Visitors Should Play Our Three Leading Clubs

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

Trinidad Soccer Tour

A MONTH or so from today the Trinidad footballers will be on our soil for their second such visit in eleven years, but enthusiasm at the moment seems to be lukewarm, at least from the public.

For behind the scenes the J.F.A. Council are working hard in preparation for the visit. Coaches George Allen and Gordon Partridge are drilling our players in the little things they might not have known and eliminating the bad seeds from the good; Mr. Harold Brown is attending to the publicity and the printing of a brochure to mark the occasion; the Selectors are cudgelling their brains to find the best eleven; the Council are planning the most attractive programme of matches, among other things.

In respect to the programme, I understand that it is planned to have five Tests, which I think would be setting a precedent. But that is not the reason why I am against such a proposal. I fear that the success of such a programme can only depend on the results of the first three matches. The chances are that the last two or at least the last game might prove fiascos.


I am. quite aware that the matter of "gates" means a lot to the success of the tour, and it is no doubt reasonably felt that five Tests are the best assurance of this. As the visitors will be here for three weeks such an arrangement might not prevent our three leading clubs and the Combined Schools playing Trinidad, but I repeat what I fear for is the possibility of a five-Test programme turning out to be a flop.

J am really enamoured with the seven-match programme in Kingston, and I feel certain that Montego Bay would desire a match as was the case in 1935-36. For instance, when Trinidad visited British Guiana early last year, although nine matches were played between March 6 and March 22 the programme included only three Tests.


Before a ball is kicked locally in the tournament I think the clubs will be the best bet of the Council, as far as "gates" are concerned. There can be no denying the following of St. George's Old Boys and Lucas; and I would play our three leading clubs (Melbourne the other) against the visitors irrespective of the positions they might finish up in the League and I am certain none of these three will drop lower than third place.

That would mean opening the tour against the Schools, and then tackling one of the clubs, say Melbourne in the second match to be followed with: 1st Test, vs. Lucas, 2nd Test, vs. St. George's, 3rd Test, then to Montego Bay.


And what will be the composition of the Jamaica Team for the first Test at least? The Selectors should have an idea by now; I might, too, but what about those myriads of "Amateur Selectors"? Here's an invitation to them to send me in their opinions of their best teams, which I will acknowledge from time to time in this column.