Following Tigers’ triumph in the final of the National Futsal League on Friday night at the Chaguanas Indoor Facility, coach Clayton Morris is enthusiastic over the composition of a national team ahead of upcoming FIFA Futsal World qualification.
Morris, the coach of the previous National Futsal team, observed the matches during league which was sponsored by Petrotrin and believes it served its purpose in showcasing the local talent.
On Friday, Ako James netted a hattrick to lead Tigers to a comfortable 6-1 victory over Jaguars in the final. The other goals for Tigers came from Noel Williams, Kerry Joseph and Kareem Perry with Ishmael Daniel getting the lone goal for the runners up.
James was later named the tournament’s “Most Valuable Player”
Sharks came in third with a 7-4 victory over Cougars with Dwayne Calliste netting a hattrick.The other scorers for Sharks were Richard Inniss (two),Jerwyn Balthazar and Ricardo Bennett.
Morris spoke about the League emphasizing its importance over the past few weeks.
“This League was very much beneficial in that we were able to see more of the new talent in actual competition, also to identify the committed players, which will serve to build a better and stronger national team than we have had previously,” Morris told TTFA Media.
“The talent now is very much the same but what I am happy about is the players were much younger back then when we had the first team in 2004. What is important also is how well they adapt to the coaching.
" There are 9 players from the 2004 and 2008 team in the short list 44 players. They showed more experience during the league but the two top players in the league for 2015 are new players, Ishmael Daniel and Noel Williams and once the new players adapt as I mentioned before we would have a really good team in the making,” Morris added.
The TTFA will stage two practical sessions at the same Chaguanas Indoor Facility on August 28 (7-11 pm) and September 6, (9 am-noon) for Trinidad-based players while screening sessions of players from Tobago are expected to take place in September with date and venue to be announced.
Details on the regional qualifiers for the FIFA Futsal World Cup will be announced in due course. The 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup will take place in Colombia in September of that year. Four teams from CONCACAF will advance to the 8th FIFA Futsal World Cup.
Players shortlisted for national screening
Goalkeepers: Kevin Graham (Sharks), Dwayne Baird (Cougars), Mikail Walker (Lions), Kern Ceasar (Jaguars), Keston Guy (Panthers), Jevon Bourne (Tigers).
Others: Colin Joseph, Jerwyn Balthazar, Ricardo Bennett, Bevon Bass, Dwayne Calliste, Keon Figaro (Sharks); Ako James, Noel Williams, Kerry Joseph, Kareem Perry, Kevin Joseph, Cyrano Glenn, Mark Brewster, Anton Hall, Kerry Frederick, Cordell Greenidge (Tigers); Ronald St Louis, Anthony Thompson, Josiah Austin, Keon Pegus (Cougars); Ishmael Daniel, Akil Stafford, Brent Edwards, Christopher Young, Jamel Lewis (Jaguars); Christopher Vanderpool, Rushawn Murphy, Nicholas Mullins, Clint Hospedales (Panthers); Jamaal Antoine, Anthony Small , Marvin Lee, Jamaal Neptune (Dolphins); Tevin Gill, John Belgrave (Eagles); Shad Gobinsingh, Renato Ramlochan (Lions), Kairon Joseph (Hawks).
National Under-20 midfielder Levi Garcia has completed two months of intense preseason training with Dutch top flight club AZ Alkmaar.
Garcia, the outstanding midfielder from Shiva Boys College, returned home on Monday and is expected to return to the club in November.
Garcia turns 18 on November 20th, when he is eligible to make his professional debut for the AZ first team for which he has signed a three-year-contract.
“One of the real highlights for me apart from all the activities of preseason was being able to work with Marco Van Basten. He paid a lot of attention to me during training. We spoke a lot. At every session he would come over and give me advice. He showed me a lot of things. That was special for me,” Garcia said.
Van Basten was also quoted in the Dutch Press as describing Garcia an “exceptional 17-year-old talent with a lot of ability”.
“The first few weeks was amazing. It was a bit tough at first because of the change in conditions and adapting to the speed of the game. But I settled in. I got a few goals in the practice games. They’ve welcomed me quite nicely at the club and I’m comfortable,” Garcia said.
“I played all the first team practice games but then they had to go off to the Europa Cup so I stayed back and trained with the Reserves but then I was back with the first team again.”
Former T&T coach Russell Latapy is eyeing a managerial job in Scotland.
Latapy told the Daily Mail that he has lived in Scotland for 18 years and he wants to make his mark as a manager in Scotland.
The Little Magician said that he trusted Scottish football to give him a fair chance at management.
“I have been here for a long time now, around 18 years all in. I know the Scottish game, the Scottish people. The reality is that if I want to make my mark as coach it will have to happen in Europe,” he told the Daily Mail.
“I trust Scottish football to give me a fair chance at management. I believe eventually it will happen. One of the issues in the past was that a lot of the black players who played the game never took coaching badges,” said Latapy, who now holds a UEFA Pro License coaching badge which is the top of the list.
“They just didn’t believe they would get the opportunity. But there are a lot of black ex-players now as qualified as anyone else. I am one of them. It’s only a matter of time before someone comes on the scene and makes a statement. Listen, I don’t know if I think I’ll be the first successful black manager in Scotland. I just think I want an opportunity to show what I can do. I think positive all the time. Why can’t it be me? I think about the game. About what I can do.
“They have over 100 clubs down there. So that’s approximately 150 managers across the UK. But you can count on the fingers of one hand how many of them are black on one hand.”
But he believes that opportunities for black managers are improving.