Head Coach Bertile St. Clair has circled Monday to outline his plan for the Trinidad and Tobago Football team over the next two years. He is expected to meet with the TTFA's top brass to get the go ahead for ideas he has to elevate the T&T to the higher levels of Concacaf.
High on the agenda will the outlining of a plan that would see him come to the USA twice a month to hold two to three day encampments with Trinidad and Tobago players based in the United States. Citing that the TTFA spent thousands of dollars to send a group of locals to Brazil during the last World Cup qualifiers to upgrade there skills with only two of them being picked to start, he believes that the camps will be of more value to the players in the United States.
Speaking about the Mexico game, St. Clair chalked the lost up to inexperience. He said that it was a question of a inexperienced under 23 squad going up against a experienced thirty something squad of Mexico. He said that Mexico used there experience to beat T&T and that was the key. He also said that defensive blunders hurt Trinidad and Tobago. One remedy he says is the incorporation into the squad of more experienced players. With Ansil Elcock and Marvin Andrews currently playing professionally, he believes that they will gain the experience necessary to play with those in Concacaf. Two defenders he likes are Dwyane Demmin and Avery John. He believes that those two have the skills to become strong national defenders.
Speaking about newspaper reports stating that he dropped Arnold Dwarika and Terry St. Louis from the national team because of there hairstyles, he says that is totally untrue. He said that he dropped them because of their poor attitude. He said that he must maintain discipline in his squad. He recalled that just before the Jamaica game in T&T, a certain player was used to starting. However, when that player did not start the game, the player refused to show up for training. St. Clair promptly dropped him from the squad. He also said that some overseas players were not prepared to work hard and he has no use for them. He continued by saying that on his squad everyone is treated equally regardless to the amount of money they make.
In the last two weeks St. Clair has lost, Clayton Ince, Marvin Andrews, Ansil Elcock, Stern John and Gary Glasgow to international teams. Speaking about that he says there is both negative and positive aspects to loosing them on the practice squad. While they would no longer be able to practice with the squad they would gain the experience to compete with the tougher teams in Concacaf. Also, he can use the overseas players as an incentive to locally based players.
Speaking about the T&T team in general he says with the talent the team has and with hard work, T&T will be able to challenge any team in Concacaf. He said that Trinidad and Tobago is currently one year away from that goal. After Monday's meeting he will know if the TTFA will give him the mandate for the next four years. St. Clair's contract ends in May. During that time he will prepare teams for the CFU under 23 tournament as well as the under 20 tournament. He will then fuse both teams together into a new young team. Should the TTFA not extend his contract St. Clair says that he has his bread buttered already.
Ince returns to England
National senior goalie Clayton Ince is returning to England to take up an offer with Wrexham. Ince is currently awaiting a British work permit from the authorities. He does not need a work permit if he is going to be there on a loan. However, he would need a work permit in order to break into the starting lineup. Wrexham seems interested in holding on to the young goalkeeper. Wrexham has four goalies on there squad but have placed two of them on the transfer list. Ince's trial was made possible by the support of BWIA and Carib beer.
Raeburn and Others move to A-league
Marvin Raeburn has become the latest Trinidad and Tobago player to gain a contract in the U.S. He has signed on the dotted line with the Raleigh Flyers. The Flyers are coached by former national team captain Alvin Corneal. The Flyers already have Avery John on the team. Another person destined for the A-league is national under 23 striker Gary Glasgow. He is currently on trial with the New Orleans Storm previously the Gamblers. The Storm is currently looking for someone to replace Stern John who was the team's leading scorer and currently with the Columbus Crew in the MLS. Should Glasgow join he will be join compatriots Mickey Trotman and Glenn Benjamin. Trotman was recently on trial with the Dallas Burn in the MLS. Peter Lewis and Alvin Boisson are returning this year to the Charleston Battery. Lewis has been a member of the Battery since 1996 and Boisson since 1997. Boisson is in the final year of a two year contract with the Battery
Dwarika and St. Louis get national callup.
Arnold Dwarika and Terry St. Louis have been called up to the national squad. The national squad will resume training Thursday. Dwarika and St. Louis were dropped due to problems of discipline. Also included in the squad is Marco Elcock a secondary school stand out and cousin of Ansil Elcock. The national squad: Clayton Ince, Ross Russel, Anthony Clarke, Shurland David, Sherwyn Julien, Dexter Boucher, Marlon Austin, Anton Pierre, Coulson Dick, Stokely Mason, Dale Saunders, Lyndon Andrews, Travis Mulraine, Adarryl John, Sherwyn Seifert, David George, Angus Eve, Kerwyn Jemmot, Keno Thomas, Wesley Webb, Dean Pacheco, Cyd Gray, Gary Glasgow, Peter Prosper, Ralston James and Warren Butler.
Yorke & Villa lose to Athletico Madrid
Dwight Yorke and Aston Villa suffered a set back on Tuesday night when they lost to Athletico Madrid 0-1 in Spain on Tuesday. It was the first leg of the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup. Yorke was working up front with Stan Collymore.Villa essentially played counterattack football allowing Madrid to come at them with Italian Vieri leading the way. The savior for Villa was Australian keeper Mark Bosnich. He kept Villa in the game by making some outstanding saves. However, in the 42nd minute Ian Taylor brought down a Madrid player in the penalty box and Bosnich was unable to save the shot. Yorke had a good chance to level the game but his shot was well saved by the Madrid goalie. Villa needs to win by two clear goals in order to move on the the semi-finals. The return leg will be held in two weeks.
In the rumor mill.
Inside the rumor mill this week is Jerren Nixon. Nixon's performance in the Gold Cup has earned him some looking over by some scouts in Europe. Nixon is currently on trials with Wimbleton of the English Premier division. Reports state that he has been there for the last two weeks. This is the third time for Nixon in trying to gain a contract in England. In 1996 Southampton was interested in acquiring the striker. He was prepared to sign on the dotted line when the management changed and ripped up the deal. He was supposed to be at Watford in the English Second division. However, after tearing up his knee in a friendly pick up game in T&T, the transfer deal with FC Zurich was decleared void. He found himself back in Switzerland and Zurich decided to sign him to a four year deal. This pending move to Wimbleton will give more exposure to Nixon who is rated as the fastest member of the T&T squad.
In the starting lineup...
Dwight Yorke and Aston Villa travel to London to face Chelsea. Clint Marcelle will be looking for his first goal of the season when Barnsley face Blackburn Rovers. You can hear all the action by going to Stadium at 9:30 am on Saturday morning. Over in Scotland Anthony Rougier has this weekend off. Marvin Andrews will be looking for his first start when Raith Rovers face Airdie at home. In Portugal it will be a mini Trini derby when Russell Latapy of Boavista faces his compatriot in Leonson Lewis from Chaves.