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All change at Connection; Britto departs for Guatemala

DIRECTV W Connection will lose their top goal scorer Jerrel Britto for the upcoming 2015/16 CONCACAF Champions League campaign as the former Trinidad and Tobago national youth team striker has agreed terms with mid-table Guatemala football club, Deportivo Malacateco.

Photo: W Connection attacker Jerrel Britto celebrates his strike against SAP FC in the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship. (Courtesy Sinead Peters/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection attacker Jerrel Britto celebrates his strike against SAP FC in the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship.
(Courtesy Sinead Peters/Wired868)

Britto, whose 15 Pro League goals placed him among the top five scorers, leaves on Saturday evening for a one-year contract with the Guatemalan outfit, which is based in the municipality of Malacatán near the Mexican border.

“I spent four years at Connection and felt it would be nice to have a new challenge,” said Britto, who leaves Connection as a free agent. “And I am just looking for betterment for my family… This is my first contract outside (of Trinidad and Tobago) and I have always been waiting on this.”

Britto, who leaves Connection as a free agent, is expecting his first child with girlfriend Nadia Lambert, who is six months pregnant. And the 23-year-old attacker, who can operate upfront or as a winger, thinks the time is right to seek out his fortunes abroad.

His departure means Connection will start next season without virtually their entire forward line.

KFC Munch Pack

Hashim Arcia has joined the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, although his transfer is not yet finalised, while teenaged winger Akeem Garcia is due for a knee operation—after allegedly picking up an injury while training with the National Under-23 Team—and Shahdon Winchester is likely to return abroad on another loan deal.

Photo: W Connection goal scorer Jerrel Britto (left) and teammate Shahdon Winchester celebrate a goal against the Guyana Defence Force in 2015 Caribbean Club Championship action. (Courtesy Sinead Peters/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection goal scorer Jerrel Britto (left) and teammate Shahdon Winchester celebrate a goal against the Guyana Defence Force in 2015 Caribbean Club Championship action.
(Courtesy Sinead Peters/Wired868)

“That is the business of football,” Connection chairman David John-Williams told Wired868. “We are entitled to compensation for (Britto from Malacateco), just as we paid compensation for him when he came from Jabloteh at 19. It is a good move for him and we wish him well.”

Britto’s legal representatives, the United States-based Pan American Calcio, have denied that Malacateco owes any compensation money to Connection, though.

“It’s a false claim that Malacateco needs to pay compensation to W Connection,” stated a Pan American Calcio representative. “According to Fifa rules, development fee is only paid if the player leaves before age 23 or during the season when he turns 23.

“Britto has not signed with Malacateco yet and he turned 23 last week. He is by all means a free agent.”

FIFA’s by-laws appear to confirm Pan American Calcio’s position, which could mean that Connection have lost out financially by allowing Britto’s contract to expire.

Williams said Connection would not block Arcia’s impending move to rivals Defence Force either, although the silky and versatile 26-year-old playmaker has another two years on his contract with the “Savonetta Boys.”

Photo: W Connection attacker Hashim Arcia (right) attempts to flick the ball beyond a wall of Guaya United defenders during the 2013 Toyota Classic semifinals. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection attacker Hashim Arcia (right) attempts to flick the ball beyond a wall of Guaya United defenders during the 2013 Toyota Classic semifinals.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“I can stick to my guns and say (Arcia) has to see out his contract but I won’t do him that,” said John-Williams. “He is a player we have always supported because of his attitude and the way he always carried himself at Connection. He has always been a good ambassador for our football club.

“It is more humanitarian than anything else.”

Thus far, John-Williams suggested that Connection will promote players from within their squad. Electric Surinamese attacker Dimitrie Apai is set to return from a knee injury that forced him to miss most of last season while pacy but injury-prone National Under-23 frontman Neil Benjamin Jr should also return to the starting team.

There is an opportunity too for utility player Aikim Andrews to stake his claim for an attacking posting while another National Under-23 player, Jomal Williams, is expected to inherit Arcia’s playmaking responsibilities.

Connection’s 2015/16 season starts on August 5 when they travel to face Mexican club champions, Santos, in CONCACAF action.

Meanwhile, Britto’s future lies in Central America. Already he is trying to think in Spanish, although his representatives, who he met earlier this year on the Soca Warriors Online website, arranged with his new employer for the hiring of a translator.

Photo: W Connection attacker Jerrel Britto (centre) occupies four Montego Bay FC defenders during the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship semifinal. Looking on is Connection assistant coach Earl Jean. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection attacker Jerrel Britto (centre) occupies four Montego Bay FC defenders during the 2015 Caribbean Club Championship semifinal.
Looking on is Connection assistant coach Earl Jean.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“I’ve been learning a couple of things in Spanish,” said Britto, who represented his country at Under-17 and Under-20 levels. “I’ve downloaded (an app) on my phone that is helping… My plan is to use this as a stepping stone and hopefully I can perform so more doors will open and I can move up the charts…

“My ambition is to make it to the top and to be able to represent my country at the highest level.”

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. From a so called agent ….man are you serious….man you really dont have a conscience because you have financiers helping you out to get these players out….your dr.friends I guess…when one put in millions of their personal monies only then you can gutter talk the pro league so until then stop being this parasite. ..and praying on the young…

  2. I will stop commenting on these blogs cause people can’t deal with the truth in this country so allyuh live allyuh life and as spock says live long and prosper yes

  3. If those players stay amateur like it seems you would rather…would u build dion sosa an Academy to develop them so that you can sell like a slave to make money???? Listen in all my career in Europe and and far east I have never heard so much negativity from an

  4. Earl Jean like yuh have files to buss ent well don’t hold back nah just continue bussing them yes, Mr. Live Wire wired 868 is really much more better than the Soaps and Ian Allyene yes ent Savitri Maharaj and Gordon Pierre. hahahaha

  5. Negative and what do youll think players dont read the blogs and say how someone can make such statements

  6. This is God’s time an when God work no man on earth can touch or get in it.

  7. Earl jean you are clearly missing the point what I am saying its overdue on us raising the bar on our football at all levels and don’t blame me 4 wanting high standards 4 my country and 4 us 2 stop accepting mediocrity do if that makes me a bad person in people eyes well that them

  8. Dion Sosa well yuh better start to watch my New York team eh because just tonight Frank Lampard was introduced so the MLS is getting there slowly but surely.

  9. Agents youll speak about that do all vile things to players….I told you’ll already ill say more soon on agents and they unscrupulous behaviors. ….man with all the respect I try to have for people ….you really disgust me at times when you talk about the professional league

  10. Yeah dion but its the same players you want to go sell off European clubs when u see some talent. ….ungrateful …..illl say the rest one day….its people that you who have no respect for the dam game thats why its in the mess it is right now….what do u do to make a difference …..shit….all you do is bash and bash and take the young players to sell to make a profit….are you different

  11. I am not negative I am just being honest right thru we just settling for mediocrity and not trying 2 improve on the football so who wanna accept that crap that’s them I don’t even look at MLS cause after watching bpl la liga and bundesliga how can I watch that watered down american crap

  12. hahahahaha oh gosh Dion Sosa yuh know that when it is in the communities is plenty girls and lime, drinking and eating eh, and folks making a dollar selling their food stuff eh.

  13. Omg! Dion Sosa, you are so negative!! LOL

  14. You can put the games where you want nobody wasting time or money 2 see that slow boring agonizing painful football when you go 2 a pro league game its like watching paint dry

  15. Lasana Liburd what happened to Central game v LA?

  16. Chabeth Haynes hence the reason why it is very important for the professional leagues teams to represent their communities where they will get more crowd support and when some of the better players are contracted abroad more will definitely follow and I am really hoping that they are working towards that by fixing more of the fields in the communities the same like Mahaica Oval the home of Point Fortin F.C.and Guya team down dey in Mayaro where the home crowd comes out in numbers and of course there must me a good product on the fields and stop continuing spinning top in mud at the stadiums. Them really good yes.

  17. Yeah Dion Sosa and when the team sees that the player doesn’t worth the amount that they are asking for him is right back on the plane to our sweet country. Them really good yes. Steeuuppss

  18. Yeah, well if all the better players are leaving to play abroad, why would anybody who is not a die hard football lover go to a pro league game?

  19. The difference in playing in the leagues abroad is that the games have more real football supporters attending, the leagues are better more organized than our bootleg professional league and our players are playing along side better players from all over the World than our players and of course the players salaries.

  20. It have men getting 2000 tt or less a month 2 train 4 to 5 days a week and play at least 1 game also and as soon as a foreign club interested in you all of a sudden you worth 75 to 150000 us or more madness yes

  21. Yeah but some players goes abroad and they can make the same monies or more in our Pro League and these are the players that are really top notch players ask Athulla Guerra when he went abroad to play professionally. Them really good yes.

  22. well I want to know now…didnt rewlise things were this desperate

  23. trust me people ya ll don t want to know what players are making in the “PRO LEAGUE” any opportunity to go abroad should be grabbed with both feet

  24. Good luck to britto,he has all d qualities, just needs to get hungry to achieve big things and work hard towards succeeding

  25. I hope Jabari plays the full season next year. With all due respect, I think he can develop more by playing the best clubs in CONCACAF as opposed to St Anthony’s and Fatima College.

  26. Chabeth Haynes, I understand it is a significantly improved financial deal. In fact about ten years ago, salaries in Pro League were significantly better. But that was before the global financial crisis.

  27. And the Managers and Coaches of the teams should really also be making sure that their players are not being misled eh because they are the ones who always make them looks good by winning games and trophies for the club but clubs like Rangers,Jabolteh, Mau Pau, North East stars and the present Central F.C. are all guilty of misleading my players with their false promises. Them really good yes.

  28. Earl Jean Well I have been doing it from abroad from a very long time ago since nobody wants to really start the Players Association in our sweet country and as I said before when the sports minister and Shaka Hislop used the Players Association in order to get the well deserved monies from the corrupted Jack Warner and the corrupted TTFA I taught that they would have carried it on but it seems that it was only for their own agendas they didn’t really care about all the other players in our sweet country and their future with respect to make sure that they were educated and not misled by teams and some agents. But all that will change in a timing ent Che Abrams.Them really good yes.

  29. all the previous club should be compensated (Jabloteh) at the signature of the first pro contract ,but that is not the case because is not his 1st pro contract,so no jabloteh involved,for the rest fifa always stated at the end of the season of the 23th birthday…so thats’it

  30. I think britto will do well ouside and trinidad is missing out on him in this goal cup stint..

  31. There is a fifa approved compensation package mango so think its across the board…so a club cant cheat they way out of it…because he have gone through it both locally and internationally….its one of the reason why I always think a players association is need here so that we can inform our players intelligently about the do as donts in pro football and advice on agents and so on…
    Just to educate our players and also clubs can get info as well… its all a development process now

  32. It will be very interesting to know what kind of compensation that the clubs gets for players in our sweet country when they move from club to club compared to when they move to real professional teams abroad oh well all the best to Jerrel Britto just continue to keep our flag flying very high.

  33. Connection did compensate jabloteh for jerrel britto when the club took him over …so after 5 years of development obviously the club would want some form of compensation. …if there is a laps in anything then the club would have to deal with that….but remember its about investing in players ….some people want clubs to pay salaries, feed players,give them all the perks and to get no financial reward in the end…so how can u maintain such a business if nothing is coming in….isnt that selfishness to some….smh but at the end of the day players are given opportunities so its always good see them grow and leave to bigger leagues. …all we ask is for agents and players to be honest…in thier dealings. ..thanks much!!

  34. poor business model allowing his contract to expire.. clubs need to become self sufficient so they can survive the day government funding ends

  35. These mid-table Central American teams are better than the pro-league teams? Or it’s just more money?

  36. Jabari Mitchell will get a shy in too Lasana if he’s still there

  37. If connection gets compensation Jabloteh is entitled 2 also they were the ones who made him a player before he got 2 connection

  38. Hmmm interesting but its always a challenge at the club…we always prepare to develop to sell to the bigger clubs more opportunities for the players…the most important is that clubs can see the development that has taken place in our players…to survive financially we need to keep doing this. ..it will not always end up in the perfect transactions but its the reality. …until we can get the more financial support from cooperate world to support like Directv then it will always be a challenge to keep our top players. ….its just the reality. …we have to continue with youth development and of course concacaf wil always be a challenge but the right one to give them the international opportunities. …

    • Well said Earl but is WConnection grouped with any Guatemalan club in champions league? Im glad to see our players get foreign contract to ply their trade and make more money but I find it strange that all of a sudden( THE TIMING) these central american clubs are going for the main players of local clubs who are competing in the CCL.Is this a new tactic to weaken our teams when competing in concacaf.We might of thought our top local players would of stayed with their clubs who are CCL bound and show the world our brand of football but you cant blame them ,after all they want to own a better salary for their family and gain international exposure but let us think a little outside the box

    • Hi…no we are not paired with teams from Guatemala. …we are have saprissa of Costa Rica and santos of mexico….but we have competed against teams from there before the past few years so maybe they have followed the players and also the clubs are also paying better salalries I guess not all but some….Our players have done well against these teams and maybe its the reason also but the clubs do get big crowds and sometimes players are motivated by this…but just playing in another league and the environment gives u a challenge…players are realizing to that to get on the senior national team is difficult because of the mentality that u must be playing outside to get that opportunity. …so there are so many reasons but in all I think it’s the challenge of playing in another foreign country so its good and always speak to them about trying to gey our for a better future….I think they will do well….for me depends on my age of the player and the money involved and my ambition to…as a player if I back myself I would have played champions football before venturing to certain clubs in the central American countries because of the opportunities that arises ….its a massive intern tournament and its improving every year….but like I said after playing 5 years and sometimes more in the pro league u really want that challenge where professional football is everything for the people….they have seen the crowds so thats what they want…

    • ok i see your point with larger crowds comes great cohesion on the field

  39. Go get em boi, congrats on the youth as well ?? Jerrel Britto

  40. Hope he gets the call to the national team that he deserve now that he will be playing outside trinidad….good luck on your future britt…

  41. Nigel Myers, I’ve quickly been contacted by Britto’s agent who pointed out that, since Britto turned 23 last week, Connection might not be owed anything according to the same FIFA rules I mentioned above…
    So Connection will need some sharp lawyers for this one. But it looks like they will not make any money from his move abroad.

  42. Training compensation Nigel Myers. He joined as a teenager.

  43. Why is Connection entitled to compensation if Britto is a free agent?

  44. Hmmmmm going into the CONCACAF Champion’s League with a weakened team? Would like to know Stuart Charles’ plan.

  45. I’m very happy for him! I wish him all the best!!