C. oops!!!!

  22. Well the first major casuality of the off season!! Hats off to Angus did much with his limited talent resource bigger things in store man!! Maybe we will see him at Ma Pau oops!!!