Another SSFL protest! Shiva Boys could plunge to bottom of table as Mason move targeted

EPL Infrafred Sauna

The Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) has another massive decision to make with far -reaching implications for its 2017 Premier Division competition. And, once more, it centres around defending champions Shiva Boys Hindu College and their new recruit, lanky former National Under-20 Team utility player Kierron Mason.

Last week, SSFL aficionados and others were stunned by news that Fyzabad Secondary had been booted out of the top flight schoolboy competition after registering two players—defender and team captain Dez Jones and midfielder Maurice Dick—with examination certificates that had been falsified.

Photo: Fyzabad Secondary midfielder Maurice Dick (centre) is surrounded by teammates [from left] Tyrese Reefer, Sharkeel Louison, Shamor Mahabir and Aaron Jordan during SSFL action against Trinity College East on 20 September at Trincity.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)
But there was another crucial decision taken by the SSFL Disciplinary Committee that was not made public and, therefore, did not receive the same scrutiny.

On Monday, a two-man panel from the Disciplinary Committee—SSFL general secretary Azaad Khan and North Zone secretary Roger Martin—ruled that Shiva Boys deserved no more than a warning for using Mason in seven league matches before he was properly registered.

The SSFL Constitution states that any player who participates in another Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) affiliated competition after the cut-off date of 31 August must receive special dispensation to play in the schools competition.

Article 16 subsection 4 (a) states: A player, who having been registered and/or is playing with the TTFA or with another League or Association affiliated to the TTFA after 31st August of the current year shall not be eligible to be registered as a player for their school unless they meet the criteria of the Credentials Committee.

4 (b) Any registered player/s of the League who registers and/or plays with the TTFA or with another League or Association affiliated to the TTFA shall immediately lose their registration with the League for the remainder of the season.

Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College midfielder Kierron Mason in action against Fatima College during SSFL action at Mucurapo Road on 30 September 2017.
(Courtesy Annalisa Caruth/Wired868)

However, Shiva Boys, who are represented by team manager Sheldon Maharaj and principal Dexter Sakal, did not submit the required paperwork to clear Mason—who represented  Marabella Family Crisis Centre on 2 September in a Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) contest—until 6 October.

By then, the “Penal Princes” had played in seven Premier Division matches with Mason featuring in all of them.

The SSFL Constitution stated that the penalty for breach of Article 16.4(a) and 4(b) is: “Loss of points or even suspension from further participation in the League for the remainder of the season, as the Disciplinary Committee may decide.”

However, Khan and Martin, according to an informed source, ruled that: “The spirit of the law would not be to take away all the points from [Shiva Boys].”

And, instead of sanctions, Shiva Boys were “warned” but allowed to keep their points.

Ironically, the SSFL ruled the opposite way when Naparima College protested Mason’s registration in a separate matter earlier in the season.

Photo: Naparima College coach Angus Eve points the way during SSFL action against Presentation College at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella on 27 September 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Mason, a former ‘Naps’ student, had been a Shiva Boys schoolboy for barely 48 hours when he came on as a substitute in the defending champions’ opening 2-1 win over Naparima on 8 September.

Article 16 subsection two of the SSFL Constitution states: “The registration of a player with the League must be made in writing at least seventy-two hours before the start of the match in which that player is to take part. This registration must be made with the General Secretary or Zone Secretary.”

The penalty for breaching that rule is: “Loss of game by the offending team. If both teams offend, the game shall be null and void.”

On that occasion, the relevant SSFL committee followed the letter of the law and Naparima were awarded the points.

Fatima College and Queen’s Royal College (QRC) believe the SSFL should again enforce the penalties set out in the constitution, though; and, on Friday 20 October, they appealed the Disciplinary Committee’s decision regarding Mason’s TTSL outing.

Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College playmaker Judah Garcia (right) attempts a pass while Fatima College midfielder Zach Welch (centre) stays close during SSFL action at Mucurapo Road on 30 September 2017.
(Courtesy Annalisa Caruth/Wired868)

The appeal was signed by Fatima principal Father Gregory Augustine and QRC principal David Simon. It stated:

“It has been brought to our attention that a matter concerning the eligibility of [Kierron] Mason of Shiva Boys Hindu College is under review. Our understanding is that this stems from his having played in the TTSL (Trinidad and Tobago Super League) on 2 September 2017.

“We take this opportunity to direct you to Rule 16.4(a) and 16.4(b) of the SSFL constitution and the penalty assigned for boys registered in or taking part in TTFA affiliated competitions after the 31 August date.

“We await a speedy resolution to this matter and expect that your judgment would be in accordance with the constitution.”

If the appeal against Shiva Boys is successful, it would prompt the fourth change of the Premier Division standings due to off-field issues in this season alone—after the Naps’ decision and the Fyzabad ruling, which was initially the docking of points from the school before the executive committee opted to throw out the “Fyzo Tigers” entirely.

Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College midfielder Kierron Mason (background) converts his penalty kick past Fatima College goalkeeper Jacob Camacho during SSFL action at Mucurapo Road on 30 September 2017.
(Courtesy Annalisa Caruth/Wired868)

The impact on the standings would be catastrophic for the reigning champions, as they will immediately drop from fourth to the bottom of the standings. However, with four games remaining in the season, Shiva Boys could still avoid the drop—they would be just three points shy of safety.

QRC, who lost 5-1 to Shiva Boys on 20 September, would move up three places in the standings to sixth and should be assured of avoiding relegation while Fatima, who lost 4-1 to Mason and company on 30 September, will move to fourth.

Nearer to the foot of the standings, Speyside High and Trinity College Moka would get a welcome boost in their survival bids. Speyside would move from 15th to 12th while Trinity Moka would go from 14th to 11th place.

The bottom three teams at the end of the season will join Fyzabad on the sidelines of the Premier Division.

The possible change in standings would be bad news for St Benedict’s College and Signal Hill Secondary, though. St Benedict’s are one spot above the relegation zone at present but would slip to 13th place while Signal Hill would fall from 13th to 14th.

The SSFL is expected to rule on the appeal against Shiva Boys early this week.

Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College captain Judah Garcia (second from left) celebrates with teammates after their opening goal from Junior Asson during SSFL action against Naparima College at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 8 September 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

Current SSFL Standings

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

  1. Naparima            12-9-2-1-28-11-29
  2. St Anthony’s       12-8-3-1-39-20-27
  3. Presentation       10-7-1-2-22-11-22
  4. Shiva Boys HC    10-6-2-2-26-13-20
  5. San Juan N          12-4-6-2-25-1318
  6. Trinity East          10-5-1-4-19-11-16
  7. St Mary’s             11-4-3-4-26-25-15
  8. Fatima                 10-6-0-4-14-13-18
  9. Carapichaima E 12-4-2-5-19-20-14
  10. St Augustine       11-4-1-6-22-24-13
  11. QRC                    13-4-2-7-21-28-14
  12. St Benedict’s      11-2-3-6-16-25-9
  13. Signal Hill           11-2-2-7-11-21-8
  14. Trinity Moka       10-2-1-7-13-30-7
  15. Speyside High    13-2-1-10-7437

Adjusted SSFL Standings IF Shiva Boys lose appeal

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

  1. Naparima            12-9-2-1-28-11-29 
  2. St Anthony’s       12-8-3-1-39-20-27
  3. Presentation       10-7-1-2-22-11-22
  4. Fatima                 10-7-0-3-16-9-21 
  5. San Juan N         12-5-5-2-28-13-20
  6. QRC                    13-5-2-6-23-23-17 
  7. Trinity East         10-5-1-4-19-10-16
  8. St Mary’s            11-4-3-4-26-25-15 
  9. Carapichaima E 12-4-2-5-19-20-14 
  10. St Augustine       11-4-1-6-22-24-13
  11. Trinity Moka        10-3-1-6-16-28-10
  12. Speyside High     13-3-1-9-103810 
  13. St Benedict’s       11-2-3-6-16-25-9
  14. Signal Hill            11-2-2-7-11-21-8
  15. Shiva Boys HC    10-2-1-7-9-26-

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at 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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  1. Interested to know if he played in any ssfl games before the St Anthony’s game.

  2. Brian Jordan, this is for Dion Sosa right?

  3. Well yes! For the sake of winning, and we wonder where the students get these cheating habits. Well yes!

  4. Two wrongs do not make a right that is true. But when an executive of the assoc. said it is ok for the school to use the player and when they trimpth against a prestige school they change their tune like on a carnival fete. The executives of the SSFL is a bunch of crooks. If they do not like it I do not give a dam. They know full well what they are doing and they are blatantlydoing it and it is not now they are doing it and they just do not care as long as the prestige schools benefit. And those who do not like what I say, you could put it in your pipe and smoke it.

  5. Naps chain up qrc and Fatima to join protest

  6. I never played school football…i was playing senior club football at the age of 15….

    • Thank you Dexter! Ppl are getting carried away. Now I see why some children think schools football is more important than international football.
      As if a USA coach is going to be more impressed with clips of you running at a 15 year old full back who just started playing organised football as opposed to taking on a Costa Rican teenager.

    • I will again reiterate…Secondary school football CANNOT…WILL NOT… HAS NEVER AND WILL NEVER develop a single footballer in Trinidad and Tobago….
      I actually think that some people are of the impression that 2 mths of COMPETITION develops our kids…
      So if i am suppose to think that SSFL is reason for these boys development…then i am suppose to say to myself….
      The kid that stood out last season…when i see him play even better this season…it was because of last season’s competition that made him improve….the so called big league that lasts 2mths…he improved over a year long period having played SSFL for 2 mths out of 12…..

    • Dexter I could call some SSFL stars who haven’t improved an inch in two years. It is painful for me to say as I’m a fan of these players too.
      But this big fish in a small pond business isn’t taking them anywhere. Sad.

    • Dexter Cyrus it is so annoying when you hear administrators and club owners refer to these youth leagues as development when the only place where development may happen is in the various academies and for most of them it’s on the weekend. The sad part is they should really know better

    • The kid thay stands out in the SSFL…is attached to a CLUB..a nd the exceptional ones hav very serious parents/parent that push them…

    • I can’t agree with you more. #fact. Whole truth and nothing but the truth

    • When you say club presently do you mean the Pro league teams or the community teams ?

    • A club in their community…whether it is….from Academy level to teens…this is the glue that binds the emotional to the physical and psycological aspects of the game together….thence to the SSFL to showcase what they hav learnt

  7. Derren Jordan so sad they’ll do anything to fight down this term….

  8. This whole thing has become really farcical.

  9. THESE are the current rules regarding Form 5 Repeat and Form 6:
    2. Players shall ONLY be allowed ONE repeat. Players are only permitted eight (8) years of schooling from the date of the S.E.A. Exams and it must run consecutively
    3. For a Form 5 Repeat : For a Form 6 Repeat : Within own School
    [a] Application on prescribed Registration of Transfer Player Form (where necessary)
    [b] Photocopy of statement of approval from the Ministry of Education.
    4. For a Form 5 Transfer Repeat:
    [a] See 3 [a] and 3 [b].
    [b] Photocopy of Examination slip showing results.
    [c] Minimum requirements are:
    [i] Two (2) CXC passes at General /Technical level, Grades III, II, or I and/or at Basic level, Grades II, or I and/or at GCE Grades A, B, or C.
    [ii] Two (2) passes at NEC Examination
    Where the examination results have not been released, the record of performance of the previous school year, showing consistency in passing at least two (2) subjects.
    [iii] Competency in C.V.Q.
    Where the examination results have not been released, a statement from the National Training Agency showing the student have passed all units
    5. For a Form 6 Entry:
    [a] See 3 [b]
    [b] See 4 [b]
    [c] Players must have obtained FOUR (4) or more Ordinary Level passes at Grades I, II OR III at CXC or A, B, or C at GCE.

    • so in summary:
      • The MOE had to sign off on transfers.
      • the school had to know that the students did NOT satisfy Form 6 entry requirements
      • the principal is either a fraud or incompetent. either way he should be suspended.

    • this is ANOTHER article that clearly states the responsibility of the SSFL in these cases:
      11. No player –especially in the case of a transfer – can play for his school unless the Credentials Committee approves his registration.

    • and finally:
      Criteria for Registration
      Before students can be accepted by the League to be registered as players to represent any team
      playing in the League the following criteria must be fulfilled:
      (1) Students must be duly registered, according to the existing rules and regulations of the Ministry of Education and on the official roll of the school presenting the team. These students must attend classes at that school during normal school hours.

    • these kids are being used for their football talent and all man jack should resign

  10. To win at ALL COSTS – that is the name of the game! Lock them up! All versions of Scripture and all religions adhere to codes of ethics, morals, and to the pursuit of spiritual excellence. I am delivering one that speaks to these sets of “win-at-all-costs” mentality and conduct – Micah 6:8 challenges us to the simple truths of living life – “And what do you expect of me Lord?” And it was returned, “That you act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God”, daily and in all things.

  11. Last year St Anthony’s did the same thing and got in trouble for it. They didn’t get a warning.. Points were taken away from them.


  13. Lemme get this straight. So Mason was not a properly registered SSFL player until October 6th?

    • So why Shiva continued to play him, and why did the SSFL continue to allow it? And what take dem so long to submit de paperwork? Ah cyar understand dat.

    • and dont these kids NOT know the rules

    • Nigel, Shiva management said it was an oversight and they were not aware.
      Further the suggestion is other schools found out before they did and kept info like a weapon.
      Of course there are always different sides to every story. Fact is a rule was broken and they fixed it when they realized.
      No we will learn of their penalty.

    • Sounds like dem schools need ah compliance seminar/workshop before de start of each season.

    • Lasana, but after de Naps protest, yuh woulda figure dey would cross dey tees and dot dey eyes.

    • Lasana Liburd information is only a weapon against the ignorant. the rules are there for all—the same way a kid learns that to move his foot on a throw-in results in a turnover, or that contact inside the area results in a penalty, same way they should learn that improperly registered players will result in a team losing points or some other sanction.

    • we should teach the team management these rules too eh…ain just laying this on the kids either.

    • Dennis good analogy I think. Some teams definitely looked for contact in the box. Lol.

    • I think the reason it may have been an oversight is because dey doh take it seriously enough

    • With 7 games doesn’t every school that face them now have the opportunity to use this breach. Upon finding out isn’t the player not to play again? Is he still playing and is the warning in place of him being banned or them losing points? Once things aren’t clear something is wrong.

    • Narada the constitution says they could suspend the player but are not obliged to.

    • Had a feeling that was coming. Well I guess school can register players on time but not obligated to as well. The defence would be he is an elite player and a plus to the league etc so for footballing reasons a warning is enough. Thanks though

    • Yeah he’s using the little exposure from the SSFL to create a little opportunity for himself…prior to all of this commotion, did you ever hear about Mason before? If at the end of the season he is voted the best player in the league then he’s got some leverage – ah little something on his CV, he then goes abroad and becomes even better, Trini calls him back to represent the national team – who benefits? We need to start treating Trinidad and Tobago as one big, unified entity – everyone working towards the goal of producing better players so that the national team is stronger – more respected as a “football nation.” Instead, everyone’s fighting each other down for a moment of glory that no one cares about one month after the season is finished. That said, the Fyzo situation is an entirely different ball game all together – Fraud, nah man.

    • BS Talk…. by the management…Lasana they knew what they were doing….Too much of this going around like they trying hard to put WASA out of business …it overflowing….it stinks….

    • Tony this is trini breds our people only unify for party and carnival….

    • Yeah but that is why we will finish last in ah hex and our national teams are playing big World Cup qualifiers in front of 2,000 people. Everything from our youth to the women’s are failing badly. The football culture here is horrible…coaches bad talking each other at every opportunity, schools protesting each other…we sabotaging at every opportunity.

    • schools breaking the rules to win to look good on live tv but they still doing wrong… schools finding out x or y break the rules they protest the rule breaking to gain points to win. Everybody doing everything to WIN…

    • The entire system is flawed and that is why this all happening. If we keep doing the this is worse than that etc we just continuing the nonsense. All the wrongs regardless have to be stopped. I much rather the whole think stop immediately and re org for next year. Because I see this thing continuing all because we mixed up the objective of school football.

    • Narada.. if everyone follows the rules there will be no problems like what happening now….people get so accustom doing the wrong things that denial sets in and deep down the feel they are doing right.. there lies the biggest problem . IGNORANCE.

    • You talking schools bro – I talking players…I could care less who wins the colleges league…SSFL champions 2017 means nothing to me, young Trinidad and Tobago players benefiting from the exposure from the SSFL is a potential benefit to Trinidad and Tobago. Understanding the difference is important…

    • If talking players tony how does this affect them. Wont we be producing players that think they have reached the pinnacle of football?because we have seen his schoolmates denying national calls. Now we seeing players being registered late and certification being tampered for them to play meaning they may believe his will happen elsewhere or is the norm. The bar shouldn’t be moved ever but less so for level that means little in the grand scheme. I want the lads to play as much as u but we can’t make this stage more than it really is. I know your view and intention are always good so this is me trying to put a stop to those wrong doers and for the guys to have a realistic view of stuff

    • I understand fully but all I am saying is all the exposure players want to get, their managers have to do things the right way to ensure they get all this exposure on live tv…

    • Sherwood plz preach to lasana about the value kids place in the SSFL as a career stepping stone?

    • Anthony, Kyon told me on another thread that Dwight Yorke would not have gotten to Manchester United without the SSLFL. I have no intention of continuing such a ridiculous discussion nah. Lol

    • Lasana, Kyon…Amongst that particular generation – Dwight was highly rated…he was starting with the U14 national team as an eleven year old. However, the greater football community in T&T would not have known about him at that time. Unequivocally, his success with Signal Hill propelled him to the forefront – he went from a relative unknown to a national senior team player at 17. I would say that the colleges league provided him with an incredible platform – its where Gally saw him. His stunning performance in the National Intercol final resulted in him getting to the senior team much faster…and one month later, he was in the squad that played Aston Villa…the rest is history. Undoubtedly, the colleges league was Dwight’s catalyst. Without the Aston Villa opportunity, who knows where his career would have taken him. Colleges League football was also very different back then…

    • Anthony Sherwood, if a national under-14 player would not be seen by the national senior team coach without schools football then there is no coherent football body here at all.
      I can settle this with a phone call to Gally Cummings.

    • Anthony, Gally knew of Dwight before Signal Hill but took him from the National U-20 Team. So now I will ask the national under-20 coach.
      That is like saying the most talented player in the under-15 programme is John-Paul Rochford–just using an example–and he is already a national player. But because he isn’t playing in the SSFL, the national under-17 coach would not have heard about him and called him up.
      To me that is beneath even the most incompetent administration we ever had. So I called Gally and now I will ask the under-20 coach who is Hannibal Najjar.

    • Lasana, doh forget, I was in the thing…there was no U20 team that we were apart off at that time…we came off a U16 Concacaf tournament in Hounduras and went straight into a colleges league season. Signal Hill created a storm that year…both Dwight and Colvin Hutchison were the immediate beneficiaries – they both went to Villa on trials.

    • Anthony I know you were in the team. Gally said he pulled Dwight off under 20 team with Najjar so I will talk to Najjar. You make it sound like Graham Taylor saw footage of Yorke at Signal Hill and was impressed.
      Tony, if Dwight was a national youth player before Signal Hill then I don’t see the logic in saying his play for Signal Hill got him on national team.
      Gally was the one to give him his international senior debut and he says otherwise. But think about it logically.
      In fact allyuh have the thing in reverse. Half the national under-15 players were at schools not in SSFL premier division. Teams like Malabar and Pt Fortin and St James Sec and Five Rivers.
      A year or two later and miraculously they are all going to Premier Division schools.
      It is the schools that are scouting from the young national teams and not the other way around. And I can point to several players who didn’t play for any school and made it. But it was never because of the SSFL. That is what you consider a self fulfilling prophecy. The schools take the hot young talent, give them a uniform and then claim that if not for them they wouldn’t get in national teams when they were already part of the pool.

    • Dwight was a national player since the age of 9 by the way. Not 11. He played on under-12 team with Shaka Hislop. He made his debut against Venezuela about five or six years before he wore a Signal Hill uniform.

    • Graham Taylor saw Dwight for 20 mins in the Stadium with the Senior team (he came on as a sub) and then for an entire game against a Tobago All Star team a few days later (over there)…in fact, he was asked to play the second half with Villa. This was all preceded by his performance in the colleges league…everyone would have known who he was after that season. Years later, we played Man United’s Academy team in the Stadium and he had a field day…I think he mentioned that it was actually the first time they took notice of him. Of-course he was at Villa at the time trying to establish himself.

    • I disagree Anthony. So does Gally. I will got only to Najjar soon. As well as Dwight played for Signal Hill, it had nothing to do with him getting on the national senior team or Aston Villa.
      The national senior team coach said so and Taylor never once mentioned Signal Hill. So I’m not sure what you can back that up with.
      I’m sure Brian Lara did well in schoolboys cricket too. And I am sure the West Indies paid more attention to what he did with the West Indies youth teams.

    • I could give yuh Dwight’s number…you could call him and verify for yourself bro..Also, I never made a correlation between Signal Hill and Villa, that would be insane…what I said is that his 2 performances against Villa (with the National Team and the Tobago 11) is what prompted the trails in England..Check and see when his call up to the senior team occurred, I can’t be sure – but I’m fairly certain that it happened after the Intercol final with San Juan. I doh even think Najjar coached a U20 team, he was however our coach in Honduras (U16). The first time any of us played U20 was in Portugal. Prior to that would have been the U18 qualification (CFU and Concacaf) tournaments that preceded the U20 World Cup..that tournament began shortly after November 19, 1989. It could also be stated that Signal Hill was Bertile’s pathway to National team coaching as well…SSFL influence in those days was strong bro.

    • Anthony, the chat was actually about a correlation between Signal Hill and his move to Aston Villa. Gally told me it was under-20 but if Najjar’s assistant coach was Alvin Henderson then that would be the team he referenced.
      I’m not saying that Dwight didn’t play well for Signal Hill. All national players are expected to excel for their schools. But he was already in the national pool and Gally said he was fast tracked into the team after his performances for the national youth team.
      Dwight’s debut might have come after an Intercol final that he excelled in but that doesn’t mean he was selected as a result of the Intercol final.
      Even if Dwight said no thanks to Signal Hill, he would have continued to progress up the national ranks because he was already part of the national pool.
      I will go with what Gally said anyway as he was the national senior team coach at the time.

    • Take Lyndon Andrews who was at Holy Cross and came to CIC as a form four student. He then advanced to the national senior team as a teenager. But he was also a national player from 12 years old.
      So CIC can say it is because of his play for us that he progressed. But that would be as much nonsense as the Dwight theory in my opinion.
      Kelvin Jack was in same form as Lyndon in Holy Cross and both were national youth players. Kelvin didn’t transfer. And it didn’t harm his career either.

    • Lyndon was one of the best point guards to pass tru saints bball as well

    • Dennis damn straight! Lol. Short man could dunk too.

    • wayyy off topic, but Lyndon had the jets yaw!!! YUH WAH SPEED?!?!? lol

    • Lasana I cyah argue with Gally, that would be sacrilegious…just giving you versions of events as we both experienced it…this is a man I trained every weekend since we were both 11 years old…we both knew what big performances in the then SSFL could do at that time….

    • And as teenagers you all probably overvalued it.

    • BTW, Bertille St. Clair was the coach of the national U-12 team, when Dwight was on it. He was the one who originally organized for him to be called to trials. Bertille was already aware of Dwight’s talent because of his performance at Bertille’s Coaching School.

    • Well look thing Myers…I thought the man coaching that was squad was Ronald “eggs” Alexis., possibly Carl Osborne as well?

    • Lasana so yuh saying we existed in alternative universe!

    • The U-12 team I’m talking about is the one from 1981 that went to Puerto Rico. It’s possible that Ozzie was involved prior to that, or maybe after.

    • Myers you is ah encyclopedia bro ??..I ain’t contesting anything you and Lasana put forth. Was just giving my views on what players in those days felt the SSFL could do in terms of national recognition.

    • Anthony, Hannibal said hello. He also said that he was aware of Dwight’s talent and that Dwight played with him for 14 to 17 when he hooked up with Gally. That was also before Signal Hill.
      All national players are supposed to excel at school. That’s a given. Neither coach felt Dwight’s Signal Hill exploits had anything to do with his career development. It was just good fun and got him in the papers and some public acclaim. He was heading to Aston Villa without that because he would have still played against them with Tobago team.

    • Lasana if Gally says he picked Dwight off of any U20 team he is either disingenuous or have a bad memory. What Anthony is 100% accurate. For perspective, 2 years earlier my brother got promoted from the U16 team to the U19 team with Latas and dem. He technically was on a highly plateau at the time that Dwight. However Dwight’s performance in the SSFL was the catalyst for his taking off. That is fact

    • Allyuh really expect Gally and some of them old coaches to not embellish?..everybody like dey lil claim to fame lol

    • Brent, Dwight Yorke went from U-12 to U-14 to U-16 without having ever played for Signal Hill. You’re saying that if he hadn’t played for Signal Hill, he would not have advanced to the national senior team?
      As a clear Tobago star in the making, he played against Villa and impressed. You think he would not have been picked to play for Tobago–despite being a prodigy playing with boys two and three years older on national youth team–if he was not playing for Signal Hill at the time?

    • No Lasana.. I am not saying that at all. However the public at large and the senior team coaches became aware of him based on his performances for Signal Hill. Trust me the youth coaches knew who he was but those senior coaches never really scouted the youth teams at that time. Anybody tell you anything different, they are being disingenuous. Sherwood is right, colleges league really did provide the platform for him and many others, me included

    • Brent, Gally specifically said he watched him at under-20 level. So dunno what to say. But even if he hadn’t, I think a player on a national team with guys three and four years older is unlikely to pass the attention of a senior coach.
      All the same, I just have Gally’s word for it.

    • Otherwise Brent Bennett, the argument was specifically that Dwight would never have become a premier league star but for Signal Hill. And frankly I find that ridiculous.

    • And Iike Sherwood, I will dispute that. There was no U20 squad at that time when Dwight was seen. Go back and look at the records. Remember the only U20 squad that Dwight was a part of was 1991. Dwight got called up to the senior team straight from SH.

    • But to the original point, he would have been successful anyway. If you knew him like we did, he was driven to succeed.

    • Brent I called Najjar today and he also said Yorke played with him from U-14 to U-20 or something like that. Whichever specific team it was, Gally and Najjar both agreed that Yorke was on Najjar’s youth team when he debuted at 16 or 17 for Trinidad. I’m just going by what they said.

    • It’s like Che Benny. He played parts of two matches for the under-17 team last year and everyone around the national game knew who he was after that.
      He then played for St Anthony’s weeks after. Ppl will probably say St Anthony’s put him in the national spotlight. But that would be wrong.
      The average fan may not have known. But anyone worth his salt would have.
      It would surprise me greatly if any national coach needs schoolboys football to spot a player who had been already a national youth player for seven years.

    • I ain’t gonna knock the coaches for their old age lol but Dwight never played for Najjar at U14 level. The U14 coach was Ronald “Eggs” Alexis. He played for Najjar at U16 level….how do I know that? I was on the U14 team with Dwight and Sherwood and my brother was on the U16 team with them both…. Anthony Sherwood could attest to this

    • I can attest to that…in fact, it was at a session at CIC grounds when we found out Sheldon made the jump…Lasana SSFL was the ticket bro!!!! Lol! You might be interested to know as well, that Brent was the player of the tournament at the U14 CFU tournament we went to in Puerto Rico. That tournament featured none other than Dwight Yorke. Jack Warner say Brent was the next big thing in football when we came back!!! Lol! …Point being, all of this was happening and no one in Trini cared, no one remembered – however, once men hit the SSFL, talk done! In those days, it was unequivocally the platform. We grew up talking about it every weekend. It was different back then ?…

    • SSFL was the notoriety and platform players needed to take off… I ain’t no about no next big thing eh Sherwood but I did enjoy my track suit lol….. I was such the next big thing that they didn’t even call me up for the U16s because I was too small……

    • Anthony Sherwood, that means the normal “fans” didn’t know. I can understand that. But it would be a serious dereliction of duty for national coaches not to know.
      Allyuh not following me you know… If a boy is a national player for seven years and the senior coach doesn’t know about him, then that is not a real football organisation.
      And whether fans know or don’t know wouldn’t stop the boy’s progress.

    • I was part of that u16 national pool…. najjar was not part of the national set up before probably before 86… if he was no one who was going to trials knew

    • It was different back then…ah couldn’t even tell you who was the senior team coach at that time (maybe Roderick Warner)…ah doh even think there was a technical director. What I will say is that coach Ronald Alexis should be given an award for his service…he was at the helm of a generation of some good players. Anyone know where he is today?

    • Sana if you were part of the national set up or from Tobago you know of Dwight. But Dwight’s star rose with Ssfl… I played in those games against Dwight. .. he proved himself in a team full of ballers including Hutchinson to be a true leader. And that is what made people stand up and notice. He made the game look simple and was by far the best player on the pitch when he played.

    • The u15 coaches were Carl Osborne and assistant was James Balfour then we went u16 and then Ronald eggs Alexis and jean lillywhite took over bertille or najjar had no under nothing till the maritime life u16 team captained by Louie le gendre

    • Then najjar got u19 and st Clair u 20 for WC

    • Ian R Briggs I won’t disagree with you there. But the point wasn’t about the average fans but ppl in the national set up. So I agree with you 100 percent.
      The man on the street might not have known. But the national coaches would have. That’s my whole point.

    • St Clair coached under-12 team when Dwight made his international debut. Shaka remembered that quite clearly. So I agree with Nigel Myers.

    • Brent, Lasana, Anthony – Part of the issue with Dwight and when he played is related to his age. Because he was young and talented he played for several different National U14 teams and thus several different U14 coaches. So when you talk about him and who he played under and with, you need to give some sense of timeline. He started playing with me, Latas, Shaka, Elcock, Yellowman (Sean Constantine), etc. at the U14 level in 1980/1981. The coaching staff was Colin Osborne and Ronald Alexis, with Basil Smith assisting as well. I think Dwight was only 11 and the youngest player on the team at the time. In spite of his age, he was the main striker on the squad. The man was very focused back then and honestly it was obvious to everyone that he and Latas played several years beyond their age. They were both destine for greatness. When myself, Latas, and Shaka made the jump to U16s Dwight didn’t make it, and continued with the U14s for a few years. I’ll also like to add that back then there were three primary paths to making the national team. The first and probably the primary pathway was through the Interzonal competition. You get on the East, North, South, and Tobago Zonal teams and you were guaranteed to be seen by the national youth coachs, as many of them also coached the zonal teams. From there you would be called into the national team set up. The second pathway at the U14 level was through open tryouts. And the third, and the one more applicable to U16s and beyond was College League. You make a name for yourself during the College League season and you would be invited to the national team pool.

    • This is the 1980/1981 U14 squad and coaching staff.

    • Carlos, allyuh really good yes. So everyone admits by now that Dwight Yorke would have been spotted by the various national coaches since he was an exceptional talent who played from 9 onward.
      But you still think the main pathway was a schoolboys competition that he only played in for a year or two at 16 and 17?
      The schoolboys competition gets you spotted by the average fans. The average fans don’t pick national teams. Gally said he even watched him train with the national youth team under Najjar.
      It was the under-19 team with Najjar and Alvin Corneal. But say what. If people want to believe that Signal Hill got Yorke to Aston Villa I realise that idea just too strong to be dislodged.
      My stance remains that if Dwight had never stepped foot on the field for Signal Hill, he would have still been a part of the Strike Squad, he would have still played against Aston Villa and he would have still been signed. And the national senior team coach and two national youth team coaches at the time said so–not just me.

    • ???? Brent Bennett and Anthony Sherwood this picture shows Dwight Yorke on Najjar’s team. And clearly this is not an under 16 team.

    • You getting tie up yes lol… them men face just hard…. lol… yes Najjar did coach them at U16-U19… no U20 though…

    • Brent well okay. Under-19 then. Allyuh will kill men for one year? Lol

    • Lasana – I think you forget that most youth national teams back then would only get together 3-6 months before a major tournament. The final squad was usually only selected 2-3 weeks before the tournament and the teams had very few if any international friendlies. So there was very little opportunity for players to be seen by the general public and by national senior team coaches. College League on the other hand provided players with the most visible platform to be seen by all – coaches, fans, etc. Without College League a number of players would never make have made it to the national team set up. That includes men like Kerry Jamison and Timothy Haynes.

    • Carlos, some players would have been spotted through the SSFL. That would mean the zone that they come from was doing a poor job at identifying talent or maybe the player was a late bloomer.
      Dwight Yorke was not such a player. So SSFL might have gotten Kerry Jamerson on to national team. But not Yorke. And that’s my only contention. A specific claim was made on Yorke and I think it is bogus.

    • Lasana – I agree about Dwight. He was one of our gifted players and would have made it to the senior team at some point in his career. However, his outstanding performance at the SSFL accelerated things significantly. It fast tracked his progress to the senior team.

    • Sigh. Carlos Lee I wouldn’t bother to repeat what the man who actually picked him on the senior team said. What would be the point? Like everybody on this thread was technical director of the Strike Squad yes. Lol. You helped Gally pick the team or wot Carlos? :-/

    • I think the claim is maybe valid due to the era. Is it fair to say that maybe today has more structured national football. Youth pro league, republic tournament, elite national league etc. Therefore maybe the ssfl being a main hub for talent is less important today than then. From a visibility to the masses standpoint.

    • Narada, Trinidad Football was much better off in 1980s. That’s another myth. Defence Force won Concacaf cup and Trinidad clubs made three or four finals in a six year stretch. All the zones had youth teams, football grounds were full.
      Right now the elite programme they are putting in to much fanfare is what existed to some degree 20 years ago—albeit zonal teams were sometimes coached by school teachers then.
      And, most important Narada, I gave specific info from a coach. I was not theorizing.
      For all the issues, we didn’t do well in the 1980s and 90s because of luck.

    • Understood. Im actually on the side that the ssfl isnt where one should notice players or should be the standard by which any serious youth player should be judged. I was wondering if the reason many stated dwight or any stand out player was recognised through the level was maybe because of less nation wide structured youth football. We may now hear of players at different tournament as stand outs but bavk then ssfl was used as the benchmark by most as it was one environment where all things happened or came together

  14. The SSFL Premiership has destroyed the essence of schools football, exposed the greed for nothing more than amateur bragging rights and has provided a seeding ground for the encouragement and acceptance of corrupt practices.

    • This isnt new. This has been going on for ages im sure. And the same schools who are protesting have run afoul of the rules at some time or the other. So there needs to be an independent body looking aftet eligibility. Treat these guys like student first. Enforce a minimum grade avg to play sports.

  15. So the SSFL committee makes a decision, and the other school is essentially protesting the ruling that was issued…schools are now protesting the SSFL.

  16. When is the SSFL supposed to rule on the appeal by Fatima?

  17. I now read this article here…so homeboy playing fuh shiva 3X/week and Marabella Crisis centre what?.’twice a week?..and supposedly going to school?..look…

  18. ah mean..if ah priest..ah eh calling no name..*cough* Dom Basil had overage men advantaging others..well what does that leave for us lay people

  19. none ah this nonesense started this year eh… people just getting ketch this year

  20. hahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahaahhahahahaahahahahahahahahahahaha… when are we gonna have a COI into the Colleges football league?

  21. But the SSFL approved the transfer how is it ib question NOW

  22. Nobody wants to settle on the field anymore. Football matches are now being decided in offices. Can’t blame the technocrats they have a job to do according to the constitution but it’s sad wen u know a much more talented team loses on a technicality. But hey rule are rules and have to be adhered to until they change.

  23. The problem here is that all the laws and stipulations is making the SSFL no longer a schools league. Now under the current laws of schools football it’s justified. But this has to be amended. Cuz what it’s doing is taking bonafide student attending schools whether transfer in or otherwise and debarring them from playing for a school be cuz they playing in another league football. Then don’t call it secondary schools league give it another name. But to each his own. Cuz personally I think transfer students should not play in the first season of their transfer year. That way more than likely students will tend to stay in the school they past for. So poaching will stop. This win at all cost and taking the resources of other schools to build other schools must stop and all this bacchanal that’s taking place in the SSFL with these boys would not happen. .

  24. A rule is a rule. Even in the big leagues points have been taken away for infractions. You cannot break the rules and expect to get away with them. Due diligence needed.

  25. Ha! Ha!……..Who is surprised?

  26. Investigate all players from all schools since I doubt is only two schools involved in this cheating.

  27. See me I only following primary school football from now hopefully them doing the right thing

  28. wrong will always be wrong if everyone is doing it but right will always be right even if you alone are doing it.. but trinis are so accustomed to doing the wrong thing in their stupid ignorant head they feel it right…done talk.

  29. What’s up with these Southern Schools, exams now football, or is that you’ll just not good at cheating!
    Ruining Sports on D whole!

  30. It’s unfair to punish a team who’s worked so hard to reach this far and then throw away good efforts due to administrative failures at the start of the season. SSFL needs to do their due diligence in a timely manner so the compliant team members don’t get demotivated and disappointed during the season. That’s 2 schools out now

  31. Alyuh would F**k up a good thing i sure alot of teams have players who dont have the subjects and playing rules are rules but at this stage in the league shouldn’t be the time for this it should be more organized everything should be submitted in advance too know if the players are eligible too play, over the years had alot of changes but this scl league is the best in t@t atm lot of support but the students need to balance the academics aswell.

  32. Annie Ma’at Osiris Lall look more bachannal one south school gona a next one on its way ! Tisp Shame so allyuh doing anything just for football well suffer the consiquences now out Warning never if fyzo had to get suspended Shiva should get the same punishment

  33. Different strokes for different folks…

  34. These young men will rule regardless. I pray however that this is sorted out for the sake of the players’ morale.. for I foresee many of these Shiva Boys players reaching the absolute top! Great energy.. great technique!!

  35. Better they had just go in a room and protest who should win the league lol

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