Trinidad and Tobago’s technical director of football, Anton Corneal, last week urged youngsters living in the United States to dig deep in search of their desire and ambitions to represent their country on the international stage. Corneal was addressing players in the Under 17 and Under 12 category at the Trinidad and Tobago combine organised by the Champs Soccer Academy in Brooklyn New York last Sunday. Champs is overseen by Trinidadians Anthony Lambert and Dario Trujillo, son of the late Gregory Trujillo, ex-footballer and journalist. “At your age what makes a national player is not just skill or size, it’s not just technical ability and not what you have done or achieved. But it comes right from in the heart. That’s why the monogram is placed right there. It comes with the passion to play every single time with everything that you have. What we ask of players is that you attack and defend with passion and you work hard with the players around you. All of that comes from within. That’s a professional player and a professional person. ,” Corneal told the players. A similar session for players of higher age groups is likely to take place in November in another part of the United States that will be announced in due course.
Jefferson for goalkeeper's course
National team goalkeeper coach Jefferson George was this country’s representative at the regional Instructor’s Goalkeeping Course put on by FIFA last week in Jamaica. Among the other coaches who participated in the week-long seminar were Reggae Boyz technical director Walter Gama and goalkeeping coach Armando Bracali—both Brazilians. The FIFA instructors carrying out the course were Alexander Vencel, a former Czech Republic goalkeeper and Paul Grafer, an ex-MLS goalkeeper. Meanwhile Grafer, during his address at the closing ceremony, implored coaches to impart to their colleagues the knowledge gathered from the training sessions, which formed a part of a continuing effort by FIFA to assist in the development of the technical competence of instructors at the CONCACAF level. Nineteen other Concacaf countries took part including United States, Suriname, Grenada, Barbados, Bermuda and Bahamas among others. George is carded to replicate parts of the course to local coaches within the next month.
Lara, Yorke to be part of Caribbean legends
Double World Record batting holder Brian Lara and ex-Manchester United star Dwight Yorke are expected to line up as part of a Caribbean legends team that will take part in the annual Barbados British Airways football legends tournament at the Kensington Oval on May 26-27. The Caribbean outfit has been added to the line-up of teams which includes Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and a Professional Footballers Association side. According to English-based agent Mike Berry, some of the other local names listed to be part of the Caribbean side include former Swansea City defender Dennis Lawrence, ex-Crewe goalkeeper Clayton Ince, former Sunderland striker Stern John, ex-Jamaican internationals Deon Burton and Paul Hall. Alan Shearer, Gaizka Mendieta, Dennis Wise, Di Matteo, Andy Cole and Gianfranco Zola are just some of the ex-stars who will like line up at the festival which is expected to attract fans from the UK through special holiday packages that have been set up. The tournament is the brainchild of the Barbados Tourism Authority with British Airways, the PFA and the Kensington Oval among the sponsors.
Primus returns for Aktobe next month
Defender Robert Primus is expected to return to playing after being sidelined for seven months with a serious knee injury that required reconstructive surgery. Primus became a regular in the starting team of Khazakhstan Premier club FC Aktobe before sustaining the injury which forced him to miss T&T's 2014 World Cup campaign and the 2012 Olympic campaign. Primus is currently back in training following the lay off. “I expect to be playing again by June. I am doing more fitness and ball work at the moment. I’ve been in the gym doing strength work also and a lot of therapy in the sea and pool,” Primus said on Monday. Primus has until the end of 2013 remaining on his contract and intends to make up for loss time. He maintains that the fear of injury again will not deter him from making it in the European arena. “I am mindful of injury but it’s not going to affect my game. I’m really working towards being even stronger than I was before. I have been on the sidelines for a long while now and this has me really anxious to get back out there and make a good impression,” added the ex-San Juan Jabloteh player who played for T&T at the Under-17 and Under-20 World Cup in 2007 and 2009. “It was really hard having to read about and see highlights of the World Cup qualifiers and the Olympic qualifiers and not be able to do anything or try to even help the boys. I don’t think there’s ever been a more frustrating period for me. But with all of that, I am thankful to God for helping me recover and be able to play the game at a decent level again. A lot of persons would love this opportunity and even though it has been a tough journey, I am ever grateful that I can play in Europe again,” Primus stated.
College of Charleston women’s team arrives tomorrow
The College of Charleston Women’s team will arrive in Port-of-Spain tomorrow for a training camp that will include five matches against local teams.
Charleston is rated highly in Division One of US College soccer and will not only use the trip to prepare their players but will also keep an eye out for local talent. The Charleston staff and players accumulated the monies for this trip through a series of fund raising events at their university and MLS matches. They will play a T&T Senior Combine outfit at the UWI ground, St Augustine tomorrow from 5pm in their opening game. They also face the T&T Under-17s on Sunday and a club combine team on Tuesday. Charleston then faces Tobago women’s team on Thursday before closing their slate of games against the T&T senior women’s team on May 26th at a venue to be announced.
Jagdeosingh scores in Thailand league
Kendall Jagdeosingh, a member of this country’s senior team, scored an opening goal to help his Chainfat FC to a 3-2 win over Samut Songkhram in the Thailand Premier League on Saturday. Jagdeosingh netted in the 26th minute to put Chainfat ahead. Fellow Trinidadian Yohance Marshall is also a member of Chainfat. Cordell Cato, meantime made a second appearance for Seattle Sounders, coming on in the 75th minute in their 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday. Polish-based defender Mekeil Williams also saw full action for Pogo Szczecin in their 1-0 win over Katowice while Akeil De Freitas, this country’s only Finland-based player, came on in the 76th minute of FF Jaro’s 1-0 loss to Honka.
Shaun Fuentes is the media officer for the Soca
The above column was deferred from yesterday to today to make room for Brian Lara’s analysis of the first Test match between West Indies and England. It will return to its regular place from next Thursday.