Problem Facing Trinidad So Far As Jamaica Tour Is Concerned
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Nov. 17: (From Our Correspondent)—With the proposed football tour of Jamaica in February next year drawing near, and with Trinidad's various soccer competitions approaching the final stages, experts, armchair critics and the railbirds, are busying themselves trying to figure out the men with the best chances of defending the colony's laurels at Kingston.
Since your correspondent wrote in this column some weeks ago, a situation that may have considerable bearing on the selection of the final 15 players has arisen. I refer to the fact that the tour to Jamaica clashes somewhat with the visit of a British Guiana cricket team to Trinidad scheduled for late January next. The actual dates of the two tours do not clash, but where an apparent snag is struck is in the fact that no less than four players who are considered "dead certs" for the Jamaica tour, also form the bulwark of the Trinidad cricket eleven. A sacrifice would have to be made somewhere as this observer sees it, for I do not think it is practicable for a player to train for representative cricket and football at the same time.
The players I refer to are Gerry Gomez, who in every likelihood will skipper the Trinidad side against British Guiana, Jeffrey Stollmeyer, Andrew Ganteaume and Pryor Jones, who is the colony's football captain.
CANNOT TRAIN FOB BOTH
In conversation with Ganteaume the other day, the diminutive Trinidad opening batsman, and also very much in the running for selecting as an inside forward on the side to Jamaica, told me that because of the proximinity of the two tours, it would be extraordinary difficult for a player to get himself in shape for two games, so utterly different in character.
Ganteaume modestly omitted himself when he told me the persons whom he considered fell in that category.
Ganteaume wondered how Pryor Jones, his own colleague (both of them play for Maple club), Jeffrey Stollmeyer, and Gerry Gomez would be able to adjust themselves to meet a soccer and cricket tour following so close on each other.
He felt that Gomez was as clever a soccer inside forward as he is a batsman. Of Jeffrey he remarked that he is as good an outside right as they come, and is almost certain to be selected on the Trinidad line-up if he does not get a recurrence of a leg trouble.
It was hardly necessary for him to rehearse two versatility of Pryor Jones, who, apart from being Trinidad's ablest fast bowler, was without a doubt the most outstanding soccer pivot this island had produced within the past five years.
I have gathered from official football quarters that the date of departure for Jamaica remains February 6, 1947, and corresponding sources in cricket informed me that the British Guiana visit to Trinidad will take place in mid-January and continue for a two week period.
Both soccer and cricket officialdom have given your correspondent that representatives will be selected on form, and that under no circumstances will any change be made in the proposed dates of the respective tournaments.
FIGHT FOR PLACES
Indications are that there is going to be a grim fight for selection on the Trinidad side to tour Jamaica. The feeling in Trinidad is that there is greater honour in representing your country abroad than at home—perhaps it is born from the old saying that a prophet has greater recognition outside his own land.
Footballers all over the colony are taking the game seriously this season. In scores of cases one will find the "ambitions should be made of sterner stuff", but just the same every player, irrespective of his ability would like to go to Jamaica.
You see when the Trinidad cricket side that visited Jamaica last March returned, all and sundry were unanimous in the opinion that Jamaica was a great colony, a place with progressive ideas, a hospitality as vast as the country itself. Above all, the returning cricketers were impressed with the political advancement Jamaica had made, and had nothing but admiration for the fact that the "Isle of Springs" was the first, West Indian colony to achieve self-government.
There is absolutely no doubt that the Trinidad tour of Jamaica helped considerably to uplift Jamaica in the eyes of Trinidadians who were privileged to get first hand knowledge of the island from these cricketers. And so the gossip went around, which now explains the zeal Trinidad footballers are displaying in the proposed Jamaica tournament.
Ganteaume told me definitely that if it came to choosing between making the tour to Jamaica and playing against the Demerarians in Trinidad, he would have no hesitation in plumping lor the Jamaica tour. And your correspondent has no doubt that Stollmeyer, Gomez and Jones are just as enthusiastic of returning to Kingston as Ganteaume.