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Letter to the Editor: If Warriors fans want a top performance, we should lead by example!

“We demand top performances from our team, so it’s only fair that we should in turn be top supporters.

“At the end of the day, the reality is that the team will need all the support it can get in order to beat the best in the region, so that we can rub shoulders with the best in the world in 2018.”

The following Letter to the Editor was submitted to Wired868 by former Trinidad and Tobago national youth team goalkeeper, Thorne Holder:

Photo: Football fans (from left) Peter Cumberbatch, Alana Lewis and Eugene Todd answer the call to get behind the "Soca Warriors" against the United States on 17 November 2015. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Football fans (from left) Peter Cumberbatch, Alana Lewis and Eugene Todd answer the call to get behind the “Soca Warriors” against the United States on 17 November 2015.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Dear Soca Warriors Fans,

Historically, we are one of the most animated and die hard fans in CONCACAF. It is with great love and appreciation that I am addressing you today. We’re at the business end of the World Cup Qualifying campaign for Russia 2018 and, like 2006, we have a real good chance of making it to Russia 2018.

The Warriors have negotiated the tricky early rounds and have made into the final six—the ‘HEX’.  A massive shout out must go to the passionate die-hard supporters among us who have as much at stake in the team’s progress as the committed players, coaches and staff.

However there is a worrying trend that I’ve witnessed emerging from certain sections of our ‘supporters’.

In our last home WC Qualifier against Guatemala, some of the loudest noises coming from the crowd—barring the euphoria of the goals, of course—were the groans of dissatisfaction and collective ‘steups’ when an error was made by one of our very own.

We are an upfront and generally honest nation, and we do not put water in our mouths when we have a strong opinion. So we are the first to let someone know when their actions and attitudes are not up to par. But when we gather in the stadium to support the Warriors, we become something more than just another opinion. We become something more than just another Trinbagonian.

Photo: Soca Warriors supporter Joey "Posh" Richardson (right) exchanges notes with some football fans during 2018 World Cup qualifying action against the United States on 17 November 2015. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Soca Warriors supporter Joey “Posh” Richardson (right) exchanges notes with some football fans during 2018 World Cup qualifying action against the United States on 17 November 2015.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

When we find ourselves in the stands at a live Football event, we become an extension of the team, we become an extension of the coaches, we become an extension of all the hard training that went into pre-season [and] all the tough loses that had to be endured, we all endured.

When our National Anthem is finished and the referee is getting ready to blow the whistle, we, the Soca Warrior in the stands, must also get ready. Because we are home!

And when another team enters our land, touches our soil and emerges within the confines of our stadium, they must feel like they have entered into the Colosseum of Gladiators and every man, woman and child in the crowd, a dragon waiting to devour them if they dare to step off the field, where there are such things as rules.

This is Home Field Advantage, and it is a tangible atmosphere, that plays a significant part of a team’s success. We need this advantage, and we need our fans to take that responsibility.

I’m not saying that we should accept abject performances, but an encouraging word is far more helpful than chastisement. As a former player and avid supporter, I can’t emphasise enough—through first-hand experience—how important it is to have the crowd behind you.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago football captain and legend Dwight Yorke (bottom) salutes the "Soca Warriors" fans at the 2006 Germany World Cup. (Copyright AFP 2014/Patrik Stollarz)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago football captain and legend Dwight Yorke (bottom) salutes the “Soca Warriors” fans at the 2006 Germany World Cup.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Patrik Stollarz)

This simply doesn’t mean filling the stadium, ‘checking-in’ on Facebook and taking selfies to prove that you were there. Rather, it means roaring the team onto the pitch for the warm-up and start of play.

It means cheering every passing sequence, defensive clearance, header, save, shot, throw-in and free kick won. While, at the same time, jeering the opposition [when they are] in possession and whenever they appear to be getting on top. The referee must also feel the heat and be pressured to make ‘home decisions.’ Therein lies ‘home advantage’.

It’s notoriously difficult to get results on the road in CONCACAF. This makes it all the more critical that maximum points are earned at home since away points are generally seen as a bonus.

We demand top performances from our team, so it’s only fair that we should in turn be top supporters. At the end of the day, the reality is that the team will need all the support it can get in order to beat the best in the region, so that we can rub shoulders with the best in the world in 2018.

Photo: A Trinidad and Tobago supporter holds up a sign ahead of the Group B World Cup match between Paraguay and Trinidad and Tobago at Kaiserslautern's Fritz-Walter Stadium on 20 June 2006. (Copyright AFP 2014/Roberto Schmidt)
Photo: A Trinidad and Tobago supporter holds up a sign ahead of the Group B World Cup match between Paraguay and Trinidad and Tobago at Kaiserslautern’s Fritz-Walter Stadium on 20 June 2006.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Roberto Schmidt)

Our country is desperate for something to feel awesome about. This is a unique opportunity for us all to contribute to Trinidad and Tobago’s unification through the power of sport.

Didier Drogba and his teammates successfully appealed to their countrymen to end an all-out five year civil war in the Ivory Coast after they qualified for the 2006 finals. Perhaps we can similarly utilise that positive sentiment to curb some of the ills plaguing our current society.

The TTFA has been making arrangements to get fans into the venue from several community centres, so let’s turn up and show the world what warriors do, how warriors win, and what it means to have a “Home Field Advantage.”

Bring the family and celebrate the beautiful game of football, as Trinidad and Tobago makes her way to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland (second from right) gestures to fans after Joevin Jones' second goal against Guatemala during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on Friday 2 September 2016. Both teams played to a 2-2 draw. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland (second from right) gestures to fans after Joevin Jones’ second goal against Guatemala during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on Friday 2 September 2016.
Both teams played to a 2-2 draw.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

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26 comments

  1. Lionel Messi (after Argentina loss to Brazil): “I hope the people in San Juan have patience. That affects us. I watched on TV the game in Cordoba [Argentina’s home loss 1-0 to Paraguay on Oct. 11] and I could see that the players were booed and insulted. That does not help. We need to be united. We need to feel that we are the hosts.

    “They have to understand that we need to do it together. We are the first to want to win and get results. When those around you are not behind you, you notice that.

    “We have a few days to forget and prepare the next one. It needs to be different to that [performance] of today. We know we are going to be punished but we need to be strong to come out of this situation.

    “There are many games left and we are not thinking about missing out on qualifying. Winning the rest of them we will be back in contention. We must be positive because we think we will get there but we need to change a lot.”

  2. The Costa Rican contingent had all the vibes in covered stands tonight

  3. Since 1989 our football teams have not been all that they are being sold as.we have not been making any serious inroads as the team to beat .and it seems players are only here so they can be caps for playing on a national team .everything needs to be revamp totally and needs to be started from scratch.the current crop of players are only reporting for work to collect a salary .but they cannot get us over the top .always 3rd or 4 th place and the country is spending millions of $$$$$ to get us nowhere

  4. Change that stupid name soca warriors look at all of the top teams in the world, most of them, they just go by their country’s name, we cant even beat the small island around us but we are warriors bullshit we are just making ourselves a laughing stock

    • This is the reason why the person wrote the letter to the editor. Thing is Trinis trash their sports teams for not playing well but when they win they are soooo in love and the team can do no wrong. Loving a team on a fly by night basis is stupid – they don’t need negative vibes they need to feel proud of their team and when the masses aren’t behind them how will they feel that? And if they’re not getting support they won’t play the way they really want to.

    • You can’t ask the public to support something that’s been happening over and over again, sports in general is a joke in our country and its not the athletes or players its administration like or not that’s a fact

  5. Trinidad football team is a waste ah flipping time

  6. Warriors fans let’s go out and support our team and make some noise for 90 + mins . Red white and Black all the way . warrior warriors

  7. problem is we support when we win…..we don’t support to win

  8. Thorne Holder – WELL SAID! Most people who attend the games haven’t played professionally and I bet they’d feel pretty shitty if they were getting booed all the time. Yes. Trinidad is desperate for some positive vibes and why not exhibit that for all sports events where their team is competing in? It’s a start.

  9. Its here peoples Fantastic Friday total support later for warriors

  10. POSH THERE RED N READY TOTAL SUPPORT

  11. I have a problem with the cost of uncovered stand tickets. No marketing sense at all. It is better to get a full stadium at $100.00 than 40% at the price they are charging. Poor people are the biggest fans how they finding that money especially if they have a child and want to make it a family affair.. Come on ttfa think outside of the box.

  12. And by the way before I forget, if our Soca Worries loose the game vs Costa Rica the only person to be blame for the loss is Kevin Nash because I put out plenty monies that he wudda score eh and now I have to give Mr. Bound not to score the “Challenge” that if he scores $ 1000 monies will be donated to Mr. Live Wire Football Festival . hahahaha

  13. Well the new thing now is having a DJ like if it is a party, and sometimes the DJ even continues to play the music while the game is playing I guess to keep the people in the vibes at least this is what I noticed at the pro league games.

  14. Part of the problem is that unlike popular football culture, for example in Europe, we don’t have merely enough distinctive chants that the nation can’t collectively identify to, so that we can all chant in unison and spur on the team. Apart from “T&T We Want Ah Goal”, or the now controversial “I Am A Soca Warrior”, which lack any real substance and longevity, we don’t have much in terms of really getting behind the team and giving them that atmosphere.

  15. hahahaha he said that he notice that the supporters. steeuppss. when Bound not to score is playing shit, but his name wasn’t mentioned and yes when he was finally substituted the supporters gave him a round of applause and he forget to mention that to eh. Them really good yes.

    • Most were booing him, and majority of the cheers were for Levi Garcia, I felt bad for the skipper. We shouldn’t kick a man when he’s down, poor guy already knew he had a bad game. ?

    • Well you know that our people is the best critics in the World when yuh playing shit eh remember the first time Denise Plummer sang on the stage in South and she got plenty toilet paper pelt at her and she started crying even a bottle was thrown at her eh, but she stuck at it and eventually was loved by the people eh.

  16. I will do my part…game start, make noise We are Warriors! SOCA WARRIORS!!!

  17. I’ve always believed this because it’s a two way street.