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NLCB pumps $8 million into TTFA U-13/14 programme, DJW goes back to the future

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFA) will revamp its under-13 and under-14 programme in 2017, after announcing a TT$8 million sponsorship deal with the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) for the National Elite Youth Development Program.

The NLCB money will be paid over a four-year period while the TTFA is also committed to spending TT$2 million on the initiative, which was launched by TTFA president David John-Williams on Friday evening at the Trinidad Hilton in Port of Spain.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (right) performs a duet with former Calypso Monarch, Cro Cro, at the launch of the National Elite Youth Development Program at the Trinidad Hilton on 14 October 2016. (Copyright TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (right) performs a duet with former Calypso Monarch, Cro Cro, at the launch of the National Elite Youth Development Program at the Trinidad Hilton on 14 October 2016.
(Copyright TTFA Media)

The objective of the program, according to the TTFA President, is to scout and select the best boys and girls teams in the under-13/14 categories and nurture their talent, so as to create a core of talent for the junior to senior national teams.

Among the key components of the plan are:

  • All football academies and football schools would be obliged to register with the TTFA and be staffed with qualified coaches;
  • The selected boys and girls squad will be kept together for two years with two four-week camps, four to six local friendly matches and one international match per year;
  • The players will be scientifically monitored and assessed and will undergo educational assessment and nutrition education;
  • A ledger will be created for all players involved in the programme and should follow their progress;
  • The staff attached to the respective youth teams will be “exposed to FIFA, UEFA and CONCACAF courses”.

John-Williams claimed that the NLCB investment was “unheard of in the history of the TTFA”.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 Team playmaker Che Benny (left) gets a high five from substitute Brandon Semper during 2017 World Cup qualifying action against Bermuda at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 September 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 Team playmaker Che Benny (left) gets a high five from substitute Brandon Semper during 2017 World Cup qualifying action against Bermuda at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 September 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

“Two weeks ago when I announced ‘to stand by for a big announcement’, many may have thought that the TTFA may today be announcing a major sponsorship deal relating to its Men’s National Senior Team and World Cup Qualifying Russia 2018,” said the TTFA president. “Whilst getting to Russia is very important to us as a nation, we feel that it is equally important to rebuild the foundation that will ensure that we qualify on a consistent basis to all youth and senior World Cups in the future.

“In broad terms, this National Youth Elite Program will seek to foster the dedication and discipline required to be a successful professional sportsman, and instil a professional approach to football in Trinidad Tobago from a very early age.

“And, at the same time, integrating the program into communities, thus creating a national bond that will allow for the rekindling of the national spirit with a home-grown team.”

Whether or not the NLCB’s financial commitment is historic, the programme itself is not. The TTFA ran national teams starting from the under-12 and under-13 age groups in the 1980s, which preceded the two island republic’s sweeping Caribbean success for the next two decades.

Photo: Ex-Trinidad and Tobago captain Dwight Yorke (right) greets England captain David Beckham during the Germany 2006 World Cup. (Copyright AFP 2015)
Photo: Ex-Trinidad and Tobago captain Dwight Yorke (right) greets England captain David Beckham during the Germany 2006 World Cup.
(Copyright AFP 2015)

The programme became somewhat diluted from the mid-1990s but continued until the local football body was left bankrupt by former special advisor Jack Warner’s hasty and inglorious exit from the game with millions unaccounted.

Former graduates of the National Under-12 to Under-15 Teams include Trinidad and Tobago’s 2006 World Cup captain and former Manchester United star Dwight Yorke, former Porto midfielder and national icon Russell Latapy, one-time England Premier League’s most expensive goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, national record goal scorer and ex-England Premier League striker Stern John, World Cup 2006 goalkeeper Kelvin Jack, former Hibernian midfielder Lyndon Andrews,  and, more recently, 2007 and 2009 World Youth Cup players like Sheldon Bateau, Daneil Cyrus, Aubrey David, Leston Paul and Kevin Molino.

Yorke won his first international cap at just eight years old. Hislop at 10.

CONCACAF also runs an Under-15 Championship, which started in 2013—a full eight years after the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) began its own Youth Cup.

Trinidad and Tobago might now be playing catch up in a youth development drive initiated here over two decades ago. However, the scale of John-Williams’ plan is certainly ambitious.

He suggested, at the Hilton, that the TTFA would continue to seek out sponsorship deals to boost its other teams and programmes.

Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams (right) has a word with Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 Team coach Russell Latapy on the training ground before the CFU competition. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams (right) has a word with Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 Team coach Russell Latapy on the training ground before the CFU competition.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Thus far, it is uncertain whether any NLCB money will go towards the TTFA’s current National Under-15, Under-17 and Under-20 squads of both sexes, which are still run by unpaid coaches, rarely has live-in camps let alone play international practice matches and often has issues with parents who cannot afford passage for their children to attend regular training sessions.

John-Williams also did not spell out what the the Under-13 and Under-14 Team players would meet in the older age groups once they graduate. Or whether the programme would work alongside the September-November Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) competitions or against it.

Either way, it is likely to be to a well received boon for youth development from the local football body.

John-Williams waxed lyrical.

“The TTFA will continue in its quest to improve the game locally,” said the TTFA president. “It is our intent in the not too distant future to lend some level of financial support to club football both at the Pro League and Super League levels in the first instance. When this TTFA administration promises it delivers.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams and new FIFA president Gianni Infantino at the TTFA headquarters on 27 January 2016. Infantino was the UEFA general secretary at the time. (Courtesy TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams and new FIFA president Gianni Infantino at the TTFA headquarters on 27 January 2016.
Infantino was the UEFA general secretary at the time.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

“So keep looking and stay wired to the TTFA for the delivery of good news in football. If you want to call, the number is 868-For-TTFA!”

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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155 comments

  1. Not sure what to make of it having studied this plan.. All his plans while decent enough are not really feasible as the sponsorship deal of £800,000 over 4 years is laughable..

  2. ..The TTFA don’t have any intention to create a strategic development plan for the association or the game. They are all about isolated, arbitrary initiatives..

  3. Lots to be discussed in a development plan… but it needs to fall into a national league structure to receive continuous & required support! I think we need to do the ‘small’ things…do them right and do them well and then expand/adjust.

  4. They need to start in the woman’s belly eh Ian R Briggs hahahaha Them really good yes.

  5. At the end of the day, it’s also about resources and what the TTFA can afford given the resources at its disposal. Interestingly, we are yet to hear from the Technical Director. Maybe, there is a plan for the 5-11 age group which has not yet been publicly released? Hoping we all get more information soon.

  6. http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/05/ajaxs-u-8-team-wins-championship-adorably-celebrates-like-theyre-big-people …. just a example of u8s at work… actually saw these youth men live and they are all sound technically… and the best player is not even in the clip… bottom line forget 5 we need to start by 2 … 🙂

  7. ^^ immersing yes but you already know the reality of this situation is that kids globally are playing competitive from u7 now and u8 is official travel team age.. We as a tiny nation with a limited pool Have to catch them at 5… and 7 is not too early for some structure in training… AJAX have youth man suiting up in its colours and playing competitive games @ u8 (some of the boys were 6)…. last year my u8’s played almost 30 games over the course of a 11 month time frame (including futsal and tournaments)… how are we, Trinidad with a focus on development starting at 13 and 14 going to beat any country where development started at 5-8? waste of time effort and money…

  8. Ah think 5 – 6 even 7 is maybe a bit to early as it pertains to immersing kids into structured training sessions….at that age, I tend to be more in favor of allot of unorganized play – let them figure out if it’s something they enjoy and are passionate about. You made a comment sometime ago that our players develop much later, and it’s spot on…watching a youth pro league game at the U14 level locally is painful at times compounded by the fact that you see them playing on full size regulation fields…in most instances, they simply cannot manage these dimensions…at the U18 level, it’s significantly better which speaks to the point that was made….

  9. Anthony….. there are 91 Primary schools in d county of Victoria….how many Football Academies are there to fascilitate these boys at this most important age….without academies… boys gravitate to d streets or what we call a savannah swett….a road swett or savannah swett is unsupervised football….so now we hav to ask…at what age is a parent comfortable letting their kid play unsupervised in d streets or in d nearby savannah….we know it doesnt happen between 5 to 11 …… so this age group is at a disadvantage from the onset at every possible angle we could think about….. and this is the most important time of development…when u start development in your teens…u r already playing catch up….alllllllllllllll quality footballing nations develop their players from age 5…..some from age 3…and 4…. and this development is 5 to 6 days a week…… we are already light years behind

  10. The notion down here that “competitive football” begins at U14 is insane to me…additionally, the fact that 10 teams throughout all of Trinidad and TOBAGO are the only ones who have guaranteed games come Sunday is also worrying. There is no serious youth league structure for anyone else outside of those 10 teams. Our kids in the US are way more battle tested at 11 years old than a typical 14 year old player locally…they understand what it means to travel 6 hours by car, “jump out” and are ready to play, they understand what it means to deal with variations in temperature – extreme heat in the summer and extreme cold in the winter. The fact that we are struggling at youth level to beat other Caribbean nations should come as no surprise…

  11. we still think playing this sport starts at 11…lol… if you dont catch them at 5 yuh wasting time….

  12. Agreed…once we get them to fall in love with the Sport….everything else will easily fall in place…. but whatever we do….we hav to develop the 5 to 11 age group properly…

  13. Dexter it has to do firstly with the Ministry of Education getting a policy on sports in the curriculum starting from Primary level .
    At this age we as coaches have to deal firstly with the physiological issues of the children so they must be exposed early on to proper PE programs.
    More research needs to be done on the physiological development of our young men as race and climate are effecting factors, then technical programs can be synced with physical capabilities.

  14. We come now to the question nobody is asking……where are we going to get quality 13 and 14yr old players from…… are we really resigning ourselves to the fact that a NATIONAL Youth development programme in Trinidad and Tobago is going to start developing our kids from U14….so that fascilitates for 11…12…and 13yr old kids….. maybe in the odd case…a large or talented 10yr old…….
    Now i know that alllllllllllllllll the Coaches on this thread know that is wayyyyyy too late to start development to acquire the level that we are aiming for….so Youth Academies now become the KEY to this project’s success….. the age group where children fall through the woodwork is between 5 to 11yrs old…..development of this agr group is the only way we are going to have any quality whatsoever at U14 ……so as a National project… it definitely seems to be a good one…. but if we are hoping for quality U14 kids to jus show up..or fall from d sky…we need to think logical…. If the TTFA cannot develop kids from age 5…then Academies are the only road to SUCCESS….better introductory Development means better quality at ages 5 to 11….this in turn means better quality at U14…..and this is not up for debate or discussion… there are no shortcuts….it has to be this way..

  15. There is a blueprint but the actual details are being worked out! Have to bring uncle Keith Look Loy and Trevor Bridglalsingh on board all that experience and knowledge can’t go to waste!!

  16. Thought that happened before program gets announced..lol

  17. Things still coming together!! Remember we have to do consultation!! Lol

  18. Anyone have more information or details on this program yet? Gordon? Anyone?

  19. ..We concede authority so easily to “experts”..

  20. Let’s see how they utilise these funds to achieve their strategic goals. The problem with us is that we have access to resources but we don’t manage it efficiently with transparency and proper assessment to get value for dollar spent. Hope the officials make wise use of these funds for the benefit of the potential talented young ones and by its ripple effect out country!

  21. Hmmmm makes plenty sense eh, yuh hear that Dion Sosa and yuh could make plenty monies doing so eh LOL

  22. The thing therefore Earl is to hook the Club in the development process as a partner,…….Watford?

  23. But of course and like FIFA all the Football Associations are mafia the same they sit back and wait until all the academies and others develops the players and then picks them to represent their national teams and then always go to the banks smiling, how do you think the ex corrupted Jack Warner and his cronies got so rich eh, Thme really good yes steeuuppss

  24. Interestingly, Belgium FA works closely with school competitions as they realise the existing school infrastructure can be used as a plus.

  25. Why when the development that started very long ago stopped anyway? Them really good yes.

  26. One thing that stands out to me about the Iceland example is that a small country – and T&T is a small country- can manage its youth development much easier than bigger countries. Personally, I would use the Iceland blueprint to adapt to T&T. Obviously the lack of facilities will make it harder to replicate but the licensed coaching network is the key foundation stone. Belgium – another relatively small country- is another example of starting over and achieving results in 10 years.

  27. The very fist consultation should have been on the establishment of a DNA for our football. Selection and training of elite players must be guided by benchmarks and parameters recognized as requirements for our National team.

  28. Love the Icelandic football development reference Lester Logie. Grassroots development is where our focus needs to be but once again we’re looking at ‘elite’ albeit U13/14. How do we expect these young players to be equipped with the right tools before they make it on these elite zonal teams?

    Also I believe the TT Football Association is taking it for granted that a lot of youths are playing football and they need not worry about participation numbers at the grassroots level. What are they doing to ensure we at least maintain participation numbers amongst the youths so we don’t lose them to other sports amongst other things.

  29. Several factors are cited as critical to Iceland’s growth. One is the country’s commitment to quality coaching, with hundreds of coaches — even for teams as young as under 9 — certified at one of Europe’s highest levels. Another is facilities, as Iceland invested in numerous indoor, full-size soccer field houses that allow clubs to offer year-round and nearly daylong access for teams of all ages.

    The close-knit nature of Icelandic players — one oft-cited statistic points out that the 22,000 registered soccer players in Iceland are fewer than the total in Rhode Island — is another important factor.
    An excerpt from an article in the New York times.

  30. ..I can read sir. The education referred to is limited to coaches in the programme – which I said is good but limited. We need to talk about educating the MASS of youth coaches across the country. Iceland is an an example of a country that educated the mass of coaches..

  31. Keith Look Loy u read the story properly?? It talks about coaching education!! And u would know all club are being asked to put their house in order to become fifa compliance as we speak!! The story also talks about clubs and youth Academies having to be licensed and registered read the story properly and then comment

  32. ..An association programme intended to be a substitute for grassroots and club development programmes,!and without being linked to 1) youth coach education, 2) youth club development, 3) youth competitions, is destined for failure. Limited success at best Do you see the national associations of Mexico, Panama, USA, Costa Rica, etc.substituting themselves for clubs?. The national association must promote the growth of the mass, from which it will cream the elite. Haiti has been substituring the FHF national youth teams programme for years without corresponding work at the base of their football pyramid. And yes, they beat us but go no futher than that..

  33. Lasana Liburd on Chabeth Haynes comment u stated it d bigger club poach d players early in development, leave the youth teams without compensation, the majority of super league team’s have no youth teams including d most successful ones the same goes for the proleague, where are the proleague, super league youth players as we speak?? This elite program will have the players in year round program not three months competition cycles that exists in d ssfl, youth super league and youth proleague at present similar to what happens in d USA

    • They must play games too. That’s important. And to spread your ideas beyond the walls of the academy are great for out development.
      From 30 players about 12 will make it. Maybe less. So you must get the ideas to germinate outside. To cross pollinate.
      The TTFA can help with that.

    • They will be playing games tho!! Read ur story and international are included as well!!

    • No Gordon. You’re not following. Of course they are playing international games. But I mean locally. So you mean they will play just six competitive football matches for the whole year and be locked up in camp otherwise?
      That doesn’t make sense man. Smh. You’re not following me yes Gordon.

    • I understand and appreciate the need for games and freedom Lasana Liburd as u put it idea exchange that’s y my players are normally very creative bc of d idea exchange and freedom but that will b up to d coaching staff more than d program

  34. Anyway, we will see yes. If this isn’t implemented properly then we all lose a great opportunity.

  35. Why can’t it exist Gordon? You have the adult Super League clubs and the levels below. Many have youth teams already. All that is needed is a sponsor.
    So is DJW using sponsorship money to reinvigorate that or not? I don’t see why that should not be hand in hand with youth development.

  36. Yes Gordon… I’m in total agreement. I just hope the temporary result won’t make us feel all is well, like our national economy a few years ago. TTFA’s biggest victory isn’t a WCup spot but finding a sustainable national League structure, which has fan appeal and promotion/demotion.

  37. eat ah food time plenty friends and family go benefit from that 8 million

  38. Yes Nicholas Lochan but that doesn’t exist and without huge cash inputs will not be achieved in d short to medium term far less the long term!! So it’s better to fix the thing in parts and then bring it together just imagine clubs are at total loss just to become fifa compliant!! There are clubs in d superleague in 2016 without a club bank account!! I will give an illustration to bring it home if u have an old luxury car that u inherited and need to use immediately wouldn’t u start with getting tyres, after as money permits fix d joints, d engine, d interior etc until it’s all restored of course it u didn’t need to use it immediately u and had unlimited money u will put it in d garage for one or two months and do a complete over haul! Tt football is d first scenario!!

    • Some people think all these best practices are easily implemented.
      Generally I think people discard the perils the TTFA found itself into.

      I can say nothing bad about this right now.
      This is a major step in the correct direction. Let’s monitor what’s going on.

  39. This always was supposed to be so…part profits from scratch ticket sales as well as some of the online games, if I remember correctly initially, supposed to be channelled into the then Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs

  40. Excellent point Nicholas Lochan. I was never part of any elite program in my day. But I played alongside some guys were like Darin Lewis and against some guys who were like Stokely Mason. And information is shared that way too.
    There must be a national youth league to work hand in hand with this. Don’t you think Keith?

    • ..Clearly. And coaching rducation. And club development. So I am waiting to hear what this elite youth programme entails.

    • That response “then maybe sponsors should stay away” ….. might be the shittiest comment I’ve heard here. To be clear DJW is a suspect individual but the development program is a push in the right direction. Do I support him …no …he’s shady
      ..do I support the initiative. …yes because it can possibly benefit the youths. Are we suppose to all agree maybe maybe not …but to say the sponsors should stay away shows me something bout some prospective coaches character. …. basically “if you dont agree with me then I done” …. wtf are you 4 yrs old. People with that mentality need to bounce not the kind of example to set for easily swayed youths looking for inspiration and guidance. Who vex vex!!

  41. Correct me if I’m wrong! Just read the article and give credit to TTFA! However IMO, projects like this seem somewhat artificial & sponsor dependent. If a properly structured football league exists, with all the facets of coaching, officiating, nutrition, youth development etc. wouldn’t the goals be consistently achieved? i.e .better quality players

    • U hav d idea…. but it cannot b achieved with a league….u need a development program…where top Coaches in the country can fine tune these kids…..a lot of Coaches in this era cannot fine tune….. hence the reason we find ourselves with a serious shortage of quality in allllll areas of the field…..especially in front both goalposts…( goalscorer and goalkeeper)..

  42. I know I should be happy about this (and I am in theory) …because the grassroots is the key but ….. I can’t help but think he’s gonna f*** it up …. like siphoning allocated funds into non ttfa bank accounts etc and giving no accountability for its “subtle misdirection”. This requires a man of integrity …. DJW isn’t one. Hopeful but tentatively watching it with a side eye ….

    • You’re right to be wary…caution is key…not only should we know how much they are giving but what is the plan for accountability of funds every step of the way…otherwise it’s just money down the drain…as it has happened too often… *sigh*

    • Way too often ….. I grew up in Plaisance Park when WConnection was a fete match team and I used to admire this guy….. he was cool used to support the youths in his community ….I’m so unimpressed with what he is now …. no more role models in society anywhere…. tough times.

  43. Agreement or approval does not include prostration at anybody’s altar. Eternal vigilance is the price of democracy and progress..

  44. Management is key. Sports on the whole in Trinidad and Tobago has been under managed for too many years. All is not lost if only people get serious.

  45. Tough crowd inside of here yes…

    • Hahaha Chabeth i thought it was only me!! Like to engage them tho so neutral intelligent onlookers could separate the sheep from the goat!!

    • Don’t things in Trinidad and Tobago run so much smoothly when everyone just meekly accepts whatever is handed to them by wise leaders and administrators. 😉

    • Especially ideas borne without stakeholder consultation. Especially those…

    • So a leader can’t have an idea and execute on that? Can’t vet that idea with a small group of ppl? Must consult the masses or said leader is a dictator?
      It doesn’t even sound like it’s a wildly original idea.

    • It is not an original idea. Who are the small group of people Chabeth? If people here with CONCACAF posts who worked with the idea in a previous incarnation were not consulted, then one has a right to wonder who was consulted.
      But again, it isn’t my job to just assume everything is great. That’s for fans not journalists.

    • Lol. I’m a DJW fan now? You’d be hard pressed to find many ppl inside of here who have criticised the man more than I have.
      And if it’s not an original idea what you want ppl to meet and discuss?
      Idk who the small group of ppl are. For all we know if there’s a document it could have been written by Latapy.
      But according to DJW, this has been ongoing since January… so I can’t imagine that changes weren’t made between then and when the deal was secured.
      But you all just criticise everything sometimes. This isn’t the first youth sporting thing that NLCB has sponsored by the way.
      8 million acquired by legal means from a legal entity for the development of youth sport and ppl can’t say a single positive word?

    • Chabeth, I never called you a DJW fan.

    • Chabeth, if you haven’t seen any ideas here worth mulling over then you were not reading or are tougher than anyone here.
      But no problem. Funny even some TTFA officials are confused about some of the operational aspects of this and how it will work.
      But glad you’re happy. And Gordon.
      Some of us want more answers though and want to be sure that certain pitfalls are avoided.

    • Lasana Liburd i will be happy to provide you with such as soon as i get d detail plan!! As of now it’s a work in progress

    • I would like to think that the unveiling comes after the polishing. But I know how your president loves to move in silence…

    • It has nothing to do with the value of ideas put forth here. It has to do with the man having his own ideas.
      The automatic assumption is that the ideas that you and others have are better?
      It was right in here that ppl were talking about how successful he has been with Connection during the election period and post election, when youth teams were being selected and Connection had a lot of players on the team, ppl were saying that Connection always has the most members on the youth team. But there’s no room for transference of whatever is responsible for Connection’s success especially at the youth level to the national arena?
      (But thanks for clearing up the fan thing. That was scandalous bordering on libellous.)

    • You are reading what you want and missing what you want. I stated clearly what the merits of consultation are. It has nothing to do with anyone here saying: Hey I’m smarter than the TTFA president.
      But from your opening comment, you seemed to have to have taken your own angle on this debate. So I’d just leave it alone.
      And football people know that what is successful for Connection’s youth team for the most part is poaching from other teams.
      Name the top Connection youth player and then ask Gordon what club that player really started out with.
      But I’m leaving this. Because your argument does not seem to based on comments in this thread.

    • Poaching other players? Missed that in the stories that you ran about DJW in the run up to the election or in all the comments during discussion about Connection players being on current youth teams.
      So don’t blame me for not knowing that.
      In any case, if somebody can get 8 mil for youth sport and ppl have nothing good to say about that, including criticising the TTFA for its sponsor when nlcb sponsors other youth sports, so be it.

    • I wish when u poach a player u sell him in first instance eh…because it seems the coach work never Matters..or only when its a certain individual…the poaching goes out of the window…. check on the present national senior team and see how many of these players have passed through the development program and wcfc organization and do interviews with them…iam sure if they are honest it will give u insite into the development work being done …with all this poaching nonsense. …smh…stop hating nah man

    • Cool it Earl Jean the poaching is relative Lasana Liburd talking about youths here if u get a player at eleven, twelve he was developed from some where so pebo, joevin, cyrus, Aubrey, jan, will go as poached in this conversation of course w connection would have done development work but in context of this convo we could understand lasana statement

    • Note tho i agree d best talent should go to the best youth program so i always advice my players to go w connection or san juan jabloteh first but for youth football to b sustainable d grassroots and community teams need to be considered

    • Yes…and what work….every player starts somewhere and some will ask their friends questions about which team to go to and we have had so many cases of that where we hardly go asking players to come over especially when they have ties with other teams…we accept players if they are out of contract or we pay for players and we may be the only team who tries to compensate other clubs for players if we do take them…we talk about development and young age groups the amount of work u do on these players over the years you have them says alot about the developmental process at youth level…iam proud of the work we have done @ wcfc over the years..
      And maybe thats why quality of player that Stuart Charles and staff develop for the overseas market is there to see….so when one speaks of poaching dont use it loosely. ..lets be thankful that their development has been always consistent at this organization. ..just for clarity. ..

    • Earl, I should have known that this convo would have gone askew based on the comment I was responding to.
      Anyway Chabeth suggested the W Connection president somehow didn’t need advice from us grouches due to his supposedly expert history in the subject of youth development.
      Now we are talking about an U-13 and U-14 national team. So, Earl tell me which of this illustrious list of Connection players were at the club at 13 or 14: Joevin Jones, Daneil Cyrus, Mekeil Williams, Jomal Williams, Shahdon Winchester, Keron Cummings, Jan-Michael Williams, Aikim Andrews, Maurice Ford, Shannon Gomez, Kevon Goddard, Akeem Garcia, Jabari Mitchell and Tristan Hodge.
      Those are 14 names on the current senior team or the under-20 team that won the Caribbean cup in 2014.

    • I playing referee here bc i understand both sides Lasana Liburd ur point taken and Earl Jean ur point taken that’s y i reminded earl that lasana talking about youths here and earl u are quite right youth development even at 14 +15 is a tireless sometimes thank less job it’s d reason i don’t coach teams no more but individual players bc coaching youth teams is about commitment and consistency and for that u must have time and resources so on this point u both get full marks just dealing with different parts of the question

    • I like when your investigative skill comes out like quick fire…love it just keep it …lighting fast as u are accustomed my boy…lol

    • Two points: First, I’ve obviously written about the positive work done at Connection before and because they are not necessarily a great nursery for talent doesn’t negate that.
      Two–and more importantly–it doesn’t matter in this context anyway and I reject any suggestion that we should hush and not criticise if Connection had been churning out more U-14 players than we can count.
      Jabloteh have probably produced more young talent than any other club. So should we give the Jabloteh chairman the $8 million and hush and let them do whatever they think is right with it?
      I will never agree with such thinking. And that has nothing to do with Connection.

    • U start development and u cant go further than 8 to 13 or 16 …what do u do…blame everyone else who can take it to the nxt level. ..ummm

    • U can criticize anytime…its your job isnt it getting that feeling that some are more upset with whats happening. ..maybe its better for sponsors to stay away. ..thought all this was for tnt and not djw

    • Excellent point Earl Jean and that is where i have a problem with a number of grassroots and community coaches who refuse to hand over young players for selfish reasons even after they can no longer contribute all that is y this elite program is so important!!! Run ur leg and pass on the baton for the finishers!!

    • That’s the thing Earl. For some people, they want others to either applaud or stay away. They cannot take constructive criticism.
      Somebody says: “I hope they add this” or “They should include that”.
      And your response to that is best the sponsors stay away? Seriously?! Steups.

    • constructive is always good..

    • I don’t mean to be snarky to Chabeth or anyone else though. And I do think I was. So I’m sorry about that.
      I’ve criticized DJW bitterly. And my concerns remain.
      But the return to identifying talent early, season tickets for fans and special perks for legends of our game were all things that Wired868 called for over the last four years.
      Now we may not envision it the same way. And I might have something to throw in the pot as far as that idea goes. And there might be something in the fine print that I don’t like at all.
      But I support the general concept in all three cases and only hope it is done well so the opportunities are not lost.

  46. I forgot this bit… Should I see sue for copyright infringement? Lol.
    “The TTFA will continue in its quest to improve the game locally,” said John-Williams. “It is our intent in the not too distant future to lend some level of financial support to club football both at the Pro League and Super League levels in the first instance. When this TTFA administration promises it delivers.
    “So keep looking and stay wired to the TTFA for the delivery of good news in football. If you want to call, the number is 868-For-TTFA!”

  47. I do believe that the justification for state sponsored gambling was to generate funds for sports and culture. Same as in the UK where the national lottery invests £millions into grass roots sport, including football. Has anyone ever studied the NLCB figures? How much is generated and how much is invested back into sports and culture? But I think this initiative is exactly right for NLCB funding, providing there is transparency. And I do believe that TTFA are matching the investment from NLCB?

  48. Since they call this a “partnership”, how is the NLCB benefiting?

  49. Only a stupid leader talks just to people who agree with him Gordon Pierre. One day you will learn that.

  50. For the sake of the youth and TT football i wish the same!! Good thing all these comments are in the public domain!! Where all can see who is willing to lay aside their egos and agendas for the greater good!! Who have eyes to c let them c!!

  51. ..Let’s hope the programme is productive. I won’t wait on the mass consultation..

  52. ..It have people here could work for Trump..

  53. ..Well, Lasana, it seems the many people who weren’t consulted but who could easily contribute, are mere talkers. Sooooo they weren’t consulted. For an entire year. HAHAHAHA. The very idea that leaders must lead and leave behind those who won’t follow because they only talk is hideous. The mantra of every petty dictator too..

  54. Lasana Liburd i have spent much of my own money on major community and regional projects that’s y i know about the over consulting!! The ppl who come with d pretty talk and beautiful ideas with no idea how to bring it from concept to reality!! I also know that leaders must lead come up with the plan and vision and ask ppl to buy into it!! Not everyone one will embrace d vision but u move on with those who are like minded at d end of the day many are called chosen are few!!

    • You have a warped vision of what a leader is. A leader doesn’t sell people his brilliance.
      A leader consults, talks the good and bad on board, sifts through and then comes up with something plausible.
      That takes humility and intelligence.
      A dictator just says this is my idea, it’s awesome, follow it or get out of my way.

    • I never said his brilliance! he would have his master mind, his name think tank they will consult and come up with d vision!! Mass consultation initially is a recipe for confusion. A wise man once said if you want nothing done form a large committee if u want to get it done immediately do it urself!!

    • Gordon, the master plan doesn’t come before the consultation. You have it in reverse.
      What you do is have an idea that you then get stressed tested by best, most knowledgeable minds you can find. If you go in to talk looking for validation, then the process is tainted.
      Then, when you see the pros and cons, you have to know what advice to take and what not to.

    • Lasana Liburd in a perfect world lasana in a perfect world

  55. ..And no, nobody asked me anything. LOL..

  56. ..Consultation could be as speedy as you want it to be. Precisely because there is no reinvention of the wheel. A YEAR is certainly enough time. But that, of course, is if one is INTERESTED in consultation and doesn’t believe one has all the answers or one is prepared to open up the development process..

  57. ..Consultation could be as speedy as you want it. Precisely because there is no reinvention of the wheel. A YEAR is certainly enough time. But that, of course, is if one is INTERESTED in consultation and doesn’t believe one has all the answers or doesn’t want to open up the development process..

  58. Only a man who has never spent his own money on a major product would say something like consultation slows down the process Gordon.

    • How did you arrive at the figure of 8 million?
      How is this to be used?
      Infrastructure development, staff salaries,equipment, player maintenance,health and wellness are just sone of the needs………period length ,prioritizing, sequencing ,budgeting there must be a plan articulated,this would mean consultation,don’t you think?
      Or just spend as you feel required at the time?

  59. Trevor Bridglalsingh and Keith Look Loy i am sure u two goodly gentlemen knowledge and experience will be greatly appreciated and looked for if not approached already. But at the same time i hope that u all would appreciate that over consultation will but slow and handicap d process, no need to reinvent the wheel!! In a four year presidential term in which one is almost done plans need to b implemented quickly

    • Better to start spending and work out the details after eh Gordon? ???

    • Not at all there is a comprehensive plan that includes consultation but don’t expect over consultation as i said since last year if u are slow get out the way the train is rolling baby!!

    • ..Consultation after “the train has started rolling”. Ahahaha. Typical..

    • Not saying that Keith Look Loy!! What i am saying is that the basic plan is in place the parts need to be found this will be done with consultation. The plan can always be tweak as we go along but the business of football can’t be stopped. The train rolling comment is simply painting the picture that we all need to get on board quickly at what ever level we feel we can assist at bc things need to happen quickly, bc the youths are depending on us!! It was an open invitation to football lovers everywhere get on board or b left behind!! No offense meant

  60. This program went back to mid 1980s. I just confirmed that Shaka Hislop and Dwight Yorke debuted on the under-12 team.
    Yorke was eight when he made his T&T debut.
    Know what that means? That the national under-12 team almost three decades ago had a better scouting operation than our current under-20 team.
    What does that say about how far we regressed?!

    • Lasana Liburd i am sure u will accept that d current leadership is one the job less than eleven months now and are already coming up with medium to long-term solutions

    • And short to medium term problems too.

    • Lasana Liburd u are a mover and shaker so i am sure u will appreciate that if u are trying to correct a bad situation problems and mistakes will arise!! The key is to have a long-term vision and mission and with commitment passion and drive work out the problems to leave a great legacy for the future!! In this case football but that’s d basis of powerful leadership

  61. ..I ask the same question: What exactly does this programme entail? All I am reading about is money. I await an explanation and communication from the TTFA to clubs, schools, clinics and those involved in youth football regarding the philosophy, objectives, scope, methodology and operation of this programme. I repeat Trevor’s question: Was anyone with appropriate experience consulted in the elaboration of this programme. When we had a youth development programme back in the 1990s we had permanent consultation on its development and operations. Further, while selecting young players for ongoing training at national level is good (and not novel), I note the reference to training of those coaches involved in the programme, which is also good. However, ultimately it is not the business of a national association to provide elite youth training (other than for national teams). The association should focus on providing coaching education for the mass of coaches who work in grassroots and youth football in order to ensure that the pool from which players are selected into the national programme is exposed to the very best coaching the country could provide. Hopefully, some of the money TTFA is getting in will be devoted to a proper education programme for youth coaches all over the country..

  62. There were a few people who did a FA Elite player development course and a few people who did the Center for Excellence were they invited for comments,suggestions ?
    Keith over to you?

  63. Regarding sport and opportunity cost, , the choice is usually development over existing programmes. So in response to your closing question on whether the existing teams are getting any money, it may be harsh, but I doubt it. Because once the money is shared, both programmes get diluted and neither get the maximum output desired.

  64. Please… please…. please… monitor the cash pan!!!

  65. Nice idea Lester. That would facilitate broad based scouting for talent and allow for development of players. The zonal program was highly successful in the late 70s /early 80s and was the platform that allowed players like Latas, Shaka Hislop, Dwight Yorke, Clint Marcelle, Colin Rocke, myself and many others to be identified and developed. I’ll also like to see component 1 of the objectives revamp. I think we have the cart before the horse. TTFA should instead focus on developing and offering more coaching courses and programs to increase the number of qualified coaches, as well as courses to enhance the expertise of some of our current coaches. Minimum coaching qualification standards should then be established for coaches to coach at various levels. The other thing I’ll like to see is the development of courses and programs to improve the management and administration of football /sports in TNT. These type of courses should go hand in hand with coaching courses.

  66. I hope they go back to the TTFA zonal academies of that era for this project.