March News
February News
Sunday March 26th, 2000
T&T tie Guatemala
Trinidad and Tobago suffered a major setback when they tied Guatemala 0-0 in a Olympic qualifier.

No work permits for two T&T pros


     LOCAL footballers, Hector Sam and Carlos Edwards, will be saying their prayers
     over the weekend as they await word on whether they have been granted work permits
     by the Department of Employment in England before they can sign three-year contracts
     with Second Division side Wrexham.

     The club had a second appeal turned down by the Department of Employment
     yesterday. The case was lost on a split decision.

     However, the players' local representative Richard Fakoory explained yesterday that a
     third appeal will be made and the English Association have allowed Wrexham until
     Monday to sign the contracts following the transfer deadline yesterday.

     "They (DoE) have requested additional evidence which we will be supplying as it is felt
     that we have a strong case," said Fakoory.
     Wrexham Evening Leader sports editor Allyson Syme said yesterday the club, who
     were once interested in local goalkeeper Clayton Ince, were very keen on having the
     duo in their line-up.

     "They are being refused by the Department of Employment. Wrexham appealed against
     that decision and red tape is still strangling the deals going through," said Syme.
     Wrexham manager Bryan Flynn was furious over the refusal for the permits and, "he is
     considering seeking a judicial review of the Department's decision, although the costs
     involved could prove to be prohibitive," according to the Daily Post.

     "Normally the decision is made as soon as the hearing is over and, as soon as there
     was a delay I knew something was up," Flynn said yesterday after expecting a decision
     since Monday.
     Referring to a similar situation when he previously attempted to sign Ince, Flynn added,
     "There appears to be a hidden agenda and I'm trying to find out what it is.

     These two lads (Edwards and Sam) are established internationals, but the appeals
     panel apparently believe they are not of sufficiently high calibre to play in this country.
     My opinion is that they are players of the highest calibre, so effectively the appeals
     panel is questioning my ability to spot a good player when I see one.

     "We spent almost a year trying to get permission for Clayton Ince to join us only to be
     turned down and then, within three weeks of that decision, there was a change in the
     qualification criteria and he was allowed to join Crewe Alexandra."

     Former club managers Alan Mullery, Mike Walker and Frank Clark sat in on
     Wrexham's appeal, which was held in London Monday. Representatives of the
     Professional Footballers' Association and the Welsh FA were also in attendance.
     Flynn has also written a stern letter to the minister involved.

     "I've coached football at international level, I've taken a club into European competition
     on two occasions and I've played all over the world yet this decision casts doubts on
     my professional ability as a manager of 10 years standing," he said.
     Wrexham were also keen on national goalkeeper Ross Russell, who has also attracted
     interest from Bristol Rovers.

Robins snubbed Flynn's angered by permit refusal

     Report by MARK CURRIE.

     WREXHAM boss Brian Flynn plans to leave no stone unturned in a bid to discover
     why the Department of Employment has again refused the club work permits for two
     West Indian footballers.

     The Racecourse club, who had already agreed three-year contracts with Trinidad and
     Tobago internationals Carlos Edwards and Hector Sam, were hoping to complete the
     deal before today's transfer deadline but the Robins' manager was informed last night
     that red tape has thwarted his plans.

     "Normally the decision is made as soon as the hearing is over and, as soon as there
     was a delay, I knew something was up," he said yesterday.

     Fuming after a second snub the Robins failed to win approval for goalkeeper Clayton
     Ince to join them last season Flynn added: "There appears to be a hidden agenda and
     I'm trying to find out what it is.

     "These two lads are established internationals but the appeals panel apparently believes
     they are not of sufficiently high calibre to play in this country.

     "My opinion is that they are players of the highest calibre, so effectively the appeals
     panel is questioning my ability to spot a good player when I see one.

     "We spent almost a year trying to get permission for Clayton Ince to join us only to be
     turned down and then, within three weeks of that decision, there was a change in the
     qualification criteria and he was allowed to join Crewe Alexandra."

     Former club managers Alan Mullery, Mike Walker and Frank Clark sat in on
     Wrexham's appeal, which was held in London on Monday, to advise the Department
     of Employment.

     Representatives of the Professional Footballers' Association and the Welsh FA were
     also in attendance.

     But the Robins' boss believes the process is flawed and has written a stiff letter to the
     minister involved.

     "I've coached football at international level, I've taken a club into European competition
     on two occasions and I've played all over the world yet this decision casts doubts on
     my professional ability as a manager of 10 years standing," added Flynn.

     So annoyed is the Robins' boss that he is considering seeking a judicial review of the
     Department's decision, although the costs involved could proove to be prohibitive.

     But there was some better news for Flynn yesterday when midfielder Darren Ferguson
     finally put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half year contract to end speculation about his

     "I'm delighted we have actually managed to agree a deal because Darren is a quality
     player who is central to our plans," he said.

     "Last season, with David Brammer moving on and with Peter Ward coming to the end
     of his contract, we needed someone to replace them but when we starting looking
     round at about Christmas there were very, very few players who fitted the bill.

     "Darren was one but we felt we could not get him at that stage, even though I tried to
     bring him in on loan before he joined Sparta Rotterdam."

     The Robins' boss has not ruled out the possibility of strengthening his squad before
     today's deadline, with a striker the top priority.

     One target, who is with a Premiership club, was injured at the weekend but Flynn has
     one or two other players in mind if their clubs can be persuaded to deal.

     Midfielder Gareth Owen, who limped off towards the end of Tuesday's 1-1 draw with
     Millwall clutching his hamstring, is not as seriously injured as was first feared.

     The 28-year-old could be available for the daunting weekend trip to second division
     leaders, Preston North End.

     "It looks as though it was a combination of cramp and a strain rather than a pulled
     hamstring," said Flynn.

Confident T&T face Guatemala tonight

     TRINIDAD and Tobago under 23 footballers will be aiming to seal a spot in the final
     phase of the Sydney Olympics qualifying tournament with a victory over Guatemala at
     the CONCACAF Centre of Excellence, Macoya from 8 pm tonight.

     Visiting teams Canada and the Netherlands Antilles clash in the earlier match of the
     double header stage from 6 pm.

     The T&T camp at the Centre of Excellence was high in spirits following their
     comfortable 6-0 victory over the Netherlands on Tuesday.

     The only bad news at the moment is Nigel Pierre's unavailability for the remainder of
     the tournament after bruising an instep in Tuesday's affair.

     The Bristol Rover forward was replaced by Jason Scotland in the first half and after
     scoring a double, the Defence Force man is likely to start tonight.

     Errol McFarlane Jr, back from Lebanon after helping Al Nejmeh to the First Division
     title there, has been drafted into the team for tonight.
     Coach Anton Corneal was happy about the 6-0 result, but said that the performance
     was not a true indication of the team's capability.

     "It was a good start but certainly not a true indication of where we are. We should have
     at least three more goals but the good thing is that we were able to create chances and
     convert six at the same time. It was a good opportunity for us to play a tight game and
     it keeps us in a good frame of mind for the next match.

     But we still can't say how sound we are defensively. The real test comes against
     Guatemala and Canada on Saturday," said Corneal.

     The former national footballer also looked at Guatemala in their 0-0 draw with Canada
     on Tuesday and added his side would be cautious against their short passing game.
     Corneal is not worried about having to make any changes to his starting 11 saying "It is
     easy to make the changes where necessary as we are strong on the bench."

     Corneal will be hoping that Brent Sancho, Brent Rahim, Hector Sam, Scotland and the
     hardworking Carlos Edwards can produce another positive display tonight.

     Canada will hope that the four players from their Gold Cup winning squad including
     Dwayne De Rosario, Robbie Aristodemo, Richard Hastings and Paul Stalteri can pace
     them to an impressive win over the Antilleans.

Edwards and Sam may soon to be signed by Wrexham

     Report by MARK CURRIE.

     WREXHAM are awaiting the verdict today which would allow them to sign Trinidad
     duo Carlos Edwards and Hector Sam before the transfer deadline in 48 hours' time.

     Manager Brian Flynn attended an appeal in London yesterday against the Department
     of Employment's refusal to grant work permits to the West Indian pair, who impressed
     during an extended trial at the Racecourse earlier this year.

     The DoE turned down the original application on the grounds neither player had made
     the requisite number of international appearances for Trinidad and Tobago, but
     Wrexham believe the pair's involvement in the islands' Olympic under-23 team could
     provide the key to a move to English football.

     Last night Flynn said: "The appeal went very well and I'm reasonably confident we
     made a very good case for consideration by the Minister for Sport.

     "We are expecting a decision very quickly and, if the work permits are forthcoming,
     would hope to bring the two lads over as soon as possible. They have already agreed
     to sign three-year contracts so that side of things is virtually done and dusted.

     "All the paperwork involved, such as international clearances, can be done by fax and
     we would be looking to have them registered with the Football League by the time the
     transfer deadline expires.

     "Both of them are good enough to go straight into the first team."

Trinidad and Tobago defeats Netherland Antilles

Trinidad and Tobago defeated the Netherland Antilles 6-0 in their first Olympic qualifier in Port of Spain.


     Yorke backs Cole for England 2000

     MANCHESTER United striker Dwight Yorke feels that his teammate Andy Cole
     should play for England team in the 2000 European Championships later this year.
     Yorke was speaking on the weekend when he said that Cole should also be crowned
     English "Footballer of the Year."

     Yorke expressed these views even though he knew that
     fans would accuse him of being biased towards his United striking partner.
     "I appreciate outsiders will say I'm plugging for Andy because he's my pal but this is
     strictly a football judgment. And I'm in a pretty good position to judge.

     "I play alongside him on a regular basis at United and so I know exactly how good he
     is. And I can tell you he's a fabulous footballer, an all-round performer with so many

     His quality is good enough for any side. He should be in the England team right now.
     I've always believed that and I feel it even more this season. Andy's ability is top-class,
     tested against the best defenders in Europe, and he doesn't get the credit he truly
     The 12.6 million pounds Yorke and Cole cost United some 21 million pounds together
     and combined for 53 goals in United's treble success last season.

     Currently, Yorke has 17 goals with 15 in the Premiership.
     Cole has netted 17 League goals so far.
     Yorke's latest goal came in a 2-0 victory over Leicester City which pushed United to
     64 points, four more than second place Leeds United.

     Yorke has indicated that his availability for T&T's next World Cup assignment against
     the Dominican Republic here on April 2.


     Teammate warns Latapy

     STUART LOVELL, teammate of local midfielder Russell Latapy at Hibernian has
     warned the "Little Magician" about trying too much tricks on the field.

     Lovell was speaking after Hibs' 3-1 victory in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals two
     Saturdays' when Latapy scored a double.

     "That game wasn't much fun for Russell but he gave us a bit of magic and a result in a
     cup is far more important than the display.

     "We all want to be flamboyant and flashy but sometimes you've got to battle and that
     part doesn't suit Franck (Sauzee) or Russell. But we showed we've got a great spirit
     here although sometimes it can be frustrating."

     "Latas" has been under some pressure from Hibernian manager Alex McLeish recently
     after he returned to Scotland late after playing for T&T in a World Cup qualifier three
     weekends ago.

     But he responded by netting three goals in two matches. He currently has 10 goals. He
     has also indicated an interest in representing T&T against Dominican Republic in their
     next World Cup leg on April 2 here.


     Eve for Wrexham

     MIDFIELDER Angus Eve is being lined up for a move to
     English Second Division side Wrexham.

     According to a report in the Chester Chronicle last week, Eve could be part of an
     exchanged deal with Wrexham who will send their striker Ian Stevens to City to help
     them out of the relegation zone.

     The move was supposed to have come off two weeks ago but was delayed.
     Eve, who netted a double in this country's 5-0 win over the Netherlands Antilles three
     weekends ago, is recovering from an ankle injury and sat out Chester's 3-2 loss to
     Southend United on Saturday.

     He was placed on the club's transfer list recently after officials felt he had been away
     from the team too often for national duty. It is understood that Joe Public will welcome
     Eve back if a worthwhile deal doesn't come through for him abroad.


     Problems for Marcelle

     MIDFIELDER Clint Marcelle had another work permit appeal turned down last week.
     English First Division side West Bromwich Albion was attempting to secure the work
     permit for him after sorting out a free transfer from Barnsley.

     But the Department of Employment in England rejected the appeal as Marcelle had less
     than 75 per cent playing time with the "Tykes" last season.
     Since being let go by Barnsley, Marcelle has had unsuccessful attempts at
     Bournemouth and Scunthorpe United.

     Albion secretary John Evans was disappointed.
     "Although we are not surprised by the decision, we are
     disappointed. The Home Office have told us that Clint was not of sufficient status as an
     international to add to the British game," he said.


     Less fans watch Rougier

     ANTHONY Rougier's Port Vale have been forced to reduce the cost of tickets for
     their home matches next season because of a decline in attendance.
     The First Division club currently fighting relegation have reduced prices by some 60 per
     cent for next season.

     Vale's average attendance this season has dropped to
     6,030, the lowest in the Division.

     Rougier, the team's leading scorer with 11 goals playing as a striker is hoping to return
     home for T&T's next World Cup qualifier against the Dominican Republic on April 2
     and Vale management barred from playing in Saturday's 1-1 draw with the
     Netherlands Antilles.

     The national captain was on the club's transfer list earlier last season before they
     decided to keep him. But with the current state of the club, a move to another team
     might not be out of the picture as he aims to improve his profile with a higher rated


     Tiger's ready to claw

     FORMER St Mary's College striker Leslie "Tiger" Fitzpatrick has returned to Trinidad
     and Tobago to be part of the local Olympic team for the semi-final stage of the
     qualifying competition for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games which got going at the
     Concacaf Centre of Excellence, Macoya last night.

     The 21-year-old Fitzpatrick is on a break from his studies at Colombia University in
     the United States and will miss the opening week of the new semester in order to play
     the full tournament here.

     He is all excited about playing. "This is like the most prestigious national side and
     tournament to be involved with other than the senior team and it has always been a
     dream to play. When I got the news of my selection I took it with open arms"
     Fitzpatrick said on Sunday before going into a camp with the Olympic side coached by
     Anton Corneal.

     Now in his third year at Colombia, Fitzpatrick is expected to play in the T&T midfield
     after switching to that position in 1998 in the US.

     "Tiger" netted five goals last season to help Colombia to 25th spot in the US League
     but they narrowly missed on reaching the NCAA Finals after needing just a victory in
     their final regular season encounter.

     He was selected on the Regional All American team and also earned his third
     consecutive All Conference team pick.
     Local fans will remember "Tiger" lining up alongside the likes of Hisham Gomes and
     Brendon Moze while at St Mary's.

     He last represented T&T at the CAC Games in Venezuela in 1998.


     Thomas, Mulraine miss MLS openers

     UNDER 23 defender Keyeno Thomas missed making his debut for the Colorado
     Rapids on the opening day of the 2000 American Major League Soccer (MLS) season
     because he had to return home for duty.

     Thomas, who was a draft pick earlier this year, is back home to line up with the
     national side for the Olympic qualifiers which kicked off last night.

     Already coach Glenn Myernick is preparing himself to play matches without Thomas
     and others because of their country's schedule.

     "One of the things you're going hear about this year is the absence of players due to
     international call ups" he said.

     Thomas will also miss Colorado's next game on Saturday against the Dallas Burns.
     National midfielder Travis Mulraine will also miss the San Jose Earthquakes season
     opener against Columbus Crew, team of local defender Ansil Elcock.

     Another local player, Adrian Narine may line up with Joe Public this season after being
     waived by the Earthquakes last week.

Stirring appeals for 2001 youths


     FIFTEEN-year old Delano Davis from Spring Village, Tobago was among several
     youngsters present at a breakfast meeting the Holiday Inn yesterday to hear FIFA
     Vice-President Austin Jack Warner and several other leading football officials, make
     stirring appeals to corporate Trinidad and Tobago for support for Team 2001 as it
     prepares for the Junior World Cup here next year.

     Davis is among ten Tobago players in a squad of some 50 youngsters who are
     currently in training with a view of making the final 18 for the tournament which kicks
     off on April 4.
     Provisions have been made for him and his colleagues from the sister isle to live in
     Trinidad so that they may enjoy full-time training with the squad, emphasising the fact
     that the Football Federation is sparing no effort to ensure that the team is fully prepared
     for the tournament.

     Warner stated that some $8.9 million was needed to prepare and train the team.
     He said he was heartened by the support from some sponsors including Clico,
     American Airlines, Caroni and Neal and Massy but there was still a long way to go.
     He reminded the cross section of business people present that it was similar
     tournaments which produced several of today's big names, including Dwight Yorke,
     Russell Latapy and Stern John.

     "I know that there is a tendency to want to support the senior team but if we do not
     start with the youngsters, nothing will be achieved at the senior level," said Warner.
     In asking for support, he said, "Whatever you offer can make the difference in a young
     person's life."

     Warner also announced that American Airlines was the official airline for the
     tournament while White Magic was the official drink for supporters of football.
     Also lending support to the initiative was Sports Minister Manohar Ramsaran who
     reminded the group present that there were no limits to what can be achieved when
     people work together to assist the youth.

     The team officials and several members of the team preparing for 2001 were also
     introduced during the function yesterday.

Stern back from injury

     TRINIDAD and Tobago striker Stern John made a return to action for Nottingham
     Forest in the English First Division yesterday.

     The 23-year-old striker who had been out for the past three months with a posterior
     ligament injury, came on in the 66th minute in Forest's 1-2 loss to Huddlesfield Town at
     the McApline Stadium.

     Doctors ruled John out for five months back in January, but the talented striker was
     determined to make an earlier return.

     John had been originally expected to play in a reserve game today but Forest boss
     David Platt was so impressed with his progress that he included him in the side

     It is hoped that John could return to the T&T team for their next 2002 World Cup
     qualifying match against the Dominican Republic at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on
     April 2.

     He scored a double in his last match for T&T in a 3-2 loss to Honduras in November.

Enough of this Jack!
   (From TT Mirror)
    NOBODY … I mean nobody, owns Trinidad and Tobago football.

     No international money launderer, club owner, so called football administrator, pseudo
     coach, "diplomat", no special anything … and definitely no political opportunist! In the
     same breath, the national team does not belong to anybody, and especially the team’s
     technical director; in this case, Bertille St. Clair.

     Nobody is irreplaceable; life simply does not permit that. Whatever we deem important
     is little more than a distraction. The Lord Kitchener died, but the world kept on
     rotating, and the Y2K Carnival goes on as scheduled tomorrow.

     Indeed, at this point of our football future, we cannot afford to get emotional. If St.
     Clair has to go, he has to go! But if we are cleaning house, if we are looking for people
     who can take this country forward, then we also have to get rid of that insufferable
     pipsqueak, Austin Warner.

     If St. Clair didn’t have what it took to get us further, what are we to assume about
     Warner, an administrator who has failed TnT miserably, over the years, while
     advancing himself … millions et al?

     Since Jack has been serving as an administrator for TnT’s football, has the country’s
     football achievement been in step with his own remarkable financial advancement?

     I have listened to this Jack for too long, talking about "my money". My money, my

     This is a quote from the Express quoting the Trinidad and Tobago Football
     Federation’s Special Adviser after the loss to Canada in the CONCACAF Gold Cup,
     and St. Clair’s dismissal recently: "This team has got all the resources possible. Just for
     the matches they have played so far, I have paid them US $175,000 from my own
     pocket. Not one single player has not been paid, and I just felt that it was time that the
     players give back something."

     What a hypocritical, uncouth (SOB). First, let me deal with Warner’s pronouncement
     that he paid the players from his "own pocket". And let me remind the public that
     Warner holds title to the TTFF’s TV rights, our TV rights. Nowhere else in the world
     that such a thing happen. But in our weird, distorted republic, the people remain
     comfortably numb … especially around Carnival time. All we are good at is organizing
     lime, printing jerseys and waving flags; all without any true sense of patriotism. The true
     patriot is the man who refuses to put his hard-earned money in football because, by our
     silence and lack of will to do something about it, we are condoning the rape of our

     Unfortunately, with the "respectable" media and John Public remaining silent on the
     issue, nobody in the TTFF has the testicular fortitude to call a spade a spade, or as it is
     in this case, a jack a jackass. These morons who control our football have allowed this
     insufferable pipsqueak to totally control our football. And the man is behaving as if he
     has completely lost his mind. Who, for God’s sake is he trying to impress? Oh, he
     spent US $175,000 of his money to pay the players. Yeah right! Believe me, when you
     hear people bragging about money they have spent, they are looking for attention.
     Sadly, however, that kind of uncivilized behaviour will only grab the attention of whores
     and brass polishers.

     Secondly, let’s deal with his assertion that the players owed him something … "I just
     felt it was time that the players give something back". Whoa! Hold on a minute. Jack
     … wants … the players … to give something back? This Jack could be the star billing
     for the Caribbean Comedy Festival. I really wish I could laugh at this, but it just isn’t
     funny. This Jack has to be the most insensitive and impertinent human being on the face
     of this earth. "… give something back!" Why don’t you give us back our TV rights?
     Eh, Jack? When will enough be enough?

     Sports fans, the writing is on the wall. There must be a revolution in this country for
     Trinis to stop being just a lot of hot air and spineless wimps, afraid to take a stand.
     People, we have to take back our football and chase the crazy baldheads out of the
     town. There are some things we must be prepared to fight for.

     If St. Clair can’t further our cause, he simply has to go. There is nothing personal in
     that. However, I am not sure he can’t contribute. I certainly would not be against an
     accomplished coach taking over as technical director, while St. Clair remains as coach.
     It could be a marriage which would bring numerous benefits to our senior national
     team. That is, if we could find the right man to tighten up our technical deficiencies.

     But how can we justifiably diss St. Clair when he has done so much to build "the team"
     that is so essential to our dreams of a World Cup place in 2002? The real problem is
     the manner in which St. Clair, Richard Braithwaite, David Nakhid and Jerren Nixon
     have been treated. It’s all wrong and we are again going to pay dearly for the sort of

     For example, I think Nakhid is past his prime, and I personally would have used the
     Gold Cup to blood Brent Rahim for the World Cup campaign. But I would want
     Nakhid to continue training with the squad, because there is no substitute for
     experience, and you never know when you are going to find yourself in a deep hole,
     and you would need a veteran player to save the day. It isn’t like TnT has this
     enormous pool of experienced players to choose from. The vicarious manner in which
     the coach, manager and players have been treated, isn’t the way to go about doing
     things. My heart goes out to them and the others can pinch themselves.

     So Jack decides this is the way we have to go, and that’s the end of it. This is not
     proper planning, but as long as the insufferable pipsqueak is calling the shots with our
     football, we have nowhere to go. And I will stake my life on that. Meanwhile, I am
     waiting for the battle cry. But this battle must have no blood. It must be an intellectual

     We must give our moral support to the players, but they must also be made to
     understand that there are some issues that are bigger than the game. To that end, they
     must walk the World Cup road alone, while we organize to free ourselves of this Jack.

     The burning question is: Who will be our "Toussaint L’Ouverture"?


     There is a major row brewing between the Government and the football authorities,
     following claims of an attempt on behalf of the Football Association to try and secure
     work permits for three Trinidadian players in order to gain crucial support for England's
     2006 World Cup bid.

     Jack Warner of Trinidad is a member of the executive committee of FIFA which, come
     July, will decide whether England hosts the 2006 World Cup. Warner has been seen as
     a supporter of South Africa, England's main rivals. The FA have been keen to try to
     turn him, and I believe that Warner had been given to understand that steps will be
     taken to ensure that Trinidad players seeking to play for English clubs will not face too
     many hurdles.

     The three Trinidadian internationals in question are Hector Sam,a forward, Carlos
     Edwards, a midfielder who Wrexham want to sign, and Nigel Pierre a forward who has
     already been signed by Bristol Rovers.

     Being non-European Union players they need to be playing for a country that ranks in
     the top 70 in FIFA's rankings, and the players themselves must have played in 75% of
     their countries matches in the last year.

     While Trinidad, ranked 49th, satisfy the first condition, the players do not satisfy the
     second and the Department of Employment rejected their work permit applications.

     Wrexham and Bristol Rovers appealed to the Overseas Education and Employment
     Committee where representatives of the Football League, the PFA, the League
     Managers Association and ex-footballers sit to consider such cases.

     The committee met last Thursday and rejected Wrexham's and Rovers' pleas. I
     understand the committee were particularly unimpressed by the presentations made by
     the clubs to convince them of the players eligibility.

     So keen are the FA to gain the favour of Trinidad that for the last couple of weeks the
     chief executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association has been over here.
     Trinidad is planning to start a new league and the red carpet has been rolled out for

PFL action on Sky Sports this season

     FOOTBALL fans throughout the world will be getting a taste of action from the 2000
     Professional League which kicks off April 5 on Sky Sports International channel.
     This was revealed by League commissioner Colin Prevatt yesterday.

     Prevatt said meetings were held with Vic Wakeling, managing director of Sky Sports,
     during his recent trip to England.
     "Vic Wakeling, Managing Director of Sky Sports, expressed his interest in presenting
     PFL football over the Sky Sports network which has over 4.6 million subscribers.

     A sample tape is currently being prepared for them. This is a tremendous opportunity
     to showcase the talents of Trinidad & Tobago not only in terms of our football but from
     a tourism and economic standpoint as well," said Prevatt.

     It is understood that efforts are being made to have a highlights programme on local
     television produced on a weekly basis, featuring the Friday Night game of the week as
     the centrepiece of this programme.

     About the Friday game, Prevatt said: "This is the feature match in the week in which
     there will be no other PFL football on that day.

     "These games will focus on the top teams from last season, however, each PFL Club
     will be featured in at least one game of the week fixture during the season. Fans will get
     the opportunity to be involved in these matches through competitions and various
     sponsor promotions."

     He also mentioned that the eight competing teams will be interacting with respective
     communities through a project by First Citizens Bank.

     "Clubs will be interacting with their communities a lot more in 2000. Each club will be
     working with First Citizens Bank on its Operation Restoration project in communities
     throughout T&T. Also there will be a series of Schools Clinics in which the children in
     the community can meet their favourite PFL players, learn some new skills, and find out
     what it means to be a professional footballer," added Prevatt.

T&T ties Dutchmen in World Cup qualifier

Trinidad and Tobago tied the Netherlands Antilles 1-1 in the second leg of the first round of World Cup qualifiers.

T&T on bumpy ground

     Stories by IRVING WARD Curacao

     TRINIDAD and Tobago's World Cup squad had a unique experience here on
     Wednesday evening.

     The team arrived at the Elgilio Nato Stadium for their first training session in
     preparation for tomorrow's return leg match against the Netherland Antilles.

     But while the facility looked ideal from outside, the squad arrived inside to find they
     would have to baptise an artificial surface. And this was not just a training surface

     Trinidad and Tobago will have to play on it come tomorrow. There are no grass
     pitches here on the island. Games are played on barren dirt pitches, with the only
     opportunity for change coming when there are "big games" at the EAS, the equivalent
     of their National Stadium.

     Ironically, all the other facilities at the venue, including swimming pool and athletic track
     are first class.

     The Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation had been told of this in advance and had
     sent assisting coach Clayton Morris ahead of the team to survey the situation.

     Morris himself played on a dirt pitch here when he and goalkeeping coach Michael
     Maurice were members of the "Strike Squad".

     T&T coach Ian Porterfield tried to prepare his squad, many of whom have never
     played on any kind of artificial surface before by taking them through their paces at the
     national hockey centre in Tacarigua the day before they left T&T.

     However, they were still not prepared for what they eventually encountered here.

     What they walked on to was effectively a stretch of green outdoor carpeting, laid over
     the bare ground. The turf itself is also riddled with fine stones, part of the composition
     of the soil here, making it extremely dangerous if players fall.

     While it is an artificial surface, it is a far cry from the Astroturf the players were hoping

     Many of them wondered aloud why there was no protest over the field. But to tell the
     truth, Fifa laws only debar World Cup games from being played on Astroturf. Since the
     pitch here is quite clearly not that, the "Dutchmen" have been able to get off on a

     The pitch itself has more "give" then expected. But it is still hard on the ankles and
     knees. That indeed was the major complaint after the first session. Additionally, there is
     a constant strong breeze blowing through the ground. As a result, the ground staff have
     devised a hydraulic system to keep the corner flag from blowing over, since there is no
     dirt in which to anchor them.

     These conditions also make spot kicks a difficult task because they the ball moves
     away as soon as it is spotted.

     Realising difficulty of the conditions, Porterfield made his team focus on keeping there
     passes on the ground. High and long balls will be less effective here than under normal

     But the team baptised the surface and by the time they take the field tomorrow they
     would have had three sessions-including one under lights last night-to make their


     Latapy for World Cup second round

     T&T COACH Ian Porterfield believes he will have the services of Scotland's-based
     midfielder Russell Latapy for the opening game of the next round of the World Cup

     Latapy will be absent from tomorrow's return leg game against Netherland Antilles. But
     news out of Scotland this week, suggested that the "Little Magician": could also miss
     the next game where T&T seem set to meet the Dominican Republic because of a clash
     with his club schedule.

     Latapy himself echoed sentiments expressed by coach Alex McLeish to the effect that
     he would not come back home if the game coincided with Hibernian Scottish Cup
     semifinal against Aberdeen on April 8. However, pointing out that he had worked this
     out, Porterfield expressed quiet confidence about having Latapy for the game.

     "It does not clash," he said. "Hibs play on April 8 and we play on either April 1 or 2, so
     there is no clash at all. Hopefully, Russell will be available for what is expected to be a
     Dominican Republic game in Trinidad.

     The 54-year-old coach is a personal friend of McLeish and explained that the Hibs
     boss had called him on the phone just prior to his leaving for Curacao.

     Not at home to take the call and not getting McLeish back when he returned it, he
     contacted a friend in Scotland.

     According to Porterfield, "that friend explained the situation to Mc Leish and a
     gentleman's agreement was reached on the issue.

     Porterfield said it was very important for the 31-year-old Latapy to be part of the first
     leg so that they could build a strong foundation. And he felt he will get the support of
     just not Latapy, but all the players as well.

     "I believe all the players want to see T&T do well in the World Cup. But I am realistic
     enough and professional enough to know that there is a lot of hard work to do. I
     believe if we all work for the same thing and prepare well, there is no reason why we
     shouldn't have a really good chance."

     Porterfield's squad was finally up to full-strength yesterday evening with the arrival of
     Scotland-based defender Marvin Andrews, midfielder Joseph Peters and goalkeeper
     Ryan Edward, pair drafted in to replace Angus Eve and Clayton Ince.

     However, the coach is yet to name a standing skipper for the absent Anthony Rougier.

     Yesterday, Ross Russell seemed the likely choice over Ancil Elcock, the two most
     senior players on the squad. But Porterfield apparently will not make that call until just
     before the start of the match.

Bouyant T&T in Curacao for return match

     TRINIDAD and Tobago's footballers arrived in Curacao bouyed by the news that they
     have jumped nine places to 40 in the latest FIFA world rankings.
     After reaching the Gold Cup semi-finals, T&T regained their position as the highest
     placed Caribbean side as previous leaders Jamaica slipped three spots to 48th.

     CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh striker Hector Sam will get his chance to line up for
     T&T against the Netherlands Antilles in a World Cup return leg on Saturday.
     He is a late addition the T&T side which arrived in Curacao yesterday.

     Sam's Jabloteh teammate Joseph Peters will leave for Curacao today along with Raith
     Rovers defender Marvin Andrews, Ryan Edwards and Coulson Dick.
     He will now hope to utilise his experience with the senior team when they line up for the
     Olympic side in a qualifying series here later this month against Canada, Netherlands
     Antilles and Guatemala.

     Speaking from Curacao yesterday before coach Ian Porterfield was expected to
     conduct a training session, defender Brent Sancho said the T&T side was optimistic.
     This despite the fact that they are without midfielder Russell Latapy, captain Anthony
     Rougier and possibly goalkeeper Clayton Ince, who has been replaced by Edwards.
     But Defence Force's Ross Russell is expected to stand between the uprights.

     Sancho is on the verge of finalising a contract with the New York/New Jersey
     In related news, a release from the T&T Football Federation yesterday stated that local
     team sponsors, Inter/Forever Sports (IFS) of Miami, will receive 50 percent of gate
     receipts from World Cup qualifying matches played here which will go towards
     assisting in team preparations at home and overseas.

     Television and radio rights sold to Interforever are not part of their agreement to assist
     the TTFF with US $2,000,000.
     The T&T government (US $1,000,000) and local corporate organisations (US
     $1,000,000) are the other contributors towards the World Cup campaign.

Rougier ruled out


     ENGLAND-based midfielder Angus Eve is in line to take over the Trinidad and
     Tobago captaincy this weekend in the return leg of their first round 2002 World Cup
     qualifying match against the Netherlands Antilles in Curacao.

     Eve, who has had several stints in the position before in the absence of other senior
     players, is expected to take over for Anthony Rougier who will not be making the trip
     on the request of his team Port Vale.

     Rougier is one of several foreign-based professionals whom T&T coach Ian Porterfield
     agreed to do without for the game.

     The others include Scotland-based Russell Latapy, Marvin Andrews and Stokely
     Mason-now on
     trial in Korea-who all requested that they not be called up at this time owing to club

     However, Porterfield admitted yesterday that it was also to relieve some tension which
     had developed in the wake of the first leg game, which ended 5-0 in T&T's favour, that
     he decided to give the affected players some slack.

     Several of the pros arrived back at their clubs later than scheduled and drew the wrath
     of their managers as a result.

     Latapy and Rougier were hardest hit. The "Little Magician" repaid Hibs boss Alex
     McLeish by scoring two goals and setting up another in a 3-1 Scottish Cup win over
     Falkirk victory.

     Rougier, who was not called on to start by Vale boss Brian Horton for his indiscretion,
     still managed to score in a 3-2 loss to Sheffield United. But with Vale struggling for its
     First Division life and Horton is reluctant to be without his most consistent scorer this

     T&T are likely to come up against a tougher Haiti side in the next round, so Porterfield
     had little choice but to concede this time around.

     "We've had to make one or two changes due to the circumstances really," Porterfield
     told the Express on the eve of the team's departure for Curaçao yesterday.

     "The players really should have gone back the following day. Because of this, we've
     had to be fair to one or two clubs and not request some of the players for this game."

     Joe Public defender Coulson Dick and CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh's Joseph Peters
     and Hector Sam were drafted into the squad as replacements.

     Eve is now one of just five foreign-based players in the squad. The other are United
     States-based Ansil Elcock, already here and leaving with the team this morning,
     Germany-based Evans Wise and England-based Clayton Ince, Nigel Pierre, who will
     join the team in the Dutch islands.

     While conceding that his team had a big advantage, Porterfield said it was important
     not to go into the game overconfident.

     "The game is not won until the 90 minutes are over. I'm not being negative but the fact
     is we've got to go there and we've got to be professional. We've got to be thorough
     and we've got to play in a proper manner. We believe that we're going to go through to
     the next phase and we've also got to build for that next game."

     T&T Squad: Clayton Ince, Ross Russell, Shurland David, Derek King, Sherwyn Julien,
     Brent Sancho, Coulson Dick, Ansilo Elcock, Dennis Lawrence, Carlos Edwards,
     Angus Eve, Evans Wise, Kerwyn Jemmott, Joseph Peters, Hector Sam, Nigel Pierre,
     Arnold Dwarika, Mickey Trotman

Let's not be left saying: Oh, 2006 World Cup for sure


     THE recent appointment of Scotland-born Ian Porterfield as national football coach is
     a step in the right direction whether the fans and those concerned with the team
     continue to dwell on the sacking of Bertille St Clair.

     Why does the removal of the Tobagonian continue to be a topic of debate among
     followers of the game?
     Many say because he didn't deserve to go that way. Not after helping T&T to their
     best ever finish at the Gold Cup. The manner and time in which he was dismissed were
     not appropriate. A new coach less than two days before the opening match of the
     2002 World Cup qualifying campaign!

     "Jack Warner and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation must be mad," was
     the feeling of many who claimed they had seen enough of St Clair's work to be
     guaranteed he was the man to take us to Japan/Korea.

     How much did they see?
   Consecutive victories over Jamaica, T&T defeat Colombia 4-3, a victory over South
     Africa, capturing the 1999 Copa Caribe.
     Then they saw T&T go past the first round of the Gold Cup for the first time in three

     But this year saw the progress of two teams from each group for the first time.
     As it turned out T&T squeezed through to the quarterfinals by virtue of Mexico holding
     on for a 1-1 draw with Guatemala. Those who saw that match would agree that
     Guatemala had the better of the exchanges. A victory by any margin would have sent
     them through with Mexico and T&T would have been on their way back home.

     All three teams would have ended on three points with the Guatemalans going through
     on a better goal difference. Competition rules stated that head-to-head results implied
     only if the second and third team were on same points. In this case it would have been
     all three teams with three points.

     T&T then faced Costa Rica without the services of Dwight Yorke. Sure, it was a
     spirited victory and while the defenders fought as though their lives depended on it, a
     Costa Rica victory looked almost sure until Mickey Trotman's shot deflected off a
     defender for the "golden goal" winner.

     New hero Trotman started on the bench against the Canadians, even as striker Jerron
     Nixon went off early with an ankle injury. St Clair introduced midfielder Brent Rahim
     alongside David Nakhid and pushed chief playmaker Russell Latapy up front. St Clair
     may have known what he was doing. But that wasn't working. Canada scored. T&T
     continued to miss several chances. Latapy missed a sitter from the six-yard box. St
     Clair sits on the bench waiting for Arnold Dwarika or some other to get it right. Two
     minutes to go and the coach puts on "golden goal" boy Trotman and Evans Wise
     hoping for a miracle.

     The introduction of either one even 15 minutes earlier and the taking off of Nakhid with
     Latapy controlling the midfield would have been a better option. The result is now
     True we were without prolific goalscorer Stern John and goalkeeper Shaka Hislop.
     Ronnie Mauge made an early exit with a broken leg, Yorke missed the Canada affair.
     It would be pitiful to use that as an excuse. Leave such things for the Secondary
     Schools League.

     It is understood that for some time now the TTFF were not satisfied with St Clair's
     technical capabilities and were considering replacing him.
     But the results went in his favour and so the move was delayed. The TTFF stated in a
     press release that St Clair was told that nothing but the Gold Cup title would be
     But the TTFF probably should have replaced him as coach weeks before the Gold
     Cup and offered him the position as assistant coach. Then if he refused, tell him

     This would have avoided the reactions of shock and Porterfield would be better
     acquainted with the players than he is today.
     One would have to agree that St Clair was able to instil unity in the team which Yorke
     later admitted was the best he had experienced in a long time in a national team.

     He is liked by many and some senior players expressed their dissatisfaction with his
     removal. But would they give up the chance to play in a World Cup because of one
     man? Yorke surely holds a strong yearning to step onto the biggest stage and realised
     after the Gold Cup that the chance was no longer a dream far off but one which could
     become a reality in about two years.

     Should St Clair been removed totally off the technical team? But would he work under
     Porterfield? Edgar Vidale, technical director during the Gold Cup, admitted that he
     sometimes had difficulty in working with the ex-coach. It is understood that new
     technical director Chief Adegboye Onigbinde also had difficulty in working with St
     Clair before resigning as technical director of the TTFF last year.

     The TTFF have offered to have St Clair continue working with the Federation, not
     necessarily with the senior team. Time will tell what he decides.
     One felt that Richard Braithwaite probably should have been left attached to the senior
     team after being able to build a healthy relationship with the players, also helping in
     getting the team united.

     Since the Copa Caribe victory, the introduction of foreign expertise on the technical
     staff was seen needed with the assistance of the local coach. Now we have the
     foreigner and his portfolio at least gives much hope.
     One concern is that by qualifying for 2002 under a foreign coach, T&T does not end
     up like Jamaica who have gone downhill after reaching France 1998, followed by the
     resignation of Brazilian coach Rene Simoes after an early exit from the Gold Cup.

     Porterfield will undoubtedly have the resources at hand. Let's hope he gets the sufficient
     support because only the small minds will want to look back later down the road and
     say it's because of that shake up after the Gold Cup that left T&T saying 2006 for sure

Porterfield ready


     TAKING up any national team on the verge of a World Cup qualifying tournament is a
     big challenge, admits new Trinidad and Tobago coach Ian Porterfield, who was born in
     Scotland before getting into management in England in 1973.

     Is he the man to take T&T to the World Cup? Many have asked and are still asking.
     While he may not have carried another team on to the big stage there is little to suggest
     that he's incapable of getting T&T to Japan/Korea.

     The 54-year-old coach has worked with English clubs Chelsea (1991-'93, 1988-'89
     as assistant manager); Sheffield United (1981-'86), Sheffield Wednesday (1977-'79,
     player-coach); Rotterham United (1979-'81); Reading FC (1989-'91) and Scottish
     club Aberdeen from 1986 to '88 and was assistant coach of Bolton Wanderers from
     Among the national teams he has coached include Zimbabwe (1996-'97), Zambia
     (1993-'94) and Oman.

     His achievements with clubs, include leading Sheffield United to promotion into the
     Second Division, Sheffield United to the Fourth Division title in 1982 and Rotterham to
     the Division Three crown in 1981. He also led Aberdeen to the semifinals of the
     Scottish Cup and a quarterfinal spot in the UEFA Cup.

     He also coached Ittihad FC of Saudi Arabia.
     Porterfield admitted that the going will be tough, especially during the early months, but
     he's ready to get going.
     "It's not easy. I don't really know much about the players and hopefully we can get
     good results because it's important that the country makes progress," he said the day
     before T&T's opening match against the Netherland Antilles.

     "Coaching is the same all over the world. The principles and the basics are the same.
     Off course you'll find some difficulty in countries where there isn't much good
     equipment and facilities. I have been fortunate that I've played for and managed big
     teams so it's quite easy now. Even though some people do see certain things differently,
     football everywhere is quite the same. Whether it's a little black boy or a white boy
     kicking a ball, it's the same difference," he added.

     He's impressed with what's he has seen so far of the local players.
     "This is a very talented nation. The players here are very skilful but obviously there are
     certain areas of the sport which need to be worked on. There are things which may not
     be going well on and off the pitch probably because of a lack of education, but basic
     skills and natural talent is certainly there."

     Porterfield is also impressed with the facilities at Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo,
     and the Concacaf Centre of Excellence, Macoya, which he credits to FIFA
     vice-president Jack Warner.

     "Look at these excellent facilities. It's fantastic and I think that Jack Warner deserves
     credit for this. If you come here on a Saturday morning you see about a hundred kids
     training and several teenagers during the week.

     "It's a great opportunity for the youngsters. It's a great career ... that of football. I've
     been lucky that I was born in Scotland where I was able to progress in football," said
     Porterfield, who was coach of Joe Public and in charge of their football academy prior
     to his latest appointment.

     Porterfield said he will like to have a full compliment of players, including Manchester
     United striker Dwight Yorke and Hibernian midfielder Russell Latapy, playing and
     training as much as possible.

     "I don't know what the circumstances are regarding Yorke and Russell at the moment.
     I think there was an agreement made with Dwight that he would be allowed to miss the
     early stages of the qualifiers. I can only really work with these players who are here and
     willing. What happens in the future with Yorke and Latapy will be taken to hand in the
     future I'm sure."

     "Maybe there are steps which can be taken so we can possibly play two games a week
     or so to keep the team working together. The problems with the release of players
     from clubs is not an easy one and we've got to respect the clubs because they pay the
     players their salaries. But if we can get matches regularly that will be a step in the right
     direction," he added.

     Porterfield was pleased with the response of the local supporters for the game against
     the Netherland Antilles (T&T won that game two Saturdays ago 5-0).
     "But at the end of the day I'm a professional. To be honest with you, if the people didn't
     want me here I could well be on the first 'plane out of here tomorrow. But I have come
     here to get a job done. It's sad that the last coach got the axe but these things happen in
     football. It has happened to me in the past and maybe it could again. I've just got to
     keep my mind on the job," said Porterfield.

     He mentioned that the players must be able to put the disappointment of the knockout
     by Canada in the Gold Cup "semis" in Los Angles, USA, behind them.
     "They must learn from these things. If mistakes have been made we've got to correct
     them. They now have to take themselves forward to qualifying for the World Cup
     which would be absolutely marvellous. But it's no easy feat qualifying for the World
     Cup which many, many countries are trying to get into that 32. I hope we can give it
     our best shot.

     We'll take time obviously to put things together but there is hardly anytime left."
     Porterfield recalled the experience with the Zambian national team in 1993 after the
     tragic 'plane crash.

     "It was amazing how that entire country rallied round the team after the crash. Every
     man, woman and child, whether football fan or not, pulled together and I took them to
     the finals of the African Nations Cup where we lost to Nigeria 2-1. That was because
     everybody was collective and working for the same thing. And that is what we have to
     get here in Trinidad. If we don't work for the same thing we won't be successful," he

     "There is still a lot of work to be done but generally I am pleased with the boys after
     the victory. I am happy with their attitude. I think that at this time if Trinidad and
     Tobago can put together their best players, playing in their right positions, and perform
     the way we can then that would be great. The players have to believe they can achieve
     this," he said.

United know well how to win - Yorke


     MANCHESTER United striker Dwight Yorke was relieved to regain his scoring touch
     after Saturday's hattrick in a 3-1 victory over Derby County.
     But he admitted that his individual showing is not the major concern at the moment and
     is willing to serve the team in whatever way to help them get the desired results.

     With 14 Premiership goals to his name, he is confident that the English giants will
     continue to get the results required for defending the Premiership title.
     "Last year was just unbelievable, but coming back after the Treble was always going to
     be difficult. Becoming champions of Europe meant it was never going to be easy for us.

     "But one thing this team is good at is knowing how to win, even if the football we have
     been playing may not quite have been the standard of last season.

     "We know how to get results. We are at least doing that at the moment. It is a crucial
     time for us now. We are leading the Premiership and in a good position in Europe.
     Although we are not playing the fantastic flamboyant football everyone likes to see, we
     are seven games away from another Champions League final and another 11 away
     from winning the league. As a team our top performances are still in the tank. Right
     now it is about getting results, and we are doing that" Yorke said in England.

     United are currently four points ahead of second place Leeds United with 61 points
     and will hope to continue their winning ways in today's European Champions' League
     clash with Italian club Fiorentina.


     Porterfield chats with 'Latas'

     MIDFEILD magician Russell Latapy had a lengthy chat with new national coach Ian
     Porterfield last Friday before this country's 5-0 victory over the Netherlands Antilles.
     Porterfield said earlier that if "Latas" had not turned up for a training session the evening
     before the game that he would not be considered for selection.

     Latapy did appear after missing two earlier sessions.
     Currently the "Little Magician" is in the middle of a club versus country row after Hibs
     manager Alex McLeish was reportedly angry with his late return to Scotland.

     Latapy since went on to net a double in a 3-1 win over Falkirk to put Hibs into the
     semi-finals of the Scottish Cup against Aberdeen on April 8.
     Porterfield simply wanted to build a good relationship with Latapy from early on.

     "I always deal with matters sensibly. Russell's a good player. He had an injury and we
     had a chat privately. When I chat with my players it's not for the newspapers to get
     involved. But we had a nice chat and hopefully he'll play an important part for us in the
     future" said Porterfield.

Andrews on the look out

     NATIONAL defender Marvin "Dog" Andrews will soon decide whether he takes up a
     new two year deal from Scottish club Raith Rovers or consider interest being shown by
     Hibernian and English First Division side Barnsley.

     Andrews said last week that he will wait until the end of the season to make his next
     step and will likely remain at Rovers if they gain promotion into the Premier League.
     But he won't mind moving on.

     "Yeah my main goal is to move on and play at the higher level . I have a big part to play
     in the team and it's a big sacrifice to leave them to come and play for my country But
     being able to play in the Gold Cup was a really great experience for me coming up
     against big teams like Mexico. I just want to do my part on the field Whoever comes
     up with the right contract I have no problems going anywhere" said Andrews.

     Rovers are currently fifth on the 11 team First Division table.


     Sir Alex to help Pierre

     LOCAL striker Nigel Pierre is expected to benefit from the assistance of Manchester
     United in his fight to secure a work permit in England.
     According to a recent report in the Bristol Evening Post, United manager Sir Alex
     Ferguson, who has strong ties with Rovers, is willing to send Pierre abroad in the hope
     he becomes a first team regular for T&T.

     United could post him to Belgian side Royal Antwerp, who have three Old Trafford
     players with them.
     Rovers manager Ian Holloway said "He (Ferguson) said he'll phone them (Antwerp)
     and get Nigel a trial set up there."

     The unusual approach to getting Pierre on Rovers' books could take months or even
     years to succeed but Holloway, who signed the player for £50,000 for three years
     from Joe Public, is prepared to wait.

     "I'm not giving up. We loaned Nigel out for two years and when he breaks into the
     national team, he'll still only be 22 when he comes back."
     Pierre was disappointed with his performance against the Netherlands Antilles last
     week, squandering four good scoring chances.

     "I felt a little down but I have to pick up and go again. It meant a lot being able to play
     because I need some more caps to get my work permit which is the only thing holding
     me back.

Sancho thrilled

     NATIONAL defender Brent Sancho is expected to line up with the local Olympic
     tournament here later this month after returning from training with the New York/New
     Jersey Metrostars.

     Sancho who claimed he was left out of the national team for the Gold Cup by former
     coach Bertille St Clair because of his dreadlocks hairstyle, got the chance to play
     against the Netherlands Antilles last Saturday.

     Coach Ian Porterfield said he was impressed with the player after seeing him in action
     in a two match series against Denmark earlier this year.
     Sancho was probably the most thrilled T&T player after the 5-0 win which was his
     second appearance for the senior team following his debut against Panama last year.

     "It was everything that I thought it would be. My first priority is representing my country
     On any given day anything can happen on a football field but playing in this match was
     a good opportunity for me to settle in because I haven't really played with these guys.

     It became more of a joy as the game went along. It was a big , big day for me and it's
     something to build on personally The hard work is paying off
     and I will continue to work hard because it's hard work that brought me here" said
     Sancho, who is scheduled to leave with the national team today for the return leg
     against the Dutchmen and is also being stalked by the Columbus Crew.


     Mauge touched

     ENGLISH-BORN midfielder Ronnie Mauge said the support shown by his national
     teammates after he broke his leg against Mexico in the Gold Cup last month is playing a
     significant part in him regaining mental toughness as he prepares for a comeback within
     two and a half months.

     Mauge said in England last week that was hopeful of rejoining the Bristol Rovers
     "I wanted to come back to Bristol as soon as they let me out of hospital, but the lads
     wouldn't let me. Our team spirit was great and everyone mucked in with pushing me
     around in the wheelchair, even Dwight Yorke" said Mauge who also expressed some
     disappointment with the sacking of Bertille St Clair.

     I think the manager was a great man and a great influence on me. He taught me a lot,
     not just about football, but also about life. I'm distraught about it" said Mauge.

T&T off to Curacao


     TRINIDAD and Tobago's senior footballers leave for Curacao this morning uncertain
     whether they will have the services of captain Anthony Rougier for Saturday's return leg
     2002 World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands Antilles.

     Up to yesterday, the T&T Football Federation said Rougier's presence was doubtful
     and officials of his Port Vale club were awaiting a response from here as to whether he
     would be excused from the match.

     Vale manager Brian Horton was upset with Rougier's late return to England last
     Thursday and said he will like to keep the player for Saturday's English First Division
     clash with Crystal Palace.
     Vale are facing relegation.

     Unless other last minute requests come from other foreign clubs, the rest of the T&T
     side selected are expected to be in Curacao for the match.
     They include Clayton Ince, Marvin Andrews, Nigel Pierre, Evans Wise, Brent Sancho,
     Ross Russell, Angus Eve, Mickey Trotman, Derek King, Kerwyn Jemmot, Sherwin
     Julien, Carlos Edwards, Dennis Lawrence and Shurland David.

     Both Edwards and CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh striker Hector Sam were late
     additions to the team last week but the latter has been excluded for the weekend. Sam
     is likely to get a recall later in the campaign as he awaits word on his work permit
     appeal after receiving an offer from English Second Division side Wrexham.

     Next up T&T will face the winners of the Dominican Republic versus Montserrat tie on
     April 2 and 16.
     T&T coach Scotland-born Ian Porterfield who is obviously hopeful of a victory on
     Saturday, told the English press earlier this week that he would try to be understanding
     regarding the call up of overseas players for the early qualifiers.

     Aware that clubs would like to end the season with their best line-ups, he came out in
     support of Russell Latapy following his clash with Hibs after a late return to Scotland
     on Thursday.

     "I know that I need to be as flexible as I can about calling up the players and I won't be
     asking Latapy or Dwight Yorke to play in the second leg of the Dutch Antilles match.
     But at the same time, when they are here on international duty you have to realise that
     they have travelled thousands of miles and they don't want to be locked up in football
     prison camps.

     They need to be able to see their friends and family while they are here," said
     While T&T were getting ready for Saturday's action, former international Lyndon
     "Chubby" Andrews was on the receiving end of high remarks from Hibs boss Alex
     McLeish while on trial at Latapy's club.

     He's a good technical player with good feet. He's a decent passer and user of the ball
     and we are trying to improve our squad," said McLeish who is considering offering
     Andrews a deal.

Mexico, England and USA coming: Test for T&T under-17s


     TRINIDAD and Tobago's under-17 footballers will get the chance to test their skills
     with the likes of England. Mexico and the United States when a quadrangular
     tournament takes place here later this month.

     The local side will take on USA's under-17 squad in the second match of a double
     header March 26 at Dr Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence, Macoya. Mexico and
     England clash in the earlier affair at Macoya, where all games will be played.

     Two days later "Team 2001" will face England followed by an encounter between the
     Mexicans and the USA.
     T&T will then close the tournament against the Central Americans preceded by USA
     versus England.

     The local squad are currently in training under Nigerian chief Adegboye Onigbinde for
     the 2001 FIFA World Under-17 Championships schedule to kick off here April,
     Team administrator Russell Tesheira said all was well in the camp at the moment and
     the youngsters, including Tobagonian Travis Yorke, nephew of Manchester United star
     Dwight Yorke, were looking forward to the upcoming tournament.

     "Currently we have a squad of 50 players in training and the squad will be cut to 20 at
     the end of this week for the tournament. Those players dropped will rejoin the camp
     after the competition to continue working before we pick a final team of 20 in January
     for the 2001 World Tournament. This series at the end of the month is really a test to
     see where we are at the moment compared to the bigger teams and will determine
     where we go from here.

     We are just hoping that the fans come and give the boys some support now," said
     T&T are coming off a 3-1 victory over W Connection's under-20 team last Saturday at
     Industry Park, Palo Seco.

More trouble for TTFF


     THE Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation is facing yet another fight for
     foreign-based players over the next couple weeks.

     Having already faced the problem in the past, TTFF president Oliver Camps and his
     organisation will have to deal with it again as several top British clubs seem bent on
     keeping their T&T talent away from the second round of World Cup qualifiers.

     The latest episode involves both T&T skipper Anthony Rougier (Port Vale) and
     midfielder Russell Latapy (Hibernian), who are under pressure from their respective
     clubs to stay away from the next couple games.

     Latapy had long pulled out of this weekend's return match against the Dutchmen. But
     he is now also said to be considering his participation in the second round, where T&T
     meet the winner of the Haiti/Dominican Republic tie, as well.

     Rougier could also follow suit as his club, Port Vale, are now struggling for their First
     Division life.

     The former Petrotrin player arrived back at Vale to hear there had been a rumour
     during his absence that he was heading to another club. He quickly corrected that
     erroneous impression, declaring: "I want to stay here and carry on scoring goals and
     help Port Vale stay in the First Division."

     Rougier backed up this declaration by scoring against Sheffield United on Saturday but
     he could not stop his team from going down 3-2. Vale fans were calling for Vale boss
     Brian Horton's head afterwards and there was speculation the T&T player would be
     forced to stay on to help his club for the next couple games.

     Latapy's situation is somewhat different. Hibs boss Alex McLeish has made it clear he
     would not release him if the club's Scottish Cup semifinal game clashed with T&T's
     next World Cup opponent.

     Should this be the case, though, Latapy seems unwilling to put country before club.

     "I haven't told Ian Porterfield that I don't want to go but I have told some of the people
     at the FA back home what the situation is. I hope it won't end in confrontation and they
     will be flexible," Latapy told reporters in Scotland.

     "These World Cup games are over two legs and I hope to go for one of the games and
     not the other, but I would retire from international football if there were problems."

     McLeish, still fuming over Latapy's late arrival back from Trinidad following the game
     against the Netherlands, was hoping to defuse the situation with a call to Porterfield.

     "The semifinal is a huge game and I'm sure the wee fella will want to be involved," he
     said. "It's up to Russell to sort this out, although I will be speaking to Ian Porterfield.
     I'm sure he'll realise how important our game is."

Fine mess for poor Latapy

It is highly unlikely that the atmosphere in the manager's office at Easter Road was quite
     as cosy as the one Russell Latapy was enjoying at Brian Lara's house the weekend

     The Hibs midfielder was due to have his late arrival from international duty last week
     discussed in detail with Alex McLeish although, whatever the reason for his dallying,
     Latapy's case for the defence was surely strengthened by intervening events.

     Two goals and a sparkling first half in particular against Falkirk propelled the Easter
     Road club into a Tennents Scottish Cup semi-final with Aberdeen, but may not have
     been enough for the player to escape a fine.

     As always in such matters, McLeish observed confidentiality although, having been
     brought up in the strict disciplinarian regime that was Alex Ferguson's Aberdeen,
     Latapy will have been a lucky man not to have received at least a censure.

     Having your cake and eating it is something which footballers are renowned for trying
     to achieve, but when Latapy looks back on the past few days, he might feel that the
     gluttony was worth a week's wages.

     A 5-0 thrashing of the Dutch Antilles was followed by an invite to the launch party of
     his great friend Lara's new business venture.

     Milling around the VIP area with the cricketing legend a week past Sunday, Latapy
     must have felt the full force of the thousands of miles which separate Port of Spain from
     the port of Leith.

     But, given that the gruelling journey which returned him to Edinburgh on Thursday
     morning didn't appear to affect his performance, is there really a case to answer?

     Exactly what Latapy was doing between Sunday and Thursday is anyone's guess
     although the fact that the island's annual carnival coincided with three of those days
     might be no coincidence.

     McLeish questioned not just the responsibility of the Trindad and Tobago Football
     Federation but also his own player for failing to meet FIFA's directive that international
     players should return from inter-continental duty within 48 hours.

     Latapy's international manager, Ian Porterfield, has pledged his intention to be as
     understanding as possible regarding the calling up of far-flung players. But he was
     straightforward in his assertion that he will not enforce the same restrictions that the
     players may experience with their clubs.

     'I know that I need to be as flexible as I can about calling up the players and I won't be
     asking Latapy or Dwight Yorke to play in the second leg of the Dutch Antilles match,'
     he said.

     'But at the same time, when they are here on international duty you have to realise that
     they have travelled thousands of miles and they don't want to be locked up in football
     prison camps. They need to be able to see their friends and family while they are here.'

     Hibs now face losing their playmaker for two SPL matches, as Porterfield's side are
     due to meet the Dominican Republic over two legs either side of the Cup semi-final.

     No doubt that will leave McLeish sweating over arrival times again.

Latapy in club over country row


     TRINIDAD and Tobago midfielder Russell Latapy has made it clear he only intends to
     play for this country in one of two matches against the weaker teams in the 2002
     World Cup preliminary qualifying tournament.

     The "Little Magician" was speaking on Saturday night after scoring a double to lead
     Hibernian to a 3-1 victory over Falkirk and a semifinal spot in the Scottish Cup. This
     Hibs had not done since 1995.

     Reports out of Scotland yesterday said that T&T were scheduled to play the winner of
     the Dominican Republic versus Monsterrat tie on April 8 - same day as the Scottish
     Hibernian are expected to hold talks with Latapy today regarding his late return from
     Trinidad following his appearance for this country two Saturdays ago in their 5-0 win
     over Netherland Antilles.

     Hibs manager Alex McLeish says he's leaving the final decision up to the "Little
     Magician" on the club over country issue.

     But "Latas" sounded stern in his comments:
     "I will play for Hibs in the semi. I have not told this to our new international boss Ian
     Porterfield, but I have notified some of our officials. These World Cup games are over
     two legs and I hope to go for one of the games and not the other.

     "If necessary, I would even consider retiring from international football. But I'm sure
     there will be some flexibility about the situation," he told reporter Jim McLean.
     Latapy is already out of the return leg against the Netherlands Antilles later this month
     and the 31-year-old player is under pressure from Hibs' management after missing
     more than half of last month while representing T&T at the Gold Cup in Los Angeles,

     He hoped that Saturday's double would have brought back the smiles on McLeish.
     "The boss was not pleased and is still not happy. Hopefully, my performance against
     Falkirk will put the smile back on his face."

     Like several times before McLeish admitted that "Latas" was an integral part of his
     line-up, but wanted to see evidence of the player's commitment to the club.
     "Trinidad were not entirely blameless because, under FIFA guidelines, they should have
     booked the player on an earlier flight.

     "The semifinal is a huge game and I'm sure the wee fella will want to be involved. It's up
     to Russell to sort this out, although I will be speaking to Ian Porterfield. I'm sure he'll
     realise how important our game is."

     "I spoke to him (Latapy) before the game (on Saturday) and asked him if he was going
     to be sharp enough. He said he was, so I had no qualms about playing him as long as
     he gave me that reassurance. He's a big player for us and he makes things happen,"
     said McLeish.

     Latapy's local teammate, Anthony Rougier, captain of T&T, also ran into problems on
     his return to Port Vale on Thursday. He was reportedly fined by the club for not
     returning on Sunday and word is that he could end up not joining the T&T side for the
     return leg against Netherland Antilles.

Yorke, Latapy respond in style


     TWO of this country's highly celebrated footballers, Manchester United striker Dwight
     Yorke and Hibernian's Russell Latapy, responded to pressure from their clubs in fine
     fashion by scoring a hattrick and a pair of goals respectively to lead their teams to 3-1
     victories over Derby County and Falkirk yesterday.

     Local captain Anthony Rougier also netted a 90th minute goal after coming on in the
     52nd minute, but his effort was not enough to prevent Port Vale from falling 3-2 to
     Sheffield United.

     Yorke who had been experiencing a scoring drought in recent months followed by
     criticism from the English press and problem in maintaining a starting position, eased
     some of that pressure with the treble which pushed his season tally to 14. He's currently
     fourth on the list headed by Sunderland's Kevin Phillips (24).

     Yorke's last goal for United came against Necaxa in the World Club championships on
     January 6 while his latest Premiership strike was on Boxing Day in their 4-0 romp over
     Bradford City. It took him only 12 minutes to put his club ahead yesterday when he
     charged down on goalkeeper Martin Poom's poor clearance and guided the ball into an
     unprotected net.

     He then headed home a Quinton Fortune 70th minute cross and converted his third
     after skipper Roy Keane sent him through a couple minutes later.
     United played without the resting Denis Irwin, Andy Cole, Jaap Stam, Ryan Giggs,
     Nicky Butt and Raimond Van der Gou. The win kept United at the top of the
     Premiership standings with 61 points, seven more than second place Leeds United who
     have a game in hand.

     Latapy returned to a furious Hibs management that even made it clear that he wasn't
     sure of playing yesterday after returning to Scotland on Thursday after representing this
     country in their 5-0 win over the Netherland Antilles in a World Cup qualifier last

     Manager Alex McLeish said he would talk to Latapy tomorrow about his late return
     and his decision to play him proved an inspired one as "Latas" produced a stunning
     strike and a penalty to put Hibs ahead twice with Pat McGinlay sealing the victory in
     the last minute. The win put them into the Scottish Cup semifinals for the first time since

     After seeing a curling effort fly past the post in the 17th minute, Latapy opened the
     scoring in the 25th when he took a pass from Frenchman Franck Sauzee before firing
     home from 20 yards out.

     After Falkirk equalised, Latapy restored Hibs' lead from the penalty spot in the 43rd
     minute and had the Falkirk goalkeeper producing a fine save to his long range effort
     just before halftime.

     Local striker Nigel Pierre also saw action until the 64th minute for Bristol Rovers in a
     0-0 stalemate with Bury in English Second Division action. The T&T bunch will surely
     be hoping to take their current form into the crucial stages of their 2002 World Cup
     qualifying campaign.


     Alec McLeish was delighted that Russell Latapy repaid his faith, grabbing two gaols
     and setting up the third in the 3-1 victory over Falkirk.

     The Hibs boss said: "I spoke to him before the game today and asked him if he was
     going to be sharp enough. He said he was so I had no qualms about playing him as long
     as he gave me that reassurance. He's a big player for us and he makes things happen.

     "He went a bit quiet in the second half but he's still liable to do something. It was a
     good contribution from him with two goals and a set up for Pat McGinlay."

     Meanwhile Falkirk manager Alex Totten felt the result was not a true reflection of the
     balance of play.

     He said: "I don't think 3-1 was a true reflection of the game. Losing a goal just before
     half-time was a big blow. It was particularly disappointing because we'd just got back
     into the game and we just failed to get a break in front of goal but you wouldn't know
     which one of the sides was a Premier League side."

A treble tonic is perfect for Yorke

     Manchester United 3 - 1 Derby County
     Dwight Yorke has been shaken by unexpected job insecurity. He has also been stirred
     by the over-hasty, cynical jibes of too many of football's doubters.

     But on Saturday, predictably, the man from the Caribbean provided his own emphatic
     answer much in the way he did through the glorious personal campaigning of last

     The £12.7million forward delivered Premiership victory for Manchester United,
     increasing to seven points their lead over Leeds United, with a cavalier's hat-trick that
     should at least convince Sir Alex Ferguson of his first-team worth for a week or two.

     Jim Smith's Derby County, saddled by their own collective inadequacies all season in
     the desperation zone just above the relegation places, were smashed into oblivion as
     Yorke's calypso instincts emerged yet again in the 12th, 70th and 72nd minutes.

     So, at the end of a week in which a near-desolate Yorke confessed innermost fears
     about holding down a job in Ferguson's front line, the most famous smile in football was

     Well, in truth, it was once he had begged for the souvenir ball to be returned to him
     from the crowd as close friend and team-mate Mark Bosnich joined in the light-hearted
     pleading at the climax of the game United should have won at a stroll, but could easily
     have lost.

     Once again Yorke's dramatic intervention underlined the growing and graphic evidence
     that Ferguson's United are not quite the same animal this season.

     Cast your mind back and remember how they dominated the 1990s, eyes blazing with
     ambition and pulses racing with furious attacking intent. Not any more.

     The champions, it seems, have changed character. They might still be the best equipped
     team in England but they now play a very different ball game. And no longer is it to the
     sound of the bugles.

     This, no question at all, is a team who do just enough to secure victory, maybe at the
     long-term risk to their boss's good health.

     As Derby will argue all weekend, they had the chances to win and it needed Bosnich's
     remarkable reflexes to underpin United's success. There is now another imperative
     spurring the men in front of him - and that is an economy of effort in both skill and

     It would be unfair to accuse them of applying the law of least effort, but these days
     United operate well within their plentiful capacity. They play within their own limits - yet
     the rewards are still there for them.

     There has been a niggle recently that they were guilty of too much long ball. Derby
     were exposed, time and again, by a different method. This time there was more fluency
     of passing, more invention, and certainly more cohesive movement from Ferguson's

     The extra dimension, as the manager will argue, is provided by the range of skills that
     Paul Scholes injects into the side. On Saturday we had the proof. But it didn't come
     before Derby had panicked United to the very point of surrender within 18 seconds.

     If it hadn't been for Bosnich's alertness, Malcolm Christie, a lifelong United supporter
     and a self-confessed disciple of Mark Hughes, might have been celebrating a goal in
     what has always been his stadium of dreams.

     The Australia goalkeeper, restored after a brief time in Ferguson's wilderness, broke
     Christie's heart a little later with another sensational block.

     Bosnich's heroics did not end there, either, as substitute Branko Strupar - who scored
     in the 66th minute - was denied what looked another certain goal.

     But United's retaliation was never less than swift, or deadly. And it is that icy
     detachment which makes them so different from the rest of the title contenders.

     The gifted Scholes missed a penalty and Ferguson was naturally enraged when Ole
     Solskjaer was ambushed by Mart Poom in the early conflict. The Derby keeper also
     showed his nerve and resilience in diverting powerful efforts from Scholes and
     Solskjaer that would have carried too much venom for most.

     But the compensation came as Yorke revelled in the freedom and claimed his first
     domestic goals since scoring against Bradford City on Boxing Day.

     His first, in the 12th minute, had a freakish element about it. He rapidly closed down
     the uncertain Poom and the keeper's attempted clearance cannoned off Yorke's body
     and rolled over the line.

     But the next two were full of verve and adventure as Yorke, climbing the far post,
     scored with a powerful header then had the final say with a breakaway goal that
     underlined his composure when the action is fiercest.

McLeish wants Tobago no-go

     Hibs hero Russell Latapy will turn his back on international football if Trinidad and
     Tobago do not release him for Hibs' Scottish Cup semi-final next month.

     The player is due back in the Caribbean to play in a World Cup qualifier against Haiti
     on the same day as Hibs bid for a place at Hampden.

     Easter Road manager Alex McLeish has told the player he wants the midfielder to put
     club before country this time after Latapy's late return to Scotland from international

     McLeish will get in contact with Trinidad's new manager, Ian Porterfield - his old boss
     at Aberdeen - but has put the onus on Latapy.

     Latapy said: 'I haven't told Ian Porterfield that I don't want to go but I have told some
     of the people at the FA back home what the situation is. I hope it won't end in
     confrontation and they will be flexible.

     'These World Cup games are over two legs and I hope to go for one of the games and
     not the other, but would retire from international football if there were problems.'

     McLeish was delighted at Latapy's match-winning display against Falkirk but made it
     clear he needs to see evidence of the player's commitment to the cause. McLeish said:
     'Trinidad were not entirely blameless because, under FIFA guidelines, they should have
     booked the player on an earlier flight.

     'The semi-final is a huge game and I'm sure the wee fella will want to be involved. It's
     up to Russell to sort this out, although I will be speaking to Ian Porterfield. I'm sure he'll
     realise how important our game is.'

Latapy in trouble?


     MIDFIELD wizard Russell Latapy faces the prospect of being benched for Hibernian's
     Scottish FA Cup match against Falkirk.
     Word out of Scotland yesterday indicated that Hibs boss Alex McLeish is furious over
     Latapy's late arrival from Trinidad on Thursday and may be considering fining the
     31-year- old "Little Magician."

     T&T skipper Anthony Rougier is currently involved in a similar situation.
     McLeish said he had been trying to contact new T&T coach Ian Porterfield without
     success after last Saturday's 5-0 win over the Netherland Antilles to inquire about
     Latapy's whereabouts.

     Edinburgh Evening News reporter David Hardie said yesterday, "Latapy's extended
     stay in Trinidad has left McLeish furious, particularly with such an important match
     It has been suggested that Latapy had problems with flights, but that is unlikely to cut
     much ice with McLeish who revealed that while the midfield star had been in touch with
     Easter Road he hadn't yet spoken to him.

     McLeish has 'phoned new "Soca Warriors" boss Porterfield without success to try to
     discover the reason for Latapy's non-appearance and has even spoken to FIFA
     vice-president Jack Warner," but soon he'll want to hear the reasons from Latapy
     himself," the reporter said.

     McLeish told the Edinburgh newspaper yesterday that he prefers to deal with the
     situation after the Cup tie and will speak to Latapy Monday.
     "I'm not going to conduct our chat through the newspapers. I'll speak to Russell in
     private and the outcome will remain an internal club affair.

     "It is going to be very hard to assess him in the space of a day. He'll probably tell me he
     is all right but there will be big pressure on him if he plays tomorrow. If he does not
     play it will be because he is not fit, not recovered from his journey and his place in the
     team tomorrow has to be in jeopardy," McLeish explained.

     Latapy, who is being excused from T&T's World Cup return leg on March 18 because
     of commitments with Hibs, was expected to train with the club for the first time in 10
     days yesterday. Whether "Latas" is benched or fined, he obviously deserves credit for
     returning home for last Saturday's game after the recent turmoil in the national team and
     local fans and officials will be hoping Hibs relieve him off any added pressure.

Joseph set to take over at Joe Public

     FORMER national football coach Kenny Joseph is set to become the new coach of
     Joe Public.
     This was revealed by club manager Richard Abraham yesterday as he was trying his
     best to get his team back in order following the recent leave of technical staff members
     and players.

     Abraham said there were only final agreements to be made with Joseph who had
     already expressed interest in taking the job left vacant by national coach Scotland-born
     Ian Porterfield.

     Porterfield had been in charge of Public since January before he was named as T&T's
     head coach in place of Bertille St Clair.
     Joseph, who has been coaching in Virginia, USA, led T&T to Shell Caribbean Cup
     titles in 1994, '95 and '96.

     Also leaving the Public staff for national duty were assistant coaches Jimmy Blanc and
     Clayton Morris. Equipment manager Ikin Williams has been with T&T for some time
     Abraham said his team had not held a training session since Porterfield was named
     T&T coach.

     FIFA vice president and Public chairman Jack Warner is not worried over the break in
     Public's preparations and made it clear that this country's senior team was first priority.
     "Mr Warner told me and the technical staff that in the interest of national football he has
     weakened Joe Public," Abraham said.

     Joe Public trio of Travis Mulraine, Keyeno Thomas and Adrian Narine are currently
     attached to American Major League clubs.
     National player Stokely Mason left here Sunday for trials at English First Division club
     Walsall, but Arnold Dwarika turned down to offer to accompany him as he prefers to
     await better options.

     Both players were expected to try out with South Korean club J Cheetars earlier this
     month, but Abraham said he asked Warner to put that on hold.
     Midfielder Angus Eve, who scored a double while playing up front in T&T's 5-0 win
     over the Netherland Antilles last Saturday, is back at Chester City, but is on the
     transfer list.

     Abraham explained: "Angus is on the transfer list because he has been in and out of the
     team because of national duty. This strengthens my point that the overseas players like
     him should not be called for friendly matches against the smaller teams. But Angus is
     currently on loan from us and we have agreed that if another worthwhile deal does not
     come through for him, he will return to Joe Public."

Latapy out WCup return

     TRINIDAD and Tobago will be without the services of key midfielder Russell Latapy
     for the March 18 return leg of their World Cup qualifying game against the Netherlands

     The "Little Magician" played a major role in T&T's 5-0 home leg victory against the
     Dutchmen last Saturday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. But, as a result of an
     agreement reached between the TTFF and his Scottish club, Hibernian, the local
     association will not be making any request for his release for the return game.

     TTFF president Oliver Camps confirmed yesterday that the 31-year-old midfielder will
     not play any part in the second game, set for Curaçao.

     "We complied with a request from Hibs that he not be called up for the second leg,"
     Camps said.
     He noted that they the decision to accede to the request was easy because, with a
     comfortable five-goal cushion, it was tactically wise to leave the ace midfielder out of
     the side.

     "In other words, for us to be able to get him for more crucial games in the World Cup
     campaign, he will sit out this one."

     Latapy is a key member of the Hibs squad and manager Alex McLeish has been
     reluctant to send his star player away, especially when the club has key games.

     Coach Ian Porterfield named an 18-man squad for the second leg yesterday with two
     newcomers-Defence Force duo Carlos Edwards, a likely midfield replacement for
     Latapy, and Dennis Lawrence-and one notable omission-Dwight Yorke.

     Asked about the availability of Yorke, Camps responded that no decision has yet been
     taken regarding the Manchester United striker, who was one of the players who
     threatened to quit after Bertille St Clair's was sacked in the wake of the Gold Cup
     semifinal loss to Canada.

     Camps however ventured the opinion that the same policy applied for Latapy "would
     also be implemented for Yorke".

     Despite expressing public disappointment over the sacking of St Clair, Latapy had
     returned for the World Cup opener in Port of Spain and had a direct hand in at least
     two of the goals. He, however, also indicated that he would initiate talks with the TTFF
     to ensure that the issues which emerged during the Gold Cup were resolved so that the
     team could get on with the business of qualifying for the 2002 World Cup.

     But yesterday, as Latapy and several of his foreign-based teammates, returned to their
     respective clubs, those talks had not yet been held.

     For some of the foreign-based players, there could be other types of problems as many
     of them were returning to their clubs somewhat later than originally agreed.

     A source close to the team said that many of the players were originally hoping to leave
     here on Monday. But flight arrangements-which had them departing on
     Wednesday-could not be altered because the travel agency handling the arrangements
     had closed its doors for the Carnival festivities.

     Two players so affected are skipper Anthony Rougier, who missed Port Vale's
     important game against Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday night, and Latapy.

     A report out of England said Vale manager Brian Horton had been "fuming" over
     Rougier's late arrival, especially with the club struggling at the bottom of the First
     Division table.

     Things were reportedly no different in the Hibs camp.

     Commenting on the late return of the 31-year-old midfielder to the club on Tuesday,
     Hibs boss Alex McLeish said: "Russell is still not back with us, and it's getting late in the
     week. It's something I will have to discuss with the player and his Federation when he
     eventually returns."

     He added: "The reason we want him back is to make sure he has time to recover from
     his travelling. Although he is a big player for us, and his presence gave us a boost
     against Clydebank in the Cup last week, I still felt he didn't look as sharp as he did in
     the previous match. It's something that concerns me for Saturday."

     T&T squad: Clayton Ince, Ross Russell, Dennis Lawrence, Ansil Elcock, Marvin
     Andrews, Brent Sancho, Sherwyn Julien, Anthony Rougier, Shurland David, Derek
     King, Angus Eve, Carlos Edwards, Evans Wise, Stokely Mason, Kerwyn Jemmot,
     Mickey Trotman, Arnold Dwarika, Nigel Pierre.

     W Connection, Jabloteh get set


     VIBE CT 105 W Connection will come up against St Lucia's national team later this
     month as they continue preparations for the upcoming Professional Football League

     Connection's pre-season campaign is currently in full swing with coach Stuart Charles
     Fevrier getting his players geared towards their opening match against defending PFL
     champions Defence Force on April 5.

     Last season's PFL Cup champions, CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh, are also finalising
     their squad as they attempt to get the right squad to challenge for the PFL crown.
     Nigerian defender Ola Agunsola arrives on the weekend for a trial. Agunsola was a
     member of the Nigerian Olympic side in the 1996 Seoul Olympic Games.

     American defender Jeffrey Thomas, a past captain of the University of Detroit in the
     American National Colleges Athletic Association (NCAA) as well as Trinidad-born
     brothers Lumumba and Shaka Shabazz will also arrive here on the weekend for trials.
     Midfielder Shabazz (S) played professionally for German Third Division side TVA
     1860 ASchaffenbuurg from 1989-91.

     His brother was a member of T&T's under 16 team in 1986 and Miami Tango in the
     US Professional Development League.
     Jabloteh have already signed four Colombians for this season.

     Connection have contracted 12 Brazilians, while two of their regular players are now in
     Scotland with Premier League side Hibernian, club of local midfield star Russell
     Jean has been signed on a three-month loan while midfielder Lyndon "Chubby"
     Andrews is on trial. Both players played in a reserve match against Dundee United
     yesterday. Jean scored in a 2-0 win over Celtic reserves last week and also came on in
     the closing ten minutes of Hibs' 2-1 win over Celtic in Premier League action.

     There is also some doubt over the availability of captain Reynold Carrington who
     recently announced his retirement from the game. If he decides against a comeback,
     club president David John Williams said there are already a few players in line to wear
     the armband.

     St Lucia will be here from March 14 -18 and is expected to face Connection a day
     before leaving either at Guaracara Park or Industry Park, Palo Seco, two venues the
     1999 FA Trophy winners will use in 2000.

Stern does a good turn

     STERN JOHN stressed the importance of working hard to achieve any 'goals' in life
     when he helped to launch a new Nottinghamshire police initiative at the Bramcote Park
     School this week.

     The Trinidad and Tobago international striker broke off from his rehabilitation
     programme to offer the pupils encouragement as they embark upon a 'Supporting
     Improvement' pilot scheme, Stern John is coming along very good so far, the Doctor
     say's he should be back by June, Stern has a good effect on the team, and he is also
     hoping to get back on the score sheet for both his club and his country.

     Youngsters at the Bramcote Park School will get free tickets for the First Division
     match against Blackburn Rovers if they turn up for classes and behave themselves over
     the next two weeks

Wizards Sign Gary Glasgow

     The Wizards signed Richmond Kickers goalscorer Gary Glasgow on Friday. He
     follows former Richmond GM Curt Johnson to Kansas City. Though he is only 23, he
     will not count as a Junior or Transitional International because the league's limit has
     been met for this season.

     Glasgow's signing brings the roster to 24, with 4 spots protected. That leaves the
     Wizards one player over the roster limit. The likely candidate for the waiver wire is
     AWOL winger Jeff Baicher, though the team may be trying to arrange compensation
     for their troubles.

     Richmond's leading scorer last season, Glasgow has impressed in his two years in the
     American soccer leagues. Squaring off against Bob Gansler's Milwaukee Rampage
     while with New Orleans and then with Johnson's Richmond Kickers, the skillful
     forward's talent is no mystery to Wizards management.

     The Wizards now have the deepest strike force in the league with the starting pair of
     Alex Bunbury and Mikos Molnar, and reserves Chris Brown, Peter Byaruhanga, and
     now Glasgow. The competition for minutes should keep a quality pair up top.

T&T facing more walkouts


     TRINIDAD and Tobago striker Dwight Yorke's recent boycott of the team's opening
     World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands Antilles could spark a mini revolution in
     new coach Ian Porterfield's camp.

     This was the view of the English press earlier this week after keying into Yorke's
     decision to sit out the game.

     Yorke had told the Express he would sit out the game in protest of the sacking of
     coach Bertille St Clair in the wake of the just concluded Gold Cup.

     However, both the TTFF and Yorke's local agent Tim Nafziger denied that his failure
     to turn up was related in anyway. In fact, a release from Nafziger last week said Yorke
     was still committed to the cause.

     But, according to reports out of England, Yorke's decision could be supported by a
     similar walk out from other members of the team based in Britain.

     Quoting a source from the team, the report said skipper Anthony Rougier (Port Vale),
     midfielder Russell Latapy (Hibernian) and defender Marvin Andrews (Raith Rovers)
     were also seriously contemplating their future.

     "If the people in control take decisions that are deemed not in the best interest of
     Trinidad and Tobago's football, then we will not play," the article quoted the player as

     "We are the ones who put our club careers on the line to represent our country, so we
     are entitled to look after our own interests."

     According to the report, the root of the problem is the players' belief that Porterfield
     was lined up as a replacement before St Clair was told he was to be removed.

     It added that both Rougier and Latapy refused to stay at the team hotel at the João
     Havelange Centre of Excellence prior to 5-0 thrashing of the Netherlands Antilles in the
     World Cup qualifier on Saturday.

Will St Clair still work with T&T soccer?

     THE Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation will be submitting a letter to recently
     axed national coach Bertille St Clair today, asking if he will continue to work with their
     technical department.

     This was revealed by TTFF president Oliver Camps last night who added that their
     was no official notification from St Clair that he will not work with the Federation.
     According to Camps, "Bertille was relieved as coach of the national team but he has a
     contract with the TTFF which runs until the end of June."

     Camps saaid that a meeting will be held today with new coach Scotland-born Ian
     Porterfield and technical director Chief Adegboye Onigbinde and other officials. It is
     expected that after this meeting,St Clair's new role will be determined. It is unlikely
     however, that he will be back on the technical staff of the senior side.

     Meanwhile, former captain David Nakhid who was also axed from the T&T side after
     the Gold Cup in Los Angles, USA, last night denied leading a call by a group of senior
     players for a meeting with FIFA vice president Jack Warner to discuss distribution of
     prizemoney prior to the 1-0 loss to Canada in the semifinals at the Gold Cup. Warner,
     it was said, decided against having that meeting.

     "There was a general meeting about the game and the topic of money came up which is
     totally within the right of the players," said Nakhid who added that there was no special
     relationship between himself and St Clair despite such claims after it was revealed that
     the decision to include him after coming out of retirement was St Clair's.

     Nakhid mentioned that he was still available for national duty.

Yorke: Best is yet to come


     MANCHESTER United Striker Dwight Yorke admitted in England Sunday that it is
     now harder for him to get into the team's starting line-up.
     But being aware that his goalscoring form has been off lately for the European
     champions, Yorke intends to regain his touch and is confident of bypassing the 20-goal
     mark this season. He currently has 11 goals in 29 matches.

     "It is a case of hoping that you are going to play. The manager uses a rotation system,
     but I think I speak for everyone when I say I would like to play every match.
     "It is becoming harder to get into the side. If you don't perform, you will be out of the
     team. You never know who is going to be next. But it certainly keeps you on your toes
     all the time," Yorke told the Daily Mirror.

     "It would just be nice for me if I could start hitting the back of the net on a regular basis
     again. As you all know, strikers are judged on the goals that they score, although I have
     always said my game is not entirely about that. But it is a significant part of my game,
     just the same, " he added.

     The former Aston Villa man, who netted 29 goal last season, warned that the best is
     yet to come from him.
     "I think opponents in Europe have become more aware of me as a player. This year
     was always going to be difficult, for me in particular.

     "Last year everything went so well, and this year everyone expects me to be top scorer
     again, banging in the goals, but it doesn't always happen that way.
     "I still think I can score more than 20 this season, but I have had to adapt, and change
     my game, and be a bit more cute," he explained.

     Yorke was hoping to be in the United starting line-up for their European Champions'
     League match against Bordeaux yesterday after recovering from a thigh strain.

     After rumours that he was not interested in representing T&T after the sacking of
     Bertille St Clair as coach, Yorke maintained that he remains committed to the local
     team and will rejoin the squad for later World Cup qualifying matches.

T&T's Yorke clears availability issue

     Port of Spain, Trinidad, CANA - Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke will be
     joining his national teammates for action in the latter part of the 2002 World Cup
     qualifying campaign, the Trinidad Guardian newspaper reported yesterday. Yorke's
     local representative Tim Nafziger -- in a statement to the media on Sunday -- dismissed
     reports that Yorke was not interested in playing for Trinidad and Tobago following the
     controversial sacking of coach Bertille St Clair.

     Yorke's reaction of disappointment to the axing of St Clair last month, left many fans
     fearing that he may not be part of the T&T side for the qualifiers. "Dwight wants to
     make it clear to the public that in spite of his personal feelings on the matter, his release
     and non attendance for the game (Saturday) against the Netherlands Antilles is as a
     result of arrangements made with the team manager before the Gold Cup," the
     Guardian quoted Nafziger as saying.

Yorke place under fire from Gunnar

     Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to enjoy a rare second successive first team start -
     depending on what you read into Alex Ferguson's cagey pre-match conference.

     The Norwegian's treble-winning boss concedes that Solskjaer (pictured training on
     Monday) has been the main casualty in the keen competition for places among his four

     He has been a spectator for most of this season, looking on from the bench, and his
     appearance against Liverpool on Saturday was only his 14th start of the whole

     But Ferguson said: "My only selection problem is the strikers I play up front and which
     two players from the four of Sheringham, Cole, Yorke and Solskjaer. It could swing
     any way. I think Ole Gunnar did well on Saturday though. Then again, it doesn't bother
     me a bit and it's just the preference on the day maybe.

     "It's difficult because of the quality we have there. In the context of a season, I'm
     hoping they all understand that I have to do these things. At the moment it's not really
     worked out well for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for instance.

     "He's not had the same amount of football he had last year and I want to try and
     correct that over the next few weeks and make sure he gets plenty of football because
     he's important to us. He scored on Saturday and he could have scored a hat-trick on
     Saturday and that's what the boy is made of - goals.

     "These things weigh on you and hopefully I can make the right decision in that respect. I
     think they all like to play and that's the problem so therefore you hope that they really
     feel they are important players. I think strikers are that type of beast who want to be
     considered the important player in the team," he added.

     Typically, Ferguson would not be drawn on who his final two would be, instead
     preferring to compliment his other strikers.

     He said: "I thought Yorke did well on Saturday and I was pleased with him. The
     evidence is always on the football pitch and Sheringham has earned his right to play and
     sometimes you can't dispute these things as much as you like to change things for the
     sake of changing them."

T&T off to Mexico


     NEW coach Anton Corneal will have his first outing at the helm of Trinidad and
     Tobago's Olympic footballers, who will have everything but Carnival on their minds
     when they play Mexico's Under-23s side in Colima, Mexico, tomorrow evening.

     After taking up the post last month, Corneal, son of former national coach Alvin
     Corneal, left with T&T yesterday for the outing which serves as preparation for the
     "semi" stage of the Olympic qualifiers.

     This runs here from March 22-26 against Canada, Guatemala and the Netherlands
     Antilles. T&T will be vying for a spot in the final round to be held in the United States in

     T&T are missing a few players who were on the side when Bertille St Clair was in
     charge before he was relieved leading up to the Gold Cup last month. St Clair has since
     been axed as national senior coach.

     Bristol Rovers striker Nigel Pierre, captain Travis Mulraine, Keyeno Thomas, Adrian
     Narine and Brent Rahim are all out.
     Pierre left for England Sunday night after coming on as a substitute in T&T's 5-0
     victory over the Netherlands Antilles Saturday.

     Mulraine and Narine are currently in pre-season training with American Major League
     club San Jose Earthquakes, while Thomas is now attached to the Colorado Rapids.
     Rahim is continuing his studies at the University of Connecticut, USA. Midfielder
     Kerwyn Jemmot was left out for not turning up for training.

     Those players are however, expected to be part of the team for the Olympic qualifiers.
     Notable new additions to the squad are Doc's Khelwalaas striker Colin Samuels, Vibe
     CT 105 W Connection defender Addae Rique and CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh
     midfielder Stephan David.

     Striker Hector Sam, defenders Brent Sancho and Derek King of Joe Public, and
     midfielder Carlos Edwards will be hoping to utilise their skills and experience to good
     T&T are coming off a 1-0 victory over Denmark in a friendly played here in January
     under coach Jamaal Shabaaz, who is currently one of Corneal's assistants but did not
     make the trip to Mexico. Corneal was accompanied by another one of his assistants
     Marlon Charles and manager Peter Rampersad.

     T&T is expected back home Thursday.
     A game against Venezuela may also come off later this month.

     T&T squad: Ryan Seales, Anthony Marshall (goalkeepers), Derek King, Marlon
     Rojas, Brent Sancho, Anton Pierre, David Atiba Charles, Addae Rique, Justin Latapy
     (defenders), Carlos Edwards, Stephan David, Andre Cooper, Joseph Peters
     (midfielders), Hector Sam, Colin Samuels, Jason Scotland, Ayodele Greene

Rougier: At end of day we are pros

     TRINIDAD and Tobago football captain Anthony Rougier gave his team high marks
     following Saturday's 5-0 victory over the Netherlands Antilles in their opening World
     Cup qualifying game.

     The Port Vale player, who also gave credit to recently-sacked coach Bertille
     St Clair "for his work," was happy with the overall performance, "considering the team
     were working with new coach Ian Porterfield for just under three days."

     Referring to the recent technical shake-up, he said:
     "There was a problem in the Gold Cup. It caused a hiccup and was stressful to the
     players. It's not a situation we would have liked going into the World Cup qualifiers.
     But the public has seen that the boys have handled it very well. At the end of the day
     we are professionals and just want to play for T&T."

     Rougier said the victory obviously helped in rebuilding the team's confidence, but it will
     take a while to get over the 1-0 loss to Canada in the Gold Cup semifinals in Los
     Angeles, USA.

     "It's been a very stressful week. We were expected to come back home within a week
     (from the Gold Cup) ... but we've broken all odds and feel pretty proud of ourselves.
     But that's not letting go of our goal which is to qualify for the World Cup, " he said.

     Rougier was particularly pleased with the performances of defenders Brent Sancho and
     Sherwyn Julien, who were late additions to the squad. as well as goalscorers Angus
     Eve, Arnold Dwarika, Angus Eve and defender Marvin Andrews, who is currently
     being eyed by Barnsley and Hibernian as his two-year contract with Raith Rovers ends
     in June. The Scottish club has already offered to renew his contract.

     Some of the players, including Rougier and Russell Latapy, will be taking in some of the
     Carnival action before returning to the United Kingdom Wednesday.

Monday March 6th, 2000

Sancho gets birthday gift


     WHEN defender Brent Sancho took the field at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on
     Saturday as a member of the national senior team, he was fulfilling a long-time dream.

     And it could not have come at a better time.

     Like many young men his age, Sancho has long has his eye on a national senior team
     place. But, as Express readers will recall, prior to the recent Gold Cup in California, the
     22-year-old dreadlocked defender had accused newly sacked coach Bertille St Clair of
     discriminating against him because of the way he wore his hair.

     St Clair denied the accusation but there was no reprieve for Sancho as he continued to be
     omitted from the squad.

     But on Saturday, with a new coach at the helm, Sancho, who turns 23 on Monday, finally
     got his wish, running out in the very first game of T&T's 2002 World Cup qualifying

     He was, naturally, a happy man at the end of the game and not simply because of the 5-0

     "It's always an honour to represent your country and I think today (Saturday) was a big
     day for me because playing for my country was always my first priority," Sancho told the

     "I had to wait a while," he said, "but I was patient and when the chance came, I grabbed
     it with both hands."

     The former Finland-based professional is now looking forward to changing leagues. He
     currently has an offer on the table from Major League Soccer side New York/New
     Jersey MetroStars but has not finalised a contract just yet.

     However, for now, he is just relishing the taste of the "big times" and playing with his new

     "As a kid growing up, you always look forward to playing with the senior guys," he said.
     "When the chance finally came, it was like a dream come true for me."

     "I just had to hold my own and do my stuff and also try to complement these guys. It was
     a pleasure playing with them. It was everything that I thought it would be."

     Commenting on his debut, he had this to say: "I was a little bit jittery at first but I soon
     settled in as those guys made me feel at home.

     "I was very comfortable and, as it went along, it became more and more of a joy playing
     with those guys. It wasn't easy but it was definitely a pleasure.

     "It's a big, big day for me and it'll be marked in red on my calendar."

     This first taste of senior football, he admitted, has only made his hunger even greater.

     "I know that it's hard work paying off for me. And I'll continue to work hard because
     that's what got me here in the first place.

     "And I'm looking forward," he ended, "to building on what I've done today."

Rougier looks to talks

   ONE down, one to go!

     Having taken care of the Netherlands Antilles 5-0 in their opening World Cup qualifying
     game at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Saturday afternoon, Trinidad and Tobago
     skipper Anthony Rougier and his teammates are gearing up for another major battle.

     Some time in the near future, most likely before the second leg of the home-and-away tie
     on March 18, they will head to the negotiating table with the local football federation for
     discussions about the just concluded Gold Cup.

     This was the word coming from Rougier on Saturday afternoon, moments after the team
     had disposed of the unthreatening Netherlands in their first round encounter.

     "At the end of the day we are professional players and all we want to do is play for
     Trinidad and Tobago," Rougier told the Express.

     "But there are some things that need to be taken care of and we pray in time that
     everything can be resolved and the whole focus of the TTFF and ourselves can be on the
     game at hand."

     Noting out that the players' main aim was to "play football", Rougier said they were
     hoping to resolve the issues as quickly as possible.

     "We wouldn't like this situation to arise again. The association has to organise themselves
     quickly and get things sorted out. But the main thing is for the players not to get too much

     When it's time for us to talk," the skipper added, "we will talk. But it is a situation where
     the media can take the pressure off as well because we are not here to pick managers or
     to even pick ourselves; we are here to play football."

     Going into the game, Rougier had told the Express that the team had decided to put the
     recent sacking of coach Bertille St Clair and teammates David Nakhid, Jerren Nixon and
     Ian Cox behind them until after the game.

     Initially, all four men had been sacked by the TTFF. But a later release confirmed that
     while St Clair and Nakhid were no longer part of the mix, Nixon and Cox were simply not
     being considered for selection at this juncture for varying reasons.

     Commenting on how the whole issue was handled, Rougier said: "There were some
     problems in the Gold Cup and it has caused a hiccup for us. It was stressful for the
     players and it's not a situation we would like to go into the (World Cup) preliminary round
     with. But the boys have handled it very, very well."

     Rougier said it was a tribute to the team that they had managed to put the turmoil of the
     previous week behind and keep the focus on the game.

     "The thing is we would have settled for a 1-0 win today. But this shows the quality of
     footballers that we're now producing in this country."

     Stressing that the important thing was "simply getting a good result that would be a
     carryover from the Gold Cup", he added that "we did really well and we deserved to

     The Port Vale player pointed out too that the team would still need time to develop.

     "In time, everything will come together. We just have to be very patient. The public as
     well have to be patient and give us the support we need."

     "I think that more than ever," he ended, "the players need to be praised today. They've
     really done extremely well given the circumstances they have found themselves in."

     Trouble brewing for Trinidad's Porterfield

     Dwight Yorke's international boycott has sparked a mini revolution which could spell
     huge problems for his new Trinidad and Tobago coach - former Chelsea manager Ian

     Following Yorke's decision to walk away from the national team, sources in the camp
     have revealed that the nation's other British-based players could do the same in protest
     over the dismissal of technical director and coach Bertille St Clair.

     Captain Tony Rougier is considering his future, as are Hibs star Russell Latapy and Raith
     Rovers defender Marvin Andrews.

     A player revealed: 'If the people in control take decisions that are deemed not in the best
     interest of Trinidad and Tobago's football, then we will not play.

     'We are the ones who put our club careers on the line to represent our country, so we are
     entitled to look after our own interests.'

     Rougier stayed at his Trinidad home rather than in the team hotel prior to the weekend's
     5-0 thrashing of the Netherlands Antilles in a World Cup qualifier - a game Latapy played
     - while Marvins underlined his importance with the first goal.

     At the root of the problem is the players' belief that Porterfield was lined up as a
     replacement before St Clair was told he was to be removed.

Yorke remains committed to T&T

    MANCHESTER United striker Dwight Yorke will be joining his national teammates for
     action in the latter part of the 2002 World Cup qualifying campaign.

     This was made clear by his local representative Tim Nafziger in a statement to the media

     This came after Yorke, in his reaction to the axing of Bertille St Clair last week, left
     many fans fearing that he may not be part of the T&T side for the qualifiers.

     However, his presence was never in doubt.

     "Dwight wants to make it clear to the public that in spite of his personal feelings on the
     matter, his release and non attendance for the game against the Netherlands Antilles
     (today) is as a result of arrangements made with the team manager before the Gold Cup.

     Dwight had asked to be excused as a result of the Manchester schedule with games
     against Bordeaux on March 4 and the return leg on March 7, all of which he would have
     to miss to play against Netherlands Antilles. When I informed the TTFF of this
     arrangement, they immediately agreed to release Dwight from the game" stated

     "Consistent with the position he has taken all along, Dwight remains available to the
     national senior team in its World Cup 2002 campaign and looks forward to that day when
     Trinidad and Tobago qualifies.

     Dwight indicated that the Gold Cup team was the best Trinidad and Tobago team he has
     ever played on. He wishes the team success in this first outing of the campaign and gives
     his full support to his teammates in that effort" added Nafziger.

Spotlight on Porterfield

    SCOTLAND-born Ian Porterfield, the new man at the helm of Trinidad and Tobago's
     senior footballers, walked out onto the Hasely Crawford Stadium yesterday knowing that
     fans, officials and players, among others were looking at his every move.

     T&T defeated the Netherlands Antilles 5-0 in the opening match of their 2002
     Japan/Korea World Cup qualifying tournament at the Stadium.

     The 54-year-old former resident of Surrey, England, has been in charge for just over 48
     hours and admitted Friday that controlling a team for a World Cup match at such short
     notice was one of the biggest tasks of his 23-year coaching career.

     But he's highly optimistic that T&T can emulate their Caribbean neighbours Jamaica who
     qualified for the 1998 World Cup.

     T&T can go all the way to Japan/Korea catching the eyes of the world at the same time,
     Porterfield believes.

     When asked whether he believed T&T were capable of another "Cinderella" story similar
     to the Boyz, Porterfield replied:

     "Well that will be marvellous. The Reggae Boyz have had some great players. It will be
     marvellous if we can go all the way and there is no reason not to believe so.

     "The players have to believe that they can achieve this. Hard work, dedication,
     application and collectiveness with every player working together you never know what
     could happen."

     About his new post, he added: "It's not easy. I don't really know much about the players.
     Hopefully we are good enough to get the good result (yesterday) because it's important
     the country makes progress."

     He said it was "sad" that Bertille St Clair got the axe. "These things happen in football.
     It's happened to me in the past and maybe it could again. I've just got to keep my mind on
     the job."

     He's aware that the Carnival season is in full swing at the moment and was hopeful that
     it wouldn't affect the performance of the team.

     "It doesn't enter my mind but after the game's finished, the guys possibly could enjoy the
     evening," Porterfield said Friday.

     He said he did not expect to continue as coach, but is yet to speak with club chairman
     Jack Warner on the matter.

     Public manager Richard Abraham said his team were anxiously awaiting announcement
     on Porterfield, Clayton Morris and Jimmy Blanc, who were all drafted into the national

     They had previously been working with Professional unit, Joe Public.

     Porterfield follows some former foreign-based coaches in charge of a national team
     including England's Michael Laing, Yugoslavian Zoran Vranes, Jochen Figge, Brazilian
     Clovis de Olieveira and Kevin Verity, the most successful taking T&T to within a victory
     of reaching the 1974 World Cup Finals.

     Trinidad kick off World Cup qualifiers with 5-0 win

     By Michael Lewis

     PORT OF SPAIN, March 4 (Reuters) - Trinidad kicked off the qualifying competition for the 2002  World Cup on Saturday by  mercilessly hammering Netherlands Antilles 5-0.

     Angus Eve and Arnold Dwarika scored two apiece after Marvin
     Andrews had earned the distinction of scoring the first goal of
     the competition in the the ninth minute.

     The match, a first-round, first-leg tie in the Caribbean zone
     of the CONCACAF region, was the first of 809 games of a
     qualifying competition that will take nearly two years to
     complete and features 196 teams.

     Trinidad, who decided not to call on the services of
     Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke and were also without
     injured striker Stern John, had an easy ride against amateur
     opponents who are unused to playing on grass pitches.

     Netherlands Antilles officials said that most of the pitches
     in their country are either gravel or astroturf.

     The 30,000 capacity stadium was only around one-third full,
     organisers blaming the absence of Yorke and the fact that the
     match took place at the start of the nation's famous carnival for
     the poor turnout.

     "We started a bit shakily," said Trinidad's Scottish coach
     Ian Porterfield, who was appointed only two days before the

     "We were a bit nervous but we improved as the game went on
     and we scored some good goals."

     Porterfield replaced Bertille St. Clair, who was fired
     despite leading the Caribbean nation to the last four of the
     CONCACAF Gold Cup one month ago.

     Andrews, who plays for English lower division side Chester
     City, settled Trinidad nerves when he headed home. After that,
     the home team were able to exploit their opponent's sloppy

     Eve increased their lead shortly before halftime, scoring
     into an empty net after goalkeeper Marcello Pisos came too far
     out of his goal, and headed the third 12 minutes after halftime.

     Then Dwarika took centre stage to add two more goals for the home

     Captain Anthony Rougier said he believed that Trinidad could
     emulate Jamaica's Reggae Boyz, who became the first
     English-speaking West Indian nation to qualify for the World Cup
     two years ago.

     "This has been a very stressful week. We feel very proud of
     ourselves and are not letting go of our goal, which is qualifying
     for the World Cup," he said.

T&T focus on victory... Senior team debuts under new management


     TRINIDAD and Tobago skipper Anthony Rougier and his teammates have adopted a
     sensible stance towards the possible turmoil resulting from the sacking of coach Bertille
     St Clair: Work today, talk tomorrow.

     The team goes into today's crucial opening World Cup qualifying game against the
     Netherlands Antilles today at the Hasely Crawford Stadium from 4 p.m. under new
     management. But according to Rougier, although dealing with the issue may have worn
     them out a little, they have cleared their minds for today's important opening match-up.

     "Starting with a win is the most important thing right now," Rougier told the Express
     yesterday evening.

     "I know there are situations that need to be resolved and we're not shying away from
     that. But it's a tricky situation and, with the game being this close, that's not the way we
     want to go into a World Cup qualifier."

     "After the game," he added, "there are a lot of things we've got to look at and get sorted
     out. But the fact is that we do have one of the most important games in our lives
     tomorrow, a step into the World Cup qualifying finals."

     Newly appointed coach Ian Porterfield may be contemplating some three changes to the
     side that last represented T&T. With David Nakhid and Jerren Nixon out of this squad,
     Sherwyn Julien, who has made a return to the team, and Mickey Trotman, could find
     their way into the starting line-up.

     Rastafarian defender Brent Sancho, the man at the heart of a hair controversy during St
     Clair's tenure, looks likely to get the nod to fill the breach at the back.

     There are also question marks about the fitness of Russell Latapy who is still apparently
     troubled by a groin strain he suffered during the Gold Cup. The 31-year-old midfielder did
     not train at all yesterday evening and only turned up some ten minutes before the final of
     two sessions was completed.

     That apart, Porterfield has the core of the Gold Cup squad.

     Rougier explained that the players were doing their best to keep their focus on today's

     "Funny enough, instead of coming home roaring lions, we came home and it was more
     stress than anything else. For a team that had done well and should be shown some sort
     of respect, things ended up turning into turmoil because of the problems with the coach,
     manager and the TTFF.

     Lamenting that the momentum gained for the last two years is "almost gone", he noted
     that the team was "starting all over again and just hoping for the best and putting our best
     foot forward".

     It was, he said, "a very good thing" that they are not starting the campaign against a
     tougher opponent.

     Netherlands coach Henry Caldera's squad, ranked 167th in the world, is made up entirely
     of locally-based players. But Rougier and his men are not underestimating them.

     "We are not taking them lightly at all because that way we might see ourselves out of the
     World Cup qualifiers and we don't want that."

     "At the end of the day, I think a good result will help take away some of the stress and
     the situation will be calming down a bit," the skipper ended. "But I pray to God we do get
     a good result because, if we don't, it's gonna mess up a lot of things."

     Likely starting XI: Clayton Ince, Shurland David, Marvin Andrews, Brent Sancho,
     Sherwyn Julien, Angus Eve, Russell Latapy, Anthony Rougier, Ansil Elcock, Arnold
     Dwarika, Mickey Trotman.

     TTFF release more pay info

     SACKED national midfielder David Nakhid received US $14,000 for his Gold Cup
     campaign last month. But the figures given for payments to the El Ansar midfielder in
     Thursday's media release from the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation are not the
     same as those given in an earlier release from the same source.

     On February 23, the Express reported that players received a US $750 bonus for their
     quarterfinal victory versus Costa Rica. In that game, Mickey Trotman scored the winning
     goal for T&T to get a historic 2-1 in sudden-death extra-time win and progress for the
     first time to the semifinals of the Football Federation Gold Cup competition.

     The earlier release showed senior professionals Russell Latapy and Nakhid receiving US
     $3,750 while a group of ten including Arnold Dwarika, skipper Anthony Rougier,
     goalkeeper Clayton Ince, his understudy Ross Russell, Angus Eve, Stokely Mason,
     Shurland David, Jerren Nixon, Ansil Elcock, and Marvin Andrews each earned US

     However, the latest figures show that Latapy and Nakhid were given US $ 4,000 while
     the other ten were awarded $3,000.

     And the greatest discrepancy is the amount that was stated as being disbursed to
     University of Connecticut's Brent Rahim. The TTFF earlier indicated that they had paid
     US $500 to the National Under-23 player for his services against Costa Rica whose
     contract conditions do not allow him to receive any money for playing. In Thursday's
     release, however, Rahim was shown as having received no payment for any of the four
     matches that the country played in that tournament.

     Ronnie Maugé, ruled out of the rest of the tournament after suffering a broken leg in
     T&T's first game 4-0 loss to Mexico, was reported to have become US $ 1,200 richer as
     a result of the T&T win over Costa Rica.

     Following the disclosure of the monies paid to the T&T members, Nakhid vented his
     disapproval about the TTFF's failure to consult with the players before revealing their
     salaries. The former national captain, whose retirement from international football was
     "reconfirmed'' by the TTFF panel that sacked former national coach Bertille St Clair,
     termed that TTFF action as "a breach of trust''.

     Thursday's release gave no information about monies earned by the TTFF in the Gold
     Cup, one of the principal criticisms raised by Nakhid after the release of the first set of

Mauge aims to return in three months


     TRINIDAD and Tobago England-born defender Ronnie Mauge is looking forward to
     returning from his broken leg injury in about three months' time.

     The 28-year-old Bristol Rovers midfielder was speaking in England on Wednesday when
     he said he was hoping to return in time to help the club gain promotion into the English

     Mauge's Gold Cup campaign ended prematurely when he went off with a broken left leg
     during the second half of T&T's opening 4-0 loss to Mexico at Qualcomm Stadium in San
     Diego, USA.

     Currently, Trinidadian goalkeeper Shaka Hislop and striker Stern John are also recovering
     from leg injuries.

     "My leg is still sore but I saw the doctor today and he said it was a clean break. I'm a
     quick healer and I'm sure It'll only take three months to get over," said Mauge.

     "I'm a positive kind of person, and I'll come back stronger. I reckon I'm looking at the last
     two games of the season, so when we win promotion I'll be there."

     Mauge added that he was worried that the injury may have been career threatening, but
     after receiving "first class" treatment and support from his T&T teammates he was sure
     of making a return.

     "I wanted to come back to Bristol as soon as they let me out of hospital, but the lads
     wouldn't let me. Our team spirit was great and everyone mucked in with pushing me
     around in the wheelchair, even Dwight Yorke.

     "They (medical personnel) had to give me morphine while I was on the pitch because the
     pain was so bad, but once I was off the pitch I was taken to hospital in San Diego and
     kept overnight. I had the operation on the Monday and the medical care there was of a
     different class. It really couldn't have happened in a better place," said Mauge.

A new dawn for T&T ...start World Cup journey  today vs Netherlands Antilles


     MIDFIELD star Russell Latapy and captain Anthony Rougier head the Trinidad and
     Tobago players in the opening match of the 2002 Japan/Korea World Cup qualifying
     campaign against lowly Netherlands Antilles at the Hasely Crawford Stadium from 4 pm

     The match is the first of the worldwide qualifying drive and is attracting the interest of
     several media companies around the world including London based FIFA TV, who will
     carry reports and highlights to some 50 countries over the next two weeks.

     Many officials, players and fans see this game as the dawn of a new beginning as
     Scotland born coach Ian Porterfield steps in the hot seat following the sacking of Bertille
     St Clair last week, mere hours after T&T were knocked out in the semi-finals of the Gold

     The present T&T team is made up of the most talented players ever assembled for a
     World Cup qualifying quest.

     Following the recent technical shake-up, there are fears that the going would now be
     tougher than expected as T&T would struggle to focus on their mission under a new

     T&T however should get past the Netherlands Antilles with some ease, attaining a goal
     advantage that will make the Caribbean Dutchmen turn up for their home tie just to avoid
     a knock-out by default.

     Rougier agrees that today's performance will exhibit how much T&T wants to qualify for
     the World Cup.

     "It is a situation at the moment where there is turmoil in the association. I think tomorrow
     (today) is going to show how things are. Not really the performance but the result which
     is going to take away all heartache and distress.

     "It's going to pass away in time with victories. It is important though that we just let this
     situation go away because it has caused a problem. But I know that the players are very
     focussed on the task at hand and the most important thing is to qualify for the World Cup
     in 2002," the captain said.

     Rougier and his teammates had a session yesterday followed by one in the afternoon
     period which included Latapy who is certain to play a great part in the final result.

     Latapy is recovering from a severe bout of jet lag but is set to do his bit today.

     Those in line for selection include Germany based Evans Wise, Ansil Elcock (Columbus
     Crew), Angus Eve (Chester City), Clayton Ince (Crewe Alexandra), Avery John
     (Bohemians FC), Marvin Andrews (Raith Rovers), Nigel Pierre, Arnold Dwarika (Joe
     Public), Kerwyn Jemmot, Sherwyn Julien, Ross Russell and Stokely Mason.

     Striker Hector Sam and midfielder Carlos Edwards, currently attached to CL Financial
     San Juan Jabloteh and Defence Force respectively, have been drafted into the squad for
     the World Cup journey but are not expected to feature today.

     There was also good news for the T&T camp yesterday as midfielder Ronnie Mauge
     could possibly make a comeback from his leg injury within the next three months.

     Porterfield admitted yesterday that he knows little about the opposition but he has fair
     knowledge about his players. After today's match he will "surely get to know the guys
     better as time goes by."

     Netherlands Antilles' coach Henry Caldera was optimistic yesterday about his team's
     chances of salvaging a draw at least following training sessions at the stadium yesterday.

     The Soca Warriors will be out to show why they are currently second best team in
     Concacaf based on the recent Gold Cup results as well as their status as Caribbean

     Victory in this tie will put T&T against the winners of Montserrat and Dominican
     Republic match-up later this year.

New coach unveiled: Latapy a no-show


     TRINIDAD and Tobago's Scotland-based professional Russell Latapy was a notable
     absentee yesterday evening as Ian Porterfield was introduced as the new coach of the
     senior team.

     The 31-year-old Hibernian midfielder, one of the players who expressed his disgust at the
     sacking of former coach Bertille St Clair, arrived here on Wednesday night.

     And his absence yesterday certainly now casts a shroud of doubt over whether he will in
     fact play in tomorrow's opening World Cup qualifier.

     Porterfield was not oblivious to the turmoil still overshadowing the T&T team yesterday.

     After he was named as St Clair's successor, the 54-year-old Scotsman immediately
     attempted to start the healing process.

     Porterfield went to great lengths to meet and chat with the new members of his team on

     This came as the team was checking into their temporary base at the Sportel at the João
     Havelange Centre of Excellence yesterday evening after a meeting at which Porterfield
     and his new technical staff was introduced to the players.

     "The guys seem to be a very nice bunch of guys with good attitude and good enthusiasm.
     But at the end of the day, we as a group have got to work together," he said.

     "I want to be their coach. I want to be their friend. I want to help them, I want to work
     together to try and get a team on the pitch that can do well in the preparation to qualify
     for the World Cup 2002 in Korea."

     Porterfield was also looking forward to the job ahead.

     "It's a fantastic challenge (coaching job) and I'm really looking forward to it. We don't
     have a lot of time to prepare for the first game but I've briefly met some of the players
     and hopefully we'll have two training sessions tomorrow in preparation for the game."

     There was also no doubt about his aspirations for the team.

     "Obviously I would like to do well with Trinidad and Tobago. We most certainly have the
     potential and its up to myself and the coaching staff, to work together with the players
     and to try to group together in a good working unit."

     However, Porterfield acknowledged that he would have to lean heavily on the knowledge
     of his assistant coaches, Jimmy Blanc, Clayton Morris and Michael Maurice.

     He admitted too that he also knew very little of the opposition, the Netherlands Antilles.
     But he was hoping the team would be able to overcome this hurdle as well.

     "We as a group have to be channelled and get our mind really on the job because the
     priority really is to try and get the right result. In football you only get what you deserve
     and if we put the effort in there's no reason why we shouldn't get the right result," he

Englishman gets the job


     IT'S OFFICIAL . Englishman Ian Porterfield has been named as coach of Trinidad
     Tobago's senior football team, replacing Bertille St Clair who was sacked last week.
     Porterfield was originally brought here by T&T's FIFA vice-president Jack Warner last
     December to take charge of Joe Public.

     He currently resides at the Kantac Villas in Tunapuna and will have his first assignment
     tomorrow against the Netherlands Antilles.

     The match kicks off T&T's 2002 World Cup campaign at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
     "It's a big challenge and obviously I'm looking forward to it and the most important thing
     is to get to know all the players. The main aim is to try and prepare the guys as best as
     possible in the next 24 hours for the game on Saturday," said Porterfield last night.

     He added that he didn't have an idea that the current job was on the way.

     St Clair will be redeployed in the technical department of the TTFF pending the expiration
     of his contract on June 30.

     This formal disclosure was made following a meeting among of T&T's Football
     Federation officials including Warner on Wednesday night and yesterday at the Football
     Confederation office in Port-of-Spain.

     A new structure for the senior team was also announced.

     Neville Chance, Director of Sport at the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, part of the
     technical team of the "Strike Squad" in 1989, will now serve as team administrator.

     He takes over from Richard Braithwaite who is now general manager of all T&T football

     Neil Mollineau will be Chance's assistant.

     Nigerian Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, originally brought here to work with the national
     Under-17 team, has been assigned as technical director of the senior team.

     The chief had resigned as technical director of the TTFF last year.

     Other new posts announced include former captain Clayton Morris and former Joe Public
     official Jimmy Blanc as assistant coaches of the senior team.

     Keston Nancoo of Angostura Limited will serve as secretary of the technical committee.

     Ikin Williams, a member of the technical team since the "Strike Squad" days will continue
     as equipment manager.

     Those mentioned have been hired to work with the national team on a fulltime basis as
     T&T begin their quest to qualify for the 2002 Japan/Korea World Cup finals.

     Former national Michael Maurice has been appointed goalkeeper coach while Wayne
     Lawson, who has worked with the team previously will remain as trainer/physiotherapist
     on a part time basis.

     Porterfield brings a wealth of experience which TTFF officials feel is a major ingredient
     needed by a coach to take T&T to the World Cup finals.

Why St Clair was fired... Ex-coach blasted by Camps

     "MR ST CLAIR made certain demands, all of which were met by the Football
     Federation in an effort to ensure that he was as comfortable as possible and that nothing
     affected his ability to perform."

     The preceding statement was made by TTFF president Oliver Camps in a press release
     yesterday following the announcement that Ian Porterfield had replaced Tobagonian
     Bertille St Clair as coach of Trinidad and Tobago's senior team.

     According to the release, St Clair, who was axed as coach last week following a 1-0 loss
     to Canada in a Gold Cup semi-final, was given every possible resource for him to

     After being hired almost two years ago, he led T&T to winners' row in the 1997 Shell
     Caribbean Cup and second spot the following year and then to the Copa Caribe title last

     His biggest accomplishment was a semi-final qualification in the just concluded Gold Cup.

     But the TTFF are not convinced that he has what it takes to carry T&T to the World
     Cup finals despite all the resources that were at his disposal.

     Realising that he lacked serious technical competence and experience, the TTFF sent St
     Clair on two training courses in England with some of the best coaches including
     Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson. The TTFF said a report of his stint there is still
     outstanding. Several meetings were then held with him about his technical decisions after
     some victories, the TTFF felt came because of good luck rather than good coaching.

     He was relieved as coach of the Under-23 team last month by the TTFF in an attempt to
     lighten his workload, something St Clair was not entirely pleased about.

     Camps added in the statement that in spite of his benefits, the TTFF continued to be
     disappointed with St Clair's technical competence.

     A meeting was held and St Clair was told that he had until the Gold Cup competition to
     visibly improve his technical competence by winning the tournament.

     He accepted this and requested his contract "be renewed now or else after the Gold Cup,
     the Football Federation will have to pay real money when he succeeded."

     The TTFF opted to pay "real money."

     During the Gold Cup period, several players, officials and fans were calling for St Clair's
     contract to be renewed.

     "To say that Mr St Clair is the most successful coach in T&T to date begs the question
     since at the same time, equally, he has received more resources to succeed to date than
     any other coach in this country's history," stated Camps.

     "To him whom much has been given therefore, much is expected," he quoted.

     St Clair was reported recently in the Guardian as saying: "I was paid more money in the
     Cayman Islands to do the job I feel that I have done enough and if you want to put me
     away before time then pay me off my contract and let me go."

I’ll be back to help Rovers says Mauge

     Ronnie Mauge has told Bristol Rovers to expect him back before the end of the season.

     The tough tackling midfielder broke his leg two weeks ago while playing in the Gold Cup
     for Trinidad and Tobago, but he’s determined to return in time to help Rovers clinch
     promotion in May.

     “My leg is still sore but I saw the doctor today and he said it was a clean break. I’m a
     quick healer and I’m sure It’ll only take three months to get over,” said Mauge.

     “I’m a positive kind of person, and I’ll come back stronger. I reckon I’m looking at the
     last two games of the season, so when we win promotion I’ll be there.”

     Mauge explained that although the break at first sounded possibly career threatening – it
     took the medics 20 minutes to take him off the pitch – the care he received in California
     was first rate.

     “They had to give me morphine while I was on the pitch because the pain was so bad,
     but once I was off the pitch I was taken to hospital in San Diego and kept in
     overnight,” he added.

     “I had the operation on the Monday and the medical care there was different class. It
     really couldn’t have happened in a better place.”

     Mauge said that he was also touched by the help and support he received from his
     Trinidad team mates after the injury.

     Not only did the squad pay a daily visit to him while he was in hospital, but the team wore
     “this is for Ronnie” t-shirts under their kit which they showed off whenever they scored.

     “I wanted to come back to Bristol as soon as they let me out of hospital, but the lads
     wouldn’t let me. Our team spirit was great and everyone mucked in with pushing me
     around in the wheelchair, even Dwight Yorke.”

     Trinidad lost in the semi final of the Gold Cup to Canada, the eventual winners. But
     despite their best ever performance in an international competition, their manager Bertille
     St Clair was sacked last week.

     Former Chelsea and Sheffield United manager Ian Porterfield has been appointed as the
     new manager, but the decision to sack St Clair is one that shocked the entire team. “I
     think the manager was a great man and a great influence on me. He taught me a lot, not
     just about football, but also about life. I’m distraught about it.

     “It has hurt everyone who has ever known Bertille. It’s hurt Dwight Yorke so much that
     I hear he’s contemplating retiring from international football.”

     n Rovers had two players sent off in their Football League Youth Alliance Cup quarter
     finals 3-1 defeat by Portsmouth at The Beeches.

     Rovers took a first half lead through Dave Gilroy, but were reduced to ten men in the
     59th minute when John Cordy was sent off for his second bookable offence.

     Portsmouth hit back with two goals from Phil Barnett and Joe McNab before goalkeeper
     Ryan Clark was also sent off for a professional foul.

     They think it's all starting: It is now

     The boys from the Netherlands Antilles are ready to stop the carnival in Trinidad this
     Saturday - as long as they remember to take along some boots with studs.

     'Yeah, we have had a bit of a problem in the past,' conceded Etienne Siliee, part-time
     manager to the bunch of construction workers and labourers who make up the bulk of
     this little West Indian nation's footballing elite.

     He admitted: 'You see, we've only got a few Astroturf pitches here on the islands and the
     rest are gravel - so, sometimes, when our guys play internationally, they've never even
     seen a grass pitch before.'

     The last time he took a team on the 90-minute flight to Trinidad, he remembered, it had
     been a pretty inauspicious affair. 'It poured down with rain and we just didn't come
     prepared with the right footwear.'

     They slid around and fell over a lot, apparently - and got hammered.

     Ah, but this time, it was going to be different, he reckoned. This time it was the World
     Cup. So let the romance and adventure begin on the longest, most winding and
     extraordinary road that any event in the annals of sport has ever taken.

     Yes, folks, it'll be just 848 days to the final in Yokohama, Japan, 2002, but the dreams
     begin on Saturday evening when 30,000 fans are expected to drag themselves away from
     the Port of Spain carnival to attend the Hasely Crawford stadium for the first qualifying

     In the Trinidadian FA offices, administrator Sharon O'Brien has been fielding calls all
     week about the big match. Cricket is suffering.

     Brian Lara, the island's god, has been sacked as Windies captain, but his old mate Dwight
     Yorke and the lads were the new heroes for reaching the semi-finals of the Gold Cup -
     North and Central America's championship.

     O'Brien said: 'We're getting up there to be alongside cricket. People stayed up watching
     the Gold Cup games into the early hours. Dwight Yorke is regarded in the highest esteem
     here now - he's up there with the top footballers.

     'They had hoped he would put thousands on the gate this Saturday, but the threat posed
     by the Netherlands Antilles had not overly impressed his Manchester United manager
     Alex Ferguson, apparently.'

     Just as well, admits the Antilles' boss Siliee. Everybody else in the Caribbean, said Siliee,
     was jumping on the football bandwagon, securing the services of European pros.

     Bermuda had old West Ham hero Clyde Best in charge while, in the Caymans, some of
     the old guard were moaning about a new policy of attracting any Brit with tenuous
     connections to the islands for this weekend's qualifier against Cuba.

     All the Netherlands Antilles could boast, though, was the mum of Dutch star Patrick
     Kluivert. Siliee sighed: 'We've four or five pro players in Holland with connections here,
     but we've not really made much effort to secure them. In future, we will have to if we
     want to compete.'

     Trinidad - 49th in the world (according to FIFA rankings, it makes them twice as good as
     Wales but, then, isn't everyone?) - look like Brazil to them, and that's the fun.

     'Let's put it this way,' said Trinidad's O'Brien. 'We're hoping World Cup fever will get
     mixed in with our carnival fever this weekend.'

     Yeah, said Siliee, but it was the Antilles' carnival procession too on Saturday. Listening to
     their huge enthusiasm, it seemed hard to imagine that somewhere out there, sport's
     biggest carnival was passing by a few unhappy nations.

Soca Warriors regroup


     TRINIDAD and Tobago are set to have the services of several star players who
     participated in the recent Gold Cup for their opening match of the 2002 World Cup
     qualifying campaign against the Netherlands Antilles on Saturday.

     Heading the list is Hibernian midfielder Russell Latapy who was expected in T&T last
     night along with team captain Anthony Rougier.
     Raith Rovers defender Marvin Andrews, Bristol Rovers striker Nigel Pierre and
     Bohemians defender Avery John were also scheduled to arrive later.
     Germany-based Evans Wise is expected in today. The rest of the squad with the
     exception of Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke, who club manager Alex Ferguson
     said will not be available for Saturday's match at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, are
     already here.
     Angus Eve, striker Mickey Trotman, goalkeeper Clayton Ince, Shurland David, Derek
     King and Columbus Crew defender Ansil Elcock are among the players here who are
     awaiting the announcement of their new coach.
     A training session is scheduled for the Hasely Crawford Stadium today, venue for
     Saturday's match.
     TTFF officials were awaiting the arrival of FIFA vice-president and special advisor Jack
     Warner last night before holding a meeting to finalise their decisions.

     Hibernian manager Alex McLeish confirmed in Scotland yesterday that the club has
     released Latapy to play for the Soca Warriors on Saturday.
     Latapy who assisted in one of Hibernian's goals in a 3-0 victory over Clydebank on
     Tuesday indicated to the TTFF that he is committed to playing for T&T.
     This is despite the recent turmoil caused by the shake-up of the technical staff of the
     senior team.
     "Latas" will therefore miss Hibs' key assignment with Celtic on Sunday which is
     scheduled to be televised live on Sky Sports cable channel.
     McLeish, who spoke of his intention of maintaining a good relationship with the TTFF on
     a recent visit here, said that T&T were in desperate need of Latapy's services at this
     time and he was therefore willing to let him go.
     "We know Russell won't be involved in the Celtic match, but we have asked for
     confirmation that he won't be needed for the second leg.
     "I always wanted to play for my country and I won't criticise Russell. Trinidad are in a
     state of turmoil and I think they need Russell more than they need Dwight Yorke,"
     McLeish said.

     T&T fans will also be hoping that the Little Magician and other players including Yorke
     are available for T&T's friendly encounter against newly crowned Gold Cup champions
     Canada at the Varsity Stadium in Toronto on May 27.
     The Canadian Soccer Association announced the match recently and tickets have
     already gone on sale.

     Also a match against Mexico is also being arranged for the T&T team.

     Ferguson told reporters on Tuesday that the shake-up on the T&T team suits his side
     well as he understands Yorke is now not interested in playing for his country in the early
     World Cup qualifiers.
     United were threatened with the prospect of having Yorke banned from Saturday's clash
     with Liverpool if they refused to release him for the World Cup qualifier.
     Meanwhile the local public and supporters in other parts of the world, particularly the
     United States and Canada continue to express their dissatisfaction with the recent moves
     by the TTFF.

     On an online chat column on the T&T football online website run by Canadian resident
     Marc Purcell, a poll of the fans suggested that 89 percent of them were against the
     decision to sack Bertille St Clair.

Yorke walk-out suits Fergie just fine

     Sir Alex Ferguson won his latest club versus country row over Dwight Yorke because
     the Trinidad and Tobago striker was so angry at the sacking of his national coach.

     United were threatened with the prospect of having Yorke banned from Saturday's
     crucial Premiership clash with Liverpool if they refused to release him for the World Cup
     qualifier against the Dutch Antilles.

     But, while the Trinidad and Tobago FA was annoyed by United's failure to respond to
     their faxes demanding Yorke's services, it emerged last night that the striker had already
     refused to play for his country in protest at this week's dismissal of coach Bertil St Clair.

     With Yorke preparing to take on Bordeaux at Old Trafford tonight after recovering from
     a thigh injury, a Trinidadian source told Soccernet: 'When talk of firing St Clair first
     started, Yorke said they might as well sack him as well.

     'The whole team is upset about the sacking and Dwight has made it clear he will not play
     in the World Cup qualifier.'

     Yorke's stance has helped United out of a possible dispute with FIFA over their refusal
     to release him.

     Now Ferguson is ready to play the striker tonight after admitting surprise at the speed of
     his recovery from the injury sustained against Leeds. 'Dwight is fit, amazingly,' he said. 'I
     hope there's no danger the thigh will go again.'

Leave me out, says Yorke

     IW: I know that you are very upset by the decision to sack Bertille. But what are your
     views really?

     DY: To me, it's the worst decision I've ever seen because they certainly can't sack a
     manager by telling him through the general manager. If you're going to sack a manager,
     for starters, you have to bring him in front of the panel and say we have made a decision
     that you should take no further part as manager of the national team. He should not find
     out through someone else. To me that is very unprofessional.

     Now when you look at the results that coach Bertille has been through, you certainly
     can't sack him from a footballing perspective. You can only sack him, as far as I'm
     aware, for a personal reason. That to me is ludicrous.

     And the timing of the sacking, where we've got World Cup qualifying within less than a
     week's time. You're going to bring in a new person and expect the players to play the
     way they've been playing for the past three years? They must be crazy. As far as I'm
     concerned they certainly haven't taken this seriously. And they want us to get to the
     World Cup?

     What of your future with the team and the pending World Cup campaign?

     I wish the guys do get to the World Cup but, unfortunately, I don't think I will be part of
     that because if that's the way they want to go about it, I'm professional enough and I
     know what is right and what is wrong.

     I'm not really one for talking to the media but I've sat back too long and seen things
     happen and seen things develop and, as far as I'm concerned, this is crap. When you look
     at it from the footballing perspective, he doesn't deserve what has been given to him. I
     don't personally think I want to be part of that.

     They cited technical reasons for the decision to sack Bertille. Can you accept that ?

     I could if he had been a failure and the football wasn't good and the team wasn't
     progressing. I could accept it then. We are all human beings and I'm sure Bertille St Clair
     and the technical staff and players would have accepted it.

     But when you've been successful and the manager is sacked for no apparent reason you
     feel certainly they haven't got the football at heart. They are concerned about their own
     personal well-being.

     I've always had a problem with the TTFA. I don't think they're professional enough and
     they can't go on treating people like that.

     Jack Warner knows, at the end of the day, that I can say what I want because he does.
     So I'm talking bluntly here which I've never done, I'm bitterly hurt by the decision.

     And if they're going to get rid of Bertille they might as well get rid of me too.

     Might your close relationship with the coach be clouding your judgment?

     No, I'm not saying this because of Bertille. The truth is that if you sack the manager
     because a team is not doing well, the coach is not getting the best out of the team, that's
     fair enough.

     But when you know you're doing well and you get sacked, it's crap.

Latas: We're men not meat

     WHEN TTFF adviser Austin Jack Warner announced the sacking of coach Bertille St
     Clair at the end of last week's Gold Cup semifinal, it came as a shock to the whole team.
     But team leaders Dwight Yorke (DY ) and Russell Latapy (RL) seemed especially cut
     up about the decision and sat down with reporter Irving Ward to outline the reasons why.

     IRW: How did the team react when they got the news of the sacking of Bertille?

     RL: We are most definitely in shock because I think if you're going to sack a coach it
     would depend on results. As far as results go, this is the most successful trip to the Gold
     Cup that we ever had, so I think if they're sacking Bertille, it had nothing to do with the
     team's performance. It must be something personal, which is very disturbing to the team
     and to me as an individual, because I think we are here to play football and it has nothing
     to do with personalities.

     The talk of there being a plot to sack Bertille has come up before. Some people think it
     was a personality clash he had with certain members of the TTFF. What do you think?

     Sacking Bertille because of whatever is definitely a sign of something underneath
     happening. As an individual, if that is the way that the Association is running football in
     Trinidad and Tobago, then I'd prefer not to be a part of it.

     They've also sacked players-David Nakhid, Jerren Nixon and Michael McComie, who
     was not even part of the Gold Cup squad...

     I've never heard that happening in football in any part of the world-maybe it happened
     before and I'm unaware of it. I think that's a coach's job. It just goes to show that
     whoever is making the decisions, they want to run the administrative side as well as the
     footballing side and if that is the way they are doing it, then what's the reason for having
     a coach?

     How do the rest of the team, the younger player who have been given a break by Bertille
     in particular, feel about this?

     There are a lot of young players in the team and, from what we are seeing, there's a lot
     of bias and a lot of underhand things happening. I think, therefore, that it would be best in
     the young players' interest if they be careful of what they are saying and what they are

     In all the turmoil that has been going on within the last 12 hours, have you assessed your
     future as a player?

     I think there's a lot of things wrong and a lot of things I don't want to be part of. So I
     have to re-evaluate my situation and my contribution here in the team. I have to think
     about it and make a decision about if I want to be part of what is happening here or if I
     should just call it a day.

     What would you like to see changed?

     They must stop influencing the nation in the wrong way and doing things and making
     people believe that they are in the right when they are in the wrong. They have to be
     responsible for their actions and that's all I'm asking."

     I don't want to give anybody any ultimatums because we cannot tell them what to do and
     how to do it or what not to do. I'm just saying that if I'm part of this football, I want it to
     be run properly and I want things to be done in the right way.

     I think if a lot of people who are not going to give back to football are going to benefit
     from my sacrifices or my contributions then I would prefer not to play.

     But why have you all waited this long to speak out?

     I think for too long players have been the scapegoat. They've been doing whatever for
     too long and, as far as I'm concerned, there's a time to keep your mouth shut and there's
     a time to speak up and say what you believe in. That time is now.

     I want to quote here what Bertille says all the time because it's something I believe in:
     'You can be a hero for a day but you will be a man for the rest of your life.' I think they
     need to treat players like men and not just a piece of meat on the market. If that's the
     way they want to treat players then I'd prefer not to be part of this.

Forrest hopes for Hislop's quick return


     CANADIAN hero Craig Forrest said he was disappointed that his West Ham teammate
     Shaka Hislop was not at the opposite end when Canada played T&T in the Gold Cup last

     Forrest, who almost single-handedly took his team to the title with some superb saves in
     both the semifinal and final said he was looking forward to filling Hislop's position in goal
     for West Ham as the Trinidadian recovers from his broken leg.

     "Hopefully Shaka will be back soon but I'm happy to fill his position in the meantime."
     Forrest said it has been disappointing for both himself and Shaka that they have been
     unable to face each other on the field.

     "We had the chance to play in Trinidad last month and he could not come. And now we
     are here and again Shaka cannot play is terribly disappointing. I talked to him on the
     phone and I'm just hoping he comes back as soon as possible" said Forrest.

     The Gold Cup all-star 'keeper also praised T&T for a valuable performance.
     "I don't think I've ever played in a match for Canada where I had to make so many close
     saves. They were very tough and have no reason to hang their heads. We were fortunate
     and rode our luck a long way" he added.

     Yorke deserved the credit

     Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke deserves all the credit possible for playing for
     his country in the Gold Cup. He has shown that he is fully committed to playing for T&T.

     This is the feeling for technical director Edgar Vidale and other local officials.

     Yorke played for T&T in the 4-0 loss to Mexico and 4-2 win over Guatemala, but after
     returning to Manchester United, he picked up a thigh strain and was ruled out of the 1-0
     loss to Canada, despite making the trip back and being keen to play.

     Yorke was present at the Los Angeles Coliseum last Thursday when T&T fell 1-0 to

     When asked what he thought about the team's performance in the quarter finals against
     Costa Rica last Tuesday, he added "Well I was in England so I didn't see the match but it
     was a good win for us."

     Dwarika reaching for stars

     Striker Arnold Dwarika is coming off one of the highlights of his career so far at the Gold
     Cup and is now counting on the experience to lead him to similar performance in the

     The Joe Public man was speaking last Friday after being selected on the Gold Cup
     all-star team.

     Dwarika was scheduled to depart for South Korea to begin a four-month contract on
     He scored goals in T&T's victories over Guatemala and Costa Rica.

     " I can't say what caused such a performance. But as we say big times are big times and
     I think I'll just be aiming to step up in the big times. This has just raised my confidence
     and I'll continue reaching for the stars" he said

     Dwarika was also pleased with the teams' performance and spoke of his support for
     former coach Bertille St Clair, a day before a decision was made not to renew his

     "I think this is something that we have to write in the books and I'm just happy to be part
     of it. We did what we were supposed to but there was just no getting past the Canadian

     "Right now I don't know what the mood is like back home but I think everyone is still 100
     per cent behind the team," said Dwarika.

     Mason looks up to brother

     National player Stokely Mason said that his brother, T&T batsman Keno, is his role
     model and he is now hoping to use his inspiration to fulfil a career abroad.

     "Keno has been my role model. He has played in England before and now I am hoping to
     get the chance to play abroad" said Mason

     Mason was scheduled to leave for a four-month contract on loan with South Korea J
     Cheetars with the chance of signing a three-year deal later on.

     Mason also attracted interest from a few Colombian teams during the Gold Cup and may
     find himself having discussions and trials arranged.

     The former Malick Senior Comprehensive and Joe Public player was grateful for the
     Gold Cup experience.

     "It was a great step in my career. I wasn't expecting to be here with so many overseas
     professionals. God works in mysterious ways and allowed me to play. I also want to
     thank coach St Clair for giving me the opportunity. This has boosted my confidence."

     Ince looking for time

     National goalkeeper Clayton Ince will be hoping to force his way into the Crewe
     Alexandra starting team on his return to England from the Gold Cup.

     Ince, who began the tournament with uninspiring displays in a 4-0 loss to Mexico and 4-2
     victory over Guatemala, blamed this for his lack of confidence having been unable to hold
     a regular spot on the First Division club.

     "I think this just had to do with me not playing on a regular basis for my club. But one has
     to take a closer look at things in these times and get it sorted out" said Ince, who bounced
     back with a fine performance in a 2-1 win over Costa Rica but couldn't prevent T&T
     from going down 1-0 to Canada.

     Rougier's plea

     Captain Anthony Rougier is pleading for followers of the team to continue their support
     and he has urged the fans to play safe for Carnival.

     According to Rougier, the fans should stay away from alcohol abuse and violence, so that
     they can be in good physical strength to follow the "Soca Warriors" quest for World Cup
     success after their Gold Cup semi-final knock out.

     "As I have said before, the country needs to be patient. Personally I think God has big
     plans for the country's football.

     "I want to give thanks and praise and to tell the country to be safe during the Carnival
     season. Don't go overboard.

     "The boys are persevering. The finesse and the flair in this match (against Costa Rica)
     may not have been what people wanted but we got the results.

     "We have a good calibre of players. The problem with our football is really outside of the
     actual action on the field. I can't say what they are but there are a lot of things which
     need to be underlined and highlighted. The respected people know who they are and
     know what they are supposed to do. If they can do what they are supposed to do then
     we can definitely go to the next level" said the Port Vale man.

     Nakhid : You don't score, you lose

     Midfielder David Nakhid blamed a lack of proper finishing for this country's exit from the
     Gold Cup.

     He agreed that T&T had a fine tournament.

     "Yes, but we didn't score and that's the game sometimes. We dominated the game
     clearly, we missed chances, I missed a penalty. But we missed chances that were clearly
     100 per cent opportunities. That's football, you don't score, you lose."

     About his penalty miss, Nakhid said

     "There were three players who could take it and Russell told me I could take it. I felt I
     could take it but that's football.

     "The next step is to continue from here and not let the players get disillusioned and

     "We have to move on from here and we will see how many people were on the
     bandwagon and how many people will jump off the band wagon."

     Nakhid who is expected to rejoin Al Emirates in the UAE has since been relieved of his
     services from the national team.

Warner goes to France

     THE MAN to take over at the helm of Trinidad and Tobago's senior football team will be
     agreed upon today when the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation stage an
     emergency meeting.

     A key individual missing from the event will be FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, who is
     currently in France attending a world football expo at the invitation of the organisers.

     Warner is not expected back here until tomorrow but in light of the current situation, an
     earlier return is not being counted out.

     Those expected to sit around the table include TTFF president Oliver Camps, general
     secretary Richard Groden, vice-president Raymond Tim Kee and senior team technical
     director Edgar Vidale.

     Vidale will present his final report on T&T's recent participation at the Gold Cup which
     ended on Sunday.

     The main decision is expected to be the naming of a coach, which fans believe has
     already been decided on and a replacement for Richard Braithwaite as manager of the
     senior team.
     Englishman Ian Porterfield, originally here to coach Joe Public, seems a likely
     replacement to get T&T ready for their opening World Cup qualifier against the
     Netherland Antilles here on Saturday.

     Braithwaite will continue working with national teams as general manager and said
     yesterday that he was anticipating giving his services despite the technical shake-up.

     One of the first names mentioned as an introduction to the technical team either as coach
     or technical director was Alvin Corneal.

     The former national coach was not contacted by the TTFF up to yesterday and said that
     he was hoping for a easier solution to the disturbing situation.

     "I am not anticipating anything with regards to my involvement at this time. I prefer that
     there is a pleasant solution and probably Bertille should be asked to continue working with
     the team at least until the end of the early qualifying rounds until further notice," said

     "It's a kind of a confusing scenario right now that has come at a critical time regardless
     of who is right or wrong. It's unfortunate because the enthusiasm among the players and
     the fans were so high," Corneal said.

     "Why are we choosing a time like this to deal such heavy blows to our super athletes and
     coaches?" he asked.

Long haul to 2002 World Cup begins on Saturday

     ZURICH, Switzerland - A clash between Trinidad and Tobago and the Netherlands
     Antilles on Saturday will kick off the first of up to 800 qualifying matches to fill the 29
     remaining slots for the 2002 World Cup finals.

     On the same day, 90 minutes later at 19:30 local (01:30 GMT) Honduras will take on
     Nicaragua in another CONCACAF qualifier.

     The two matches mark the beginning of a long road, which will see 195 national
     associations trying to join co-hosts Japan and South Korea and defending champions
     France in the finals in over two years time.

     The 10 CONMEBOL associations in South America will be the next to launch
     themselves into action with the first of 90 preliminary round matches set to begin on
     March 28.

     African nations in CAF will start their qualifying phase in April with a series of 25 home
     and away cup ties that will reduce the 50 participating associations to 25.
     Europe will join the fray in late summer with nine groups from UEFA opening their
     accounts. No fixtures have been announced yet for Asia or Oceania.

     The 700-800 qualifying matches are expected to far surpass the 643 games that attracted
     15 million spectators to watch the preliminary rounds ahead of the 1998 finals in France.

     Copyright © 2000 Nando Media
     Copyright © 2000 Reuters News Service

Can't take T&T lightly'

    AMERICAN striker Cobi Jones realises that Trinidad and Tobago will make his
     country's quest for a spot in the 2002 Japan/Korea World Cup a bit more difficult than
     recent attempts.

     In an interview at the weekend at the Intercontinental Hotel, Los Angeles, following the
     Gold Cup awards ceremony when he was named on the All Star team, Jones said the
     US, who crashed T&T's hopes of qualifying for the 1990 Finals with a 1-0 shut out, were
     now made to look closer at T&T after they reached the semifinals (of the Gold Cup).

     Jones recalled that the US had a tough encounter against T&T in the 1998 World Cup
     qualifiers when they came away 1-0 winners at Hasely Crawford Stadium and coach
     Bruce Arena was gearing for an even tougher time this time around.

     "Even since then (1996) we were a bit on guard against Trinidad even though we beat
     them easily by a 2-0 margin in the first match and then went on to win 1-0 in Trinidad.
     "They were a very tough team to beat down in Trinidad and there football is definitely on
     the rise. There are no longer any big gaps in what they call the top teams and the smaller

     "Trinidad are now a very strong team and that showed in their performance at the Gold
     Cup and off course we cannot take them lightly."

St. Clair's sacking like a death in the family


     TRINIDAD and Tobago football federation officials were maintaining cool heads up to
     last night after receiving reports on their return home yesterday from their Gold Cup
     campaign in Los Angeles, USA, that key players on the national were contemplating
     stepping down following the sacking of coach Bertille St Clair and manager Richard

     TTFF president Oliver Camps said such reaction was expected, but his federation were
     prepared to ensure the, "start of a new journey gets going without major problems."

     "I don't know of any threat by the players. I will have to deal with this accordingly when I
     do get word from them. We did expect that the players would get upset but we have
     plans to deal with this sort of thing.

     "We will be fielding a team whichever way come Saturday. This is certainly the start of a
     new journey and it comes at the right time. This was what was discussed at the meeting
     and there is no point putting it off," Camps said yesterday while FIFA vice president Jack
     Warner was on a 'plane to France.

     Word is that several of this country's top players, including Manchester United striker
     Dwight Yorke and Hibernian midfielder Russell Latapy, were looking forward to playing
     in the opening World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands Antilles Saturday, but after St
     Clair's sacking, both players had spoken about a possible drop out from the team, while
     others could well take the field with a totally different attitude.

     A close source to the national team, who preferred to remain anonymous, described the
     current mood among the squad as one similar to when, "there is a death in a family."

     "Has the TTFF really realised what they have done?" he asked.

     Following last Thursday's disappointing 1-0 loss to Canada in their Gold Cup semifinal, St
     Clair met with the entire team Friday night.

     Everyone, including Latapy and Yorke, had shrugged of the disappointment of the defeat
     and were focussing entirely on the start of the World Cup drive this weekend.

     But a few hours after that meeting, there was a major crash of events when a message
     was sent to St Clair via acting technical director Edgar Vidale that the Tobagonian coach
     was being relieved as coach.

     This followed a meeting by the TTFF in Los Angeles early Friday evening.

     "The scene at the hotel was one of total chaos and disgust and what had been done and
     the manner it which it had been done," said the source.

     On Saturday morning St Clair held another meeting with the players at the Radisson
     Wilshire Plaza, Los Angeles, where he asked the players to not add fuel to the fire by
     making any sort of rowdy statements or adverse action about the situation.

     Midfielder David Nakhid was getting over the disappointment of missing a penalty and
     was anticipating playing Saturday at Hasely Crawford Stadium. Mucurapo, versus the
     Netherland Antilles. To his dismay and that of many of the other players a message was
     sent that he not bother to go to Trinidad because he had been dropped from the national
     team's roster.
     Striker Jerron Nixon got a similar message.

     Yorke spoke on national television in England Sunday night about his dissatisfaction with
     the axing of his long time "mentor" St Clair.

     Yorke said words to the effect that he was quite impressed with the way things had been
     going and that the coach had everything running smoothly and he saw no reason for
     getting rid of him.

     Injured West Ham goalkeeper Shaka Hislop called local officials here yesterday to
     express his disagreement with the decisions taken.

     England-born midfielder Ronnie Mauge, who also suffered a broken leg in Los Angeles,
     was in a rage there Saturday.

     The TTFF are likely to face an uphill task to get things flowing smoothly within the team
     as the qualifiers get going, which they believe they are confident of doing.

     But word is that the players could end up demanding a lot more in terms of finance for
     their services. "The guys are really mad up to this minute. It's case where you touch one,
     you touch all. I can tell you that the players are ready to put pen to paper, even
     considering bringing lawyers into matters. It is now a situation where the players are
     thinking that today they are on the team and tomorrow they are thrown out similar to
     what has happened over the last few days.

     "This whole thing could have been done in much different manner. They didn't have to
     mash it up like that," said the source.

     A new coach, rumoured to be Englishman Ian Porterfield, and a manager will be
     announced Thursday following a meeting tomorrow by the TTFF.

     Both St Clair and Braithwaite will also be formally informed of their situations.

Some History : Ian Porterfield

     St Clair, expected to take charge for the Caribbean islands ' opening World Cup
     qualifying tie against the Dutch Antilles on Saturday, was sacked in the wake of the
     semi-final exit.

     Three players, including former Dundee United winger Jerren Nixon, also have been
     'relieved from future duty' with their national team by the Trinidad and Tobago Football

     'We have to sit down and analyse the effort and find where we went wrong and see
     what kind of remedial measures we will have to take quickly, ' said spokesman Jack

     'We can't seek to solve the problem next month or next year, it has to be solved now. I
     have consistently said that, in spite of our successes, the team is technically deficient in
     several areas, particularly defence and midfield.'

     Former Aberdeen manager Ian Porterfield, in charge at Pittodrie from 1986 to 1988, has
     emerged as front-runner to succeed St Clair.

     Porterfield, who also had a spell as Chelsea manager, has taken several jobs overseas
     since leaving the Dons, including national coach of both Zambia and Oman.

St. Clair sacked by Trinidad and Tobago

     PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad - Trinidad and Tobago has fired national soccer coach
     Bertille St. Clair and dropped three players after failing to reach the final of Gold Cup
     tournament, the Caribbean news agency CANA reported.
     CANA said former captain David Nakhid, Switzerland-based Jerren Nixon and reserve
     goalkeeper Michael McComie had been "relieved from future duty" in the team.

     The shake-up followed Thursday's 1-0 semifinal defeat in the Gold Cup in Los Angeles
     by Canada, which went on to beat Colombia 2-0 in Sunday's final.
     One coach being considered as a replacement is Englishman Ian Porterfield, CANA said.

     The changes clouded the team's preparations for Saturday's opening World Cup qualifier
     at home to the Netherland Antilles.
     St Clair was one of Trinidad and Tobago's most successful coaches with a string of
     successes in a two-year stint.
     They won two Caribbean championships and scored historic wins against South Africa
     and Colombia under his guidance. Despite failure to reach Sunday's final, St Clair had
     also led them to their best performance in the Gold Cup.

     The decision was made by a committee led by Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation
     special adviser Jack Warner and federation president Oliver Camps.

     The committee also decided to restructure the position of general manager, held by
     Richard Braithwaite, so that a separate manager could be named for the team.
     "We have to sit down and analyse the effort and find where we went wrong and see
     what kind of remedial measures we will have to take quickly. We can't seek to solve the
     problem next month or next year, it has to be solved now," Warner said in Los Angeles.

     He said St Clair's contract expired at the end of this month and one of its conditions was
     that if the coach won the Gold Cup, renewal would be looked at in a positive light.
     The loss to Canada appears to have been the final straw. "Canada was by far one of the weakest    teams in the tournament," Warner said.

     "I have consistently said that in spite of our success and victories I still find the team to
     be technically deficient in several areas, particularly with regard to our defence and to a
     lesser extent, our midfield."

     Mutiny in the ranks

     in Los Angeles

     SACKED Trinidad and Tobago coach Bertille St Clair had very little to say to his
     Football Confederation Gold Cup squad
     before they departed from Los Angeles, here, on Saturday night, for a long and likely
     very uncomfortable trip home.

     But he did have one request. He asked that they not fight the decision made by the local
     football federation (TTFF) to terminate his services.

     However, perhaps one of the first instances in which they openly disregarded the coach's
     advice, both Russel Latapy and Dwight Yorke seem ready to fight against what they
     perceive to be an unjustifiable move by the TTFF.

     In fact, coming to the defence of St Clair and teammates David Nakhid and Jerren
     Nixon-also discarded in the wake of the high-powered TTFF meeting on Friday
     night-they are both ready to hang up their boots if the Federation is not ready to rescind
     their decision.

     And with the 2002 World Cup qualifying campaign scheduled to kick off on Saturday, and
     the team fully behind them as well, the TTFF may well face a full-scale mutiny if they do
     not comply.

     "At this present time, in my heart, I can actually quit," Latapy told the Express.

     "But sometimes you have to put your personal feelings aside and look at the bigger issue.
     And the bigger issue here right now is football and Trinidad and Tobago.

     "As far as the World Cup campaign is concerned, I just have to do some thinking and see
     exactly what the TTFF stand is, or whoever is in charge and what their stand is and how
     they want to deal with football and then I would make up my mind if I want to be part of

     Yorke almost mirrored Latapy's sentiments. But as far as he was concerned, the way
     forward is with St Clair.

     "Jack Warner knows, at the end of the day, that I can say what I want to say because he
     does. So to be fair, and I'm talking bluntly here, which I've never done, I'm bitterly hurt by
     the decision. And if they're going to get rid of Bertille, they might as well get rid of me
     too," the Manchester United star said.

     "I wish the guys do get to the World Cup but unfortunately I don't think I will be part of
     that if that's the way they (TTFF) want to go about it. I am professional enough and I
     know what is right and what is wrong but I've sat back too long and seen things happen
     and seen things develop, and as far as I'm concerned this is crap."

     St Clair was discarded despite having the most successful run by any T&T coach in this
     tournament. The team was knocked out in the semi-final round by Canada 1-0. The
     Canadians eventually went on to win the title yesterday, after beating Colombia 2-0 here
     at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

     But both men felt there was some underlying reason other than success or results behind
     the sacking.

     "We (the team) are most definitely in shock. I think if you're going to sack a coach it
     would depend on results. As far as results go, this is the most successful trip to the Gold
     Cup that we ever had," Latapy explained.

     "So I think if they're sacking Bertille it had nothing to do with the team performance. It
     must be something personal which is very disturbing to the team and to me as an
     individual because I think we are here to play football and it has nothing to do with

     Yorke, whose talent was developed by St Clair as a youth, was a little harder though.

     "It's not fair. The whole decision is not fair. To me, when things are like that, I'd rather
     take a stand back.

     "I've always had a problem with the Trinidad and Tobago FA. I don't think they are
     professional enough. I don't think they do things right enough-because I've played at the
     professional level and I know what it's like-and they can't go on treating people like that."

     He added: "And the timing of the sacking, where we've got World Cup qualifying in less
     than a week's time. You're going to bring in a person and feel you're going to get players
     to play the way they've been playing for the last three years. They must be crazy."

     However, Latapy still seemed ready to reach a compromise if he and the team could be
     assured that the TTFF would also
     clean up its act.

     "A lot of things they do and have done in the past hurt a lot and we just want them to
     create a decent working environment so we can work and give our best and keep
     Trinidad and Tobago proud.

     "They must stop influencing the nation in the wrong way and doing things and making
     people believe they're in the right when they are actually in the wrong. They have to be
     responsible for their actions, and that's all I'm asking."

     He further offered: "I'm not here to play for Tom, Dick and Harry, I'm here to play for
     Trinidad and Tobago and the youth of the nation. I think I have something to contribute,
     and that's what I want to do.

     "But on the other hand, I think that if a lot of people who are not going to give back to
     football are going to benefit from my sacrifices or my contributions then I would prefer
     not to play."

     Coach St Clair, meanwhile, refused to comment on the issue, pointing out only that "God
     never sleeps". So now, the ball is in the TTFF's court.

     Full interviews with both players in tomorrow's Express.

Football D-day Wednesday

     By SHAUN FUENTES in Los Angeles

     AN Emergency meeting of Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation officials will be held
     on Wednesday evening to chart a new course for the national team.

     The session in Port-of-Spain comes in the wake of the sacking of Bertille St Clair whose
     contract will not be renewed following the Gold Cup tournament.

     FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, special advisor to the TTFF said that a decision about
     the new coach among other things will be reached and an announcement made on

     Selection of a technical director will also be made to replace Chief Oligbinde of Nigeria
     who resigned last year with Edgar Vidale the official currently acting in that capacity as
     well as being chairman of the Technical Committee.

     The meeting is also expected to name a specific manager of the T&T senior team with
     Richard Braithwaite likely to be general manager in charge of all national football teams.

     TTFF president Oliver Camps said yesterday in Los Angeles that the decision not to
     renew St Clair's contract was "unfortunate but was one which the federation had to take
     to ensure that the team had the best resources going into the World Cup qualifying

     He added that while this decision was not made on the spur of T&T's 1-0 loss to Canada
     in the semi-finals, it was not one which could have been carried out prior to the Gold Cup
     since the results of pre-tournament matches were good.

     He said that the decision was not intended to be released until later this week after the
     team returned home.

     The sudden news may have come as a shock to the players and many fans but Camps is
     not worried that it will have a major effect on T&T who begin the 2002 World Cup
     qualifiers against the Netherlands Antilles on Saturday.

     Many players also expressed anger with the release of details of their Gold Cup match
     fees to the media. Warner reportedly has to assist in its payment.

     However, such things will now be handled by Miami-based sponsors Inter/Forever
     Sports, who agreed to be involved during the World Cup campaign.

     Warner explained the reason for dropping English born defender Ian Cox saying he
     requested six months away from international football after recently signing with Burnley.

     Goalkeeper Michael McComie was dropped because there were already two
     goalkeepers including Clayton Ince and Ross Russell in the fray with the injured Shaka
     Hislop also in line for a return.

     David Nakhid and Jerron Nixon's exit appeared to be based on performance.

     Warner, Camps, and FIFA president Sepp Blatter were among the dignitaries present at
     yesterday's final which Canada won 2-0 over Colombia.

St Clair: T&T loss came at a good time

     By Shaun Fuentes in Los Angeles

     BERTILLE ST CLAIR believes Trinidad and Tobago's failure to reach the final of the
     Football Confederation Gold Cup and perhaps capture the title, occurred for the good of
     the team in future competition. T&T were beaten 1-0 by Canada in their semifinal.

     The Tobagonian, who was informed Saturday that he was being relieved as coach of the
     T&T senior team, said this during an interview in Los Angeles, USA, the day before.

     After mentioning that if his services were to be terminated then he was
     prepared to face that, St Clair went on to predict that T&T will be "a great team" and
     hence the reason why their 1-0 loss to Canada was good as it strengthened the morale of
     the team.

     "This football isn't easy and Trinidadians are so that if were to win the competition they
     would be jumping and saying hey we reach. Then wewould go to lose the big picture," he
     said referring to the World Cup qualifying tournament.

     "All the guys were dejected on the bus going back to the hotel. Not a man spoke. That's
     good because it showed that they were hurt and when it hurts you don't want to feel it
     again. So God know's best. He brings you there and then holds on to you. I think we are
     definitely on the way." St Clair said.

     He also spoke on the fact that four foreign coaches had worked with theT&T side prior
     to his start as coach, and all failed miserably in theWorld Cup qualifiers.

     "What we have been doing is recycling coaches yearly. Then they brought in up to four
     foreign coaches and out of 18 points we got one," St Clair stated.

     "All that I'm doing and I have not been given the recognition, but God is good. I am happy
     for the guys and they are going to be one great team," he added.

     Unfortunately for him, he will not be at the helm as a new coach is expected to take over
     his post in a few days.

Trinis ready for world stage Says Sir Bobby Charlton

     FORMER England captain Sir Bobby Charlton believes that based on Trinidad and
     Tobago's performance at the Gold Cup (which ended yesterday) this country definitely
     has what it takes to make a big impact on the world stage.

     Charlton said in an interview in Los Angeles Friday that being able to reach the
     semifinals of the Football Confederation competition showed that T&T were on the right
     track to qualifying for the 2002 Japan/Korea World Cup and perform similarly in future
     Gold Cup tournaments.

     Interestingly, Charlton head of the England 2006 World Cup bidding committee, also
     expressed satisfaction with former coach Bertille St Clair's handling of the national team.

     All of this was said just prior to the slight turmoil in the national team after it was
     announced by FIFA vice president and TTFF adviser Jack Warner that a decision not to
     renew St Clair's contract was taken in the best interest of the team, despite there being
     obvious reactions of shock by some of the players.

     While Richard Braithwaite will revert to his role as general manager of all national teams,
     a new manager and coach for the senior team will be announced Thursday.

     About T&T, Charlton stated: "They did extremely well to get to the semifinals and with a
     bit of luck they could have beaten Canada. They had every chance to actually win the
     competition. But it shows that if you can do it now, you can do it again."

     Commenting on St Clair's work, Charlton said: "I think he's first class. You've got to
     agree because in Trinidad there are no unlimited resources. It's not the most populated
     country and to go further than Mexico and the United States, just shows that he's help
     them done very well. Bertille is a nice guy and a great coach."