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Joevin: Saintfiet is trying to dirty my name; I always want to play for T&T

“I can’t see why Tom [Saintfiet] is saying I am not interested and I don’t want to play for my country. I don’t know why he is trying to turn things on me.”

The following Letter to the Editor was submitted to Wired868 by Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team midfielder Joevin Jones regarding his coach Tom Saintfiet’s claim that the Seattle Sounders player was not interested in representing the Soca Warriors in this week’s Gold Cup playoffs:

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones (centre) is tackled by two Costa Rican players during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones (centre) is tackled by two Costa Rican players during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

I just want to clear my name. I just want to say I always want to play for my country. It’s an honour to play for this country.

First to begin, me and Tom [Saintfiet] talked face to face weeks ago agreeing on me coming to the camp on the 1st [of January]. Yes, I did agree to [that]. But the problem was getting clearance from my team [Seattle Sounders].

After the Trinidad and Tobago team got back from the two friendlies [in Nicaragua] on the 31st [of December], I got a message from my lil brother [and national team player] Alvin that I have to come in camp on the 1st [of January] at 12pm, which was the next day.

I had no info as yet from my club stating if I can go [to camp] or not… [And] why do I have to get a message from my lil brother to come in camp? What about the manager [Azaad Khan]?

My club gave me late clearance on Sunday morning to go. My lil brother was in camp already, so I sent a message with my lil brother stating that I got the clearance and I would be in camp or training the following evening, which he did deliver.

Photo: Seattle Sounders wing back Joevin Jones (left) controls the ball during MLS action against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on 12 March 2016. (Courtesy AFP 2017/Gene Sweeney Jr)
Photo: Seattle Sounders wing back Joevin Jones (left) controls the ball during MLS action against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on 12 March 2016.
(Courtesy AFP 2017/Gene Sweeney Jr)

The only reason why I delivered the message back through my lil brother was because they sent one with him. I think they were unprofessional [in doing] that.

The only reason why I played with W Connection [in a friendly against Haiti last week] was because they asked me to train and stay shape for the upcoming game on the 4th against Suriname. So I decided to play the game with W Connection because I can’t watch football because I love the game.

The person who called me to train with Connection called Tom and asked if I could play in the game. The answer I get was: ‘Yes and be careful’.

I risked my contract with Seattle by playing—just to maintain some fitness to feature in the upcoming games. I can’t see why Tom is saying I am not interested and I don’t want to play for my country. I don’t know why he is trying to turn things on me.

I can’t just come in camp just like that. I am under contract with Seattle. They have to give me clearance.

As I said, I got late clearance on Sunday morning. I was on my way to camp on Sunday evening when my lil brother Alvin said to me they don’t want me again. I said no problem.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones controls the ball during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action against St Vincent and the Grenadines at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 29 March 2016. (Courtesy: Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones controls the ball during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action against St Vincent and the Grenadines at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 29 March 2016.
(Courtesy: Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

I think the communication was wrong by sending messages through my lil brother. I don’t see why Tom is trying to dirty my name by saying [if] I could play for Connection [then] why I can’t play with the national team, when the TTFA told me to go and stay in shape and keep fitness. That I didn’t like, [especially] when I risked my contract with Seattle by playing to say fit and in-shape to play for my country.

I just want to tell the people of Trinidad and Tobago, this has nothing to do with me not wanting to play for my loving country. I always love playing.

I just want to clear my name. If I wasn’t interested, why did I talk to Tom and agree face to face to play and to come in camp on the 1st?

If I wasn’t interested, I would have told Tom I had a long season and I needed rest. Simple as that. It hurt me to read stuff that isn’t true.

Editor’s Note: Trinidad and Tobago coach Tom Saintfiet also claimed that Kevin Molino and Cordell Cato declined invitations to represent their country at this week’s Gold Cup playoffs. He later amended this to say that Molino offered to play but he refused to accept him since the midfielder initially said no.

Defender Daneil Cyrus denied suggestions that he turned up to the team camp smelling of alcohol although Saintfiet insisted that he never accused the player of this.

Trinidad and Tobago play Suriname from 7pm today at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

About Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
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  1. All these so call stars….dem a playing for Barcelona Real Madrid or what? Dem is a whole bunch a jackos who eh have no discipline and cyah put country fuss. Me say forget dey asses and think bout the nex 10 years.

  2. There you g again bro. This man here hoe much days now. What vendetta could he have. The man now reach here bro. the way how i see is like this. DISCIPLINE AND COMMITMENT is the order of the day

  3. Sporting personalities of this country are hailed to easily, which leads to the swelling of their head and egos. We supporters I believe has a discerning eye and analyze the regular mistakes that are being made. Discipline, Tolerance and Production are our watchwords and these three principles once applied correctly would aid in great success.

  4. Lies! U jus damn slack! so d man came here with a pre bias towards u alone,get real eh

  5. It was a frigging pain to watch tnt play last night…. I want to see jovein Jones. Molino. Garcia. Caesar. Phillips. Jan Michael. Playing again.. need them back n playing as a unit. I keep saying we have a good unit.. our coach decided to play counter attacking football against Suriname… plain Bullshit. Minors we suppose to crush them.. rethink your tactics

  6. Everyone knows that you trinidad and Tobago footballers have no discipline and respect for the country.

  7. Can I ask a silly question??… Do these players have agents or ppl who look after their affairs??


  9. Too effing much! And “this” is not helping the situation wired868.com!

  10. All yuh fighting down joevin to much

  11. All yuh fighting down joevin to much

  12. Foncette is still a bake, rani flat bread! ?

  13. Yeah but its the same concept because it’s a pick up match not an official fixture

  14. I done say it once ,my 3year old son could make that side.if you could drop a captain from a side clean.all de rest of players would stand up with him.

  15. Mr. Jones should quit while he’s ahead. Wasn’t there àn issue as well with Coach Hart. Please Mr. Jones you’ve been consistent with this national team when you arrive late after party under Mr. Hart. You want us to believe you now.

  16. I went to the game yesterday is the worst level of football i have ever seen better he bring them back them boi them let them drink they rum

  17. All this talk and discussion. Yet the deeper problem lay in the attitude of our entire society. Daz why Jamaica will always be one step ahead. They like dey party too. But they hate to lose. So their ppl and sportsmen put sport b4 fete. They love dey country and work to lift it up. Most of our citizens cud care less. We looking to see wat the country could give us more than wat we cud do for our country. So not just football everything else. I wish the coach and players good luck and I always want us to succeed especially in football cuz I think we have the best raw talent in the world right here. But our nation needs a drastic adjustment to wat we consider priority if we want to succeed in sport. If we want to continue to be known as a ppl who place more priority on fete and liming no problem. But doh expect consistent success if we out fete first. We will get periods of time wen special players like latapy and York among others emerge. But dat will be few and far between and our football will continue to suffer.

  18. Coach and key players are driving in the opposite directions..
    Not a good.sign at all with so many key games coming up..

  19. Take that….discipline in yr ass

  20. He is saying that they agreed that he would join the camp on the 1st so why should the manager have to contact you again and did he wait for clearance from his team to play for connection

  21. I say LOSE Zwithe future.Build a cadre of competitive disciplined players for 2022. The hell with everything eise

  22. Idiots not one of them serious , time to get people who really have discipline and want to represent this country on the world stage .

  23. To quote Earl Mango Pierre allyuh really good yes! Allyuh could work for trump! ?

  24. Lasana they went yellow fever moyet like that on d T queen 2 cases those excuses are poor I rather lose without them

  25. well done trini…..from potential to SWMCOL in 120mins

  26. Better prepared you say Zen? The most capped player on the Suriname team has 13 caps. That doesn’t say much for our preparation does it?
    Glad you all see progress in that though.

  27. Bruce Aanensen you not serious about life, horrible ??? The game could have gone either way, i would give suriname d edge

  28. Oh no, they were not ‘horrible’. Suriname was, obviously, a better prepared team, but they had their chances. Match had multiple opportunities to go the other way.

  29. We were completely outplayed by a much better skilled and organized team. We could hardly string three passes together. We were quite horrible.

  30. Fellas I missed the game. What happened?

  31. Lasana Liburd I really want to hear what Kirwin has to say about the performance tonight and about “The Saint” now…. they need to stop the political bs and let the players that are capable of playing at this level play

  32. Needed rest but wanted to stay fit ???? Smh…

  33. Well we got the result we deserve.

  34. so why yuh not in training… right! it look bad so now yuh talkin

  35. Y yall in go and play for yall country

  36. At lasana those questions that you put in the response to me is exactly the questions we should be reading answers to in these articles. For example on the release of jj and others from their clubs we should have already had the answers as to why jj and not ttfa was asking to be released of if that ever even happened. Did Tom even find out from the manager if anything was done on their part to get in contact with these players club etc.

    What I am saying is we have no answers for these questions which should have been immediately posed to the different parites involved, instead of this he say she say non progressive talk. Now maybe you are actively seeking answers to all these questions and we are just not aware but without all the answers in as yet it just comes across ole talk in a rum shop about our football and slightly irresponsible.

  37. My GOD …are we trying to go forward or just like bacchanal… thing is let us be fair everybody stories have holes …coach say this …he change his mind,player didn’t get clearance but play friendly …who telling the truth ……people there is gold cup place to play for and and a place to play for in the hex …Let us not fuel this BS please and support our country to get a gold cup place and a place in the hex …TTFA get your act together PLEASE …the country will support our boys if they are worth supporting and TTFA will be a big part of that ….Coach and players let us be big men admit who is wrong and move on with the bigger picture ….the country will as well if they see that happen……I’m not too convinced this is the coach we need to achieve this ..but i willing to see what he has before i write him off ……….Eve and Williams you entitled to your say ..but it may not be needed….Mr wired 868 i like that you want to be fair and give the whole story …but i ask be careful in the future with this campaign as to not turn off the public more than they are we looking for hope somewhere and i think you can be a excellent avenue for that …so just keep unnecessary BS out going forward let us hear the more positive stuff ( i no way cover anything up thou) …People let us go out and support our Boys and our country we may not all agree with all decisions but giving those men hope will make them overcome a few things well …respect all

  38. John Gill those players are delinquent, Tom is a serious man, they are only trying to save face eh

  39. This is their off season, why is FiFa clearance needed? He is not in training camp with Seattle? Did Seattle give him clearance to play two “fete match”? Man play who willing to play. Them youthmen head full ah gas.

  40. Wake up and smell the coffee Mr Jones

  41. Blaming coach, manager, president, every official but the damn players who are full of themselves and cant beat nobody. Mr. President diss all them showoff wannabee football stars and train and coach a cadre of local players especially from the SSFL. Focus on 2022.

  42. I find the coach and players should have a better understanding on problems that will affect them both and t&t so my advice is that the manager should call a meeting with coach and players an get things clarified before the shit hit the fan

  43. I think that is a bizarre comparison Marcia. No similarity whatsoever.

  44. So JJ talked to the coach face to face before abt the training session on jan 1st got clearance albeit late but still did not show up. For me JJ is by far our best player for the last year and half but I totally understand the coach for not playing him these next two games although I would have liked to see him there.

    Also these articles are trying to hard to be a subtle defence for players who are known to be undisciplined. It comes across as a lack of professional journalism although I only recently started coming here so maybe its intent was never to have a high standard

    • Lasana Liburd

      I am not sure if you are a good judge of what is “professional” in any industry just because you can spell the word, Marcus. But let us assume that you are for the sake of this discussion–my professional instinct is never to assume but I am giving you a bligh.
      Now Tom Saintfiet made pretty strong statements regarding several of his players: Daneil Cyrus, Jomal Williams, Joevin Jones, Kevin Molino and Cordell Cato.
      For people who know nothing about professional journalism standards, the story ends there and the boys must stand in the naughty corner until the coach is ready to liberate them.
      For those who DO understand what professional journalism is, they know that they owe it to the other parties to offer them a chance to respond:
      Do the players accept the coach’s accusations? if so: Why did they behave in that way? Do they accept their penalty?
      If not: What is their account of what happened? And how do they feel about what the coach said?
      You might not stay around long Marcus. If you only want sanitised news, then you really should check the TTFA website.
      But I hope you learn something. And Google “professional journalism” and read up on what it means before trying to debate the topic with a professional journalist. That would help. It is easy to look silly otherwise.
      Have a Happy New Year, Marcus.

  45. Seems like Tom Saintfiet is really no “saint” but Satan incarnate. How everybady saying he lying on dem, so?
    *said with dripping sarcasm*

  46. I know you have to be discipline with your club team. Every national coach can’t be wrong. Any thing you do in life you have to be discipline.

  47. I must say things not looking good and we have four very important games to play were the margin for error is zero. I really hope the players and staff get their act together. Hoping for the best.

  48. And therein is a problem that I have Lasana! Apparently persons in Management believe that like the Pope they are infallible!!!!! Now he doesn’t need to answer your phone call eh BUT up to now and there has really been no official statement (other than from the Coach) commenting on anything! From JJ playing for WConnection, to players claiming to not have the manager’s cell number and it goes on!!!! Things are done and sometimes they are the correct thing to be done but the manner in which they are done without explanation leaves them open to criticism!!! Aren’t they tired of being bashed?

  49. I think management and the players involved are the ones at fault here. Lack of communication from management. Some should call the manager of the team for his side of the story if any one has his number because it seems like no one has his number

  50. So right away this new coach has shown he’s got poor man management skills

  51. Oh yea….get your tail in place in time and explain yourself. Sure you don’t behave like that with the club. Be disciplined, be smart and be real

  52. Lasana I have stayed quiet and read the posts from time to time on this post… couple of things:
    1. These guys are grown men and whether the Management is good or bad they know what they need to do.!
    2. The Coach asked ppl to be at a specified point for noon. GET THERE BEFORE NOON. You don’t realize you will be late at 11:59 yuh know you recognize this way before! Pick up the phone and call.. it’s just a matter of respect! If the player doesn’t have the manager No. fine call another and see if you can be put on to him which he did in part. Well done.
    3. As to the other player who couldn’t get a taxi… he have no partner, no relative, no outside woman that have a car that could drop him to the hotel?!! Really??!!! You telling me that you tell a taxi man who you are and where you going he ain’t go help you out? Offer the man a ticket to see games free something! Get your ass to the hotel!!!

    The alcohol I don’t think is so much the problem as was the late coming and the expectation that any excuse would do. Alcohol was like the straw that break the camel’s back!

    Yes we are weakened and ultimately it will affect our performance on the field… the coach have to deal with that bc remember supposedly he have two games to save his job!!! Everyone from management to players must accept responsibility for this debacle… look I tell my players point blank when I set a time for meeting and you can’t even call to say you will be late and why… bring a beach chair bc yuh not on the squad.

    • “These guys are grown men and whether the Management is good or bad they know what they need to do…”
      But the management DOES have a job to do though.
      I am not saying your points are wrong. They are fair. But it is easy to pick on players because they are always more visible and they are young men who might not be able to articulate for themselves or are not allowed to.
      To me, you cannot look at a situation and only point to failings on one side. That is in poor faith. To be fair, you have to look at the situation in its entirety.
      You make valid points about the players’ responsibility. But surely management also has a responsibility.

    • Lasana Liburd I fully agree. Please don’t construe that my wrath is aimed only at the players. Management on the whole has to accept responsibility for quite a few things… Firstly, for little QPCC we have created whatsapp groups for the various teams.. that way the Manager has all the players available to communicate. This means that the Manager has EVERY player’s number and at by extension every player has his and possibly a few other contacts on Management side! It sounds childish but at 20 mins till I would be calling and messaging those not at meeting spot to find out what their present location was!
      Secondly, what madness I’m hearing that a player belonging to another Club is playing a “practice game” with an old team as a spar session against another team?!!! Really and the President of TTFA would have thought this proper? The ppl at W Connect thought this would fly? On the whole everyone needs to respectively critique themselves and realise a large part of the problem with the downfall of Sport in the Caribbean is the amateur approach to Management… we still see it as a volunteer thing you do in spare time!!!!

    • Yes. That I agree with. The player is wrong to be late. But I don’t think the management should have been sitting on their hands either.
      If they decided Jomal wasn’t worth the trouble, then so be it. But respect and professionalism goes both ways.

    • If Russell Latapy wasn’t in the hotel and I see time coming close and I am the team manager… I would send a taxi to pick him up!
      (That is of course once Latapy adds to the team when he is present and doesn’t create further problems)

    • Very true and leads to the question of who the coach deems valuable!!!!

    • I’m sure Brazil would send a car to pick up Neymar or Argentina would have sent a car to pick up Messi if was the case!

    • The fellas is get a jet from Spain to South America and then a car to drop them to the hotel or home.

  53. Does anyone have a link for the live-stream of the game tonight?

  54. Once the coach aware that the same way he is not going to tolerate drinkers, late comers and uncommitted players is the same way them supporters in the stadiums not going to accept any loss. Trini supporters are wagonist and will be calling or demanding your removal once the team doesn’t win so good luck coachman you will need it trust me.

  55. Have to respect them? I disagree. First, they have to have self-respect then behave ‘as’ professionals do or as professionals are expected to carry themselves. The leadership of TTFA need to do the same… be professional! Only then they will earn the people’s respect. Having a ‘title’ does not assure you earning respect only your behaviour can.

  56. This whole situation… And by extension all these articles about who said what and what who Tanty said and who took one drink and who didn’t text who are just so so petty and kinda sad and unbecoming of grown men…

    It’s really very simple, if you are not disciplined or committed and if you don’t know how to communicate properly then you deal with the consequences and we move on.

    • There are communication failures on all sides though. Not just from the players.

    • So what will be your next piece… “Breaking: Molino says he never received text as his WiFi was down”?

      Surely we can get some more substance from our National Team coverage than this tabloid fodder of the last few days?

    • Well, it is the national coach that put this out there in the first place. I cannot refuse to give the players their side. They are only responding to him.
      Maybe he should have thought of that. It can’t be fine for him but bad for them.

    • But where do you set the bar for responsible journalism?

      Is the bar so low that a player says he did not touch alcohol then you Wired868 writes up an entire piece on Tanty saying he only drank one glass of Bailey’s? Are we being serious here?

      Players reaching over an hour late for National Team practice and don’t know how to communicate their absence effectively? Texting another player to relay message? Even my fete match team does better than this and these are supposed professionals.

      Players claiming they could not get clearance to train with the National Team but playing practice matches for club teams, worse yet against our upcoming opposition? Are we really being serious?

      Have you considered that giving this nonsense prime exposure is simply enabling the lack of professionalism that we are saddled with today?

    • So because his aunt contradicted him that is irresponsible journalism? It is my reponsibility to make sure their stories match? Are YOU being serious?
      And I contacted Cyrus after to see if he was in agreement with what his aunt said. And he said yes.
      And if you were really paying attention Omar, what you might have asked yourself is: Why is it Joevin Jones’ responsibility to negotiate his own release from Seattle to represent T&T? Shouldn’t that be the TTFA’s duty?
      You see some people see only the salacious points of the story. Some dig deeper and see management issues on all sides. The latter people would appreciate some of the things that came to light here.
      Btw, perhaps your fete match team would arrange for the players who don’t have vehicles or struggle to get around to make it to where they need to be too.
      You would if you cared about them getting there anyway.

    • Firstly… If you think that the Aunt’s account of a glass of Bailey’s was worthy of headline news then we can agree to disagree.

      Secondly as per Joevin.. Correct me if i’m wrong but didn’t the TTFA request previously clearance for all international players who were needed as these game are outside the international calendar? After all we did have a list of who could and who could not… Furthermore, are we to believe that clearance to play for TnT was not forthcoming but the club was ok with the player running out for W. Connection?

      Lasana Liburd, some people see the salacious points.. some people see the management issues on all sides… And yet further, some people dig and dig for bacchanal for digging sake because well…. bacchanal brings readers.

      PS: Yes my fete match team would arrange a lil drop.. However if the National Team calls… Find yuhself dey! It is really that simple.

    • Omar, if the TTFA contacted the club then should not the team manager or a TTFA official have received word from the club? Why would they leave that up to Joevin?
      Did Seattle even send a fax? Suppose he played and they said they didn’t send permission?
      I think that whole business was very unprofessional and that bit can never be Joevin’s fault.
      The Cyrus story was precisely about whether or not he turned up smelling of alcohol. So I thought the statement that he took one glass of Bailey’s was very fair. But we can disagree on that. No big thing.
      As for the player representing W Connection, I’m just as confused about that as you are. And that is another reason why I think some of the stuff here–in between the salacious bits–are worth looking at closely.
      Who is the TTFA person that asked him to play for W Connection and then contacted the coach on his behalf to find out if that was okay?
      I agree that the players have a responsibility to report for camp. In professional sport, you have to at least try to get your best squad available.
      Whether they thought Jomal or anyone else is worth the trouble is up to them.
      If the player was Lionel Messi–or even Russell Latapy–and he has a habit of being late, I would get him a personal taxi to deliver him to camp. All depends on what the player is worth to you.

  57. So we get a manager who is taking a no nonsense approach with trinidad players and their discipline and people vex it good for all ah them time for a change all these men wah play superstar come training late and party when it have matches coming up take bench all star boy ting done

  58. Best Coach ever tolerate no nonsense

  59. Jovin Jones you and Molino are not world class players what are your all ranking in world footballers but u all on foolishness go play with all yuh club when u all come off your high horse in all yuh mind wheel and come again . Go party now and forget about Tnt football smh

  60. Who has to liase with seattle to get clearance; the player himself or TTFF? [serious question]

  61. why would he need a text message from his brother and find it unprofessional that they sent a message with his brother that he had to come to camp when he clearly stated that he spoke formally with the coach already face to face about coming to camp on the 1st of january?

  62. If players choose not to represent d country nothing wrong with dat bcuz u see is from administration d indiscipline starts,,wat we all expect???smfh

  63. Jones just apologise and move on,work it out like a professional

  64. I am reading the post of some .. most seam to know their football .. so hear it is …what are the solutions to our football problems… just solutions please… may also burrow these suggested solutions for the sport am into …..same blasted mess

    • For heaven’s sake be careful with your spelling. ‘Seem’, ‘burrow’, ‘shit hound’. Does not make for good reading.

    • thanks for the spell check ..now the solutions to our sports mess …football ..or are you only an English major? ..hahahahaha

    • We don’t need a symposium for that. If people did their jobs, we would immediately be much better off.
      The solutions here are fairly obvious. A lot of this is management stuff.
      For instance, if the manager started calling around at 12.01pm for the players who were not there, then maybe they might have sent a taxi for Jomal.
      That is, if the aim is to get the best possible team in camp. If it isn’t well then so be it.

    • I guess it’s just the way this management does stuff…when I played for the U23 team back in 2011, the management was so much more professional. We had meeting points where players could meet the team bus to either take us to camp or training and all we had to do was focus on our football…why players have to see about issues both on and off the field being a professional.

    • On the way to a Pro League game in Couva the other day, I saw a player–who is also a former national youth player–trying to run across the highway to get to the Ato Boldon Stadium!
      That’s how much we care about our athletes.

  65. Bullshit you had to get permission from your club to join your national team but did not need their permission to play a friendly for another club you must be living on the moon

  66. I am so tired of these little brats who play for our national team. They will always have a problem with any coach because they are not prepared to make sacrifices and behave responsibly. (Maybe a more attractive remuneration package may encourage them to grow up immediately.)

    • It’s not that simple. This isn’t just a sweat. If Jones goes out and plays without clearance from his club and gets hurt, there may be insurance ramifications, for example. His approach was the correct one. The TTFF does not take care of its players properly when they are injured on duty, so why should he risk it, at the expense of possibly being jettisoned by his club that pays his salary?

    • As much as these are kids and some might be less mature than others, they are also professional athletes. So we still have to respect them as such.

    • I am not refuting either one of your points for they are both valid. However, we all know that respect is earned.

    • I would expect that coaches also have to earn respect.

    • Once again, the coach needs to underatand that players will never be fired, the coach would. He will get fired quicker if he don’t have certain players that are willing to play for him and he doesn’t win games. He needs to stop reprimanding players in the media and meet with them as men, which they are. Lasana Liburd something is also fishy here, do you think some players are upset that Hart were dismissed?

    • I don’t know. I think some players had stopped giving their all for Hart to be honest. So I’m not sure if that is a factor.
      Beenhakker disciplined his players too. But he didn’t do it in the press.

  67. Good to hear Jones’ side of the story. Sounds like the TTFF bungled this one by not communicating to the player directly and not going to his club team, Seattle Sounders, to get clearance for him to represent the country, since this is a game that will be outside of the official FIFA window.


  69. I just read what Eve and Williams had to say Gerard.
    Point one: “Eve said he was unaware of the full details into what transpired between Cyrus and Williams (Jomal) and the national coaching staff, but…”
    Well, I think the bit before the “but” says plenty.
    Secondly, if you know Angus Eve, you would know he refused to coach Trinidad and Tobago for free or a pittance. As he is right to do.
    The players have the same right to decide if they want to represent their country or not. If they don’t, then we move on. Eve wouldn’t offer his services for T&T if it didn’t suit him either.

  70. I’m curious, why would Defence Force and W. Connection play Haiti in friendlies (to help them prepare for the 5th place playoffs) in the first place? Haiti stands between T&T and a place in the Gold Cup. I’m confused ..

  71. Lasana Liburd If you do not want to listen to me maybe you could listen to Eve and Williams. I know you don’t like Tom. Your initial article about the man before he even set foot in the country said it all. But you owe him a debt of gratitude. Wired was on its death bed before he arrived. Now look at it. It’s jumping. Say thanks Tom. lol

    • My initial comments about Tom Saintfiet were not made in a vacuum Gerard Johnson. They were based on his CV. Professional companies tend to look at a man’s body of work to gauge if he is up to the task.
      I have nothing against Tom. Why do you all see personality in everything?
      If I don’t want you to be my account because I question whether you can do the job, does that mean I don’t like you?

  72. The coach is very outspoken and transparent in his account regarding the situation with the overlooked players. I think he should be commended for taking a tough stance while still be willing to compromise [Eg. allowing JJ to join camp on 01 Jan.] He did make some ambiguous statements regarding Cyrus and JW.

    That aside I think that if JJ wanted to play he would show up regardless who was the messenger. Late clearance from his club was given yet he did not communicate or attend. Management not seeing him or hearing from him at the time and place, decided to cut him from the squad. On hearing this his response was “okay no problem”. No attempt to find out why or to explain his absence?

    A foreigner could be so openly critical about our players and we buy into his pronouncements so easily is because of their previous transgressions. We know their modus operandi so it would be easy to believe the Saint. Obvious communication problems exist between the management and the players which the management has to take blame for.

  73. What I don’t understand is that Central FC received a request from TTFA for clearance for Jan, Sean Spanish in mid December. It had the full dates of the camps to the end of these gold cup games. That’s where all the bacchanal started about the club not releasing the players. So if Central received a letter, I’m fairly sure Seattle would have got one too. So the clearance should have come in December. So it would appear from Joevins statement that Seattle are to blame. They had plenty of time to email TTFA with their approval. But I would have hoped that TTFA would have noted that there was no response from Seattle and chased it up as well as alerted Joevin. The only bit that doesn’t make sense is that he played for connection without permission but wouldn’t train with T&T without permission. As a club, we would definitely be vexed about the first, but would understand the second.

    • Not sure that I would say Seattle were to blame. Because they didn’t have to give clearance at all.
      Maybe the TTFA should have done more following up with them to get what they wanted. Especially over the festive season.
      It isn’t Seattle’s job to do us favours.

  74. Klinnsman did the same thing when he got the US team. Klinsmann released MLS players for European players

  75. By the way, what is the team manager’s role in this debacle?

  76. The entire team is being decimated by a number of things including, No leadership, poor management, incompetent administrators, indisciplined players, poor communication, lack of commitment and cohesion among players and officials and a general tardiness overall.
    We need to restart from scratch and get everyone on the same song sheet.

  77. Her we go again with the spin machine which includes the media. He say she say. Very disappointing but the usual. It appears these players really do need professional life skills and more common sense. It’s not to bash them but I can understand how handling being at one level at one time in life and then being on an international stage the next is very very challenging. Life skills, time management , speaking in public , etc. I wish them the best.

  78. Another twist in the saga. Is this a spinoff of Thema and Marissa? Anyway Joevin is saying he to wait on clearance from the Sounders to train with the national team but didn’t he have to get their permission to play in the Haiti game?

  79. earl mango Pierre will have his day russel latapy is now the national coach of Trinidad and Tobago football team … cause he can translate the players behavior better than tom ?? who ? …eh….hahahahaha…all them experts on trini football cant get it right ..eh!….hahahaha…earl’s boy Russell ‘greatest footballer after Deleon’ latapy……..we jokey in Trinidad sports……..cause nobody knows if the players on s$%$t or saintfiel on sh%%t…..no straight answer

  80. When you lose the dressing room…..

  81. You guys are really going to believe JJ? The same player that broke camp and went partying before a crucial World Cup Qualifier against Guatemala. Come on he got caught and doesn’t like the negative publicity. Plain and simply. We finally have a coach that is not afraid to call out the players. Lets go TNT!!

  82. Joevin, thank you very much for your account of this sorry episode. We needed to hear your side of the story. Your talent and knowledge of the game are unquestionable – you are a brilliant player.
    However, you are alleging that, ‘Communication’ and its means were very faulty between the team’s management and you. Joevin, I certainly defend your right to clear your name. Please give some clarity to the following:

    *They say ‘Better late than never’ but why did it seemingly take two days to reply to this dirtying of your name at an international level?
    *No one doubts that you are a professional footballer but why is your manager/agent not seemingly factoring more in the handling of communication concerning you and your ‘bread and butter’ ?
    *Why as a professional, you reciprocated the informal line of communication via your brother and opted not to go direct to the management? (You had already done this in your initial face to face talk with Saintfiet) Why go through the third party, especially at those crucial moments so that there is the probability for misunderstanding?
    *Who was the person who liaised between you and Saintfiet concerning the friendly and relayed the info about ‘Go ahead but be careful? Please let that person put it in writing – the reality is, you need to safeguard yourself.
    *Who is/are the person(s) in the TTFA that gave you this ‘Leeway’? – DJW? I would hate to think so! BIG CONFLICT OF INTEREST!

    I think Joevin, you have the heart and the talent to represent THE RED, WHITE AND BLACK and I have no doubt with some frank discussions and mature settlements you’ll be back on the team. Watch your back, be professional all the way.

  83. Did he get clearance from Seattle to play for Connection? Did he seek clearance to play for Connection?

  84. Alot of these tnt players are so unprofessionalbit aint funny, so he risk his contract olaying a friendly with Wconnection but could not risk it for your national team….why he did not call the manager or coach and explain himself….

  85. What time was the WC game? When (what time) did he know he had clearance from his employer?

  86. “The person who called me to train with Connection called Tom and asked if I could play in the game” he could have said who it is but he choose not to, lets pick sense out of non sense who would call joevin to play that game with connection and at the same time call Tom. W Connection/TTFA president now why would he do that????????????? that the question to ask

  87. As my departed father would have said “this is one hell of a cock and bull story”.

  88. Well when I say these fellaz I talkin about Khan (Manager) and the players also eh… not just the individuals that the whole of T&T feels is culpable right now!

  89. Shawn Charles cellphone issues are convenient all the way around for sure.. Maybe TTFA hasn’t paid their fees/ bills??

  90. Digicel!! Bmobile… where are you?? These fellaz having problems wid dey cell phones!!

  91. Never a dull day with TNT football oui.. Sigh

  92. DJW will soon be found out. You can’t hide behind the curtain that long.

  93. He is following his Jamaican and Haitian counterparts. He is setting a stage to introduce a European base squad..

  94. ..Barnum and Bailey. We need a NEW FOOTBALL CULTURE. Root and branch revolution necessary..

  95. Wait a miniute! I’m confused…based on JJ’s story Lasana Liburd am I to guess that Seattle Sounders authorisized him to play for Connection vs Haiti??? And if so why wasn’t clearance to rep the National team requested one time by the TTFA??? I will say tho that for Joevin to say it’s unprofessional for messages to be relayed to him by his lil brother (which it most certainly IS) but then for him to do the same thing and reply through him is hypocritical…I find the whole situation farcical by ALL parties, and just the cloud of confusion and controvesy the team could have done without before these two crunch games…ANd why isnt the MANAGER saying ANYTHING…This Khan guy has to be the most SILENT Team manager EVER…Has he been MUZZLED by David John-williams???

  96. Poor communication is wreaking havoc on this national team. Players are not communicating timely or clearly with the manager. This poor and untimely communication is happening because of one or more of the following reasons: the players don’t have the manager’s contact information; they don’t understand the chain of command; or they’re intentionally trying ah ting. The manager also appears to be at fault from a communications perspective. He’s sending info to players second hand rather than directly contacting them. It also appears he’s not taking the initiative to seek release of players from their clubs in a professional and timely manner. It’ll do the coach and backroom staff good to have a sit down with all players to discuss the communications issues that is currently plaguing the team.

    • These days it is simple. Central have a players watsapp group. Any changes in schedule etc is sent out via the group. So once you select your squad, just create a group. Even is a guy is overseas he will get the message! And players always talk to other players so I can’t see why TTFA don’t adopt this system as a back up to their usual communications.

    • It’s not as easy as many has suggested. There is protocol to follow if players are contracted by foreign teams.
      They have to get clearance to play.
      However this administration seems to be submitted par in relation to what is required to run a football team.
      Didn’t a Senior Manager get to the airport and realized that his passport had expired.
      I like how the coach is on track to eliminate the lack of dicipline by the players.
      But a lot of this should be handled my the temperature Manager. It seems that the coach does not have confidence in the Manager.

    • You can call from whatsapp as well which the “manager” did not

  97. That letter muddies the waters even more. Questions:

    1. Shouldn’t the TTFA be the one who is in direct contact with Seattle Sounders concerning Joevin’s ability for national duty? Shouldn’t that request have been made a long time ago?

    2. Why would the TTFA (or someone from the TTFA) ask Joevin to train with W Connection without communicating with Seattle Sounders? Who specifically asked him to train with W?

    3. Did Joevin have clearance from Seattle for the W Connection training stint and/or club friendly?

    4. If trying to maintain fitness, why not just train with the national team?

    5. Did Joevin have clearance from Seattle to play in the charity match, especially on a less than ideal pitch?

    6. What is the role of team manager Azaad Khan? Shouldn’t he be front and center in these matters?

  98. This fellow may have some football skills but he is bereft of intelligence. That letter, horribly written both in style and grammar is a fair indication of a lack sense, football and otherwise.

  99. Anyone realize that players and coach alike insist they never said or did this or that?! So where is all this commotion stemming from?! Why would a coach leave home and family to fail by contention?! Why would a player leave secure club to play for country but jepoardize his placement?! Big men need to sit and sort matters out and focus on form, fitness and team work.

    • Jones said someone call to ask for to play with wc and someone say it was ok do you feel it was the coach that they talk to?

    • I try never to presume but I can say there are too many distractions. An athlete’s priority is exposure to perform and secure his future. If there’s discord at national level but an athlete has foreign or local options for security then he will gravitate there.

    • Too much trivial matters within the team, dem need to sort that shit out quick cause it becoming irrelevant. What more important is winning matches than squabbles between coach and players. It’s childish if you ask me. We are all adults. Act like it.

  100. He got clearance Sunday morning from his club but still want to reach next evening why. Was is little brother or who ever sent the message just reminding him and why is the team manager not seeing about these things email and messages should have been sent to these players before the plane even landed.

  101. I see Sainfiert dropping players due to ‘indiscipline’..I hope he gains 4 points in March. Not saying i don’t like what he’s doing as a matter of fact it is great. The Gold Cup is good but shouldn’t be most important on out aims.

  102. Will somebody not tell the truth that is for sure waiting watching.

  103. I know these players wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to play for National team this coach and the manager has a vendetta. For his decisions he better hope this current squad delivers we are taking no excuses.

  104. This is a Trinidad problem i always say we do not have mamgers in this country we have workers but not leaders people need to know there roles in any company or team and accept there responsibility in there role .This will prevent these issues from bearing any fruit . In short communication is key.

  105. Sooooo……JJ had to ask and wait for clearance to join the national team in camp, but took a chance to play for W Connection? Better JJ kept his mouth shut. I refuse to believe the players are that dotish.

  106. BTW..is this a proper medium of communication ,to throw it out in the public domain rather than seek an audience with management ?

  107. Who in TTFF gave clearance…to play for WC.?…….Was it DJW ?…but no clearance for National team….something fishy here!!!!!

  108. I really enjoy watching these these players over the years, but Lasana, they already have a bad record from previous infractions, thats going to work against them. I am already looking forward to the next coach, cause more than likely we will not progress very far with this state of affairs (possibly latas) who smoked as a player, their “lifestyle” may easier be digested by him. What this really exposes is a cultural issue with our footballers, cricketers, our youth.

  109. Lass ….is Tom fluent in English? Actually a legit question because it seems his initial rumblings seem to be blurred and then when pressed clarity comes to the fore. Could there be difficulty communicating his ideas? I don’t want to be judgemental but his personal mishaps and tantrums with these players seem to be undermining what needs to be the real focus here …….. still not sold on this dude …….

  110. Joevin, thank you very much for your account of this sorry episode. We needed to hear your side of the story. Your talent and knowledge of the game are unquestionable – you are a brilliant player.
    However, you are alleging that, ‘Communication’ and its means were very faulty between the team’s management and you. Joevin, I certainly defend your right to clear your name. Please give some clarity to the following:

    *They say ‘Better late than never’ but why did it seemingly take two days to reply to this dirtying of your name at an international level?
    *No one doubts that you are a professional footballer but why is your manager/agent not seemingly factoring more in the handling of communication concerning you and your ‘bread and butter’ ?
    *Why as a professional, you reciprocated the informal line of communication via your brother and opted not to go direct to the management? (You had already done this in your initial face to face talk with Saintfiet) Why go through the third party, especially at those crucial moments so that there is the probability for misunderstanding?
    *Who was the person who liaised between you and Saintfiet concerning the friendly and relayed the info about ‘Go ahead but be careful? Please let that person put it in writing – the reality is, you need to safeguard yourself.
    *Who iis/are the person(s) in the TTFA that gave you this ‘Leeway’? – DJW? I would hate to think so! BIG CONFLICT OF INTEREST!

    I think Joevin, you have the heart and the talent to represent THE RED, WHITE AND BLACK and I have no doubt with some frank discussions and mature settlements you’ll be back on the team. Watch your back, be professional all the way.

  111. So he couldn’t reach in the people hotel pending clearance from Seattle Sounders ? Or his communication device only works in a certain part of the country and he couldn’t move ?

    Steupse…boy look eh

  112. Doh miss this one Savitri … doh miss this…

  113. Set up and sabotage by the dictator

  114. I’m waiting to see who will be first to say: Allyuh we can’t expect the coach to win eh… Because he didn’t have his best players.
    After he dropped them! Lol.

  115. Mr team manager you seem to be not doing your job. You should be in contact with the players not a next player may it be family or not. Do your job better please!

  116. Kirwin, do you find it strange that Joevin would play for Connection against Haiti and then turned down the National Team to play against Suriname and Haiti?

  117. So far, we know Kenwyne is crap, Mekeil is crap, we don’t need Jan-Michael, Joevin, Molino and Cato are unpatriotic, Cyrus and Jomal are indisciplined… And Saintfiet is a boss. Right? Nice. 😉

  118. While I’m not aware and can’t speak for anything Joevin did since being back in TT

    Now that he has spoken publicly all I’ll say is that me and him spoke face to face at MLS Cup final about these games & he indeed never suggested and unwillingness to play for national team

  119. Can’t be easy to be a Trini yes. Anybody can hop off a plane and insult you and your own countrymen will cheer without question. They don’t even want to hear your side :-/

    • Lasana ppl know that Trinidad has a discipline problem and it’s been a long while since someone has come and been straight forward with us and let us know about the attitude of the players…maybe if he was to come with something outrageous ok but at this time I’m not seeing anything extremely outrageous….the team needed shaking up….I don’t agree saintfiet is d person to do the shaking but if he is setting the standard the next two games should provide an answet

    • But Jomo, why isnt Saintfiet the person to do the shaking ? Isn’t he the national coach?

    • He is but what I meant what he wasn’t my choice for the job…..but if does it well he has my support

  120. I am tired of all these selfish non patriotic ballers, it’s time to mold some fresh new patriotic players, who are hungry to defend their country, this is war not fooze ?.

    • Joevin Jones is not perfect. But he is our top scorer in the World Cup qualifying campaign. And he has 55 national caps at just 25 years of age.
      His three goals in World Cup qualifiers, in his first campaign, puts him level with Leonson Lewis, Cornell Glen and Gally Cummings.
      So even when you criticise him, be fair.

    • Sure but all I ask is that he be mature and discipline, I don’t think this is about Talent, talent is never enough, any professional would know that.

    • So there is a communication problem and you think the only person at fault is the 25 year old who has put his body on the line over 50 times for his country?
      And the adults in management get over without a mention?

    • Of course talent is not enough. Joevin ought to know that better than Saintfiet.

    • There is a communication problem, there is a management problem, but the biggest problem is discipline from both sides, culturally we lack that and I am sure it transcends in the TTFA.

    • Agreed Lasana Liburd it cannot only and always be the boys at fault..something is very wrong.. from management go straight down. The lack of effective communication is clear. Do the ppl involved even have the players best interests at heart? Too many questions unanswered.

  121. Lol come on ppl Mr Jones let’s forget the messages from your lil brother. U say u had a face to face talk so where in that u didn’t no to say Well I will have to wait for clearance and I let u all no base on ur face to face talk. Yes they were wrong to not call you in person but come let’s do this two wrongs don’t make a right.

  122. Meanwhile Hart sipping his tea… ?☕

  123. I not believing The Saint is the real culprit at all here and a blatant liar…I’m sure there will be another camp soon where Cyrus,Jomal, Molino, and JJ to prove all this wrong…love my players and team nevertheless.
    But they have to start acting like big men and not primary schoolers who need assistance

  124. This nonsense is really getting annoying lol, I just hope we can actually win football matches

  125. If this is true…… what an unprofessional set of developments. Tom as leader has to get his staff to operate more professionally and collaboratively. Send a message by his brother ….. right?

  126. He couldn’t join camp just like that but could go train and play a practice game with another club ?

    Brrr…explain this to me…I getting ah headache

  127. He spoke to Saintfiet and agreed to join camp on Jan. 1st…then in the next paragraph he want the Manager to call him to tell him about the camp date he agreed to join ?

    Look eh…

    • He suggested that his turning up on January 1st was contingent on him getting clearance from Seattle Kirwin Weston. And he said it did not come in time for him to enter camp at noon on January 1st.

    • Okay..understood. But not buying that, thanks

    • Kirwin Weston better you keep your money and don’t buy anything. Professionalism goes across the board. Management cannot tell a player to contact another player for an issue of this sort. These are not little boys, so management needs to take some responsibility.

    • I completely understand where you coming from Zane

      But did management tell Alvin to contact JJ ? Or was Alvin just informing him…I don’t see why JJ has to be reminded again by staff if he was informed already.
      Saintfiet said he informed him in the initial talk.

    • But he didn’t get clearance from his club to go into camp. Why didn’t they contact JJ personally? I’m sure he told them that he was waiting for clearance which came the morning of the 1st. And if that’s the case he sent back a message with the initial messenger stating that he will be present on the following day. I don’t see that as a problem

    • So Zane Coker isn’t it now his responsibility to inform the manager that is has not been cleared by his employer and would be unable to join?
      The team management would not have known.

    • Kester, it is ridiculous that these discussions were not happening between team manager and club to start with. That is absolutely bizarre. All those things would have been done by William Wallace before.

    • That should never have been Joevin’s responsibility.

    • I fully agree with Lasana Liburd. It is the responsibility of the management to ensure that everything is in place between all entities not the responsibility of the player to be going back and forth dealing with things of that sort.

    • I would even say that if the management sees Jomal Williams absent at 12.01pm, they can take initiative to call him and even get him a taxi if necessary.
      But that is only if the national team management considers it in its best interest to get their best team at camp.
      If not and it is Jomal to catch rather than the team losing the services of a talented midfielder… Well, we’re going good.
      So long as we win our games of course.

    • Totally disagree with this dude.
      The manager should have called players to find out “wey yuh is?”
      That only sounds correct if its the U17 team.

    • And similarly i disagrer with the Joevin issue.
      Players are told to assemble at noon at the hotel. Joevin is unable to so do because he has not gotten a release from his employer as at the morning.
      Shouldn’t he not phone the manager and say “eh manage, i eh get meh release yet yuh know, so it eh look like ah go be in the camp today nuh”.

    • Seems I’ve been doing it wrong all these years.
      I will tell my job to call me whenever they don’t see me by 7 in the morning because I keep their production up…righttt

    • Lasana, I want to know what has been the norm for players to be released from club. Ideally we’re saying manager should contact, but I want to know what was done the last few times JJ needed clearance.

    • Kirwin, never in my life have I heard about a player handling his own release to represent his country. And you haven’t either. It doesn’t happen. But you all don’t want to look at anything but the players here.
      Kester, I agree that the player should be responsible and get there in time. But you would be surprised how many millionaire athletes you see on tv get help in same way.
      Why do you think many clubs enter camp the night before the game? Or travel as a group?
      It ent all about bonding eh. It is part safety mechanism too.
      Pogba is known for his late coming. You think Mourinho will say: “Dais you!” and pick Fellaini?
      Professional staff know they have to do their part to have their best team too.
      It is up to everyone to decide where to draw the line and which player is worth it.
      It is fully within Tom’s right to leave out anyone he wants. But let’s not be overly moralistic about it. And that doesn’t suddenly mean Tom is “already a winner even if the team loses”. That is just retarded thinking to me.

    • I’d love to know what happened in past releases…ok to u never hearing about it…but I’d love to know the procedure followed the last few times

    • You have got to be joking Kirwin. So I don’t cover football? Or you didn’t read about William Wallace handling releases? Suddenly you find the TTFA handling releases sounds strange?

    • So before match days, players all over the world are sitting down with club directors to get permission to go home and play Kirwin Weston? Feasible?

    • Not referring to all that…I wanna know about this specific case

    • If what Joevin described happened, it is wrong and someone at the TTFA was very irresponsible.
      It is not the norm. I don’t think a professional club would release a player without proper request anyway. But everything about Joevin’s Christmas holidays seems to have been strange.
      With the connection game being the highlight.