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T&T U-20s travel to Guyana shorthanded; Shiva Boys aces “Pappy” and Quinn skip tour

As the Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team took off from the Piarco International Airport at 3:30pm for a seven-day training camp in Guyana, talented central midfielder Tyrel “Pappy” Emmanuel and dashing winger Quinn Rodney were preparing to face San Juan North Secondary in SSFL Premier Division action in Bourg Mulatresse.

National youth team coach Brian Williams selected 20 players to travel to Guyana, where the national youth team will play against a local-based Guyana senior team on Friday and Sunday. And as late as 2pm, when the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) shared the names of the touring party with the media, Emmanuel and Rodney were expected to be among them.

Photo: Shiva Boys HC midfielder Tyrel "Pappy" Emmanuel (second from left) tries to keep the ball from Presentation College players Jarod Gordon (second from right) and Kareem Riley (far right) while Shiva teammate Yohannes Richardson looks on during SSFL Premier Division action at Irwin Park, Siparia on 7 September 2016. Shiva Boys won 3-1. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Shiva Boys HC midfielder Tyrel “Pappy” Emmanuel (second from left) tries to keep the ball from Presentation College players Jarod Gordon (second from right) and Kareem Riley (far right) while Shiva teammate Yohannes Richardson looks on during SSFL Premier Division action at Irwin Park, Siparia on 7 September 2016.
Shiva Boys won 3-1.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

By then, though, Emmanuel and Rodney would probably have been en route to San Juan with the Shiva Boys Hindu College football team. They were minus their goalkeeper, Denzel Smith, who did accept Williams’ call-up.

Emmanuel scored a fine strike for Shiva Boys but the Siparia-based team could not hold off San Juan and eventually succumbed to a 2-1 loss, which was their first defeat of the season.

The result saw Shiva slip one place from first to second, although they are just three games into the new season.

Wired868 has so far been unsuccessful in contacting either teenager to find out why they chose Shiva Boys over the young Soca Warriors. There has been no word yet from the TTFA either, although Pappy’s absence—in particular—would not go unnoticed.

An elegant midfield organiser with a decent passing range, Emmanuel was one of a handful of Caribbean players selected for a training stint at the Manchester City Football Club last year in a Digicel event.

But his time with the national team has not hit the expected heights.

Photo: Shiva Boys midfielder Tyrel "Pappy" Emmanuel (right) dribbles past Presentation College (San Fernando) midfielder Kareem Riley during 2014 SSFL action. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Shiva Boys midfielder Tyrel “Pappy” Emmanuel (right) dribbles past Presentation College (San Fernando) midfielder and Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 Team captain Kareem Riley during 2014 SSFL action.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Two years ago, Emmanuel was a surprise omission from coach Sean Cooper’s National Under-17 Team, which drew one and lost four matches at CONCACAF level.

His attempts to make the Under-20 Team seemed to be blighted too, as he was initially ordered to find a Pro League club to be considered for selection, although Williams eventually relented.

It would have been especially controversial to omit Emmanuel due to his disinterest in the Pro League since one of his prominent top flight suitors was W Connection, which is owned by TTFA president David John-Williams and also employs the National Under-20 coach.

But then, less than two weeks before their Caribbean tournament, Emmanuel found himself left out again after a nagging chest pain forced the worried Williams to cut the playmaker on medical grounds.

Rodney was selected but, surprisingly, never got on the field as Trinidad and Tobago advanced from the group with two wins, a draw and precious little football to get excited about.

Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College winger Quinn Rodney (left) tries to escape from a Carapichaima East Secondary defender during a 2015 SSFL contest. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College winger Quinn Rodney (left) tries to escape from a Carapichaima East Secondary defender during a 2015 SSFL contest.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Both players got a second chance to make their international debuts in Guyana. For whatever reason neither took it and, apparently, they kept the TTFA in the dark about their intentions too.

One way or the other, it is a sad loss. Wired868 will continue to follow this story.

The touring party for the Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Jabari Brice (St Anthony’s College/San Juan Jabloteh), Denzil Smith (Shiva Boys HC);

Defenders: Tyrek Sampson (North East Stars), Kori Cupid (W Connection), Isaiah Garcia (Shiva Boys/W Connection), Kierron Mason, Keston Julien (both Marabella Family Crisis Centre), Rondell Payne (Naparima College), Hakim Baird (North East Stars);

Midfielders: Jabari Mitchell (W Connection), Kareem Riley (Presentation/Central FC), Shane Sandy (Naparima/North East Stars), Micah Lansiquot (Mucurapo East/St Ann’s Rangers);

Photo: Shiva Boys HC goalkeeper Denzel Smith (centre) catches the ball during SSFL Premier Division action at Irwin Park, Siparia on 7 September 2016. Shiva Boys whipped Presentation College 3-1. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Shiva Boys HC goalkeeper Denzel Smith (centre) catches the ball during SSFL Premier Division action at Irwin Park, Siparia on 7 September 2016.
Shiva Boys whipped Presentation College 3-1.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Forwards: Nicholas Dillon (Central FC), Kathon St Hillaire (St Anthony’s/St Ann’s Rangers), Josh Toussaint (St Ann’s Rangers), Chaz Burnett (Players Development Academy—USA), Moses Jaikaran (Harlem Strikers).

About Lasana 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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91 comments

  1. We keep talking about the kid and the schools, but what about the parents? Seems to be a seriously missing element of this puzzle.

    • Valid question and from my experience at that age most kids would jump at this opportunity regardless because it’s a trip a kit a stamp in the passport etc. Most times it’s someone who convinced a parent or influencing them not too. They never played on a national team before to have their own point of view. I prefer to believe they both misplaced their passports at the time to travel.

  2. ..Keep on loving the kids league..

  3. To me, and many coaches, attitude is important. Ok, maybe at 17 the boys feel U20 is not important. But FIFA feels that until 18, boys are not mature enough to decide their own future, hence they need a guardian to sign a contract for them. In my opinion not attending a national call up is a negative decision. Only recently, people scoffed when Vancouver played a 15 year old against Central. That same 15 year old has played in the MLS and scored in the Champions League vs Sporting Kansas City. He’s still at school and may be a decent student yet he’s combining football and education. It’s probably requiring a great deal of commitment and focus yet he achieves this. Our 17 year olds just are not mature enough. There should be many more under 18s pushing for starting spots in pro league. European clubs want players at age 18 who have one or two seasons under their belts. Turning pro at 19 is a huge factor in our poor development of senior national players and more and more players will be arriving from overseas where they developed much earlier.

    • Kevin, those kids, rather that kid -that you’re referring to from Vancouver may not face the same challenges that our u20 players and their parents are having to contend with here locally…

    • That’s true, Tony. And I’m only generalizing rather that comparing to individuals, but I have witnessed this many times over the last 5 years. Players walking away from pro clubs to play school football etc. As someone said, sadly there allure of school football is greater than the prestige of national team selection.

    • I know where you’re coming from Kevin…some of these players on this U20 team are experiencing problems just getting to training. Many are coming from single family backgrounds and may not be in the best position financially. There’s allot more to these situations than just the lack of desire to play for T&T.

    • God knows what that allure is. There are no massive crowds in schools football either. Okay, it is slightly better covered than the pro league. And you are with your school friends. But that is it.
      I always felt Shackiel Henry hurt his career by remaining in school football for too long. He was so promising.
      Would be sad to see if the same thing happened to these boys.
      Pappy has been strolling through school games for over a year now. What’s the point of that? Why not play where you can be challenged?

    • Anthony Sherwood now that’s the next issue. Man traveling from north to south to play school football then east to west to train with a pro team. When I was a kid you would get a weekend job to get a little change for the bus fare.

    • Lasana Liburd I think part of it is that pro league training is a lot tougher than they get at school. They go for the easy option : less work and higher profile. While they may be lucky to get 10 mins on the pitch at pro league, they’re the big dog in SSFL.

  4. I’m seeing in the Guardian that Emmanuel could find his passport and Rodney did not go for financial reasons…..

  5. gordon these guys done know the deck stacked since back in mt time national team selection was always biased

  6. Dion Sosa i know there are other ways to play professional but there is no way a ssfl league game has more benefits to a player over 17 and under 20 than a national camp!! I hearing about no playing time and such but what about d long time fight for u pick mentality??

  7. so if you know its a total waste of your time that is disrespectful so your time money and stress means nothing

    • If children think that national duty is a total waste of their time and money?
      That thinking is problematic to begin with.
      But it just speaks to a larger societal problem we have in this country with ppl putting self and money ahead of country.

    • chabeth trust me you don’t know what you dealing with here the deck is already stacked so as a player if you have other options you pursue ir rather than wasting your time and energy

    • Have to side with Dion here…kids have become severely jaded when it comes to national teams. A call up doesn’t mean what it did 10/20 years ago. Nepotism, bias, favoritism etc….all waters down what ought to have been a significant achievement in a young footballer’s life

    • So a call up 10 20 years ago was unbiased. I have heard stories from former national players in the 40 59 70 80 90’s that would beg to differ. If national duty isn’t as important to this generation I do hope in 10 years when they are playing at the highest level they don’t regret this decision and we all here saying they were young etc when they stayed away. If there isn’t a valid reason for them staying away we really need to ask where our sporting problems start from. Some of our Olympic athletes were criticized for thinking they above the sport yet qualifying for the Olympics. Have any of these players really achieved anything other than a few mentions among us, the football enthused OK and a camp that never put any player at the club it reps.

    • we qualified for 2 youth WC”s 07 09 and the amount of players from both teams who right now not doing shit but wasting time cause they realised that once you got back home you aint worth shit to ttfa anymore mission accomplished

  8. It is highly disrespectful to blank a national team call up.

  9. national team selection is way overrated it used 2 be helld in high esteem now every tom dick and herry getting called up so the value has diminished a lot so a lot of these boys don’t run down national selection again cause they realised its tainted and biased

    • I may disagree. It’s overrated for a club that doesn’t have high aspirations or may not pay well. I don’t think we can name any club that plays at a high standard or a player that earns a lot who has never or does play or field national plays. That only comes when some one is owed or owes someone. National selection though may be flawed is still held highly and these players were named so it’s not like they weren’t

  10. Anthony I have also seen you working with 1 of these players if not both,so I can also guess you have their interest at heart also?? keep up the good work??

  11. As an outsider, I can tell you that I’ve gotten to know the people from Shiva very well and I can tell you that they have the interest of these boys at hand…

    • I agree maybe he is being advised that things can still happen even without this medium of national football. That however is along the academia line. The national call up is much a highlight on any player’s cv regardless or if he played or not and any club will question such a decision.

  12. I am all for players benefiting from experience help regardless to who’s help it comes from,young players don’t need the National team to get an overseas tryout.

  13. I have absolutely no knowledge or info on why the players did not go on the tour/camp, but allow me to put in my 2 cents. When I was playing ssfl I got a call up to the u20 team. I looked at the letter and decided not to even attend a session simply because I thought it made no sense to train hard while 4 or 5 spots were reserved for overseas players. Error of youth judgement? Perhaps…but food for thought nevertheless

  14. Lasana!I Coached Naps to 6 titles in 3 years,I know how it is to lose your players to National team call ups,I would never ever let my player stay even if he wants to,I know the business of the professional football club and the scouts and agent,I also notice this kid practicing on videos would experience personnels, so don’t think for a minute these guys are not schooled⚽️

  15. Skills are no substitute for ambition and drive. I don’t want to write off anyone, particularly such a young player. But from the decisions made so far, I don’t think this talented young man will ever develop into a top international player.
    Still, good luck to all the people who are trying to get his mind right and I hope you succeed.

  16. Please don’t get me wrong and I stand corrected,nothing would change with these players attitude towards the national team,If Pappy after all the talk about his past and not playing for a club is still being sought after by the National Coaches,that says a lot,If he is that good my friends,Dion Sosa already talking to him about contracts,and even if he don’t play with national team Kevin Harrison and Brent will still offer him a professional contract if he desires? I would keep watching haha!

  17. The FIFA law won’t apply here for two reasons. One, it is only for senior international matches and not youth football.
    Two, neither player has represented T&T before and can even play for another country if they choose. They have no obligation at all to represent us.
    I agree in part with your statements Kevin. But there is something else people should consider.
    Whose fault is it that representing T&T has become so unattractive that players might prefer to play school football?
    You mean Pappy and Quinn rather go Bourg Mulatresse than see what Georgetown looks like?!
    Perhaps we should be asking why representing T&T has lost so much appeal.

  18. This wouldn’t happen in many countries as players would not jeopardize a professional and national career in favour of school football. But in T&T and Jamaica, with the televising of school football, the challenges will only increase. Remember, professional clubs cannot refuse call ups for FIFA dates. However, if they refuse for dates outside FIFA dates, they are criticised and viewed as unpatriotic. The same should apply to schools. This is another reason why these players should be attached to clubs. Pro or Super League clubs would be encouraging them to join the national squads. Under 18’s cannot be contracted so they can’t be forced to attend, but the school coach should be encouraging attendance (maybe he did). If the boys have no intention of pursuing a career in football, then fine. But if they do, this decision won’t help them. It also creates an arrogance that school football is the priority and this is carried forward when they try for a professional career. These players become notoriously difficult to coach and their attitude is far from professional. Look at how many school superstars fail to make it at club and national level. The statistics are shocking and point to the fact that the current system does not produce good professional footballers. And, yes, I know we do get some good ones, but of the 20 plus current prodigies in SSFL, let’s see how many are successful after school. This is why we are not producing for national teams. Our development is flawed.

  19. well 2 be fair 2 the players if the coach views you as a fringe player what sense does it make 2 leave a sure thing for a tour you know that you are only going cause certain men missing let’s be fair 2 these guys its very disheartening training day after day and when the foreign based roll in you up in the stands

  20. I agree. One minute we want the guys to learn to balance sports and education. Are we expecting that until 18 or 19 we only concentrate on school then after only football. Then we wonder why out athletes are failing in sports at senior level or not competitive enough at junior, the gap is widening. The under 17 is home so tnt has an advantage. Under 20 you are either finishing with school or made a choice for football. I don’t see anything wrong with the timing. Too many of us were able to do it at college and university. If you can’t then pick one. This is pro sports not amateur. Are we accepting that Caribbean athletes can’t balance

  21. I don’t want to speculate here. We cannot blame Shiva Boys unfairly. That is potentially libellous without the facts of the matter.
    And Shiva’s goalkeeper did go with the team too. Even if the school is happy to still play them, I cannot see the coach/school forcing them to stay and miss two national games.

  22. I see.. did not know that Dion Sosa.. if so there may be undue pressure on the players to represent their high schools. However, they could very well have blacklisted them selves from further involvement in any National Team in the future!

  23. I believe the decision was made by coaching staff cause when levi was there in 2014 and missed games due 2 u20 tournament shiva lost the title because of his absence

  24. Gordon Pierre I agree that all hands on deck are needed! I would love to know who advised these young men to make this decision…

  25. Vladimir Henderson-Suite ur points and questions are valid but if u called for a reduced squad u are integral and Guyana senior team made d hex last world cup qualifiers beating TT senior team so that is a indication of d strength of the program

  26. Hayden Ryan is the coach of Shiva Boys

  27. While I do not agree with the players skipping the tour can I play Devil’s Advocate? Are the players that missed the tour integral players in the team? In their minds they may be saying that they don’t start etc so why miss SSFL games to go train and play five mins!!! Secondly while I know we the Public have clamoured for better preparation of our teams before tournaments is going Guyana going to provide us with the facilities and the environment that we expect to encounter? Is going to play a senior Guyanese to going to be good enough opposition or play similar to styles we will face?

  28. Depending on the reasons for missing the camp, this has to be looked at seriously. Looking forward to hearing official reasons for missing the camp. Hearing they played in ssfl game, so we can assume it’s not due to injury..

  29. this is not a big deal cause skipping school football should not be difficult its the same thing every year plus its only 2 games the players would be missing so that should have been an easy decision 2 make

  30. Sherdon Ifm Pierre u is a sports man fifa more or less decides tournament dates and school is not a consideration! For most sports its so remember the u21 hockey team and cxc recently?? And if a man prefer to play for his school and not go on preparation tour only God not Lasana Liburd pressure could get him to play on my team again!!

  31. If the young men did not notify the TTFA in advance that is not professional conduct. Though not the responsibility of Shiva Boys Coach, if he new in advance he should have informed TTFA and insisted the boys communicate with TTFA or risk not playing.

    These young men maybe in an awkward position between rock and hard place with TTFA and School.

    Hopefully, the adults including parents will advice them properly without their self interest.

  32. Wondering if the players received the invitation…

  33. I have to look at the timing of this tour too… this is during school time even though we are speaking of u-20
    I think to have an u-17 tournament during school time is crazy