Trinidad Officials Hope—
ALTHOUGH OUR TEAM undoubtedly gave a disappointing display—I am making out no excuse for our defeat—in the final Test at Sabina Park, it was at the same time gratifying that after waiting from 1926 Jamaica has now won two "rubbers" within eight months, and that the last has been achieved at the expense of Trinidad, our inveterate chief rivals of the Caribbean in sports in general.
We have thus retained the Hayward Shield for the second time in succession. The Shield is a gift of Commander Charles Hayward, former President of Trinidad AFA, to the Jamaica F.A. to be competed for between Jamaica and any visiting team. It was first introduced last October in the Haitian tournament.
Secretary Eric James, of the TAFA, does not however regard this last visit of Trinidad as associated with the regular exchanges between the two Islands. Jamaica, he told me on Saturday, still owes Trinidad a return visit here in continuation of the Triangular Tournament, which started in Port-of-Spain in November of 1947 and from which Trinidad emerged the champions and so are still holders of the Standard Assurance Trophy. Jamaica, therefore, is supposed to be the next venue of the next Triangular Tournament.
WEST INDIES BOARD
In my speech at the welcome dinner I exhorted the two Associations to follow the general concept and, like cricket which federation dated back to 1926. and lawn tennis, form a West Indies Football Board.
Manager and Vice-President, Mr. Vincent "Sonny" Brown, and the Secretary were most enthusiastic over the idea. Indeed they have been making overtures to set up a board since the inaugural Triangular Tournament, but regret to say that Jamaica so far is the only snag, as the idea has been welcome everywhere else.
Mr. Brown hopes, however to win around Mr. Granville daCosta and his Council in due course, however late that may prove. But in the meantime Trinidad is determined to go ahead to bring bout the amalgamation.
The Manager does not think the last Trinidad team is below that of 1947 in the standard of football played. He admitted that the side might lack outstanding individuals as compared
with the previous side, but as a team it maintained Trinidad standards, which have not deteriorated.
That about sums it up, but for one factor. The last team is a poor second to the 1947 combination in shooting ability. When Leon Monroe was moved in to centre-forward in the last match, he gave glimpses of the shooting ability of the 1947 side, but then our defence had to contend not only with one sharp-shooter but opportunist Ken Galt, and hard-hitting Putty Lewis and Lio Lynch. Besides Carlton Hinds, who was not as impressive as his reputation had caused us to hope for and Rex Burnett, even if he played far better than two years ago, were a patch on the constructive play of Gerry Gomez and Andy Ganteaume as inside-forwards.
Their defence was anything as sound as when Syl Dopson was at his brilliant best and Joey Gonzalves in goal. The former seemed to have been sacrificed on the left in Haiti, for the stalwart Gerry Parsons who however played well enough at left-back when Dopson was dropped. But you never know when Parsons is going to miskick. Gonzalves' keeping was affected by the burden of captaincy as was the case of Franz Alexander, who never was himself until in the last match, when he was at inside-right, where he worked the ball well.
Allan Josephs was Trinidad's best player, although I don't think him as good an attacking-distributing centre-half, as Ian Seales. Josephs played alongside professionals in Caracas for two years, and has developed his game on the Latins technique of keeping the ball on the ground, allied by the low short-passing. As a result the ball is apt to be kept too much in the middle of the field. Rarely do you find him or the rest swinging the ball from wing to wing.
Delbert Charleau and Bernard Garcia, who is only 19, are promising wing halves who, however are too prone to play on the defensive.
Although the personnel was 90 per cent the same as that which beat Haiti far easier in October last, Jamaica did not show any improvement as a whole on their form of that tournament. Individually, however, Ken Hamilton was almost 100 per cent better. He was undoubtedly the best back on the field in all three matches. Harry Walters was his inimitable self until the last half of the tournament.
About the best forward of the series was Alvin McLean, whom I had voted the best such of the 1948-49 season. He is fast, he has touch and he is clever, and he is now raising the ball when centering.
The tournament served to bring out Ronnie Cooper and Karl Largie in their true perspective. As Scottish JFA Treasurer Jock Campbell puts it: "Cooper is a wee of a keeper." He was one of those who were sceptical of Cooper's success because of his height. When he should have broadened out Copper seems destined to be Clarence Passailaigue's successor. Largie was always good in football technique, but for his positional play as a wing-half. This, however, can be understood because he is essentially a centre-half.
The Selectors did a good job, bit for persisting with Claude McMorris. For McMorris' sake alone he should not have played in the last match, for the loss of which he was largely responsible.