Home / Volley / Local Football / Lee-thal Naparima strike again, as Pres lose ground in top of the table SSFL clash

Lee-thal Naparima strike again, as Pres lose ground in top of the table SSFL clash

“We play good defence and we break,” Naparima College coach Angus Eve told Wired868. “I am [like Manchester United coach] Jose Mourinho [in that sense]. I love Jose Mourinho.”

Presumably, Eve was referencing the young dynamic Mourinho who tamed the England Premier League with stubborn defence, incisive counter attacks and decisive finishing. And there was something in that comparison too.

In the SSFL Premier League’s big southern derby, which was also a top of the table clash, Naparima College laid down the law with a 2-0 win over Presentation College (San Fernando) in front of a large, raucous crowd at the former school’s Lewis Street playing field.

Photo: Naparima College forward Isaiah Lee (centre) holds off Presentation College (San Fernando) left back Darnell Hospedales (right) during SSFL Premier Division action at Lewis Street, San Fernando on 28 September 2016. Lee scored one and set up another as Naparima won 2-0. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Naparima College forward Isaiah Lee (centre) holds off Presentation College (San Fernando) left back Darnell Hospedales (right) during SSFL Premier Division action at Lewis Street, San Fernando on 28 September 2016.
Lee scored one and set up another as Naparima won 2-0.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The score summary was magisterial. But, in truth, the balance of play was not so straightforward.

If it were a school dance, Presentation spent half the night asking the pretty girl about her favourite subjects, what was her sign and how she planned to spend her weekend. Naparima cut to the chase with a killer line instead and—boom!—they were prancing on the dance floor.

Presentation coach Shawn Cooper was crestfallen.

“We knew that if we didn’t defeat Naparima it is virtually impossible for anybody else [to do it],” said Cooper, whose team started the afternoon on top of the league. “I think it would be [up to] St Anthony’s now. This is the downside in the one round [of competition]. Whenever you lose once against them, your title race is virtually over.”

Right on cue, St Anthony’s College stormed to the top of the Premier Division—albeit on goal difference—as they romped to a 5-0 demolition of Trinity College Moka at Westmoorings in their third game in five days.

St Anthony’s and Naparima were joined on 16 points by Shiva Boys Hindu College, who eked out a 2-1 win away to Fyzabad Secondary, while Presentation slipped to fourth with 15 points. Presentation and Shiva Boys have both played seven games already this season while the former two schools played six.

Photo: Naparima College coach Angus Eve. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Naparima College coach Angus Eve.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

There was a surprise addition to the top half of the table as St Mary’s College held St Augustine Secondary 1-1 to move to sixth place. St Augustine are 12th with just a three point cushion from the relegation zone.

San Juan North climbed to fifth with a 4-0 whipping over St Benedict’s College, who are now dead last in the 15-team table with just two points to show from seven outings this season.

East Mucurapo Secondary skipped two places to 13th spot with a 3-1 win over ninth placed Pleasantville at Mucurapo Road while QRC dropped to 14th after a 2-1 home defeat against 11th place Fatima College.

The bottom three schools will be relegated.

At Lewis Street, the two San Fernando-based outfits had loftier ambitions, even if Naparima—the SSFL’s only title winning school since the Premier Division was launched in 2014—were playing coy.

“Well, you know we are the underdogs,” said Eve. “We’ve lost a lot of players so this is a rebuilding team.”

In truth, Naparima still had 11 players from the 18-man squad that clinched their second successive Premier Division title last year while all 14 players used by Eve today tasted top flight schoolboy football last term.

Photo: Presentation College (San Fernando) supporters make a bobolee out of a Naparima College effigy in the stands. But their players could not do the same on the field, as they lost 2-0 in SSFL Premier Division action at Lewis Street, San Fernando on 28 September 2016. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Presentation College (San Fernando) supporters make a bobolee out of a Naparima College effigy in the stands.
But their players could not do the same on the field, as they lost 2-0 in SSFL Premier Division action at Lewis Street, San Fernando on 28 September 2016.
(Courtesy Wired868)

But then ‘Naps’ have made playing dead to catch corbeau alive into an art form.

For the first hour, Presentation stroked the ball around with poise and looked especially menacing down the right flank with the duo of full back Mylz Barrington and 15-year-old flanker Jordan Riley.

Yet, even as the crosses rained in, there was rarely any sense that the Rondell Payne-marshalled Naparima backline would crack.

In contrast, Presentation could not quite cover their own soft spot.

“I think in the first half, we controlled the majority of the game and we had the majority of the scoring opportunities,” said Cooper. “But in the second half, I think we gave up the midfield and they had more time to play and the game was more open. And we had some problems in our left back position where [Darnell Hospedales] was trying to play too cute.

“We spoke to him about it at halftime but he continued to do it and we paid.”

Both Naparima goals came in the space behind Hospedales. First, forward Isaiah Lee played a clever ball into the path of right flanker Justin Sadoo, who banged home an angled drive from inside the opposing penalty area.

Photo: Naparima College forward Isaiah Lee (left) takes his aim while Presentation College (San Fernando) midfielder Kori Cupid looks on during SSFL Premier Division action at Lewis Street, San Fernando on 28 September 2016. Lee scored one and set up another as Naparima won 2-0. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Naparima College forward Isaiah Lee (left) takes his aim while Presentation College (San Fernando) midfielder Kori Cupid looks on during SSFL Premier Division action at Lewis Street, San Fernando on 28 September 2016.
Lee scored one and set up another as Naparima won 2-0.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Then, in the 78th minute, Naps skipper Shane Sandy waltzed in off the same flank and slipped a pass behind the defence for Lee, who lifted the ball superbly into the far corner.

If Payne’s leadership at the back defined Naparima’s resolute style, Lee—a versatile, level headed attacker—was the guy holding the knife and biding his time on top.

His strike against Presentation was his seventh goal already this season. Not bad for a player who, according to Eve, was a left back at St Augustine Secondary last year.

“I saw him when he was playing for North East Stars in the Youth [Pro] League and he was scoring a lot of goals,” said Eve. “I couldn’t even remember him playing against us last season, although he scored on us from left back…

“He is a Didier Drogba type of player. He can hold up the ball with multiple people on him. And, as you see, he is a tremendous finisher.”

At the other end, Cooper might have cursed his own bad luck, as he shuffled his pack in a vain attempt to maximise his team’s individual talent.

Photo: Naparima College left back Khris Stroud (centre) is taken out by a Presentation College (San Fernando) player while Pres coach Shawn Cooper (right) looks on during the the 2015 South Intercol final in Marabella. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Naparima College left back Khris Stroud (centre) is taken out by a Presentation College (San Fernando) player while Pres coach Shawn Cooper (right) looks on during the the 2015 South Intercol final in Marabella.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Tricky left winger Jarelle Steadman, also 15, had a slight groin strain and began the game on the bench. So Cooper used his regular centre forward, Jarod Gordon, on the left flank while Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 attacker Nion Lammy got his first outing of the season on top.

But Gordon looked as lively as a corpse while Lammy seemed claustrophobic inside Naparima’s tight back four.

And, when the Presentation’s lone incisive attacker, Riley, picked up a slight knock, the visitors were in trouble. Although it was not immediately apparent.

Cooper’s right flank was flying in the first half. His left was static at best. And, early in the second half, he switched Riley and Gordon.

“Gordon is a right footer and Jordan had gotten a knock,” said Cooper, as he explained the tactical adjustment, “and we wanted to [continue to] work on the [Naparima] left back.”

It was an offensive move designed to maintain pressure on Naparima left back Kris Stroud by encouraging the sluggish Gordon to attack on his stronger foot. But then the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Photo: Presentation College (San Fernando) winger Jordan Riley (right) takes on Naparima College midfielder Shane Sandy during SSFL Premier Division action at Lewis Street, San Fernando on 28 September 2016. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Presentation College (San Fernando) winger Jordan Riley (right) takes on Naparima College midfielder Shane Sandy during SSFL Premier Division action at Lewis Street, San Fernando on 28 September 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Instead, Gordon struggled and the momentum down the right flank was lost while Hospedales could probably have done with a fully fit partner to help him out. And, as Presentation experimented with their wing combinations, Lee took full advantage of the awkward orientation session.

There was another issue in central midfield that might have concerned the watching Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team coach, Brian Williams.

Tall and blessed with a good passing range and powerful shot, Presentation captain and playmaker Kareem “Enzo” Riley—a national youth player for at least three years—was purring in the first half.

But, once his team fell behind, Enzo never looked like taking the game at the scruff of its neck—admittedly not an easy task against street fighters like Naparima’s midfield pairing of Judah St Louis and Sandy.

“[We did] nothing special for [Kareem Riley],” said Eve. “I don’t think he is a tremendous player. He can’t dribble the ball [and] I think he is basic.

“He has a good shot from the outside but I think once you nullify those things he can’t play.”

Photo: Presentation College (San Fernando) playmaker Kareem Riley (left) sizes up Naparima College flanker Justin Sadoo during SSFL Premier Division action at Lewis Street, San Fernando on 28 September 2016. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Presentation College (San Fernando) playmaker Kareem Riley (left) sizes up Naparima College flanker Justin Sadoo during SSFL Premier Division action at Lewis Street, San Fernando on 28 September 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

It seemed a slightly harsh assessment, at least because it ignored his organisational qualities, and Riley (K) has plenty of time to prove otherwise—although not this season, as the National Under-20 Team leaves this weekend for a pre-Caribbean Cup training camp in Panama. But one cannot help but feel concerned at the teenager’s apparent unwillingness to take responsibility for his team’s success at times.

Presentation were trailing by a single goal when Terrell Williams won a free kick for the visitors, just outside Naparima’s penalty area.

Riley, despite having a reputation from set pieces, allowed Williams to take it and the latter’s shot went straight into the wall.

“Riley, that is your range!” the perplexed Cooper screamed at his captain, from the sidelines. “That is your range!”

Enzo looked sheepish while Williams put a hand up to apologise for somehow overruling his captain.

Two minutes later, Lee doubled Naparima’s advantage.

“Pres go home! Pre go home!” the home supporters sang mischievously.

Photo: Naparima College supporters enjoy the last laugh during their 2-0 SSFL Premier Division win over rivals Presentation College (San Fernando) at Lewis Street, San Fernando on 28 September 2016. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Naparima College supporters enjoy the last laugh during their 2-0 SSFL Premier Division win over rivals Presentation College (San Fernando) at Lewis Street, San Fernando on 28 September 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Cooper paid tribute to Eve’s “underdogs”.

“I think they have a balanced team,” said Cooper. “They have a good attacking trio upfront with a lot of experience. In the back, they have Payne and Sandy in front of him.

“So they have strengths coming through the core of their team and a decent keeper who doesn’t get much to do because their backline is rigid. That is what you need when you are going to win a title.”

Not that Eve is admitting Naparima are title favourites just yet.

How is it, Wired868 asked, that a supposedly weakened team still cannot find space in their first XI for an attacker as talented as former Shiva Boys winger Mark Ramdeen?

“I don’t play players just because they have name,” said Eve. “They have to prove themselves… He has to learn the way my team plays. The last team he played for [play] a lot of individual football… We play a team game.

“We are very resolute in the back, we are tough to beat in the midfield and then we let the front players express themselves.”

Thus far, it has been a successful cocktail. But Eve’s assertion set the tone nicely for Naparima’s next outing on Saturday, as they host Shiva Boys and the free spirited talents of Tyrel “Pappy” Emmanuel, Quinn Rodney, Ronaldo Edwards and Judah Garcia.

Photo: Shiva Boys HC coach Hayden Ryan (centre) passes instructions to his team 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 coach Hayden Ryan (centre) passes instructions to his team during SSFL Premier Division action at Irwin Park, Siparia on 7 September 2016.
Shiva Boys whipped Presentation College 3-1.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Shiva Boys coach Hayden Ryan will know Eve’s modus operandi by now. Whether he can stop it is another story.

(Teams)

Naparima College (4-2-1-3): 1.Levi Fernandez (GK); 4.Aalon Minors, 5.Rondell Payne, 13.Jeron Pantor, 3.Khris Stroud; 11.Shane Sandy (captain), 6.Judah St Louis; 9.Shobal Celestin (23.Renaldo Francois 46); 21.Justin Sadoo (17.Mark Ramdeen 85), 18.Isaiah Lee, 7.Akinola Gregory (18.Ronaldo McIntosh 75).

Unused substitutes: 30.Enrique Changiah (GK), 2.Tyrique Andrews, 8.Nikel Rawlins, 20.Kodel Frontin.

Coach: Angus Eve

 

Presentation College (4-2-3-1): 28.Jabari Gray (GK); 16.Mylz Barrington, 2.Shirwin Noel, 6.Matthew Joseph, 12.Darnell Hosepedales; 23.Kori Cupid, 8.Terrell Williams (15.Aleem Barclay 79); 11.Jordan Riley (19.Jarelle Steadman 81), 10.Kareem Riley, 13.Jarod Gordon (9.Nathaniel Dyer 81); 7.Nion Lammy.

Unused substitutes: 1.Ishmael Salaam (GK), 5.James Lee Yaw, 14.Omari Baird, 27.Juaval Roberts,

Coach: Shawn Cooper

 

Referee: Gyasi McDonald

Man of the Match: Isaiah Lee (Naparima)

Photo: Naparima College midfielder Renaldo Francois (centre) goes for goal during SSFL Premier Division action against San Juan North at Irwin Park, Siparia on 7 September 2016. Both teams played to a 2-2 draw. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Naparima College midfielder Renaldo Francois (centre) goes for goal during SSFL Premier Division action against San Juan North at Irwin Park, Siparia on 7 September 2016.
Both teams played to a 2-2 draw.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

SSFL Premier Division results

(Wednesday 28 September)

San Juan North 4 (Jerome Cyrus 1, Kerdell Sween 2, Tyrell Cameron 5, Miguel Garraway 83), St Benedict’s College 0 at Bourg Mulatresse;

St Anthony’s College 5 (Kathon St Hillaire 18, Haile Beckles 27, 28, Che Benny 33, Tyrese Bailey 82 pen), Trinity College Moka 0 at Westmoorings;

QRC 1 (Miguel Williams 71), Fatima College 2 (Jahreed Murray 3, Stephon Marcano 61) at QRC;

Fyzabad Secondary 1 (Jabari Graham OG), Shiva Boys HC 2 (Yohannes Richardson 30 pen, Shaquille Williams 90) at Fyzabad;

East Mucurapo 3 (Micah Lansiquot 44, 61, Jessie Williams 81), Pleasantville Secondary 1 (Anfernee Joefield 70) at Fatima College ground;

Naparima College 2 (Justin Sadoo 61, Isaiah Lee 79), Presentation San F’do 0 at Lewis St, San F’do;

St Augustine Secondary 1 (Zion Holder 90), St Mary’s College 1 (Trey Lamotte 48) at St Augustine;

Signal Hill are on a bye.

Photo: St Anthony's College midfielder Che Benny (centre) is harassed by Fyzabad Secondary players during SSFL Premier Division action on 24 September 2016 at Fyzabad. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: St Anthony’s College midfielder Che Benny (centre) is harassed by Fyzabad Secondary players during SSFL Premier Division action on 24 September 2016 at Fyzabad.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Upcoming SSFL fixtures

(Saturday 1 October) [All kick offs at 3:40pm]

St Anthony’s College vs Signal Hill at Westmoorings;

San Juan North vs Fatima College at San Juan;

Fyzabad Secondary vs Trinity College Moka at Fyzabad;

QRC vs Pleasantville Secondary at QRC;

Naparima College vs Shiva Boys HC at Lewis St, San F’do;

East Mucurapo vs St Mary’s College at Fatima College grounds;

St Augustine vs Presentation San F’do at St Augustine.

St Benedict’s College are on a Bye

Photo: East Mucurapo substitute Jelani Ferary (#9) tries to drive his shot past the entire Signal Hill squad during SSFL Premier Division action at Moka on 14 September 2016. Signal Hill held on for a 2-1 win. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: East Mucurapo substitute Jelani Ferary (#9) tries to drive his shot past the entire Signal Hill squad during SSFL Premier Division action at Moka on 14 September 2016.
Signal Hill held on for a 2-1 win.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

SSFL Premier Division standings

(Tabulated as Played-Won-Drew-Lost-Goals For-Goals Against-Points)

St Anthony’s        6-5-1-0-16-5-16

Naparima             6-5-1-0-12-4-16

Shiva Boys HC    7-5-1-1-14-7-16

Presentation SF  7-5-0-2-9-7-15

San Juan North  7-3-1-3-13-10-10

St Mary’s               7-2-3-2-8-10-9

Signal Hill            6-2-2-2-6-5-8

Fyzabad Sec         7-2-2-3-12-12-8

Pleasantville        6-2-2-2-8-10-8

Trinity Moka       7-2-1-4-3-11-7

Fatima College   6-2-1-3-9-10-7

St Augustine       7-1-4-2-7-9-7

East Mucurapo  6-1-1-4-7-10-4

QRC                        6-0-2-4-2-6-2

St Benedict’s      7-0-2-5-3-12-2

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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85 comments

  1. Hey I wanna go see the Signal Hill v St. Anthony Game on Saturday but I don’t know where the field is in West Moorings. I am planning on traveling. Can anyone help me with directions?

    • Hello. Drive to West Mall and turn off to your left directly after the Mall and KFC. The object is to get to the other side of the Western Main Road and on to Westland Avenue.
      So you go to the roundabout and go all the way around and back north, which takes you back to the Western Main Road where you wait for light to go across.
      Then just keep driving and after about five minutes, you will see a big swimming facility to your right which is the Marlins Swim Club.
      The St Anthony’s College school and football ground is right behind there.

  2. I watched this game today…Naps played well,Pres needs to buck up on their spot kicks n their defence needs some discipline

  3. When are these school coaches really going to start coaching and not play professional and buy players to come to school for 1term in the year then drop out till the next year

    • Which schools are you specifically referring to? Would love to have examples of schools and players, if you don’t mind.

    • Schools like Presentation Collage!!! I wonder if Matthew is doing A-Levels with 4 subjects?? Or is he repeating Form 5. Naps rejected his begging so guess what? Pres took him like they did many others…

      • I would love to know where you got your information from because frankly I’d like to put you and whom ever you got it from in your respective place. This is what is wrong when someone tries to do better with their lives there is always a hypocritical/illogical and just plain idiotic person who feels the need to judge without knowing even half of what is going on. You my dear sound absolutely ridiculous, by chance do you know Matthew personally??? Or do you just have nothing to do with your life so you feel the need to criticize someone else??? Or is it that you’re just jealous of the opportunities someone else is having?

      • It really is sad when a grown woman hides behind social media to try and tear down an individual who clearly is trying to make something of himself. I am positively sure you do not know the first thing about him so what gives you the right to say anything in reference to him?

      • Latoya Cadogan I don’t know you from know where so why you mentioning my name in your mouth I should be the least of your problems and boasting you say smh what it have to boast about? act your age and not your shoe size please

    • That reality won’t change unless required to. I spoke to the PE teacher of the 2015 Champions. He was looking for nonacademic avenues for his guys into UTT. Part of the secret to success was in his honesty when he said, less than 10% of his winning team played U14 for the school. I.E 90% of the team was transfers just brought in to play.

    • Knowing the kid and situation personally, I am glad Latoya Cadogan that schools can take in such a kid to do A levels rather than have him jobless, penniless and on street. Pretty sure he will finish school too, so I don’t think he is just there for football. His A level education will benefit him and our country.

    • Brian Jordan this had been done by many dchools through the years. Mr Lochan just gave you 1 example. I coached Isaiah lee at Santa Rosa fc and i played with his father and uncles. He is a talented boy but he is frpm Valencia. Quite a long distance to go to school and after training ends at 6pm he has to travel home. Ad a teacher I know it will afgect hos schoolwork

    • As a teacher I know his schoolwork will suffer

    • Brian Jordan Atleast you got it right, I know his situation personally…However, I do hope your high expectations for him is what he wants for himself because he is boasting about an entirely different scenario than the one you write about!!

  4. That’s a bomb squad Eve have there regardless of however he try to play it down. Only issue might be to replace injured players.

  5. Kareem Riley supposed to take Eve’s statements and stick it up on his bedroom wall as motivation.

  6. St Mary’s was pretty good under Jason Edwards..

  7. ..When last did an East-West Corridor team win the title in any league?..

    • What’s interesting though is that apparently players from the East are playing with schools in the North/South a lot more…. men leaving Arima and travelling to Sando..

    • ..The foolish priority and hypocrisy of schools’ football..

    • I guess the kids/parents look at it as an investment. Pres/Naps/QRC/CIC/St Anthony’s are all supposedly better academic options than we have in the East I guess….

    • That’s if it’s for academics (wink wink)

    • ..I have no problem with a kid leaving the far east to attend school in the west. I went from Arima to St. Mary’s – the school I passed Common Entrance for. But Valencia to Sando? That is about football and the SSFL transfer market – not academics.

    • That’s why I say it’s an investment lol….

    • Those issues can be easily resolved if the SSFL cared about the kids’ academics at all. On the contrary I love what Rougier is doing at Fyzo. No academics = no play

    • The east have good players at the schools. The coaching seems to be questionable. Even with talented players, you need proper coaching to bring it together

    • Keith Look Loy – I don’t get it. What’s wrong with a kid using his/her athletic talent to access opportunities not available in his/her neighborhood. Academically, Naps is one of the top schools in TnT. Soccer wise, they’ve been dominating school football for the last couple years. Why wouldn’t any reasonable kid not want to be in such a positive academic/athletic environment, even if it means traveling a few extra miles to and from school. Would you prefer the kid drop out of school and live a nonproductive life or would you prefer they attend a top notch school, with an opportunity to develop and enhance their academic as well as his athletic capabilities?

    • Carlos Lee, nobody wants anybody to drop out of school. It is easily a one and a half hour commute from Valencia to San Fernando. And that is very rough when there are good schools much closer. That is all.
      For instance, the US sent administrators to check out our Couva facilities before the Olympics. They thought the facilities were okay but they then calculated the distance from the nearest four star hotel, which was in Port of Spain.
      And they said no thanks. They wanted nothing that was more than 20 minutes drive from the hotel.
      Now of course a kid can make the sacrifice from Valencia to San Fernando and get a good education. But it is not ideal. Especially when you throw in extra curricular activities.
      But I hope his academics doesn’t suffer as a result.

    • ..I glad for all who succeed in life. The number of schools in the EWC that one could attend to do CXC or A Levels is more than I could tell you though. Let’s be straight. That move has to do with football and not academics. That’s all I’m saying. No value judgement. Just the facts..

    • Lasana – distance has never been a deterrence to the pursuit of a good education and/ or opportunity – especially for folks in the eastern part of the island or those in the sister island. As Keith said earlier he traveled from Arima to St. Mary’s college as a 12 year old – during a time when transportation was quite limited. It likely took him over an hour to get to St. Mary’s college. Lots of other kids left Grande, Manzanilla, Matelot, Mayaro, etc to attend first tier schools in POS. Not sure there’s much of a difference heading south, especially when the schools are better – not only academically, but now athletically. Obviously if there were schools closer to Valencia that provided solid academic and athletic opportunities then those would be ideal. Until then, kids and their parents will seek out and do what’s best for them.

    • Keith – What’s wrong with moving to what’s currently the best program in the country and simultaneously getting a good education? Any difference if the kid had transferred to St. Mary’s, QRC or another school in POS? Not much of a difference in terms of distance from Valencia POS vs Valencia to Sando. We are talking a few minutes difference if, any.

    • ..I repeat I offer no value judgement. You say the move is about football. We agree..

    • Carlos I live in Arima and drive to Port of Spain regularly. And I travel to San Fernando at times. There is a difference and it is not just a few minutes.
      But nobody wishes Isaiah anything but the best. It is just not ideal.
      There are professional clubs that would not allow their players to live that far from the training ground because of the wear and tear of the commute. Trinidad and Tobago’s primary schools forbid schools to take in students who live outside a certain radius from their schools.
      It isn’t difficult to guess why that is.
      Of course he can still do well despite the disadvantages. All we are saying is there is a disadvantage.

    • Until all schools in Trini provide equal academic opportunities people will do what’s best for them and their family. And that includes doing what some may consider non-ideal. In life sacrifices are absolutely necessary to achieve success. That’s one thing I’ve learnt in my 47 years on this earth.

    • No argument there Carlos. Once within the law of course. 😉

    • I too made the distance from central to Moka. The distance I do understand Keith but I would say we can’t discount if it’s naps we referring to that they are highly rated academically and in football also and with that sport technology facility they have down there and the system in place with parent athlete and staff. I think if one does it for just another school them no but for one of the best then yes. Lasana may not leave home at 2am to interview me but if Messi say pass he will reach home at 1am tired but head back up the road

    • I don’t think you guys want to poke that “jep nest”….

    • Anthony Sherwood ???. Probably. Like Keith said. It is a football decision.
      If the guy’s education benefits then I’m content, even if it seems against the spirit of school competition to have such extensive scouting.
      Eventually we will discover how these moves work out academically and that will be the gauge.

    • In reality, I’m not sure how one even makes that transition academically…it’s sounds good on paper though.

    • To be fair I don’t think you can. If someone moves from school y tô X said individually may not necessarily excel academically and rightly so if they were not inclined in the first place. However being in the environment and fraternity may present long term benefits.

    • These are issues that are constantly being debated in the US college system where the fear is that student athletes are being sold dreams of grandeur, but in reality – they are just being exploited. Penn State University generates a million dollars in parking alone at each home game (American Football) and, creating an infrastructure that improves your chances of having the best players in country ensures that the “parking lot is always full”…

    • ..Isaiah was a youth player in Santa Rosa. More power to him but this is an extreme move..

    • So to be an equivalent would be a school benefitting financially to build whatever projects by bringing the best players there but in the end only the school gains. The player isn’t better off and more troubling because we are talk school football. I think I understand your points

    • Hmmm. A kid has a talent which creates an opportunity for him. He’s willing to make some sacrifices to take advantage of that opportunity. Why, because as Venus Williams told her sister Serena before the finals of a grand slam match, “if he takes the opportunity more will come”.

  8. So besides St. Anthonys, is only south teams have good footballers and coaches? How every year it seems like the south teams dominating (well except for Benedicts this year)?

  9. That was a harsh assesment of Enzo by Angus Eve boi

  10. Lasana Liburd the curse continues….a lovely four goal performance….I really want to hear ur thoughts on us wrt to leonson Inno WotlessOutandbadagain Mengus Vachel ‘tallo’ Thompson

  11. Lasana, excellent article and annotated photography. I saw Justin Sadoo got the SportsMax Player of the Game award but Lee, from all reports, was also equally deserving. I reside abroad but was fortunate to see my Alma Mater, Naps play at Fatima whilst back home in Trinidad for a brief trip. I recognized some players from last year whilst others were newcomers as well as U-16 players being brought into the fold.

    I can understand the rationale for Coach Eve saying the team is rebuilding or ‘underdogs’ based on the exodus of proven calibre players and because the ‘bench’ or role players last year are seeing much more playing time this year and by natural progression being called to account more. The quality of the previous two championship teams was irrefutable with Jabari Mitchell, Nicholas Dillon, Martieon Watson, Amrit Gildharry, Jared Dass and young prodigy Isaiah Hudson who plays for both National U-17 and U-20 teams.

    Moreover, like St. Anthony’s College, Naparima will again lose multiple players off to camp and tournaments with Coach Williams and his U-20 Squad but to their credit both colleges have dominated their counterparts using the depth and youthfullness of their squads as evidenced by them leading the league and being unbeaten to date. Their head to head match up will be the decider!

    It actually affects team chemistry when these players are in and out frequently due to national training and duty. It can be both a blessing and a curse showcasing solid players who attract the attention of National Youth Team Coaches. After all, Country first and the SSFL should be producing some of the future generation players doing their best to qualify in the Concacaf Hex and playing on the World’s Stage so schools will be proud players are recognized and selected.

    It is apparent that the top flight schools do have long term and contingency plans to ensure continuity of success with transiitoning the next batch of young players although inherent talent, quality and chemistry will vary. Not every year is your year as sometimes the perfect storm, recipe or circumstances must occur, case in point, Leicester City.

    I also feel for former Naparima player and Coach, Leonson Lewis who is having a torrid time with St. Benedicts. Hopefully they can avoid relegation to maintain the South Schools playing in the Premier Division. Apologies for the partiality.

    I do look forward to the Naps vs Shiva Boys battle and report. Keep up the good work!

    • Lasana Liburd

      Thanks Paul! It is in the nature of school life that players graduate though. I think Naparima have come off much better than most of their rivals in that regard.
      We won’t do back to back Naparima games just yet. So Amiel Mohammed or Roneil Walcott will probably go see St Anthony’s or Mucurapo play. But I might sneak down to watch that contest with Shiva out of curiousity!

  12. Pres should have made that first half count. And Fernandez made a crucial save to deny Lammy too.

  13. Angus is really good with the best out of the younger players…

  14. Does Trinidad have any mechanism for young stars to be able to play for the national senior team?