And They Are All Out To Beat Us At Football

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

English Coach Is Preparing Team

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad January 2 (From our correspondent)—The fight for representation of the Trinidad side of 15 soccer players to tour Jamaica early next month is in full swing. Each one of the 31 players invited to practice by the sponsoring body, the Trinidad Amateur Football Association, thinks that he has an equal chance of making the trip to Kingston. A selector told me the other day that several factors will be brought into play when the Committee sets about its task of picking the 15 goodwill soccer ambassadors for Jamaica.

The official emphasised that first and foremost a man has to be 100 per cent physically fit, and under no circumstances whatsoever will a player with doubtful underpins make the grade.

Trinidad will select specialists in each department, and above all he stressed present form will be a decisive factor.

The selector also told me that Trinidad is certainly not going to run the risk of taking any crocks to Kingston, no matter how adept he may be at the game.

A series of trial matches are at present being carried out, and for the first time in the long and colourful history of soccer in this island, the coaching system has been introduced.


Make no mistake about it Trinidad is taking this tournament seriously. We do not intend to bask in the reflected glory of that great match-winning combination than won all three rubber games at Kingston a decade ago. We are not resting on our laurels, thinking that we could handle Jamaica as easily as we did the last time. No, sir, there is no feeling of complacency among our footballers. I know them all, and you can take my word for it that they feel they have a herculean task ahead when they make another bid to beard the Jamaican lion in his own native heath.

Trinidad fully realises that the battle for the "mythical Soccer Ashes" at Kingston will be extremely tough, because of the great advancement Jamaica has made during the past decade, coupled with the fact that our football has no one capable of replacing Botha Tench, Arthur Wilkinson and Johnny Alkins, the three "musketeers" of the last tournament. That does not follow that we are underrating our own ability, for we feel that the team the T.A.F.A. selects will be strong enough to make a determined bid to uphold Trinidad laurels at Kingston. Let me warn Jamaica that Trinidad is coming over absolutely confident of giving a creditable account of themselves, and winning the rubber to boot.


The English coach brought out by the T.A.F.A. is carrying his job in camera, hence the public can only follow some of the trial games. Of the 31 players asked to practise, your correspondent ventures to give you at least ten players who can be labelled certainties. Of course my choice of these men is based on their form during the season just concluded, and also on their showings in the trial matches in progress. The man who will be called upon to lead Trinidad in Jamaica will be Pryor Jones, a cricketer well known to Jamaica fans. You, in Jamaica, have only seen Jones shouldering the job of the spearhead of the Trinidad attack, and will long remember him for his lusty sixes when at the wicket. But next month Jamaica will see him in the role of leader of the Trinidad aggregation, and also as a rugged and intelligent centre-half, who your sharpshooters are likely to find very difficult to get past. Jones is every inch a sportsman.

Gerry Gomez, Jeffrey Stollmeyer and Andy Ganteaume, so well known to Jamaica in the role of cricketers, I believe, will gain selection as forwards. Gomez is a particularly constructive inner left, and he may even be selected as Jones' lieutenant Jeffrey, as I once wrote in this column, can easily pull his weight on the right extremity of the attacking line, while dapper Andy Ganteaume, is as clever as inside rights come. John (Lion) Sampson will surely fill the assignment as Trinidad principal full back, and on present form I imagine Syl Dopson, Notre Dame's back will be his partner.


Rex Burnett, also of Notre Dame, is without a doubt Trinidad's greatest inner left, and he has long been labelled a certainty.

Second class Malvern's Putney Lewis, young, strong and clever right winger, in this observer's opinion, should be selected. In addition he is very speedy, and never tires no matter how fast the game is played.

On the left extremity of the Trinidad forward Malvern's Lio Lynch may well earn pride of place, for like his colleague, he too is very proficient.

Another certainty on the line up is Malcolm McLean, one of the most versatile footballers in the colony. I think that he will be a great asset to us at Kingston.

Ian Seale, the United British Oilfields powerhouse is almost certain to come over as an extre centre half.