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“They don’t cherish him!” Hudson pulls out of T&T U-20 squad before Caribbean Cup semis

The Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team will face their two closing matches of the 2016 Caribbean Cup without W Connection starlet, Isaiah Hudson, who will return home from Curaçao tomorrow and was effectively ruled out of the semifinal rounds.

The young Soca Warriors face Antigua and Barbuda in the first semifinal match this evening from 5.30pm at the Ergilio Hato Stadium in Willemstad. If victorious, they will face the winner of a Haiti/Bermuda clash in the Under-20 Caribbean Cup final at the same venue from 7.30pm on Sunday.

The two losers meet in the third place play off from 5pm on Sunday.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 Team midfielder Isaiah Hudson (right) tries to hold off Bermuda captain Zuhri Burgess during 2017 World Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 September 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 Team midfielder Isaiah Hudson (right) tries to hold off Bermuda captain Zuhri Burgess during 2017 World Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 September 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

But the 16-year-old Hudson, who is a senior W Connection player, will not be there to help out. His father, Brent Hudson, said his son is injured.

“He has an injury and he has to come back so he can be attended properly,” Hudson (B) told Wired868. “The coaches are concerned about winning and not the children’s health and welfare. People are just studying to win and not [thinking] about the development of the children.”

Incidentally, the request for Hudson’s return was made directly to Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams and not to general secretary, Azaad Khan, who is responsible for the operation of the local football body.

John-Williams, as president of the W Connection football squad, has a direct stake in Hudson, who made his Pro League debut at just 14.

The young Warriors have spent the last four weeks—on a pre-tournament training camp in Panama and the ongoing competition—without a team doctor or accredited physiotherapist in their touring party.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (centre) presents then Naparima College attacker Jarred Dass with his 2015 National Intercol medal. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (centre) presents then Naparima College attacker Jarred Dass with his 2015 National Intercol medal.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

However, although team sources confirmed that Hudson does have a sore shoulder, there were conflicting reports as to whether it was serious enough to rule him out of contention to play. National Under-20 coach Brian Williams promised to speak to Wired868 about the issue after Trinidad and Tobago’s semifinal this evening but subsequently failed to make his appointment with the website.

Like John-Williams and Hudson, Williams is also attached to W Connection, where he coaches their youth team.

The Under-20s were dealt another blow on Wednesday as striker Nicholas Dillon limped off the field, during their goalless draw with Haiti, and was ruled out of this evening’s semifinal.

Williams did not suggest, previously, that Hudson’s health played any part in his decision to replace the attacking midfielder with Jarred Dass for Trinidad and Tobago’s final group match against Haiti, which ended in a goalless draw.

Hudson played the full 90 minutes in their opening draw with Cuba and then for 66 minutes in their 4-0 win over St Lucia before being an unused substitute against Haiti.

However, his father claimed that Hudson’s diminished role within the team had not been a factor in the family’s decision to bring him home.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago striker Nicholas Dillon (right) celebrates one of his five goals against Turks and Caicos alongside teammate Isaiah Hudson during Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 17 June 2016. T&T won 11-0. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago striker Nicholas Dillon (right) celebrates one of his five goals against Turks and Caicos alongside teammate Isaiah Hudson during Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 17 June 2016.
T&T won 11-0.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

“He has an injury and we are not comfortable with him having an injury and we see it fit for him to come home,” said Hudson (B). “I didn’t discuss [with him] why he was on the bench [against Haiti]. We will probably talk about that when he gets home.

“Me and my wife were uncomfortable about him staying there [in his condition] because [the team] has already qualified. Taking care of Isaiah [now] will help Trinidad more in the long run.”

Although the Under-20 technical staff has not declared Hudson to be injured yet, defenders Kierron Mason and Jacob Sooklal were both on the wounded list but remained in Curaçao, along with Rondell Payne and Moses Jaikaran, who cannot play since the team could only register 20 players.

But Hudson got special dispensation to return home early. His father explained that it has been a tough year for the Naparima College schoolboy, who has ambitions of putting Trinidad and Tobago back on the international football map.

Hudson scored twice in an 11-0 rout of Turks and Caicos and got a leveller against St Lucia in the Caribbean Cup qualifying round in June. However, like his teammates, he played in spurts with Williams’ team woefully short of fluency at that stage.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 attacker Isaiah Hudson (centre) is denied by St Lucia goalkeeper Noah Didier during 2016 Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 19 June 2016. Hudson is also a member of the Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 Team. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 attacker Isaiah Hudson (centre) is denied by St Lucia goalkeeper Noah Didier during 2016 Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 19 June 2016.
Hudson is also a member of the Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 Team.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

The tall, versatile attacker was expected to then play a decisive role for the National Under-17 Team in September but failed to spark as coach Russell Latapy’s squad was eliminated at home in the group stage of the Caribbean Cup.

Hudson (B), a former Defence Force and United Petrotrin forward, explained that his son was ill and pushed himself to represent the National Under-17 Team regardless, only to then be criticised harshly for his performances.

“When ‘Latas’ picked the team, Isaiah got the virus and that is why he didn’t perform as he should have performed,” said Hudson (B), who singled out the remarks of a television commentator. “But I knew he could have still helped his team and I wanted him to at least try. So we still put him out there because you know with [legendary ex-West Indies batsman] Brian Lara, sometimes just the presence of Lara could help  his team score runs.

“So the negative remarks [about his performances] really hurt. You don’t treat youngsters so… If he didn’t have good parents and believe in God, he would have broken already.”

Hudson (B) said, although he was making a stance for his son, his concern was for all young players in Trinidad and Tobago. And he urged coaches, journalists and supporters to be more concerned with the welfare and development of youths.

Photo: Naparima College forward Isaiah Hudson leaps into the air to celebrate his goal against Presentation College (San Fernando) in the 2015 South Zone Intercol final at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Naparima College forward Isaiah Hudson leaps into the air to celebrate his goal against Presentation College (San Fernando) in the 2015 South Zone Intercol final at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Young Hudson, he said, has not felt the love and support that he deserves.

“[He is] the first 14 year old to play in the Pro League,” said Hudson (B). “In India, they would cherish [former cricket legend] Sachin Tendulkar and push him… I am thinking very carefully about my child representing this country [because] they don’t care about him and cherish him.

“And not my child alone; all young players. This is about the future of Trinidad and Tobago.”

Hudson (B) declined the chance to explain what issues his son may have had in Curaçao, outside of his sore shoulder. But he was effusive in his praise of Latapy’s work as National Under-17 coach—although, ironically, it is Williams’ team that will advance to the CONCACAF round while the Under-17 squad fell at the first hurdle.

“I think for the short space of time [Latapy] took over the team, he did a wonderful job,” said Hudson (B). “That is the kind of coach we need in Trinidad and Tobago. We cannot expect him to do miracles with the team in just two weeks [but] he is a professional and he knows how to speak to the players.

“He played at the highest level and, because of his exposure outside with Portugal and so on, he has bags of experience. This what we want; not men who played football here and never went nowhere.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 Team coach Russell Latapy (right) passes on instructions to midfielder Nickel Orr during Caribbean Football Union (CFU) action against Jamaica on 20 September 2016 at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 Team coach Russell Latapy (right) passes on instructions to midfielder Nickel Orr during Caribbean Football Union (CFU) action against Jamaica on 20 September 2016 at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Hudson (B) insisted that his son has not abandoned the national team and will wear the red, black and white strip again when he is fit. And he stressed that he feels an enormous sense of pride when he sees the teenager line up for Trinidad and Tobago.

However, he thinks the best thing now is for the boy to regain his best physical and emotional form.

“If the [national] coach feels to pick him and he is fit and feels like playing, I would let him play,” said Hudson (B). “That is if he feels like playing of course.”

 

Editor’s Note: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 coach Brian Williams has disputed claims that Isaiah Hudson was injured. Click HERE to read Williams’ stance on the issue.

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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68 comments

  1. Lasana….breds,I wish all concerned good luck with this…..

  2. Apprantly the “stars” don’t want play under this coaching staff….

  3. Another mystical scenario in TnT football. Smh

  4. Several underlying concerns which need to be addressed …!

  5. Lasana.. quick question though ..all those secondary school teams ..especially it seems NAPS have been playing without their best squad as tge national teams were in camps/tournaments? ..is this true?
    Well we know shiva boys players chose to stay home ..is this a factor in their SSFL title?

    • It has to be a factor to me. Now Shiva did lose their goalkeeper Denzil Smith. And Smith has not conceded a single goal in four matches, which says a lot.
      They also lost Judah Garcia down the stretch as he got selected for a promotional training camp in England.
      But if they had lost Pappy Emmanuel and Quinn Rodney too, I don’t know if they would have managed it.

  6. Rules really become blurred when a 16yr old professional is ordered home by his father

  7. Keith, there also now seems to also be no structure and policy that is sacrosanct.. Team means unit where I come from and once we go down a path of different rules for different people, or making up policy and procedure on the fly, there is no telling where it ends..

  8. All kinda headline because this youth get called home from National duty? This youth getting way too much hype and props.

  9. ..Look, leave dem W Connection people business alone yes LOL..

  10. I sense problems here, whether the young man is injured or not, it is the manner of his withdrawal, originating with his father and going through the man in charge of both TTFA and the young man’s club tells of a one man show. The more things change the more they remain the same. If the coach of the team and his management on tour have any Professional pride left, i expect them to submit their resignations upon return.

  11. Brian Williams, through manager Dunstan Williams, gave a time to clear the air and didn’t meet to chat then as agreed. I then note the matter was not addressed through the TTFA Media either.
    So I don’t know if the TTFA plans to skirt over this topic and hope that it dies.

  12. Sore shoulder it have to be more than that. If not something seriously wrong and needs to be looked at

  13. Hahaha!! Lasana Liburd is me the man throwing shade for!! Everyone who knows me knows if is one thing i don’t support is breaking down youths!! I held my tongue as much as i could in that U 17 tournament but now that he’s super cheerleader start me i will say what some one should have said a long time, if u can’t make a team on merit of recent performance u should not be on the pitch at all!! They want the truth after his first game at d U 17 tournament he should not have been a starter in that team much less this U 20 team criticism is for him to go do his home work especially if it comes from me because i love and cherish youths!!!

    • ..People said that during and after the U17..

    • Even his team mates in the U-17 tournament said the same thing which unfortunately did not go down well with some parties.

    • Timothy Rochford i was trying to be civil bc its a youth, i told everyone off air and again i don’t want d squabble among young national team mates but there is no way John Paul Rochford can’t play in d center of the park if Hudson starting. His father reacting to my comments in d Jamaica game where i said so much expected of Hudson give a little background (young professional debut etc) and he hasn’t deliver and said i hear one of d reason on d ground was he was sick my response if he was sick he should have been rested bc after that two game performance there is no way he should have started against Jamaica them take it personal!! Stupz shades of Darrell Brown here smh

    • From what I’ve seen and heard Gordon Pierre, this youth player really wants to be a humble footballer. And he is, generally.

  14. Simply saying the rise and fall of all footballers start in the home .

  15. The Coaches and Staff shouldn’t have taken part in any tournament unless a doctor was assigned to the team, then again this is our sweet country, no respect for our players steeuupss Them really good yes.

  16. If the kid is injured and needs to be pulled so be it but das not the vibe I getting. If I may be so bold kid has vast potential and on the national team has not lived up to the hype …. has been criticised and has taken it a bit hard so the dad has taken a defensive stance understandable. ……. bottom line if a player want props he has to show it on the field …which this kid has shown only in flashes. Maybe Dad should focus on teaching the kid how to deal with criticism and how to use it to drive him to do better. Or maybe I’m just an out of touch fossil from a different time with different means of motivation 🙂

  17. It is alleged that this fella always wsnt to have his own way . Reminds me of some other past national players. The coaches encourage this nonsense all the time

  18. Father start to spoil his career talk done . Take your son and coach him. Out of place.

  19. Father start to spoil his career talk done . Take your son and coach him

  20. I think Brian Williams and the under-20 coaching staff has done quite well under the circumstances.
    There have been maybe half a dozen pull outs for different reasons. From Pappy and Quinn to Jardel and young Nixon… Then injuries to his squad after the tournament started. And yet he got them to the semifinal.
    Well done, Brian.

  21. Will wait on Brian Williams’ comments before I say anything….

  22. ..He was injured in the recent U17 tournament. So is it that the family has declared him unfit and pulled him from the team? I am not clear..

    • The technical staff has not declared him injured yet. They have promised to speak to that later.
      For now, it seems that there is a knock and the family–and not the technical staff–decided that he should return home as a result.

    • ..That’s what I understood but wanted to be absolutely clear. Well, Trini is the Land of the Free so everybody could do what they want. But the team has qualified for the CONCACAF finals – without some other “big” players who had something else to do – and the coach has to pick his side for that tournament (if you know what I mean). If he walk he walk. But it is clear to me that this generation of players -at least some of them – feel that they are indispensable to, and in charge of, our national teams..

    • I see what you mean when you take in the context of some of the other issues. But then we will know more when the technical staff explains the seriousness of the injury.
      Regardless, the father is upset with his son’s introduction to international football to begin with. Hard to know which direction to go on that one. But it would have helped if the public was told that he was ill during the U-17 tournament.
      If he wasn’t performing due to illness, that seems to be more the coach’s fault than the player’s fault to me.

    • The relevant people apparently knew.

    • Apparently. I have to hope coach Russell Latapy made a decision with the best interest of the team in mind. And it was unrelated to the TTFA president’s personal stake in Hudson as a W Connection player.
      The fact that this is a question at all speaks volumes.

  23. For the life of me, I cannot figure the missing doctor or licensed physiotherapist part. We carried more players than were registered, so money shouldn’t be an issue..

  24. Lasana Liburd this article making the boy sound like a spoiled brat….I understand the need for a doctor…ESP if injured….but all d Brian Lara and tendulkar talk when the boy has yet to do anything other than win with naps is a bit too much

  25. This is puzzling and raises some serious red flags. I don’t like parents meddling in team sports. But if the kid is hurt I totally understand his dad’s concern. But a parent making the decision to bring his kid home is not a good look.

    • I agree fully. And, again, there is the whiff of a potential conflict of interest. Not that DJW has done anything wrong here necessarily. But it can undermine the coach’s authority when players and the parents have a hotline for the football president and when he has an actual stake in some players and not others.

  26. I think we do forget that these are young men trying to balance school, personal lives and football, while coming into their own..players of past generations didn’t have all the media attention, which I guess can be both a blessing and a curse, there seems to be a lot more stress and pressures playing in such a digital age.

    • I think when you have made a commitment to the national team, you should not break it early except for a real emergency.
      But I do agree that there has got to be a lot of pressure on a young player who is playing for two national teams and a senior club side at just 16.