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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.

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. I agree yes Gordon…ah find allyuh taking allyuh precious time with thing yes…

  2. Love my wired family yes!! Is time to start the revolution!! Earl Jean will be president Dion Sosa will be the bomber, Kurtwyn Baird the coaching education officer, uncle Earl Mango Pierre special advisor, Savitri Maharaj treasurer, Teflon Shawn youth officer and mr wire media officer lets start the war!!!

  3. Another point Earl Jean a lot of these players are very ungrateful and they don’t give back 2 the game that has brought them so much fame and fortune you don’t see them trying 2 help others or giving to their communities all they on is flying for a national game showing off what they have and partying liming and wasting thousands of dollars on nonsense and h.es not setting the right example 4 the younger players who look up 2 them it pains me 2 see how quickly these players change and switch up on you

  4. Congratulations may God continue to bless an keep u safe

  5. Look Shakira Thompson… Rodney King’s words worked!!! yay!!!

  6. As you know Earl jean its nothing personal I am just that way with everyone I am very open honest and extremely blunt so I come over as being abrasive but I am very passionate about the football and my emotions gets the better of me at times cause I can’t stand 2 see people being exploited and my natural instincts kick in and I am always quick 2 be on the offensive in outlining the amount of nonsense going on with the football at all levels it hurts me as trini 2 see where we at cause I know where we have been and I am not seeing it getting better anytime soon

  7. Teflon….hmmm point taken never said all were bad …read my article hope u understand where iam going …and what I meant…it’s not disrespecting the industry by the same suppose to be partners…its part of the industry so with all criticism we have to be careful and respectful to those involved iam very tempered in my use of fb …the blogs dont like to come on because its always to clear up some misunderstandings or to give some info but not to bash and people…

  8. Morning guys. ..no one is bashing agents in the the sport…I think agents are important in the field agents have to understand their responsibilities and realize that even though at times its challenging to work with clubs, players and coaches at times but its part an parcel of the game and negotiating os everything because all parties wants to get their just due so there will always be problems….but we have to be careful the way the message is sent out ….respecting each other is most important to certain the industry because all parties are important to this billion dollar industry. ..its a fight that will continue to go on…..we all need each other so why take ot down with every opportunity we get…This cannot be right when on blogs you never know who is reading be it a sponsor, a potential business investor. …u never know so with all the critism we need to be honest yes but careful. …I speak of agents at times because in my 20 years and more in professional football I have dealt with many good and bad and the bad is really bad….I have great relationships with lots of agents outside in Europe and some I cherish because of the way they have treated me with honesty and respect but I do know what I want from them and what they want from us an industry ….so those who want to pronounce on the industry and take it a place where it shouldn’t be will always get a few choice words from me sorry..
    We need to be careful how he handle this fragile football industry in Trinidad. ..

  9. I suppose one can’t make the statement that ‘Football is a business’ and not consider the fact that agents are a part of this business and therefore, are entitled to earnings from said business. I suppose that Lasana can also direct his “blanket criticism” plea towards Earl Jean because while it might be possible that he did have bad experiences with several agents, I dare say, not all of them are bad apples. That being said, We understand that the state of football in Trinidad leaves a lot to be desired, from the administration and their corrupt ways to the players and their lacklustre and unprofessional approach to the game. The world has changed drastically where society places more value on money than love… take marriage and relationships nowadays for example… so it is not different with sport, it is rare to see players doing it for the “love of the game” anymore simply because “players gotta live” and that is an understandable notion, as a matter of fact, that is reality… Allow me to digress with a simple example. People and great players ostracised Narine for choosing IPL over Tests, saying he chose money over the game, I’m pretty sure if some of them were offered that kind of money to play that kind of cricket they would jump in a hurry!! Some of them did it… at the expense of dignity, ask Colin Croft!!! Narine doing it for cricket and his family… My point is as long as we recognise that sport is a business we have to understand that it is an exchange of services for cash… in all quarters, agents, players, administration alike… some have an unfair advantage in the allocations and that is where we need to put in the work…

  10. Baird made a great statement when he said that parents have 2 pay for a player 2 get a tryout with a professional club I send guys out every year not 1 of them ever paid me a cent they get ticket accomadation spending money transport etc so whether they are successful or not it does not cost them or their family a cent but people who don’t spend shit quick 2 say agents nasty and agents this and we greedy so agents don’t have families staff to pay or have bills etc. Who pays 4 agents 2 fly around the world 2 talk 2 clubs 4 players who pays 4 agents kids wives his mother when they get ill or their education. The coin has 2 sides so people need 2 stop attacking agents cause they are human beings with responsibilties like everyone and when a player signs a contract their life is enhanced 4 the better so we must do all of these things 4 free come on people when you work at your job you expect 2 be paid so why shouldn’t a agent

  11. I agree lasana but your know how it goes at times we all get emotional but you know me and I am past fed up with the administration of football in this country we need 2 stop putting being backward and stepping up our game into the 21st century we still have teams who paying players 2000 a month and players playing reserve pro football 4 free where they have 2 spend their money 2 travel buy gear etc on a daily basis while owners driving around in nice ride and living it up and paying coaches 50000 plus a month. I keep telling these boys know your worth owners are not the resource the players are and if they continue 2 subject themselves 2 these terms and conditions whether it be club or national teal level how can we expect to bring about change if as a player you feel your worth nothing you will settle 4 nothing football is a business whether people wanna accept that or not so players need 2 educate themselves about the business side of it and market themselves better so they will force owners 2 elevate their game also 2 ensure that they provide adequate compensation and a good working environment for maximum performances

  12. Here’s the issue I have with most blanket criticism Dion Sosa. It can discourage the people who are trying and it doesn’t really bother those who aren’t. So it hurts the wrong people.
    It is best to call out those who you feel can do better. And, if merited, point out those who are improving or heading the right way too.
    For instance, the local media landscape collectively is poor. But there are a few gems here. Not self-praise (lol) but consider how much worse off we would be without writers and columnists like Sunity Maharaj, Denyse Renne, Asha Javeed, Michael Harris, BC Pires, Garth Wattley, Kwame Laurence, Kevin Baldeosingh, etc…
    When you say an industry is hopeless then you throw everyone under the bus including those who are heading in the right direction or the few shining lights that might be out there.

  13. When you want to attend a combine just for scouts to see you it has a big cost to pay

  14. Earl what our employers accept is what our players without an association have no choice but to accept so who is to blame

  15. Yeah I know what you mean and the players really looks forward in attending a prize giving function especially with their wives and girlfriends and I can just imagine how the MVP of the league felt when they collected the keys for the car that they won so I guess that to went out the door ent. Them really good yes.

  16. I always had a problem in playing a competition and then there is no ceremony for players elevate them …thats why the little appreciation that you show with the gifts for players I know goes a long way….can u imagine you play and entire season and two and no prize giving …how is that possible…smh

  17. Its not easy u get piece by piece…lol garage sale I guess

  18. Earl Jean did I just read right about what you said about not getting the prize monies for last year and year before eh, and there is no ceremonies for the players eh, that is really crazy eh, so why isn’t the teams boycotting and send a serious message to the pro league, doesn’t the professional teams pay some big monies for the entrance fee every season so where is that monies going and why isn’t the government helping where that is concern eh, but the soon to be ex- sports minister formed his own WPL and is pumping millions into it like what Mr. 2 pull did with his Life Sport baby ent, so I hope that you understand why I does call the pro league bootleg eh. Them really good yes

  19. Egos and humility are what separates us and also brings us together hard to understand

  20. Well this is how I deal with those kind of people that you are speaking about. Them really good yes.

  21. Terry. ..that is personal and wont go through that on blogs…
    I dont dislike people for footballing reasons. ..luv the challenges…because football for me is about enjoyment, and making a difference in peoples lives…I think all coaches suppose to be on that and it compensates you well. …but…as u get into it u see the devious and ugly sides of people and you learn and adjust and do what’s necessary. ..

  22. And why is it that some coaches and managers don’t like Terry Fenwick eh, I like him cause he brings a sort of excitement to the game as a Coach in the league and he knows how to get his players to perform for him eh. When I was there at the last cup final I went to the locker room and greet the Central F.C. players and staff and I saw Terry but when the game started he wasn’t on the bench coaching the team and folks in the stands was wondering where he was, well I taught that he had gotten a red card the precious game hence the reason why he wasn’t on the bench so after Central F.C. dropped 5 goals on Caledonia I think it was, Terry was on line to collect his medal to yes I said to myself, Buh A A Terry not easy nah, he wasn’t the coach of the team at the final and his team beat Caledonia bad, bad, bad, yes. hahahaha

  23. Yeah man…it kills to see the state of the national game at times…

  24. I know Earl Jean and I wish somehow our drive and influences can change somethings

  25. Baird. …bairdy…criticism is not always bad u know but I like when people put pressure on all thats wrong not just bash those who are trying and making and effort. .
    Because there are lots things that need to be better …. clubs have to take some pressure …but take for example first clubs dont have their own facilities. …how do they generate crowds to make money if u dont have a facility and good surfaces for training?I remember jabloteh preparing for the Champions league and training in the savanah…who you going to beat with preparation like that bi the yes as a coach u want to give the players the opportunity to be seen on that stage…who do we blame the clubs yes partly, but if they have no help in aquiring a good facility. …because how many businesses come to lend financial assistance. ..15 years of the league of course the pro league suppose to do more in terms of getting better sponsors on board, paying prize monies on time and so much more I can add …look champions League preparation for this season and we still waiting on prize money from last year and year before ….where are the prize givjng ceremonies for the players after a tough season..
    Rediculous. ..no monies so how do you keep your top players, how do you get warm up matches outside the region when u have to go up against the la.galaxy and the Santos of Mexico …how do u start to prepare for the costa Rica s, ….how? But as a club you still have to fight because that may be the only opportunity our players may get to show case themselves on the big stage and who knows, the club that may come in for them……so it’s a battle but we have to keep working to encourage the owners to keep aearching for monies to give the youngsters that chance …that opportunity. ..yes..

  26. Hence the reason why they don’t want the Players Association to be up and running in our sweet country to protect our players interests. Them really good yes.

  27. Brother with all due respect the clubs really trying but 99% of the players working hard as a team and the 1% enjoying the financial glory and we beat our chest for that 1 player it’s unfair to claim the league and clubs are doing all they can, and yes the agents are there to con the players into thinking they only have their interest at heart

  28. Earl Jean for the Length of time that I have known Dion Sosa trust me when I tell you this it isn’t only about the monies with respect to what he is doing helping our players to go abroad to bigger and better things and which in turn will help them to return and represent our national teams, yes he will always tell it like it is about the conditions of our league and what our players goes through and yes like myself we will sometimes pound the league or our players just for everyone to really get their acts together and do the football thing in the right way so that we all can be successful and our sweet country can rise again, there is more that I can say but I will stop here for now but I understand clearly what you are saying it is about helping the league and our players at the end of the day in a positive way ent Kurtwyn Baird, waiting patiently for your input so doh try that eh. hahahaha

  29. Why can’t we all just get along ~ Rodney King

  30. I have a lot of respect for the sport that gave me everything and the people around it but i am still disillusioned about lots of things going on around the game…National, clubs, players, and business sector…it goes on mango…things can change if we fight the right way to force the change!

  31. Hahaha! Sorry Earl Mango Pierre!

  32. People can be real but be respectful to the ones who try to make a difference. …never heard u say anything positive about the league and you take players to Europe to sell…so there must be something positive to say…
    Come man…yes bash the league for not getting more financial help, and for facilities. ..there is a way to say things which mah change things. ..but oh god man

  33. Chabeth Haynes oh gosh why you had to comment now eh. let them go at it ah little bit more nah Earl Jean eh finish bussing all the files as yet nah, it eh pass your bed time eh. hahahaha

  34. All the best to my bro Jerrel Britto do ur ting meh brother

  35. Nothing good flourishes when people fight. Has to be a way for ppl who are genuinely interested in bettering local football to work together to achieve that goal. Doesn’t mean you agree on everything, but certainly doesn’t have to be an environment of hostility which benefits nobody, least of all the players.

  36. Really expected better from some people just saying but iam upset and disappointed…no matter how hard I come down on clubs and management and coaches and agents….there is a level of respect that is deserve I think. …I dont like terry Fenwick but I still try to have some sort of respect for him….lord boy…God help our people…always taking something

  37. Well earl jean 1st time in your life you meet a real person who not supporting bullshit and mediocrity so look at the national team records at youth and snr team level and if your happy with that well I am glad 4 you my brother

  38. The truth deon …you want to know the truth…..you think you can handle the truth….I am honest and hit players and clubs if I have to because after 15 years of struggles I know as a player and a coach what we former players went through and what we are going through as coaches and an organization. …I know the sad moments as player and finances for clubs….I know how difficult it is when players cant get a meal and players cant go home at nights because of the situation or environment and I know what financial struggles the club goes through with absolutely very little financial assistance and do all in its power to higher chefs for the year to cook meals and build facilities to house the place so they can rest their heads comfortable away from the guns and ghetto so why don’t come give some help to the clubs and show them a way in marketing their players and help in some way so that financial they can create more employment for our young boys and give them the encouragement to stay into the sport to get out of their situation. …man can u imagine a young boy comes into a president office and say presi I cant go home my mom has nothing I need a contract. …I need work I have nothing and then he gets shelter and money better than some workers in the country. …cant you take it in your heart man to thank the owners for doing this for their continued assistance. ….and as cooperate tt to support the effort dont you see thats yhe decent thing to do as an agent man…..like woow…boy a black man is his worst enemy. …This place called the caribbean is amazing or not even saying tt alone…because the foolishness is all over …sorry for my black people boy. …unless some feel they are not…

  39. I doh watch soaps and Alleyne uncle Earl. Wired does keep me busy enuf…you see what time I still up?