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Dad: T&T U-15 player Josiah Wilson was not poached by Connection, he needed a new challenge

“I would like to state that there is no poaching taking place from Mr David John-Williams or W Connection. Or at least I can say clearly that for Josiah Wilson there has been no persuasion by people to leave one team for the other. Youths grow and progress and, as they do, there is always a need for greater challenges…”

The following Letter to the Editor on Trinidad and Tobago Boys National Under-15 attacker Josiah Wilson’s apparent change of clubs from Trendsetter Hawks to W Connection was submitted by Jameel Wilson, who identified himself as Josiah’s father:

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago flanker Josiah Wilson (centre) runs at the Panama defence during TTFA U-15 Invitational action at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 17 July 2019.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

I am Jameel Wilson, father of Josiah Wilson. I would like to comment from a parent’s perspective.

First off, I would like to state that the coaches, management and staff of the Elite Programme have gone beyond the call in providing consistently high levels of practice sessions. The coaches have endured times where they have not been paid but the level of professionalism has never faltered.

Let me also establish that Josiah did start off his early youth level football with Trendsetter Hawks. Josiah would undoubtedly always be a Trendsetter player. ‘Dada’ and his staff provide a platform for youth development (ages 4-12) that in my opinion cannot be rivalled.

The core group of youths from inner city and environs like my son (from Belmont) are given the opportunity to develop their individual skill while learning to share the field with other boys who may be just as good as them. As with all things in life, people grow older and need to take on different challenges.

At the age of 12, already attending Trinity College Moka and vying for a place on the National Under-14 squad, Josiah needed to experience a different type of play and competition.

It was at that age we agreed that Josiah would transfer to Police FC to play in the Youth Pro League tournament as Trendsetter does not have a team competing in the YPL.

After the first season with the Youth Pro League, Josiah was able to fly to Mexico as Police had won the first round of the league and gained eligibility to play in the Concacaf Scotiabank Cup.

Josiah was also scouted for the National Elite Programme through the YPL. In the second year of the YPL, Josiah was transferred to Morvant Caledonia AIA and this year, due to the intensity of practice for the August qualifiers in Bradington, Josiah has not played for any YPL or other team except for the National team Programme.

Photo: Trendsetter Hawks players celebrate after edging Pro Series to the RBYL U-11 title on penalties on 6 July 2019.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

The Elite Programme, like I highlighted earlier, opened my eyes to a different level of access for Josiah that I had not thought existed in Trinidad. The Programme is really geared towards full development for young teens.

Coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier has a high level of football knowledge and the boys respond well to him. There are classroom sessions where videos of training and also games are reviewed. There is a nutritionist, psychologist and even strength training sessions that are all documented individually for each child to gauge their progress.

The Programme is not without its challenges though as the six days a week sessions can be a burden for a parent coming from Port of Spain to go to the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva. However the results encourage me to make the effort.

I would like to state that there is no poaching taking place from Mr David John-Williams or W Connection. Or at least I can say clearly that for Josiah Wilson there has been no persuasion by people to leave one team for the other. Youths grow and progress and, as they do, there is always a need for greater challenges.

It was unfortunate to see the post about poaching and attacking the Programme without even getting a call for me to try to rectify if there were mistakes—especially as the boys are preparing and could see these things, which would be a distraction from the great task at hand.

Photo: W Connection owner David John-Williams (second from left), coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier (centre) and defender Joel Russell (far left) say a prayer of thanks after securing the 2013/14 Pro League trophy at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Trinity East was also posted as Josiah’s school in error, as he attends Trinity Moka. However with a call from the Trinity manager, I was able to talk to [Under-15 manager] Wesley Webb who quickly rectified this.

It’s my hope that the coaches, the management and different associations get it together and keep the love in the football, as it is only then we can truly get what’s best for the boys. Put the development of the players first so that T&T could once more rival the world.

Editor’s Note: Trendsetter Hawks coach Anthony ‘Dada’ Wickham told Wired868 that he was upset to see Josiah Wilson listed as a W Connection player although he never signed a transfer form. And he criticised the TTFA’s Elite Youth Programme for setting the stage for the poaching of players by Youth Pro League teams.

Click HERE to read article. Up to the time of publication on 19 July 2019, the TTFA still listed Josiah Wilson as a W Connection player on its website.

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Letters to the Editor
Want to share your thoughts with Wired868? Email us at editor@wired868.com. Please keep your blog between 300 to 800 words and be sure to read it over first for typos and punctuation.

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