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Connection’s embarrassing Caribbean elimination deepens growing malaise in T&T football

The W Connection Football Club last night became the latest in a line of Trinidad and Tobago football representatives to be embarrassed in regional competition, being eliminated in the group stage of the Caribbean Club Championship at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

Connection only needed a draw to advance to the semifinal round of the Caribbean tournament. Instead, they were spanked 3-0 by Dominican Republic outfit, Club Atlético Pantoja, who did not even need the three points.

Photo: W Connection defender Triston Hodge (centre) beats Club Atlético Pantoja attacker Jonathan Faña (right) to the ball during Caribbean Club Championship action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 4 February 2018.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/CA-Images/Wired868)

The result meant that Connection finished bottom of Group A—despite home advantage—with Pantoja and Jamaica’s Arnett Gardens going on to the next round while Haiti’s Real Hope Football Academy finished third based on the head-to-head tiebreaker.

The Dominican Republic’s professional league is only four years old. Real Hope FA were formed just four years ago and made their regional debut against Connection—a match the Haitians won 1-0—while Jamaican top-level football is semi-pro.

In contrast, Connection are three-time Caribbean winners and never failed to contest the final of any tournament they participated in while Trinidad and Tobago clubs have won nine regional titles since 1997 with the Jamaican league second-best with just three.

“We are falling behind,” Connection assistant coach Earl Jean told Wired868. “I spoke to [Pantoja attacker and ex-W Connection player Jonathan] Faña and he said they are investing heavily in the Dominican Republic league and [Pantoja] just finished building their own facilities while a lot of their teams are importing players.

“[…] Football is evolving in the Caribbean and they are passing us. We have to make up our minds if want to be amateur or professional.”

Photo: W Connection assistant coach Earl Jean (left) barks orders at his squad while right-back Shannon Gomez (right) prepares to take a throw during the 2015 Caribbean Cup final.
Looking on is Central FC coach Terry Fenwick.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The Trinidad and Tobago Pro League is in its bleakest period to date and there has been much debate about the government subvention of TT$50,000 per month for each club, which almost certainly will not be on offer in the upcoming season. But finances are only a part of the problem.

Connection headed to Couva on Sunday knowing that they were playing for their survival—yet, when you subtract the 55 players and coaching staff present from Arnett Gardens and Real Hope, there were fewer than 100 people at the Ato Boldon Stadium.

How is it that one of Trinidad and Tobago’s most successful Pro League teams—and one that has been in existence for 19 years—cannot even motivate 200 people to show up and cheer for such a challenging outing in their backyard?

What does that say not only about Connection’s relationship with the surrounding communities but also about the club’s ability to maintain a relationship with their past players as well as with parents and relatives of current employees?

If each player and staff member from just one Connection youth team had turned up yesterday with a guest in tow, the attendance would have been doubled.

Photo: W Connection and Club Atlético Pantoja engage in Caribbean Club Championship battle in front of a sprinkling of patrons at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 4 February 2018.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/CA-Images/Wired868)

If Pro League clubs continue to struggle for buy-in from even their own employees and players, how can they reasonably expect it from the wider public and the Treasury?

Presumably, things will only get worse now that results on the field are deteriorating too.

In the opening match of yesterday’s double-header, Arnett Gardens thumped Real Hope 4-0—a result which suited Connection to a tee. Since head-to-head results would be the first tiebreaker and the hosts had defeated Arnett Gardens on Friday night, it meant Connection and Pantoja knew at kick-off that a point would see them both safely through to the next stage.

Neither side seemed particularly interested in playing for a stodgy draw, though. And, as it turned out, Connection’s tactical ambition was woefully misplaced.

Connection coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier began with a 3-4-3 formation which employed Marcus “Lobo” Joseph, Akeem “Froggy” Garcia and Dimitri Apai up front with Kadeem Corbin as an offensive central midfielder and Kurt Frederick and Alvin Jones as buccaneering wing-backs.

After barely 15 minutes, Joseph and Corbin switched places before, in the 28th minute, Fevrier abandoned his aggressively offensive ploy altogether and replaced Corbin with workmanlike midfielder Kevon Goddard. But, by then, they had already fallen behind to a Luis Espinal strike.

Photo: New W Connection recruit Kadeem Corbin (left) wrestles with a Real Hope FA player during Caribbean Club Championship action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 31 January 2018.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/CA-Images/Wired868)

“Corbin was getting outmuscled in central midfield so we tried to adjust it by putting him higher up the field,” Jean explained. “But we were still getting problems, so we had to make the change. We felt they were much stronger than our players.”

It was a sad indictment of Corbin’s progress. Four years ago, the graceful attacker was adjudged the Caribbean’s most outstanding player at Under-20 level in a tournament that included the precocious Levi Garcia.

Garcia and Corbin both headed to the Netherlands together in 2004 for trials with Eredivisie clubs. But while Garcia—who was 17 and a year younger—ticked all the right boxes, Wired868 was told then that Corbin had one obvious weakness; he lacked upper body strength.

So, Corbin was sent home with instructions to undergo a weight programme if he wanted to turn professional. Yet, four years later, he cannot even hold off unheralded Caribbean opposition.

That said, only 23-year-old Dominica international midfielder Briel Thomas, St Kitts and Nevis international Gerrard Williams and Connection captain and Trinidad and Tobago right-back Alvin Jones looked able to physically match their visitors.

Photo: Club Atlético Pantoja midfielder Jean Innocent (centre) advances with the ball while fallen W Connection attacker Marcus Joseph (left) looks on during Caribbean Club Championship action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 4 February 2018.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/CA-Images/Wired868)

The others struggled at times or simply failed miserably.

Fevrier’s decision to replace Corbin changed little. By the 31st minute, Pantoja had doubled their lead as Espinal teed up his strike partner, Armando Maita, for a simple close-range finish after a deep cross-field pass. There had been no discernible defensive pressure on the ball.

“We conceded too many soft goals,” said Jean. “Our players don’t like to track back and stay with their players. They want to play with the ball but, essentially, they don’t like to defend.”

Jean’s explanation might have been easier to accept if all 11 Connection players on the field for much of the game—Corbin and late substitute Jevaughn Humphrey apart—had not been at the club already for between three to seven years.

But, as always, there were other issues which made it more difficult for coaches to get through to their players.

“We had three weeks’ training and we had to get in fitness work and ball work at the same time,” said Jean. “We had a few issues with sorting out contracts and sometimes players were missing training and so on.”

Without the financial ability to give players the security of long-term contracts, Pro League coaches must essentially build a team from scratch in every pre-season. And when clubs do not invest in the long-term well-being of players, those employees sometimes return the favour.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Kadeem Corbin (right) prepares to fire past Haiti goalkeeper Steve Sanon in the 2014 U-20 Caribbean Cup final.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Then, as Corbin might admit, there are also players who appear incapable of even looking after their own interests.

It is that combination of woes that has led to the gradual decline in standards of a league which once exported players who could step off a plane and compete in the Scotland First Division or the England Third Division competitions

Yesterday, Connection never stood a chance against ordinary but street-wise and tactically disciplined opposition. And the hosts were lucky to keep all 10 outfield players on the field as the Dominican Republic side, which included five South American players and one Haitian among their starters, provoked battles and play-acted at every opportunity.

The match was truly over in the 64th minute as Joseph conceded possession cheaply in midfield and then gave away a penalty in a clumsy effort to regain possession from Espinal.

Pantoja midfielder Jean Carlos López hammered in the final nail with an emphatic spot kick that put the visitors three goals clear.

It is hard to feel the tide has not turned. After San Juan Jabloteh and Central FC were comfortably second-best to the Dominican Republic’s Cibao FC in the Caribbean Championship last year, Cibao did not even earn the right to represent their nation in 2018.

Photo: Cibao FC and Cameroon winger Patrick Soko (left) leaves San Juan Jabloteh left-back Kion Joseph for dead during the Caribbean Club Championship final on 21 May 2017 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain. Cibao won 1-0.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The “Couva Sharks” are still alive and start their own campaign in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday. But rookie coach Stern John has an unenviable task in trying to get results on foreign soil with a pick-up team of players on three-week contracts.

The Pro League’s struggles at regional level come after Trinidad and Tobago’s Under-17 boys and women’s teams were both eliminated at Caribbean level while the Under-20 men and women and senior “Soca Warriors” all finished bottom of their CONCACAF groups.

If Trinidad and Tobago’s football is not in crisis at present, then this is surely close enough.

(Teams)

W Connection (3-3-1-3): 18.Julani Archibald (GK); 5.Triston Hodge, 3.Gerard Williams, 15.Jesus Perez; 16.Alvin Jones (captain), 19.Briel Thomas, 2.Kurt Frederick; 9.Kadeem Corbin (6.Kevon Goddard 28); 7.Akeem Garcia (17.Jevaughn Humphrey 62), 99.Marcus Joseph, 10.Dimitri Apai.

Unused substitutes: 33.Jason Belfon (GK), 8.Jameel Antoine, 14.Quinn Rodney, 23.Kennedy Hinkson, 26.Isaiah Garcia.

Coach: Stuart Charles-Fevrier (St Lucia)

Club Atlético Pantoja (4-2-2-2): 23.Odalis Baez (GK); 3.Pedro Muñoz, 21.Nicolás Rebollo, 32.Eduardo Centeno, 4.Yefferson Moreira; 13.Jean Waines Innocent, 14.Jean Carlos López; 20.Jonathan Faña (16.Robert Rosado 77), 8.Jesus Quintero (9.Darly Batista 81); 17.Armando Maita (15.Dany Guillen 88), 7.Luis Espinal.

Unused substitutes: 1.Wisaldy Rivera (GK), 10.Leandro Silva, 18.Brian Calabrese, 28.Ronaldo Vazquez,

Coach: Lenin Bastidas (Venezuela)

Referee: Juan Gabriel Calderon (Costa Rica)

Photo: W Connection attacker Marcus Joseph (centre) drives past Police FC defender Ryan O’Neil and goalkeeper Adrian Foncette during the TTFA FA Trophy final at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 8 December 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

Caribbean Club Championship 2018

Group A

(Sunday 4 February)

Arnett Gardens FC 4 (Fabian Reid 65, 86 pen, 90+2, Leon Strickland 89), Real Hope Football Academy 0 at Ato Boldon Stadium;

W Connection FC 0, Club Atlético Pantoja 2 (Luis Espinal 27, Armando Maita 31, Jean Carlos López 65) at Ato Boldon Stadium.

(Friday 2 February )

Real Hope Football Academy 0Club Atlético Pantoja 3 (Luis Espinal 35, Armando Maita 40, 59) at Ato Boldon Stadium.

W Connection 2 (Marcus Joseph 2, 13), Arnett Gardens 1 (Fabien Reid 61) at Ato Boldon Stadium.

(Wednesday 31 January)

Club Atlético Pantoja 0Arnett Gardens 0 at Ato Boldon Stadium;

W Connection 0Real Hope Football Academy 1 (Jeudy Johnson 2) at Ato Boldon Stadium.

Photo: Central FC forward Jason Marcano (front) holds off Defence Force defender Jamali Garcia during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 24 January 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Group B

(Wednesday 7 February)

Central FC vs Portmore United FC, 6pm, Estadio Cibao, Dominican Republic;

Atlantico FC vs Racing FC, 9pm, Estadio Cibao, Dominican Republic.

(Friday 9 February)

Racing FC vs Central FC, 6pm, Estadio Cibao, Dominican Republic;

Atlantico FC vs Portmore United FC, 9pm, Estadio Cibao, Dominican Republic.

(Sunday 11 February)

Portmore United FC vs Racing FC, 6pm, Estadio Cibao, Dominican Republic;

Atlantico FC vs Central FC, 9pm, Estadio Cibao, Dominican Republic.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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163 comments

  1. I am not living in trinidad, but i think this organization should be treated as a business instead of just some community endeavor. Carnival is marketed to attract their crowd every year, this soccer organization should follow suit.

  2. The whole thing is symptomatic of the state of local football…from club level to national team level. Fans are disappointed, disenchanted and becoming growingly disconnected from local football and all that is associated with it. At the “home of football” another local team endures cut tail and disappointment in its back yard. The glory days of club football attracting large, energetic crowds are long gone. I have seen Jamaican club games pulling in big enthusiastic crowds. All stakeholders need to do serious introspection or we will find ourselves on the bench while our Caribbean counterparts keep moving forward.

  3. They were too engrossed in the US superbowl….smh

  4. And that is where a BIG part of where the problem is. Support system goes a long way with success and we are lacking that in our country. Hence why our sports are water down and can’t compete with the other what may seem as bigger name countries. It is not that our athletes are not as talented, because we have shown on the world stage in the past that we can compete with the big names. I.e Dwight Yorke was once the top striker in the world while at Manchester. Back in the day we were more competitive because the support system was huge. Pro league games used too sell out. SSFL used too look like a fete. If Argentina coming here too play Trinidad in.a friendly, everybody coming too watch, not too support the local, but too see Messi and Dybala, but we have our own Messi and Dybalas here in players like Molino and Jones and so on,but how we expect them too excell if we don’t show support for our local talent. When cricket playing in the oval we does only show up for t20 for party vibes, but is empty chairs for 50 overs and test. How do we expect our sports too grow if when the athletes on the battle field and look in the stands and all they seeing is empty chairs, that is no motivation at all.

    • No bro. Those fellas are unprofessional and the entertainment from these teams leave much to be desired. Before you can get the major financing and support, you need to build a product worth watching

    • Support and showing up too the games comes a long way bro. I agree with the unprofessionalism of some of the athletes but we as a people still need too show support for the local, can’t paint everyone with a broad brush.

  5. Has the league in Haiti and Dominican Rep started? I know the Jamaican League is up and running at the moment. Natural ability can only take a player so far. smh

    • Lasana Liburd

      The leagues in Haiti and Dominican Republic have not started yet. They are in their off season/pre-season just like us.

      • ok well yeah our football officially is in trouble. No disrespect meant but no club team/ national team representing DR or Haiti should even entertain the thought of beating a team representing T&T.

  6. With a million fetes to go to?????

  7. SSFL has larger turns leaves one to ask how & y ? Hmmmm

  8. I personally think the teams does a lot for their communities and country. Just like I believe all our other athletes does. These men and women sacrifices a lot and puts so much more into their sport than some of us even know or appreciate. While a lot has to be blamed on poor marketing, I believe it’s a domino effect of true patriotism. I am an avid supporter of anyone who has the talent, drive, dedication, courage and sense of devotion to actually dedicate themselves to representing our communities, country and Caribbean. I do what I can in terms of going to events and doing my part in terms of marketing by using what we all use, social media, which is very effective. But sharing things on social media and via word on the street, doesn’t just mean letting people know about events, but also letting the athletes know they have our support. But for some, all their shares are just to bash or be negative………failure. If any of you chose to do what these people do and always hear or mostly hear negativity, then what pushes you to give all? It may push the, but in the same negative direction you portray. It’s the same attitude most have not just for local clubs but national teams and athletes as well. We see scores of you every day sharing posts and rating up all the foreign clubs, athletes and even entertainers and we don’t do the same for our own. When we support our own it affects us first. So if we choose to give a positive or a negative feed, that’s just we will get in return.

  9. Btw, just to confirm… The Trinidad, Haiti and Dominican Republic clubs are all in their off season at the moment. Only the Jamaican league is in full swing.

  10. What really happen is that these other Caribbean team are in mid season from while local clubs are in their off season. The ttproleague board have shift the calendar in a way for our local clubs to be in midseason form while they are playing concacaf club level to give a better showing. But as we are see

    • Actually, Haiti and the Dominican Republic are in their off season just like us. Only the Jamaican league is in full flight now.
      And remember the Pro League just changed their schedule so the clubs would not be active during Carnival and Christmas and so it closer matches the calendar for North and Central American teams. That way we would be on even footing when we meet those teams in the CONCACAF competition.
      Of course the irony is now we are struggling to qualify for those CONCACAF competitions!

    • That’s true it’s kind of an experiment that they might time to observe and make decisions

    • Yeah. I think the current Pro League schedule makes more sense. But the clubs have to be creative to get match fit for the Caribbean tournament. They could tour Central America and get practice games easily as those teams are preparing for their season and will play them. But then I’m sure the cost of such trips are a problem. That’s the drawback of being an island. Lol.

    • So truth ,that where sports tourism comes in

  11. I’m reading all the points about the SSFL being better supported that the Pro league but has anyone noticed that when the students finish with school hardly anyone graduates to the pro league, people may not want to say it but a lot of these kids play for a lil fame and girls, when they’re finished with school that’s it

  12. By the way…. they sold less than 50 based on how many people I saw wearing them.

    • I wonder if they will finally get the message that our people is really fed up of their madness eh and now that they have moved the beautiful game to Central eh the Hasley Crawford Stadium should be given to Machel Montano to only have is Kingdom fetes during the year yes over 30 thousand people attending last night steeuuppss Them really good yes

  13. There is no marketing of the Game. I was at the Under 20 Finals and I saw Dexter Skeene there … the marketing people had a boring souviner T-shirt selling for $100TT… when I approached the lady selling the shirt she said it was $50US… because I was wearing my Canada team shirt the price went up..
    That is how they run things.

  14. 1 Carnival time , 2 no fan base structure, 3 lack of advertisement, 4 TT football association clueless, 5 W Connections members on active in promotion of tje games , need I continue to point out shortfalls i could easily give 5 more.

  15. Pro league started at a time when cable was spreading throughout the country
    When i done watch barca real madrid play you think i want to go see local football?

  16. I supported W Connection since they started having parties in petrotrin to raise funds and i still support them and i noticed that trinis support international football but not their own local teams and yes i agree the SSFL have a much larger turn out than the Pro League

    • So more interaction between the clubs and communities would help then, right?

    • Pro league clubs not serious…I live in Sangre Grande and I follow NorthEast Stars on Facebook in an attempt to start supporting the team in my community. The page is not updated after games with pictures nor results and when I asked about purchasing a club shirt they had none. So clubs cannot be talking about local support when they are doing nothing to earn that support. Supporters grow into fans that turn into life long season ticket holders and purchasers of merchandise that turn into revenue to build the club!

    • SSFL will have a larger turn out than pro league because most of the supporters went to those football schools, or the kids are attending those schools, or their neighbour is attending those schools….. what ever the reason the point is the supporters are connected to the players in some way….. if pro league was community based, and the games held in the community, I bet the supporter numbers would be massive……

    • Kerron and Peter thanks. Your points are well articulated and I know they will be seen by the right people. The question now is if they have the will to make a change.

    • I played in the Pro League for Jabloteh and for NE Stars, I looked forward to home games with North East, the team was the only really community based team, home games would have a couple hundred supporters well. The atmosphere around the ground was exciting, you felt to play…to win for the supporters. The reason for our large crowds was that the games were played in the community, a supporter could literally walk to the game.

    • True. And I remember sometimes there would be a car show or block party after the match. I covered a few games there and it was good fun although the ground wasn’t the best.
      Stars were damn hard to beat in Grande too.

    • Prime example is pt fortin civic center …. i watched the games wen W played them at mahaica oval and it was spectacular.

      I dont particularly think club names need to change to reflect the community…they just need to be connected….

      Proleague from 2005 to 2010 were prime years…i remember llllllloooonnnnnggggg lines to enter the stadium for tournaments

      I remember watching residents of macoya walk to see joe public play at marvin lee stadium….

      Good days are gone 🙁

    • Alexander, the Marvin Lee Stadium is an excellent venue for location. It is walking distance from the highway, the bus route AND the main road on top of being close to a community.
      Couva is none of those things. It is harder to get people out of their house to go there.
      But, love it or hate it, that’s the “home of football” now. And attendances are shriveling up even further as a result.

    • But this is the “strange” thing…when i started watching local football (W.Connection) in 2005… ato boldon stadium held w’s home games and it would be ram out… cup finals were held there and its long lines to enter…

      Makes me wonder… what changed O.o?

    • Alexander the standard dropped. Fourteen years, the Pro League paid between 6,000 and 20,000 a month. There were players from Brazil and Colombia and the best talent from the islands.
      Aurtis Whitley, Arnold Dwarika, Kerwin Jemmott, Gary Glasgow, etc were all flying in 2005.
      There isn’t that same standard now to offer fans and it is harder to get them to follow team around.
      Also then the Couva stadium held big games but there were many other games played at more accessible venues. So fans would get hooked and then follow their side for the big game.
      Most pro league games play in Couva now. More than then for sure.

    • That part about talent couldnt be any more true…im going to be honest…sometimes its painful to watch w play…because ive seen the “glory days”… if it wasnt broke then… why did we try to fix it :'(

      I dont know if you can remember…it had a proleague magazine and all…i used to buy the magazine before i bought the daily papers…

  17. furthermore u get what u pay for

    if u want to pay low salaries dont be amazed when u get low performances

  18. the quality of marketing is poor….if u cant produce a good video people will not be enticed to show up and watch it live

  19. And I agree that W- Connection is still the most organized local football club but my president needs to return to the foreign base players from Brazil, and other Caribbean islands that gave him many championships in the past because buying the local business ain’t wukking et all eh.Them really good yes.

  20. Well the doh doh head politicians shudda never moved the sports Basketball, Netball, and tennis from the princess building opposite the memorial park where every night there used to be huge crowds supporting our sport men/ women especially the netball eh and of course the football infront of the grand stands and ah bet alyuh that our sports wudda be on a different level today Them really good yes,

  21. Connection was schooled by that team

  22. Not attractive Trinis like to fete

  23. There are very few Community teams. What about home grounds?

    • I’m not even sure how to answer. You see every time there is a chance to play in the community, they always come up with reasons not to do it and the whole thing is abandoned in short time.
      Jabloteh and Caledonia played some games in the community but not all clubs embraced that.

    • We need to discuss this lack of support for our football on a national basis with the aim to return to Community football with probably 3 to 4 divisions and renovate the Community grounds to international standards and allow clubs with the help of business to have at least 4 top foreign footballers in in at least three divisions playing alongside our locals. This is what happened with US football. These are just suggestions. I don’t have all the answers. We need to send or engage top foreign coaches to the top teams with our local coaches working with the foreigners. We need a football academy for our most promising young players both in basic academics and football coaching under top international coaches 5 days a week. Advertising, promotions and national broadcasts are critical for supporter involvement. We need to have a professional approach or we will continue to have leaps and falls as there is no scientific approach to football development. We only have a few gifted players rising now and then. That is not enough to improve our players. Remember when we were one of the best in our confederation. What has happened?

    • All very good suggestions I think. We definitely have to start somewhere and I’d say we need to search out the best and brightest among us and involve them at every level.
      Then you get funding. It would be easier to get corporate sponsorship if you tried the other way around.
      Check to see what talent can be developed and where we need to go abroad for expertise.
      And we need to better prepare young talent and I think that means better youth coaching and more international exposure at an early age.

      • Lasana , we have a lot of persons who coach youths but are they youth coaches. Every Tom, Dick and Harry coaching , who at the top looking to see if they are good at coaching. We have national coaches who have never had good international results but we recycle them from one team to another. We seem to think that being a player makes you a coach, that is so far from reality.

        • Lasana Liburd

          I agree. So much about coaching is the ability to pass on instructions. You could have been a brilliant player but just don’t have the ability to explain the game, particularly to children.

  24. Totally agree with al the sentiments, and distractions. Just saying I am happy to have been born when I was. I virtually lived in the Savannah, being a Belmont boy, went to the Oval every weekend in the cricket season to watch club cricket, hung out with people who knew the game, especially PA Aleong in the concrete stand and enjoyed every minute of it.
    It is just sad for me to know that my grand children have to enjoy sport on TV. Just not the same.
    No interaction with other people. I used to talk to Craig in the Savannah in his crocus bag clothes, and many other characters. Any of you remember Geese the scoreboard man in front of the grand stand, Colts the press man, I would not trade my boyhood in the Savannah for any thing.

  25. Don’t the players invite or sell tickets for support.

  26. That was tough for W! Says how far we have to go because I still think they are the most organized and professionally structured club in the country.

  27. The Pro League needs to be Community based.When a team name is W Connection which community do they identify with.Check Pro Football leagues around the World,teams are named after the cities or towns they come from…..Liverpool.Barcelona.Roma.Lyon.These people here need to get with the program.I told Skeene this 8yrs.ago.

  28. League in existence since 1999 and they still haven’t figured out how to bring the fans out and make money from it.

  29. Bruce Aanensen… I’m not so sure if it was all a lovefor them game OR people just had nothing else to do
    In 2018….well u firstly have “the hustle” ie WORK…men cyah leave work and go oval to watch cricket like the old days…
    2. Access to INTERNATIONAL SPORT on TV that’s a FAR HIGHER QUALITY of what’s being offered here..football, cricket, american football, golf, Formula One, Basketball etc etc
    3.NETFLIX, FB, INSTAGRAM
    4. Fetes
    Our local football is essentially competing with ALL THESE…So wconnection playing and superbowl showing on TV…I’M a SPORTSFAN..I love the Patriots…well I’m home with some beers and chips and watching the SB
    Jabloteah playing and well Chelsea playing liverpool…or cavs vs rockets.. .why should i choose to put orn clothes, put gyas in the car, pay and go to see a game of questionable standard all with the possibility of being robbed at gunpoint?

    • All those distractions aside, if the quality or leadership and the games were any good, people will show up. With DVR I record games I want to see on one channel watch my team play on another and go back to it. The quality is not there and nothing inspires one to spend their time or money. I have traveled to see TT play all thru the Caribbean, Germany, USA but I won’t spend a cent doing that to watch this shit at club or national level. The issue is quality

    • ..I agree. People know is not La Liga they going to see when they come to TTSL match but they come..

    • We don’t want to face the issues. People are not showing up for national elections because the quality of leadership and delivery is lacking. Similarly they will not show for football – same reasons. People are voting with their absence. There is a statement being made – LISTEN!!!

    • People here do not even know when or where the games are, who is playing in terms of individuals, the background of the player he or she could be a neighbor). From the marketing to the quality is piss poor.

      I cannot go to a game, if I do no even know there is a game. The people here are the few who find out because they come on this forum. If you a friend or neighbor they will become bewildered with the question.

    • . TTSL has a firm schedule that doesn’t change – unless TTFA drops an FA Cup match on us, as they did last season, claiming their fixtures have priority. We already have draft 2018 fixtures and have asked them for the FA Cup dates. Still waiting. But rest assured, TTSL matches are established and our community clubs advertise them..

    • TT Pro League does not even know which teams will represent this season.

      You are waiting weekly for am email on the coming fixtures to know who and where you are playing.

  30. ^^^I prefer having whatsapp and FB to ole talk bout this.. and well cable tv to see International football live….not on de homin pigeon scene… sorry..lol

  31. They are calling on the gov’t too for a handout.

  32. I am just glad that I was born in the 40’s grew up in the 50’s & 60’s when football was played in front of the Grand Stand in POS and at Skinner Park in the South. Intercoll and 1st Class football filled the Savannah.
    Maple vs Malvern, Colts vs Providence, Sporting Club vs Norte Dame, Casuals vs Shamrock, Whew, me and my bicycle there early. Geese fixing the scoreboard.
    People like dirt, press by Colts, Curry Chana by Alma, and we good to go.
    Just a love of the game. Will not see that in my lifetime again. Happy to be older and wiser. Still love the game as I do Cricket, but just not the same.

    • Lucky bastard! Lol. I always wished I could have experienced what it felt like to see these legendary teams battle

    • I am indeed a lucky man Sherron. Also worked in Point Fortin with RBC ROYALBANK in the hey days of Civic Centre the likes of Leroy De Leon, Warren Archibald, Steve David, the three Douglas brothers Wilfred “bound to score” Cave and others. Followed the team to every game, lime in the bachelor quarters after. All fours. Great days. My life is so full of beautiful stories.

  33. Isnt every trinbago t20 game sold out?

  34. “We conceded too many soft goals,” said Jean. “Our players don’t like to track back and stay with their players. They want to play with the ball but, essentially, they don’t like to defend. AMEN

  35. Maybe this speaks about our society. Are we patriots?

  36. You can say that T&T football is at an all time low or close to it. The demand for players abroad is sharply down no matter how hard we try to push these players. It will stay like this at least until the next Gold Cup.

  37. The hard reality. Most of the players struggle to make it abroad in mediocre leagues like Central America and even in USL which is basically semi-pro level.

  38. Politics at all levels is destroying our sporting initiatives.

  39. It had real all inclusive .. dey should know this

  40. Carnival….nobody have time for football.

  41. Why is it ’embarrassing’ one might ask? And to whom? Is this not the prevailing national standard in most sports?

  42. I tell u School Intercol is d go now ,but sad we

  43. I wouldn’t encourage people to stay away eh. I will always encourage people to support local businesses including sport. But it is clear that tinkering isn’t working.
    The Pro League must do something drastic if it is rebound.

  44. ..And please note that the “semi-professionals” of Arnett Gardens have advanced while the “professionals” of WC can enjoy Carnival..

  45. Only mad scientist running this ting ..mmacheal Monday has more interest and appeal

  46. ..Good article Lasana: 1. No fan base. 2. No gate receipts. 3. No merchandising. 4. No marketing. 5. No sponsors. 6. Poor technical/tactical performance from players. 7. Bankrupt league (financially and philosophically). 8. Self delusion regarding all of the above. Stir and serve cold..

  47. When you love the game but choose to save your sanity ,you stay away

  48. So all de time when Skeene say de league improving and getting better, what metrics he was using?

  49. Lasana Liburd, I dont care at all about “Pro”League, but i read the article and am curious. Has the “home of football” been sold out as a venue since it was so dubbed?

  50. On field product is losing. Off field the marketing and administration is poor. End result poor attendance. No surprise at all..

  51. Well for years I have been hearing that the league is a bootleg professional league hence the reason why hardly any spectators supported the games and the minor league got many more supporters not because it was free but because it was played in the communities and which community does W Connection represents anyway Them really good yes

  52. Local football has no culture or structure

  53. Couldn’t even give away free tickets Cy Padmore