Wednesday August 8th, 2001
Simoes plots course for 2006 World Cup
TRINIDAD and Tobago coach René Simoes has already targetted 60 warm-up internationals for this country’s senior team leading up to the qualifying series for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Following the Shanghai four-nation tournament in China on the weekend, Simoes stated that he had the ideal opportunity to have a look at the country’s locally-based players who may be assets in the Germany campaign.
He also called on the local public to stick by all national football teams, particularly the Under-17 and senior outfits.
“The new programme with this team will require at least 60 games before it is ready to play the qualifiers for the next World Cup in 2006,” said Simoes. “We must have trial and error so that we can learn from the mistakes, make adjustments and build a strong team that is experienced and confident.
“I count on you to be there supporting this team through every step it takes, lifting the spirits when they are weak and celebrating in moments of victory.” Simoes described the squad which went to China as a “10-days” team because of the lack of experience among the individuals, many of whom had never before played at international level and were even making their first overseas trip.
He also paid credit to his players for giving a courageous display against the host nation despite the tension created by the “crazy” behaviour of the Chinese fans.
“As difficult as it may be, it is certainly going to test the new players’ capacity to perform under pressure,” said Simoes.
“These tests are always positive. Life is full of difficult tasks, pressures and demands presented to us on a daily basis. The important thing is knowing how to handle them without losing our balance and focus.
“Those who can achieve this level of performance are the winners.”
The senior team was scheduled to return home at 8.30 last night. Meanwhile, T&T’s Under-17 team will return home at 5.30 p.m. today on flight BW900.
All parents of the players are asked to collect their children who will enjoy a two-day break before resuming training on the weekend.
Trinidad and Tobago's Under-17 footballers will return home from France tomorrow evening hoping to turn the experience they gained from their European tour into a positive during the FIFA World Under-17 Championships in September.
The side failed to gain a positive result during the stint after losing its final match to the Under-21 side of French outfit, Racing Club, 1-0 on Sunday in Clairefontaine.
While T&T skipper Roderick Anthony and his team-mates stood up creditably to their opponents, but eventually fell to a 44th minute goal from the Paris-based club.
Team manager Russell Tesheira noted that while T&T was not able to play a match against any team its own age, the experience gained was a major plus as the countdown continues to the opening game of the World Youth series on September 13.
T&T was also defeated 4-0 and 5-0 by Germany's Under 20 and Under 18 team respectively last week. "The performance in our last match was really good even though we didn't get the result we would have liked," Tesheira said.
"All of our matches were against teams of higher age groups but our boys didn't let that affect them. The boys are continuing to learn a lot, but we realise that there is still a lot of room for improvement."
Thursday August 2nd, 2001
Trinidad and Tobago's Under-17 team suffered a 5-0 defeat to Germany's Under-20s in a friendly international in Stuttgart yesterday.
Force to play against a German team comprising several professional players
of a higher age group and vast experience, T&T skipper Roderick Anthony and
his team-mates fought hard but were no match for their opponents.
The T&T team had turned up at the venue expecting to meet their German under-17 counterparts only to learn that that team had been replaced by the Under-20s.
T&T conceded goals in the 8th, 12th, 40th, 50th and 75th minutes.
However, while expressing disappointment at having to play an older team, T&T manager Russell Tesheira, felt the team managed to give a good enough showing.
The team, he said, will count the experience as a learning one and hope to
use it to their advantage in the future.
"We played against a German national team of under-20 players who all play professionally and this took quite a toll on our players," Tesheira said.
"It was really difficult for our boys to do much even though we did manage to give a good account of ourselves at times during the match."
He said assistant T&T coach, Julio Leal, also used the game to experiment with a few players in different positions. "The team was a bit different from the one we played with against Japan and while we are not making any excuses, it did have some kind of effect on our overall performance," he said.
"But while the boys are disappointed with the result, the focus is still there and now we will have to pick ourselves up again."
T&T is now hoping to the German Under-17s tomorrow before departing for France Friday.
T&T - Jan Michael Williams (goalkeeper), Lee Haynes, Kenwyne Jones, Devon Bristol, Kahlil Mathura, Julius James, Jerol Forbes, Roderick Anthony, Devon Leacock, Nkosi Blackman and Kerron Phillips.
Trinidad and Tobago skipper Angus Eve and his team-mates are currently gearing up towards the opening match of the 2001 Shanghai series against Kuwait tomorrow morning in China.
The match had originally been scheduled for August 3 but will now kick off at 6 am (T&T time).
However, while the team was still a bit tired from its long flight to Asia, coach Rene Simoes was in an upbeat mood, reporting yesterday that the players were in good spirits ahead of the opener.
And with a US$35,000 first prize at stake in the series, which also features China and North Korea, Simoes is hoping his young team pulls off a win.
"The spirit in the team is very high but I've had to be very careful because of the long trip," he said yesterday.
"Everything went well today (yesterday). We had a double session in two different stadiums, one of them with an artificial surface. Each of the training sessions has not been more than two hours."
The Brazil-born technical director noted that his main aim in training has been to get a the group of individuals into a closely knitted unit.
"We have never really played together so now we must try our best to build the best team possible," Simoes noted.
By Shaun Fuentes
Former Trinidad and Tobago captain Russell Latapy has been hailed by reporters as the extra ingredient which will make Rangers the best attacking team in Scotland this season.
Following eye-catching performances in his two opening competitive appearances for Rangers over the past seven days, Latapy has proven that he can do much to help strikers Tore Andre Flo and Claudio Cannigia flourish for manager Dick Advocaat's side.
Eric Black, a former Celtic manager who did commentary for BBC during Rangers' 3-0 win over Aberdeen on Saturday, in which "Latas" scored his first goal for the club, claimed that Latapy is probably the best passer of the ball in the Scottish League.
"Latapy is a very capable player in the last third of the park and he has great touches. He sees a pass early and can deliver it precisely, which is perfect for strikers. If they continue to play like that and Latapy keeps playing balls into those areas for Flo and Caniggia, Rangers have plenty of reasons to believe they can do well," said Black.
Meanwhile, The Times newspaper stated that Latapy is still under scrutiny from Rangers fans after his departure from Hibernian, but has so far stood up well to all tests.
"The trio of newcomers have all been in regular employment for so long that they would never accept that they must apply for a post. Nonetheless, they are under review by the Rangers supporters, whether in Maribor or scrutinising the television," the paper stated on the weekend.
It added: "Latapy's contract with Hibernian was terminated last season after he breached the usual curfew that applies in the build-up to a match and went on the town, with close friend and Manchester United star, Dwight Yorke, in a manner that dominated tabloid front pages. In Slovenia, he started to make his case for being seen as a playmaker rather than a playboy."
Yorke thanks Warner for long time support
Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke has thanked FIFA Vice President Jack Warner for his support during his early days as a national player while trying to get Trinidad and Tobago to the 1990 World Cup Finals.
Yorke made statements to this effect during an interview with Eurosport TV at the Queen's Park Oval earlier this year for a documentary which is expected to be released soon.
Yorke recalled how Warner was instrumental in ensuring that he was able to live and train comfortably with the national team without the hassles of having to travel to and from his home in Tobago.
"I was about 16 then and I was attending college in Tobago and Jack came over with a group of his colleagues from the Trinidad FA to convince my parents to come over to Trinidad because it was very difficult for me, coming in from Tobago, being picked up and driven to the Hotel or to his place," Yorke revealed.
"He taught it was a better idea that if we are going to go to the World Cup it's better you move to this country (Trinidad). Obviously, my family didn't have enough cash or enough relatives in Trinidad. Jack suggested I stay at his place. Indeed, that was very nice of him to suggest that."
He added: "They, made all the adjustments at that particular time to make sure that I was comfortable and that I would enjoy my stay so that I could focus on my schoolwork and be closer to the football. And even at that age of 16, all these things were happening around me and I was just enjoying it because I didn't know any better.
"But yes Jack had helped me with my school work, his kids were very helpful in that department. His wife was wonderful to me. I have no regrets in staying at Jack's house for maybe six months. He knows that I was very thankful for this fact. I was honoured in that respect."
The former Aston Villa striker has started on the right track this season in an attempt to re-establish himself as one of United's leading strikers.
His latest feat was a late winner in a 2-1 win over the Thai national team on Sunday.
"As a striker, you get your confidence from scoring goals. I'm just delighted to have scored three goals on this trip. The tour has been fantastic for me," Yorke told reporters after Sunday's victory.
Mitchell, Samuel for Scottish contracts
Local strikers Collin Samuel and Devon Mitchell have performed creditably enough during their Falkirk trials to leave the club attempting to secure work permits for separate contracts for them.
According to reports out of Scotland, Mitchell and Samuel, who left here last
month for trials there, have fell in favour with fans and officials and are
likely to be part of the team this season, once they can have permits granted.
Falkirk coach, Tommy Docherty, appears confident he will have the duo.
"I had been told Collin was a really good player and I went to have a look at him. He plays for the San Jabloteh team which is managed by former England player Terry Fenwick and he reckons Collin has a real chance.
"While watching him, I noticed Devon, who plays for Fire FC. They are both really quick and their control on pitches that were very poor made me realise they could be terrific if allowed to play on proper surfaces. Their clubs won't stand in the way of them coming here because they want to see their best talent being developed," Docherty told the Scottish press.
Mitchell, who netted a double off the bench to lead Falkirk to a 3-2 win over Dunfermline in a friendly last month, is eager to follow in the footsteps of Russell Latapy and Marvin Andrews.
"The cold weather here doesn't matter - if it is cold, we will run around more. Other players have come to Scotland and done well and we hope to do the same. Russell Latapy is a huge star in Trinidad. There is even more interest in him now he has joined a big club like Rangers," Mitchell said.
Avery solid for Bohemians again
National defender Avery John gave a solid performance for Bohemians FC but could not prevent them from going down 2-1 to Swedish club Halmstads BK in a European Champions League second round qualifying clash last Wednesday.
John, back with his old club after playing the last season with Shelbourne, wore the number 8 shirt and contributed well to his team's fighting performance at home.
The away leg is scheduled for today in Sweden.
John also lined up for Bohemians in a 2-1 win over Wycombe Wanderers in a pre-season friendly on Sunday.
The former Presentation College, San Fernando captain signed a one-year-deal with "Bohs" last month. He signed in time to play the full 90 minutes of the club's 3-0 win over Estonian club Levadia Maardu in a Champions' League first round qualifier.
The club drew the second leg 0-0 to advance to the current stage but will surely have to lift their game in today's clash.
Rougier recovers well
National utility player Anthony Rougier made a successful return to action from an ankle surgery in Reading's 3-1 victory over non-League side Tiverton Town last Tuesday.
The former Port Vale player was brought down by Town captain Neil Saunders in the 59th minute leading to teammate Martin Butler converting the penalty for a 2-1 lead.
Rougier had a minor surgery on his return to Reading following T&T's 2-1 loss to Jamaica last month.
Meanwhile, Wrexham trio Dennis Lawrence, Carlos Edwards and Hector Sam will be gunning to get at Dwight Yorke when their club clashes with Manchester United in a testimonial match at the Racecourse Ground on Saturday in honour of bosses Bryan Flynn and Kevin Reeves.
Edwards enjoyed a good performance in Wrexham's 5-0 whipping of the Isle of Man team on Sunday.
English-born midfielder Ronnie Mauge played for the opening 46 minutes in Bristol Rovers' 2-1 victory over Birmingham City in pre-season action last Saturday.
Elcock not looking for more MLS goals
Defender Ansil Elcock was all smiles when he scored his first goal for the season in Columbus Crew's 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes two Sundays ago.
But the utility Crew player says he doesn't expect to go into the scorer's sheet anytime soon again.
Elcock made his first start for the Crew since May and made good use of the chance to get back in favour with the club's management.
"I was inside the 18 (penalty area). As a kid, I was told any time that you are inside the 18, you shoot. That's the only way you can score. I score one of those every year. I score one and then I'm done," Elcock said.
However, Elcock dived for a header in front of goal in the 73rd minute and was forced to go off with a dislocated shoulder and had to miss a 2-1 loss to the New England Revolution in the US Open Cup quarter final match two days later.
But he is expected to return to action in today's affair with the Chicago Fire.
Shaun Fuentes is the communications officer of the TTFF
Wednesday August 1st, 2001
Trinidad and Tobago's Under-17s will face a stern test today in the opening game of their current European tour against powerhouse Germany in a friendly international in Stuttgart from noon (T&T time).
The T&T squad arrived in Germany Friday evening and has adapted well to the conditions so far.
Captain Roderick Anthony and his team-mates have been training twice a day
since Saturday under good conditions.
Speaking on the eve of the opening clash, T&T manager Russell Tesheira said all was good in the camp, which is based at the Rainbow Hotel, Heusenstamn.
"Everything's in order at this point in time," he said yesterday.
"The boys had a long flight on the way here but we've had some good sessions and we are looking forward to tomorrow's (today)game. There has also been quite some interest in us and the game from the people across here."
T&T will have another game in Germany later this week before heading to France on Friday.
Meanwhile, T&T's senior team also arrived safely in Shanghai, China yesterday.
And according to technical director, Professor Rene Simoes, captain Angus Eve and his team-mates, "are ready for business" following close to 36 hours in the air on their way to Shanghai via Miami and Los Angeles.
T&T is scheduled to face Kuwait on August 3 in the first game of the tournament which has a US$35,000 first prize and also features North Korea and the hosts.
By Shaun Fuentes
Although the average football fan in Tobago has expressed disappointment with the resignation of Dwight Yorke from the national team, it is clear that the Manchester United striker is no fallen hero for his home fans, who, generally believe that he must resettle himself and find the form which saw him become one of the top-rated strikers in Europe two years ago.
The Dwight Yorke Stadium was opened in Bacolet on Sunday and already calls were made to ensure that venue remains named after the striker.
Among those who believe Yorke should not be counted out but must regain the respect and admiration of his fans through his exploits was Dos Santos Carrington, first vice-president of the Tobago Football Association.
"The way people reacted to Dwight's action both in Tobago and Trinidad sent a clear message to the player and we think it was received by him based on the responses we have read from him. His whole attitude to life and football has changed and while not taking anything away from him. I think now we are going to see a different Dwight," said Carrington.
He added Yorke has been quietly assisting the St Clair Coaching School and has promised to attend a gala ceremony to mark the school's 25th anniversary later this year.
Latapy ready for bchallenge
Former national captain Russell Latapy seems set to carry Glasgow Ranger's midfield responsibilities when it clashes with NK Maribor in a second qualifying round of the European Champions League today.
Due to injuries to regular starters Barry Ferguson and Ronald de Boer, Latapy has been tipped to make the starting eleven, playing behind strikers Tore Andre Flo and Argentine Claudio Caniggia.
The "Little Magician" said earlier this week that he is prepared to face the challenge of making his competitive debut in a Rangers' shirt.
"I'm not sure what the manager's plans are but if I'm asked to play I will be delighted. I have been playing behind the strikers, which is not my normal position, but I have played there before at club and international level so it's not a problem," Latapy said.
Latapy revealed earlier in the week that his main focus now is playing in the Champions' League, having done that once before with FC Porto.
"Last season was unfortunate but I can't afford to dwell on it. The most important thing is to look forward and make a contribution to Rangers," he said.
"I just want to make the final years of my career good and decided I would give the younger (Trinidad and Tobago) players the opportunity to play for their country.
"It's just good to have the opportunity to play in the Champions League again, especially with a club the size of Rangers. The coach can choose from all his fit players and whatever 11 he chooses, they'll do their best.We have a lot of quality and hopefully we can take our pre-season form into the competitive games."
Latapy will also be hoping to take the field when Rangers meet Aberdeen in Premier League action on Saturday.
Spann eyes T&T selection
Local Italian-based professional Silvio Spann is intent on breaking into the Trinidad and Tobago senior team during the 2001/2002 season.
The 19-year-old midfielder indicated his strong ambitions of donning the national jersey shortly before returning to Italian Serie "A" club Perugia last Thursday.
Spann spent two days in training with the national team under coach Professor Rene Simoes, who will soon finalise a squad to go to China on July 29 for a four-nation tournament.
However due to his pre-season commitments with Perugia, Spann was unable to
continue work with Simoes.
"My desire is to play for the national team. It's my aim obviously to come back home soon and represent the country," Spann said.
"This means the beginning of a new career which will hopefully see me ending up on the big stage which will be playing for Trinidad and Tobago in a World Cup.
"The experience I have had in Italy has been great and I am really looking forward to playing some more matches. I must give praise to God for giving me this opportunity because it's because of him I am able to be pursuing this dream now."
The former St Benedict's College midfielder is currently on a one-year contract with Perugia and is on the 25-man roster. He will attempt to break into the first team this coming season in aim of securing a possible three-year contract.
Jeffrey kicks up a storm
Former national Under-23 player Kevin Jeffrey continues to make waves for the Richmond Kickers in the American A-League.
He currently has 18 goals and is one behind Leigh Cowlishaw who is third on
the list of Richmond's all-time leading scorers. However, Cowlishaw is currently
the team's head coach and scored his goals between the 1993-98 season.
Jeffrey, has taken less than two-thirds of a season to put himself within reach of his coach.
Jeffrey, who left CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh to join Richmond, is intent
on continuing his impressive form.
"Having 17 goals already, I figured I could score 20 in the season, including playoffs and things like that. It's a great feeling to have 17 already."
Shaun Fuentes is the communications officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation
THE Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF) anxiously await a formal report from the Fifa inspection panel, headed by Walter Gagg, as the 2001 Under-17 World Championship draws near.
Gagg, adviser to Fifa president Sepp Blatter for Stadia and Security, and his team of inspectors scrutinised the Manny Ramjohn, Ato Boldon, Larry Gomes and Hasely Crawford stadia yesterday.
The Fifa team, who were accompanied by Concacaf president Jack Warner and Local Organising Committee (LOC) Chief Executive Officer Sandra Basheer, also visited the designated training grounds, including Woodford Lodge and the Arima Municipal Stadium.
The touring party is expected to visit the Dwight Yorke Stadium this morning before making their decision on the readiness of Trinidad and Tobago to host the tournament which should kick off on September 13.
Members of the Fifa team will look into the other areas of the tournament, including information technology and hotel accommodation later this week.
Basheer was guardedly optimistic at the end of the first day of Fifa inspections.
“So far things have gone smoothly,” she told the T&TFF media. “But we still have to wait on a final report from Mr Gagg and his team before we can make a final statement... All seems to be well with regards to what Mr Gagg and the other FIFA officials are here to inspect.”
Fifa officials present at yesterday’s inspection included Marion Mayer-Vorfelder, FIFA Event Manager, Jacob Strassle, FIFA’s local Marketing Representative, Steven Dixon, Prisma Managing Director, Peter Walder, Information Technology, Roland Buchel and Samuel Huber, both FIFA Marketing, and Warner, Fifa vice-president and chairman of the Fifa Youth Committee.
Local interests were represented by Manohar Ramsaran, Minister of Community Empowerment, Sport and Consumer Affairs, Richard Groden, T&TFF General Secretary, Harold Taylor, Caribbean Football Union General Secretary, Michael Paty, head contractor from PW Partnership, and Omar Khan, chairman of Stadia Board of Management.