“As we understand, the local-based players were called to train [for the Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Team] because there is no local football being played at the moment and this training would help them to prepare physically. In addition, none of the Pro League teams are training at the moment.
“However, our club has been training since January 2019—[for] some three and one half months—and during this time we have played nine practice games. As such, we believe that this training by the National Team is not applicable to our team…”
The following letter was submitted by Terminix La Horquetta Rangers managing director Richard Ferguson to Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team manager Richard Piper and explains why Rangers will not release players to train with the Soca Warriors in the build-up to their 29 May friendly away to Venezuela.
The requested players are veteran defender Carlyle Mitchell, new call-up Ross Russell Jr and former National Under-20 players Kevon Goddard and Aikim Andrews.
The international friendly against Venezuela falls outside the FIFA match calendar and therefore the TTFA cannot compel clubs—whether local or foreign—to send their players to take part:
Re: Release of Rangers players to train with the national team between Wednesday 24th April 2019 to Sunday 26th May 2019.
We reply to your correspondence dated the 17th April, 2019 regarding the above captioned subject. In addition we take this opportunity to thank you for considering our players in regards to training with the National Team Coach. However after discussions with the club’s Board of Directors and coaching staff, it was decided that it was not prudent to release the requested players at this juncture.
Please consider the following reasons:
We are currently in negotiations to arrange games against the national teams of Guyana, Grenada and St Lucia and these games are expected to take place at the end of May and early June 2019. As such, we would like to have our team at full strength when we travel abroad to represent the club at these critical matches.
As we understand, the local-based players were called to train because there is no local football being played at the moment and this training would help them to prepare physically. In addition, none of the Pro League teams are training at the moment.
However, our club has been training since January 2019—[for] some three and one half months—and during this time we have played nine practice games. As such, we believe that this training by the national team is not applicable to our team.
We expect an invitational league to begin in early July 2019 with over TT$675,000 in prize money and it is very important that we prepare for this league vigorously. Therefore we need to have full access to all of our players to compete effectively.
Our coaches have developed an extensive training and fitness program for our players for the upcoming games and competitions and, as a result, the absence of key players for over one month would affect the plans of the club adversely.
Bearing in mind the aforementioned facts, we wish to convey our greatest commitment to the National Team of Trinidad and Tobago and by extension the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association; and we stand ready to assist them in any way possible in the future.
In addition, we are also certain that this decision by the club will not prejudice the selection of Rangers players on the national team in the future.
Should you require any additional information please feel free to contact us at your convenience.
Editor’s Note: National Team manager Richard Piper is also chairman of Terminix La Horquetta Rangers’ three-man Board.