Former Trinidad and Tobago international midfielder Travis Mulraine will oversee Matura ReUnited’s return to the Super League this season, as he was appointed head coach of the second-tier club today.
Mulraine, who has over 25 international caps for the “Red, White and Black” and played professionally in Germany and the United States, replaces former head coach Devon Bobb, who led the team in the 2016 season.
Mulraine previously worked as assistant coach to Serbia-born Zoran Vranes, Englishman Terry Fenwick and ex-Soca Warriors stand-out Angus Eve at Pro League and Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) level before he took the head coach jobs at Central 500 Spartans and Arima North Secondary in the last two years.
Last season, he steered both to within one place of promotion but finished third in the TTSL League Two competition behind Petit Valley/Diego Martin United and Prisons FC while his charges were edged out by Valencia Secondary in the SSFL East Zone Play-offs.
At Matura, Mulraine’s mission is to oversee the club’s senior and youth team and introduce an attractive brand of football to the Eastern Counties outfit.
“I would like to thank the Matura ReUnited board for giving me this wonderful opportunity,” said Mulraine, via a media release. “I know the club was extremely disappointed in not playing in the league last year. I believe in the vision, passion, and excitement of the club, and look forward to helping the organisation accomplish its short- and long-term goals.
“I would also like to thank [Matura special advisor] Dr Carlos Lee for his professionalism and support.”
Matura president Stephanie Guevara, who was described as the TTSL’s only female boss, said they are excited to have Mulraine’s services.
“Coach Travis’ extensive experience playing at the international and professional level plus his recent Super League coaching experience with Central 500 Spartans will bode well for us,” she said, “and should give us the needed catalyst to push for a top-three finish on our return to Super League status.”
Mulraine is supported by team manager Dwain Henry and general manager Maurice Eligon at Matura. They will play their home games at the Sangre Grande Recreation Ground in Ojoe Road this season, since—according to Lee—it is the only enclosed community ground in the area and offers the TTSL outfit a chance to generate money at the gates.
Although former World Youth Cup goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel will remain in the Pro League—rather than rejoin his community team—Mulraine does have at his disposal the attacking trio of ex-Cunupia striker Stevon Stoute, former Guaya United’s Kendes “Bana” Garcia and former Naparima frontman Isaiah Lee.
Matura also moved to fill the vacancy between the uprights with former Guaya custodian Erskine Johnson while former club captain and defender Stephen Bobb has also rejoined the team.
“I met with the players this week and I know that they, like the executive board, are hungry for success,” said Mulraine. “With less than one month before the start of the season, there’s significant work to be done. But I am confident I’ll be able to get the boys to unite and click in a short space of time.”
Mulraine is one of several new appointments for the 2018 TTSL season with two-time Pro League champion Derek King at FC Santa Rosa and Anthony Streete at RSSR.
He held his first training session today on transfer deadline day for the domestic leagues.
Elsewhere, defending champions Guaya United will decide on their coach on Thursday evening after parting ways with former head coach Ron La Forest. Club president Randy Hagley told Wired868 that the decision on their new coach will be made by the players.
Guaya have lost former W Connection utility player Andrei Pacheco to San Fernando Giants for the upcoming season while midfielder Alfred Russell has moved to Pro League outfit, Club Sando. However, the south-east club still have the deadly marksmanship of Carlon “Judgment” Hughes, as they look to secure their third title in five seasons.