Is Allyuh Way Does Bring Down Tunapuna

Earl Best
Date Published: 

LAST Sunday, I was accosted by an angry football fan in the Tunapuna Market. He wanted to find out how I "could say is Dark Horse way cause we to lose the match larse week".

"And to besides," he went on vex too bad, "yuh eh even say nutten bout how they pick Steve David in front of Godfrey Harris."

"Yuh know," he concluded, waving a dramatic finger, "is all yuh so way bringing down Tunapuna."

I am forced to disagree. Point the accusing finger at those who insist on ignoring the legitimate community leaders, preferring to foist on us their own handpicked crew.

The result? We are saddled with charlatans and clowns for administrators and we end up with dilettantes and careerists, not to mention makers of policy who know little and care less about the real interests of people.

IN the old days, we had Anzacs, Hornets and Corinthians. And then Ivaders, Naiads, Ebony. Those were the days. Football was King.

You could kick ball at Honeymoon, on the draft board down Henry Road, up Tunapuna Road about three places, down Lovers Lane on Back Street, on Green Street, you name it.

In those days you could kick ball, believe it or not, down in the Savannah, where the Fire Brigade Station stands today.

Same Savannah CLR James wrote about in his famous book "Beyond the Boundary." In the cricket season, Stanmore used to play there; and Oriental. Clarence Skeete, Chickie Sampath, Elias Constantine, Percy Roach, Rupert Hosein.

Those were the days of sport; the days before pool. To be young was very heaven. Now you just lime on the block and smoke.

Take the CStGFL. In the 8 years of its existence, only three of the League's Teams have managed to campaign in the National First Division. The existence of the League has in no wise improved the living conditions of Sport in Central St. George.

Tunapuna is still without a single public ground where one can take a gate on a regular, serious, business basis. Honeymoon remains unused because it remains unusable despite reports of continuing spending thereon.

Constantine Park started without a fence. It now has one on its Western boundary and on part of the South. It still has one single football field and one singe matting wicket with a set of overgrown cricketing nets.

The Park has a netball and lawn-tennis court, used as often by the block-o-rama crowd as by either lawn-tennis or netball players. It is reported that the expansion now underway will equip us with swimming pool plus another pitch for football.

You wonder if, supposing the rumours were true, this new ground would become the home ground of our local team TECSA.

You wonder too, in passing, how long TECSA will continue to be the local team in the sense that it comprises mainly players from in and around Tunapuna.


Will not the desire to keep the team "on top" bring more and more "professionals" in? Will we not thereby frustrate the legitimate desires of the dozens of youth who are now campaigning in the Barker and Eddie Hart Minor League and who doubtless, have an eye, on promotion to the local Championship Division Team?

It should thus be no surprise to discover that the hasty conversion of the many small leagues struggling to find a place in the Trinidadian scheme of things was espoused from the outset by the administrators of the now defunct CStGFL.

It was obvious that energies could far more profitably be expended on developing the basic amenities such as clubhouses, match and training grounds, dressing rooms, and inevitably, proper and practical transport arrangements.

But none so blind as those who will not see . . . The CStGFL championed the cause of the four-division National League; the CStGFL carreid the day; and the CStGFL, along with the PYMFL and the AFL, became the Zone Committee of the NFL.

Predictably, the East Zone Committee was recently disbanded when several clubs, up to here with bungling and inefficiency, decided to get together and do their own thing outside of the juristiction and the maladministration of the East Zone Committee of the NFL.

Meanwhile, in Tacarigua, the Eddie Hart League was bursting at the seams and making long strides forward every year with new players, young and old, new grounds, new competitions!

Eddie Hart, however, the League's livewire and founder, a man who has almost singlehandedly been responsible as well for the survival and continuing success of the Tacarigua E.C. Old Boys' Association Team in the local cricket competition, was forever passed over in the selection of officials for duties on and off the field.

Hart, let it be noted, has recently been tossed a bone in the form of the deputy-trainership of the North-East Squad. We can only hope this means that the authorities are now ready to trust the people's judgement.

It certainly is welcome news that, with the old regime of administrators now in limbo, Ken Hodge too, has been tossed a bone. Ken has been responsible for a highly successful "minor" league in St. Augustine last season.

Trinidad vs BarbadosTrinidad gets the ball into the net vs Barbados in World Cup.


A very good friend of mine, who has for years refused to go to any football match at the Oval, told me that his presence at the World Cup Game by no means meant that he had revised his views about the TTFA's "dereliction of duty" in not yet having acquired its own ground.

"But", he pointed out by way of explanation, "I didn't go out to support TFA; I went to support Trinidad. Narrow parochial considerations are completely out of place when the national interest is at stake."

That is a lession we can only hope the TTFA has learnt from the experiences of the CStGFL. It is a lesson which hundreds of frustrated youths have learnt the hard way even if most of them remain sadly unaware of its applications.

The new wind of change in East football must now restore Honeymoon to us before long, must make Constantine Park worthy of its illustrious name. We must go back to the days when it meant something to be "from Tunapuna".

But let us not forget that cockroach eh ha no right in fowl party. Or as they say in patois: "Ravet pa ni raison douvant poule."