Our Footballers Wanted in Trinidad For Return Tussle

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

Sport Writer Also Discusses Possibility Of Barbados And B. G. Being Included In Tour

Already is there talk in the Jamaica press about the possibility of Trinidad inviting down a team of footballers from that centre by way of returning the visit paid a couple months ago (writes "Linesman" in a recent issue of the "Sporting Chronicle.") It seems, therefore, to be meet and right that this idea be broadcast in the hope that matters might materialise in this direction. I rejoice that such a sport critic as G. St. C. Scotter has publicly admitted that the Trinidad visit has done a tremendous amount of good to the game in the Isle of Springs. He does not disguise the fact that the Trinidad side occasioned a great awakening to the game, which had somewhat fallen in a Slough of Despond and, in addition, the financial position of the Association in that centre would appear to have benefited tremendously.


Here, at this end, the T.A.F.A are presently in a similar plight, more, a worse plight than Jamaica ever was before the visit of the T.A.F.A. team, and, taking time by the forelock, it should not be a bad idea if the local Association set about from now to explore all avenues which may make it possible for such a visit to fructify this season or at the latest, early in 1937.

In so far as I am aware, the T.A.F.A. have no special commitments this season. With regard to the triangular tournament between Barbados, British Guiana and this Colony, matters are somewhat at a deadlock. Not that I intend to throw any damper on the regular Intercolonial series, for, as it is well known, they have served a useful purpose in the heightening of the standard of football and will continue to do so, so long as the right spirit prevails. In such a case, their continuance is highly desirable and ought to be encourage to the full.

At the same time, sight is not to be lost of the wonderful possibilities likely to result from the tour of a Jamaican football team to Trinidad, with the possibility of bring in British Guiana and even Barbados in an elaborate and well considered itinerary, and this is the suggestion which I desire to make to-day and throw out for the deep consideration of the T.A.F.A. officials.

It is well known that the finances of the local Association are slender indeed, if finances they have at all, in which case a barrier will present itself over the question of financing the tour. This obstacle, nevertheless, is by no means insurmountable, and only proper organisation coupled with initiative is necessary to overcome it. Even allowing that the T.A.F.A. may be called upon to act single handed—which I think unlikely—all financial difficulties should easily be overcome.


Assuming that the idea which I have given out finds favour, the first step would be to sound the B.G.F.A and B.F.A. and ascertain what are their views towards contributing to the financial cost of such a tour if it were instituted and matches arranged between the visiting side and their colony. This done, the next step would be to get in touch with the Jamaica Association in an effort to arrange and settle all particulars in connection with the assembly and dispatch of a side to these shores.

In the same way that the Trinidad team was able to tour Jamaica and on their return, hop-off at Colombia and stay one week in just the same way, knowing steamship facilities as I do, can a Jamaica side make a round trip embracing about a ten days or a fortnight's stay in each of the three Colonies all of which will hardly entail more than an eight weeks' absence from home.

I fancy such a scheme would appeal readily to the Associations in the sister Colonies, and if each decided to defray one-third of the total expenses involved, all are likely to benefit materially and financially.

I am not unmindful, of the fact that Trinidad does not possess an enclosed ground but, taking a line through the fine sportsmanship exhibited on the occasion of the visit of Venezuelan football teams, it is reasonable to presume some five thousand or more spectators would be attracted to every match held in the Savannah so long as our visitors can deliver the football goods. And, judging from the interviews which have been published in the local press about their prowess, I have no doubt that they are fully capable of so doing.


The greatest good for the greatest number, is a well known adage, and I do not visualise that British Guiana will take exception to joining in such a proposal on the ground that the T.A.F.A. should pay prior attention to the fact of dispatching a team to that centre in continuation of the Martinez Shield Tournament. In recent years, everything possible is being done to get Jamaica more intimately linked up with the Southern Caribbean Colonies on the field of Sport. To British Guiana's initiative is due the revival of cycling and athletics between the champions of Jamaica and those in these communities. Some years ago Barbados got down a Jamaican team but were themselves unable to accept when the return offer was made. The Queen's Park Club of Trinidad some years ago were in negotiation with Jamaica whereby it was hoped to have got down a side to play in the Oval, but matters have not fructified up to the present.

Jamaica, in their turn, not only carried out successfully an athletic meeting whereto the rest of the West Indies was represent but broke new ground and embarked on a


whereby they had as guests a Trinidad football team. It seems up to the T.A.F.A. to repeat at the earliest possible convenience. It was quite impossible to assemble a West Indies football team to tour Jamaica. The first venture was in the nature of an experiment, which worked nicely. T.A.F.A. are in a position to improve upon this, and it seems to me they cannot do better than tackle the question of inviting down Jamaica from the broadest viewpoint possible and show their unselfishness in assisting the cause of lasting and permanent benefits to be derived by these colonies by arranging for and receiving the visit of the representatives team of footballers from our remote neighbours of Jamaica.