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Golfer Sachin Kumar and footballer Ke’die Johnson are among T&T’s leading youth athletes that will be in line for top honours when the First Citizens Sports Foundation stages its annual Youth Awards on Friday to honour the best of 2016.
The gala-ceremony will be held at the Trinidad Hilton, Port-of-Spain, and will feature nominees in both boys’ and girls’ categories in a number of sporting disciplines including badminton, chess, cycling, football, golf, hockey, rugby, squash, swimming, table-tennis, tennis, track and field, basketball, kayaking, cricket, karate, sailing, surfing, to name a few.
Previous winners include Cherelle Thompson (swimming) and Christian Homer (swimming) in 2010; Monifa Sealy (golf); in 2011 Quincy Alexander and Jodi Goodridge (cycling) & Machel Cedeno (track & field) in 2012, and swimming duo, Shanntol Ince and Dylan Carter for the 2013 season. In 2014 it was swimmer Dylan Carter and chess player Javanna Smith and in 2015, sprinter Kalifa St Fort and swimmer Jerron Thompson.
Today, Guardian Media Limited lists profiles of some of the nominees:
FOOTBALL (T&T Football Association)
Wild celebrations endured when Prowell scored the second of a double for T&T in a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Bermuda—one of three goals he bagged during last year’s CFU Caribbean Under-17 Championship on home soil: a great complement to the forward’s performances for St Anthony’s College, which he helped to second place in the Secondary Schools Football League’s North Zone Intercol competition.
An integral member of the women’s youth football development programmes in T&T, Johnson made an impact at the senior level as she helped St Augustine FC to second place in the T&T Women’s Football League’s Premier Division and also earned the Secondary Schools Football League’s women’s player of the year accolade for her role in St Augustine Secondary’s National Intercol, East Zone League and East Zone Intercol title successes.
HOCKEY (T&T Hockey Board)
Definitely punching above his weight, Marcano appeared as a 15-year-old at the Pan American Men’s Under-21 Championship in Canada—where he helped T&T to a very impressive fifth-place finish—and he subsequently guided Malvern to the national under-19 championship title.
King, 17, was a member of the senior national women’s team that finished second in its FIH Hockey World League first round tournament in Salamanca, Mexico, where she scored one goal in a 13-0 opening game mauling of Guatemala; King also featured for the sixth-placed Trinidad and Tobago under-21s at the Pan American Junior Women’s Championship at home.
GOLF (T&T Golf Association)
Kumar has been marching along to his own beat on the golf course and in 2016, he triumphed in the T&T Open at St Andrew’s Golf Club in Moka, via a play-off over Clint Alfred; he also won the boys 16-17 title at the Caribbean Amateur Junior Championships in Christ Church, Barbados by seven strokes—with a one under par total of 215—and he helped the T&T senior men to third place at the Caribbean Amateur Championships in Nassau, The Bahamas.
Mackenzie, 16, achieved third-place in the girls 17 and under division at the Caribbean Amateur Junior Championships in Barbados and later played with the T&T senior women at the Caribbean Amateur Championships at the One&Only Ocean Club in Nassau; she also finished third at other open events—the TATIL Invitational and the Svelty Ladies Open—and won the girls 16-17 division at the Republic Bank Junior Open.
GYMNASTICS (T&T Gymnastics Federation)
Even as gymnastics has become an established discipline in T&T, development is still extremely important and the efforts of Isaiah Hall, 16, offered plenty of optimism for the future; at the TTGF Championships he won the national men’s overall title with 52.2001 points thanks to gold medals in the floor exercise, parallel bars and horizontal bar, along with a silver medal on the rings, a bronze on the pommel horse and a fourth-place finish on the vault.
JUDO (Judo T&T)
Excellent hand-eye co-ordination appears to be a given with Luke Walker, especially as a youthful frontline pannist with the Invaders Steel Orchestra: it was also useful at the USA Judo Junior Olympic National and International Championships in Irving, Texas, where he became T&T’s first gold medallist after he won the men’s under-18 66 kg division—a great addition to the other titles he captured at the Judo TT junior championships and the Queen’s Park Judo Club Tournament.
- To be continued
Leo Beenhakker has endorsed Dennis Lawrence, saying that he believes the former Everton coach is the right man to take up the position as head coach of the T&T’s senior men’s football team.
Lawrence was officially announced by the T&T Football Association (TTFA) as the head coach on Saturday and Beenhakker responded to a request for a statement by indicating that he was pleased that the man who scored the winning goal for T&T against Bahrain to qualify this country to the 2006 World Cup, was given the job, also wishing him the best in his new role.
“Dennis and I had a conversation by phone about two weeks ago about the item and I am very happy that he accepted the job,” Beenhakker said yesterday.
“He has the authority, the personality and even more than that, the knowledge of the game to do a successful job and he deserves the support of the board, the media and the fans.
“Dennis was the guy who brought T&T in November 2005, as one of the players, for the first and only time to the World Cup in 2006,” Beenhakker said.
“I am totally convinced that, with the support and confidence of everybody, he is the right man on the right place to realise a new successful chapter in history as national coach of T&T.”
Also expressing his support for Lawrence was Wim Rijsbergen, the assistant to Beenhakker during the 2006 campaign and a former head coach of T&T in 2007.
“I spoke the last couple of days with some people in Trinidad about the new coach. I thought that Dennis would be the best man for the job,” Rijsbergen also said yesterday.
“I have been following him the last couple of years working with Roberto Martinez.
“I have been following T&T since I left and I still feel positive about the time we had with a great bunch of players and staff to reach the World Cup 2006. I hope that Dennis and everybody involved will work together to turn around the results,” said Rijsbergen, who is a former Netherlands player, appearing in the final of the 1974 and 1998 World Cups.
Beenhakker led T&T to World Cup qualification after joining as head coach after three matches in the final round of qualifying in 2005. Lawrence scored for T&T in Beenhakker’s first World Cup qualifying match in charge of T&T in a 2-0 win over Panama at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo at the time.
Beenhakker’s first two qualifying matches after taking the top post were against Panama and Mexico. Coincidentally, Lawrence’s opening two qualifiers will be against Panama on March 24 and Mexico on March 28 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Dennis Lawrence is well known for heading the winning goal against Bahrain which took this twin island state straight into the FIFA Germany world Cup Finals 2006.
The lanky central defender was chosen by the technical committee of the T&T Football Association (TTFA) eventually after accepting the resignation of Belgian Tom Saintfiet some two weeks ago.
The deliberation period which existed before making the final choice leaves me with the impression that there was serious dialogue with a few contenders and maybe numerous essential questions of absolute importance and digging deep into their coaching experience had to be dealt with.
Taking into consideration the accepted mistake by the TTFA when deciding upon the choice of the flamboyant Belgian, whose bark turned out to be much more powerful than his bite, and left nothing to show his worth as a coach, we need a real coach.
So my congratulations go out to Dennis for accepting the job of coaching our national team for the first time.
I have to admit that while I can vouch for the professional approach which the San Juan defender showed on the field of play during the World Cup, his coaching ability could only be described in writing, especially as he was not a head coach on any of his assignments.
Clearly, the decision makers must have done deep assessment of Dennis’s work from the bench and I will trust them on this occasion.
I do not wish to hear of any promises made by the president similar to the one he made to the fly-by-night bargain dealing coach who travelled for thousands of miles and did not know the length of his contract.
It will be fair to assume that the former national player may have learned much of the fundamentals when sitting next to the English coaches with whom he worked and probably sometimes used the football language commented by the “gaffas”.
It is close to three weeks since the resignation of the former coach and it is a pity to see that an interim coach (or even the assistant named coaches) have not been placed in temporary positions in order to work with the locally-based players who may be pleased to have the coaches take a close look at their real quality as local professionals.
With eight weeks before the continuation of the Hexagonal qualifying, every session will have had immense value and the thought of a few relevant opponents, is vital for the preparation of the squad.
It would have been great for the technical committee to recognise the need for at least three or four practice matches such as Venezuela, Jamaica, Canada and any one of the final four qualifiers in the African Nations Cup.
Our team needs to find opponents who also need to sharpen their performance levels for competition of similar quality of the Hexagonal standard.
Because of my many years of assessing coaches, national and club, I will certainly cast a look at our local choice with the hope that the exposure afforded him by the English coaches will bring much valuable information to our own.
We need to support him totally and demand that the TTFA give him the respect of getting a few friendlies which I previously mentioned and a contract which is not filled with the two-match dismissal clause in advance of the giants - Mexico and Panama.
National striker Akeem Roach scored a first-half double to lead Club Sando to a come-from-behind 4-2 defeat of Police FC when the Digicel T&T Pro League 2016-17 season continued at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar, yesterday.
T&T international beach soccer player Jameel Perry fired the Lawmen into 16th minute lead but within three minutes Roach drew Club Sando level. However, Police regained the lead for a second time on the day through Jibri Mc David in the 26th minute, but once again Roach came up big for Club Sando to even the contest in the 31st minute for 2-2.
In the second-half , Club Sando managed to poke its nose in front in the 61st minute courtesy a penalty converted by Kemuel Rivers while experienced campaigner Kevon Piper extended the lead to 4-2 four minutes later after which their team held on for the win to move to 21 points in sixth spot.
W Connection currently leads the table with 40 points from 16 matches, five points more than rivals and second-positioned Central FC, who have two games in hand against Point Fortin Civic and Defence Force.
Two-time reigning champions Central FC was carded to meet Pt Fortin Civic in a 3.30 pm encounter at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar, on Saturday but the team from “Deep South” arrived at the venue at 4 pm, citing transportation troubles, and with the lighting system at the venue not in operation the match was called off.
Former national defender, now turn coach Dennis ‘Tallest’ Lawrence is the new national football coach.
Lawrence who played for T&T 89 times signed on the dotted line yesterday to effectively replaced Belgian Tom Saintfiet, a day after it was rumoured he turned down an initial offer by the TTFA due to differences with the terms and conditions of his contract.
It is understood the TTFA attempted to negotiate a performance-based contract that made specific reference to if Lawrence had a less than a 40-per cent success rate, as suppose to a Lawrence’s request for a medium-to long-term contract that would allow him the opportunity to develop the team.
A member of the board told the Guardian Media Sports that the involvement of the president had been a major stumbling block on a deal that had already been agreed to by the board of the football association during the selection process.
The board member said, “We had already agreed on Wednesday night that Lawrence be given a contract until the end of 2018 with an eye on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.”
The member continued, “Everything had been sorted out, we only had to await a minor condition that related to his success rate. A senior board member almost derailed the agreement despite the fact that the TTFA would not get no real serious coach to accept a game-by-game clause in a contract. It is almost ridiculous.”
Guardian Media Sports understand that Lawrence of Morvant, who scored five times in national colours, was the overwhelming second choice pick after the Technical Committee’s first choice of Stuart Charles Fevrier, the W Connection coach, was turned down by the board because of his relationship with the football association president as well as the public perception created upon John-Williams’ assumption as head of the football association.
The TTFA yesterday issued a signed release bearing the signatures of both Lawrence and its president John-Williams as confirmation of the agreement, stating that Lawrence had accepted the position of head coach of the national team.
In accepting the job, Lawrence, who scored the all important goal to assure the country’s first and only spot at the Fifa World Cup in 2006 in Germany with a 1-0 win over Bahrain, said “I feel honoured and humbled by this opportunity and the confidence placed in me by the association. I have given my all for T&T as a player and now relish this moment to contribute as head coach of the national team.”
“Off course I am coming into a difficult situation and we have to take each game very seriously and put our best foot forward. The experience I gained working under different coaches during my 89 international caps for T&T and my exposure in coaching, has all helped to shape me. I intend to give my very best towards this national effort,” he added.
The former-Defence Force, Wrexham, Swansea and Crewe Alexandra defender will have the enviable task of attempting to guide the Soca Warriors past Panama and Mexico in their next two World Cup qualifiers at home, having lost their opening two matches of the Final Round (Hex) to Costa Rica 2-0 and Honduras 3-1 and are second from bottom on the six-team standings.
Lawrence, 42, is expected to arrive in T&T on Wednesday and will later hold a press conference. His selection has been a welcome choice for many local coaches whom have been lobbying for a T&T coach for the top job.
BRISBANE—West Indies star Deandra Dottin showed no ill-effects from a three-week layoff due to surgery as she lashed a classy half-century in a Player-of-the-Match performance to help power Brisbane Heat into semifinals of the Women’s Big Bash yesterday.
Playing at the Gabba in their second game in as many days, Heat defeated Adelaide Strikers on the one-over eliminator after scores were tied in a dramatic encounter.
In only her second game since recovering from multiple fractures of the cheekbone sustained in an on-field collision with teammate Laura Harris last month, the right-handed Dottin stroked 51 from 41 balls—an innings that lifted Heat to 127 for six off their 20 overs.
They were slumping at 60 for five in the 12th over when Dottin—who batted in a face mask to protect her recent injury—arrived to galvanise the innings in a knock that included seven fours.
Critically, she put on 60 for the sixth wicket with Harris who made 17 not out, to frustrate Strikers down in the latter half of the innings.
Dottin’s half-century was her second of the tournament following her unbeaten 60 last month against Sydney Thunder.
In reply, Strikers responded well, with opener Tammy Beaumont hitting 58 from 54 deliveries, captain Tegan McPharlin chipping in with 23 and opener Charlotte Edwards, getting 21.
Strikers were losing their way at 73 for six in the 15th over until Beaumont and McPharlin added 49 for the seventh to revive the innings.
With six runs needed off the final over, medium pacer Dottin failed to prevent Heat from tying the scores—despite a tight over—as Coyte scored the two runs required off the last ball.
Right-armer Dottin produced a miserly four-over spell, claiming one for 17.
She then kept the ball for the eliminator, producing a superb over to limit Strikers to four runs for three wickets—a target easily overhauled off the first two deliveries by Heat.
Heat finished third in the standings following the end of the preliminaries to qualify for the semifinals, and will now face second placed Perth Scorchers in Tuesday’s first semifinal.
T&T Red Force has been bolstered by the return of senior players Denesh Ramdin and Ravi Rampaul for the second phase of the Digicel Professional Cricket League (PCL) which will take place in March.
Recently Head coach of the team Gus Logie made a call for the senior players to return to the fold to assist the team to climb out of the bottom of the standings. At the end of the pre-Christmas period the T&T Red Force stood at the bottom of the six-team standings. Patrick Rampersad the third vice-president of the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) said the team is expected to have a stronger look when the series restarts. “We understand from discussions that Denesh Ramdin has given the word that he will continue to play for the rest of the season with us, as well as fast bowler Ravi Rampaul.
“I don’t think it is a situation that the senior players don’t want to play for their country, I think it is the contrary. They want to play and they will once the opportunity presents itself. Dwayne Bravo is injured, Darren Bravo has his situation with the Cricket West Indies and I am sure once dealt with he will be back with us, so I am confident that the best talent will be on display for the rest of the professional cricket league when it gets going again.”
Ramdin and Rampaul are back for the Super50 series and Ramdin is the captain of the team that is currently preparing to defend the title in the upcoming series. Also back in the Super50 team is all rounder Rayad Emrit who missed some matches in the PCL because of his commitments in the Bangladesh Premier League T20 tournament.
T&T Red Force has however lost the services of all rounder Kevon Cooper and Akeal Hosein are both now playing with the Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the Regional Super50.
The appointment of former national player Dennis Lawrence as the country’s new national senior men’s football coach has brought a sigh of relief for many local coaches and sports enthusiasts.
His appointment means the country can now focus on the business of football, which includes the country’s chances of qualifying for the World Cup. After two matches in the final round of the Fifa World Cup Qualifiers, the Soca Warriors are second from bottom without a point, following losses to Costa Rica and Honduras.
Yesterday, however, the country’s leading international goalscorer (89) and now assistant coach at Central FC Stern John said, “It’s a fantastic opportunity for Dennis. He has been coaching at a high level for some time and it’s good to see that the association has seen it fit to give him this opportunity now. I know he will give it one hundred per cent and it is important that he also receives the full support of the FA which I am sure they will do.”
John who has been attempting to produce another generation of goal-hungry strikers through his coaching academy and at Central FC, believes Lawrence will also receive the support of the players and the country as a whole.
According to John, “Dennis is one of the younger coaches on the scene now. He will bring new ideas and philosophies and I am looking forward to see him in charge of our national team.”
Meanwhile, Jamal Shabazz, a former coach of Morvant Caledonia United and present Administrator of all programmes at the TTFA, said he was particularly pleased with Lawrence’s appointment as an Morvant resident at a time when so much negatives have been coming out of the area. “His appointment has been profound and we at Morvan Caledonia intend to mobilise the entire community to support Lawrence in this national effort.”
Shabazz also said that he was happy to see that a coach has been appointed and the country and the TTFA can move forward with the business of football.
Veteran footballer Carlos Edwards who has been Lawrence’s teammate since their playing days at Defence Force, Wrexham and the national team, said: “I think it’s a really good decision. His passion and commitment to the game is second to none. From the time he started accumulating his coaching badges, he dedicated everything to himself and his development in order to fulfil his ambitions.”
T&T’s Zakiya Denoon breezed past all competitors to cop a gold medal in the women’s 60 metres event at the New York City (NYC) Gotham Cup at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island on Friday evening.
The Monroe College sophomore clocked 7.50 seconds to easily win the dash as her closest challenger was some 0.19 seconds behind.
Denoon of Belle Garden, Tobago, opened up the indoor season last weekend with a second-place finish at the Towson Invitational at the Armory in New York.
She earned the first spot at nationals with a second-place time of 7.45 in the 60-meter dash. She had won her preliminary heat prior to her podium finish.
The five-foot-ten runner’s performance helped her team to place ninth at the event and was one of five runners from Monroe to qualify for nationals.
Denoon later competed in the 4x400m relay and her team placed 10th in 4:05.96.
Her schoolmate, Dawnel Collymore, a local middle-distance runner was 13th overall in the 1,000m race.
The freshman at Monroe College finished in a time of 3:03.92, placing fifth in heat two.
Also competing at the event were local sprinters Andre Marcano and Haysean Cowie-Clarke. Both faced the starter in the men’s 60m, Marcano of Central Park Track Club (New York) New Balance crossed in 6.85 to place fourth and Cowie-Clarke, a senior at Coppin State University, was eighth in 6.98.
Morvant Caledonia United became the latest victim of title-chasing W Connection last night at the Hasely Crawford Stadium training ground, which welcomed for the first time in its history, floodlights.
Second half goals by Jamal Charles, Jelani Peters and Hughtun Hector ensured Connection were comfortable 3-0 winners over Morvant Caledonia to celebrate a fifth straight win.
The result put the Digicel Pro League 2016-17 leaders at 40 points, five points more than rivals and second-positioned Central FC, which have two games in hand against Point Fortin Civic and Defence Force.
Two-time reigning champions Central FC was carded to meet Pt Fortin Civic in a 3.30pm encounter at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar, yesterday, but the team from “Deep South” arrived at the venue at 4pm, citing transportation troubles, and with the lighting system at the venue not in operation the match was called off.
The decision on the encounter is expected to be determined by the Pro League’s Disciplinary Committee at a date to be decided following a submission of a report by match officials, while Central FC will return to action against Defence Force on Tuesday from 6pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva in a re-scheduled contest.
Down at Mucurapo, under a very heavy and consistent downpour of rain,
Minister of Sport, Darryl Smith, and a brigade of other ministry officials including MP for Laventille West, Fitzgerald Hinds, and Sport Company of T&T (SPORTT) chairman Michael Phillips, and officials from the T&T Electricity Commission were all on hand for the commissioning of the floodlights at the Mucurapo Training Ground.
The first-half failed to produce any goals with Neil Benjamin Jr of W Connection guiding his team’s best chance overbar, and on the other end lively Morvant Caledonia’s Guyanese teenager Kelsey Benjamin curl an effort t just wide.
However, five minutes after the restart W Connection finally broke the deadlock with a cleaver flick with the outside of his boot from Charles off a Dimitrie Apai cross, which caught goalkeeper Kern Caesar by surprise for his league high tenth of the campaign, one more than Defence Force’s Devorn Jorsling.
Two minutes later the “Savonetta Boys” doubled their advantage with defender Peters heading home a well taken free-kick from substitute Shaquille John.
A former national youth team member, Caesar then roduced a wonderful save to deny Charles a second on the night, but substitute Hector then wrapped up all three points for the Couva-based club made just after two minutes of his introduction when he latched onto a pass from veteran utility player Andre Toussaint and fired past Caesar.
Morvant/Caledonia’s best chance of the contest came with ten minutes left when Dylon King hammered a strike onto the near upright, while at the other end of the field Charles of Grenada was also denied five minutes from time when his powerful drive was cleared off the line by a defender.
To conclude the season, Central FC has three matches left to play (Defence Force, St Ann’s Rangers, San Juan Jabloteh) while W Connection has two regular left to play against Jabloteh, and Ma Pau Stars.
Also on Friday night at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, San Juan Jabloteh and Ma Pau Stars got wins over St Ann’s Rangers and Defence Force respectively.
Third placed Jabloteh warmed up for its Caribbean Football Union Club Championship campaign in March with a 5-0 mauling of Rangers led by a doube from national winger Nathan Lewis to strengthen its hold on third spot with 29 points while Ma Pau Stars got a goal from veteran strikers, Kerry Baptiste and Jason Scotland in a 2-0 blanking of Defence Force to stay fourth on 25 points.
Today, Police and Club Sando, sixth and seventh on the table and separated by two points clash at Malabar from 3.30pm.
Central FC vs Pt Fortin Civic - Did Not Play (Pt Fortin arrived late)
Jabloteh 5 (Jamal Gay 10th, Keon Edwards 28th, Nathan Lewis 37th, 68th, Aaquil Campbell 89th) vs St Ann’s Rangers 0
Ma Pau Stars 2 (Kerry Baptiste 56th, Jason Scotland 82nd) vs Defence Force 0
W Connection 3 (Jamal Charles 50th, Jelani Peters 52nd, Hughtun Hector 82nd) vs Morvant Caledonia Utd 0
Latest T&T Pro League standings Teams P W D L F A Pts
1. W Connection 16 13 1 2 47 13 40
2. Central 14 11 2 1 29 13 35
3. Jabloteh 16 9 2 5 32 21 29
4. Ma Pau Stars 16 7 4 5 31 27 25
5. Defence Force 15 6 2 7 22 25 20
6. Club Sando 15 5 3 7 23 27 18
7. Police FC 15 4 4 7 30 29 16
8. St Ann’s Rangers 16 4 4 8 30 34 16
9. Morvant/Caledonia 16 2 5 9 18 29 11
10. Pt Fortin Civic 15 1 3 11 15 53 6
Upcoming T&T Pro League matches Today
Police FC vs Club Sando, Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar, 3.30 pm
Defence Force vs Central FC, Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, 6.00 pm
T&T’s Joseph Bertrand is the lone local official and one of ten officials from the Caribbean Football Union selected by Concacaf on Thursday to officiate at the 2017 Concacaf Under-20 Championship in Costa Rica next month.
A total of 28 referees (12) and assistant referees (16) from 15 different countries earned assignments to the competition, which qualifies four teams directly to the 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
“We have appointed the top referees to officiate the Concacaf Under-20 Championship, which is one of the oldest and most important competitions within our Confederation,” said Concacaf Director of Refereeing Brian Hall.
“The tournament promises challenging and competitive games, providing a platform to display not only the best professional young players, but also the extraordinary talent of our referees.”
In 2015, Bertrand was one of ten local football referees who received Fifa badges to join the official list of referees for international matches.
The Concacaf Under-20 Championship will be played February 17 – March 5, 2017, at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose and the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Ayma in Tibas, Costa Rica.
The tournament host was seeded into Group C, and will face El Salvador, Bermuda and T&T.
In Group A, defending confederation champion Mexico was joined by Antigua & Barbuda, Honduras and Canada, while the USA, Panama, St Kitts/Nevis and Haiti make up Group B.
The names of match officials are below
Referees (12): Drew Fischer (Canada), Henry Bejarano (Costa Rica), Oscar Reyna (Guatemala), Armando Castro (Honduras), Melvin Matamoros (Honduras), Kevin Morrison (Jamaica), Valdin Legister (Jamaica), Erick Miranda (Mexico), Jafeth Perea (Panama), Javier Santos (Puerto Rico), Marlon Mejia (El Salvador), Armando Villarreal (USA)
Assistant Referees (16): Philippe Briere (Canada),
Carlos Fernandez (Costa Rica), Leonardo Sanchez (Cuba), Raidel Toledo (Cuba), Hermenerito Leal (Guatemala), Melvyn Cruz (Honduras), Richard Washington (Jamaica), Marcos Quintero (Mexico),
Henry Pupiro (Nicaragua), Ronald Bruna (Panama),
Jairo Morales (Puerto Rico), Graeme Browne (St Kitts/Nevis), Geovany Garcia (El Salvador), Zachari Zeegelaar (Suriname), Joseph Bertrand (T&T), Frank Anderson (USA)
West Indies leg-spinner Samuel Badree has come out in praise of Cricket Australia (CA) for organising what he describes as a ‘super’ tournament in speaking about the ongoing Big Bash.
Badree who has been contracted to play for the Brisbane Heat is not playing these days due to injury but has had a wonderful time ‘Down Under’.
Speaking to Guardian Media Sport from Brisbane he said: “This is a super tournament that keeps growing every year. It is amazing to see the crowds that show up but not surprising as the package delivered to them is quite spectacular.” The massive Aussie grounds are near packed on any given day that matches are played in the Big Bash as the crowds have really taken to the format.
Badree continued: “Quite apart from quality cricket, big name players, great weather, school holidays and huge interest in the game here, the families and spectators are treated with off field entertainment that really makes them want to come back.”
He was particularly impressed with what he has seen at his home venue in Brisbane: “At the Gabba for instance we have a lazer light show, fireworks and player interactions, dance cam, kiss cam and live twitter feeds being read out and oh...a pool deck as well.
“So CA have really packaged it well for all audiences and the marketing has been incredible. Again, I’ve really enjoyed my time here competing and playing with some of the best in the world.
“As for my injury, I am still recovering.” The leg spinner is key to the success of the Heat but has used his time wisely off the field to develop other aspects of his game.
Patrice Goring produced 37 goals from 52 attempts to steer Police to a 44-32 victory over the University of the T&T (UTT) on Thursday evening in the Courts All Sectors Netball League at the Eastern Regional Indoor Sports Arena in Tacarigua.
This was in the second match of a Championship Division double-header. In the opening affair between Las Lomas and Defence Force, the match ended a stalemate with the scores remaining tied at 28 at the end of regulation time.
The police officers led throughout despite making a slow start. They held a narrow 12-11 advantage at the end of the first quarter. At the half, they managed to pulled further ahead, leading by seven (24-17) entering the third session.
Helping Goring, the goal-shooter in the circle was initially Donessa Wickham, who netted six off ten. Later she was replaced by former national netball captain Lystra Solomon-Simmons as the goal-attack. She was useful in feeding the ball to Goring and added a goal from two tries as her team triumphed in its second straight match.
On Saturday, it defeated TSTT 45-27 in its season’s opener.
On the resumption, the lawwomen came out more aggressively and increased their lead to 11 (34-23). UTT did give some fight in the final period, almost matching its opponent in goals scored in the quarter, nine compared to Police’s ten, but it was not enough to overcome that 11-goal deficit.
Akeilah Francis (13/27), Aeisha Collins (10/21), and Oprah Douglas (9/12) were the shooters for UTT, which is yet to record a win, having fallen 31-46 in its opening match to Jabloteh last Thursday.
In the first match, Las Lomas, newcomers to the league, was able to hold Defence Force to a 28-28 draw. Las Lomas dominated in the first two quarters, 8-6 and 17-17, before the army/coastguard fought back to tie the score at 22-22 in the third quarter. In the final session, neither teams could be separated after each team netted six and ended sharing the points.
Raquel Russell was best for Las Lomas with 15 in 31 and for Defence Force, Jody Sprott had a match-high 21 from 36 tries.
Las Lomas 28 (Raquel Russell 15/31, Ayana Russell 9/15, Anita Pitt Russell 4/5) vs Defence Force 28 (Samantha Kinsale 6/14, Jody Sprott 21/36, Melissa Snaggs 1/2).
Quarters scores: 8-6 (Las Lomas), 17-14 (Las Lomas), 22-22.
Police 44 (Patrice Goring 37/52, Donessa Wickham 6/10, Lystra Solomon 1/2) vs UTT 32 (Akeilah Francis 13/27, Aeisha Collins 10/21, Oprah Douglas 9/12).
Quarter scores: 12-11, 24-17, 34-23 (All in favour of Police).
Bermudez vs Las Lomas, 1 pm
Police vs Jabloteh, 2.15 pm
Police vs UWI, 3.30 pm
TSTT vs Defence Force, 4.45 pm
UTT vs Fire, 6 pm
Basketball will be at the forefront over the weekend at the Maloney Indoor Sport Arena as the University of T&T’s (UTT) High Performance basketball team hosts its first ever Invitational Basketball Tournament.
The Red Wolves as the UTT unit is nicknamed will match skills against some tough competitors in Police, Maloney Pacers, Defence Force, Pythons and Ministry of Sport Schoolaz, starting today from 1 pm with the opening ceremony.
Expected to give opening remarks is former national coach and player Joseph “Lenny” Guy, UTT’s past High Performance basketball coach.
Today’s format is a round robin playoff, featuring the six teams all vying for the title in the inaugural tournament.
Tomorrow, the entertainment will peak with the final and the highly anticipated All-Star celebrity match, which will feature the Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith, former national cricket captain Daren Ganga, former national football coach and captain Clayton Morris, national women netball players and a number of entertainment personalities.
Following the formalities, there will be a group draw at 1.30 pm. The first match jumps off at 2 pm.
North Zone Bball meeting
The North Zone Basketball Commission is inviting all clubs to a general council meeting on Tuesday at the Woodbrook Youth Facility from 7 pm sharp.
High on the agenda is the planning of the 2017 season, the National Basketball Federation (NBFTT) annual General Meeting (AGM) and other business.
All clubs are asked to make every effort to be represented.
Group Draw, 1.30 pm
Game 1, 2 pm
Game 2, 3.16 pm
Game 3, 4.32 pm
Game 4, 5.48 pm
Game 5, 7.14 pm
Game 6, 8.30 pm
Consolation Game (Third & Fourth Placement), 3 pm
Skills Challenge, 4.30 pm
All-Star Celebrity match, 5.35 pm
Final, 7 pm
Award Distribution, 8.30 pm
Nine deliveries, 16 runs and three wickets featured in one of the most bizarre final overs in BBL history. But the Melbourne Renegades kept their finals hopes alive with a nail-biting one-run win over the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba, yesterday.
The equation was simple at the beginning of the final over. The Heat needed 18 runs to secure a home final. Nathan Rimmington needed to defend 16 or less to keep the Renegades alive.
Rimmington did his job, but only just. He bowled four wides, conceded two sixes, took the wicket of Joe Burns and completed two run-outs in roller-coaster ride that would have left the most adventurous of thrill-seekers feeling nauseous.
It had been a night for the batsmen. The Renegades had set a big total of 199 on the back of a stunning opening stand from Aaron Finch and Marcus Harris. They scored 106 runs in just nine overs before Harris fell.
The Heat then trumped that start with the second-highest score in the Powerplay in BBL history. Brendon McCullum and Sam Heazlett took 84 from the first five overs of the chase. The Renegades, though, pulled Heat back courtesy outstanding spells from Thisara Perera and Brad Hogg. Extraordinary hitting from Ben Cutting and Joe Burns and some rain then added to the drama of the final overs but the Renegades somehow held their nerve.
While the national community awaits the naming of a new national coach by the T&T Football Association (TTFA) to replace Belgium Tom Saintfiet, the organisation has issued a release advising that the announcement of a Head Coach for the Men’s Senior National Team will take place on Monday.
According to the TTFA release yesterday it stated, “TTFA has noted the large public interest in the selection of our new National Senior Men’s coach and we wish to assure the our supporters and stakeholders, the TTFA Technical Committee is working assiduously to complete the current process, to ensure the most appropriate selection, in the best interest of the National Senior Men’s Team Programme and our ongoing the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.”
There is wide public speculations that former 2006 World Cup defender Dennis Lawrence was the TTFA Technical Committee preferred choice for the position and following discussions which took place during the TTFA Executive meeting on Wednesday evening, it was agreed that Lawrence is the coach.
However, since then the TTFA did not confirm whether or not a decision was reached by the Board of Directors.
The other coaches, who were interviewed by the Technical Committee which is headed by former national player and the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the T&T Pro League Dexter Skeene, for the position were W Connection coach Stuart Charles Fevrier, former San Juan Jabloteh and Central FC coach Terry Fenwick, former midfielder maestro Russell Latapy, who was an assistant to the country’s last coach Saintfiet and Colombian Francisco Maturana.
The TTFA was faced with the challenge of a new appointment for the position after Saintfield resigned from the job 35 days after taking over the team which is gearing for two crucial World Cup qualifiers for Russia 2018 against Panama and Mexico.
The Board of Directors of the T&T Football Association has sent a strong message to the Technical Committee -- ‘Do your job and let us do ours.’
This after the technical committee spent a week of interviewing, deliberating and examining prospective candidates to fill the position of national head coach after Belgium Tom Saintfiet walkout of the job ten days ago.
The Technical Committee of TTFA recommended to the Board of Directors on Wednesday that W Connection coach Stuart Charles Fevrier be the next national coach. He was chosen as the front runner on a four-man ranking system that also included former San Juan Jabloteh and Central FC coach Terry Fenwick, former World Cup defender Dennis Lawrence, who has garnered sufficient experience and qualification at the English Premiership level and former midfielder maestro Russell Latapy, who was an assistant to the country’s last coach Saintfiet.
However, a reliable source close the the development told the Guardian Media Sports that the recommendations excluded Colombian Francisco Maturana as the committee explained to the TTFA in its report that he (Matarana) was not affordable.
Guardian Media Sports learnt that the board rejected the recommendation based on this and asked for it to be done based on merit and not on the Technical Committee’s assumption.
According to the source, the board will decide whether the football association has the financial resources to afford a coach or not, and deal with any other issue of the TTFA. As such it instructed the committee to go back and submit the best coach based on merit.
The technical committee has agreed it will return by this weekend. Instead of meeting at a specific venue the choice of national coach is likely to be done electronically, as members may find it difficult to be there tomorrow and Sunday.
Guardian Media Sports understands that it was agreed unanimously by the board that it was a fundamental mistake by the committee to put the issue of affordability ahead of merit in its selection.
“We wanted to see who the best man for the job of attempting to take the country to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia is, as it is the priority of the TTFA at this point in time. We didn’t want people’s assumption of who is affordable and who is not, as that decision is not apart of their mandate”
The board of the TTFA comprises president David John-Williams, vice presidents- Joanne Salazar, Ewing Davis and Allan Warner, Samuel Saunders (Central FA), Sherwyn Dyer (Eastern Counties Football Union), Karanjabari Williams (Northern FA), Richard Quan Chan (Southern FA), Anthony Moore (Tobago FA), Joseph Taylor (T&T Football Referees Association), Sharon O’Brien (Women’s League Football), Wayne Cunningham (Eastern FA) and Skeene of the TT Pro League.
The T&TFA issued a release on Wednesday night stating that after several hours of its statutory Board Meeting Wednesday at its head office, it was yet to come to a final decision on the selection of the men’s head coach. However, it expects to make an announcement by weekend.
Attempts to reach Dexter Skeene, the Technical Committee Chairman proved futile.
The TTFA Technical Committee comprises Dexter Skeene - chairman), Dr. Alvin Henderson, Muhammad Isa (Technical Director), Jinelle James and Bertille St Clair.
Meanwhile, the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) will meet tomorrow in Miami, USA to discuss the Television Rights for T&T’s remaining four World Cup Qualifying matches.
A top official of the TTFA revealed yesterday that the CFU has been in a difficult situation to hold on to the rights, which it is understood was sold to Traffic, a marketing company operating in the region for an estimated US$3 million. It is understood T&T stand to lose big time if the CFU fails to regain control of the TV rights.
The CFU usually negotiates a share of the TV right for regional territories.
Also, T&T’s World Cup 2006 captain Dwight Yorke and TTFA president David John-Williams were given four-year appointments by FIFA on standing committees. Yorke, the former 2006 World Cup standout player, who became famous with England’s Manchester United was appointed to the FIFA Development Committee, while John-Williams will serve on the FIFA Players’ Status Committee, which is responsible for determining the status of players for various FIFA competitions.
Two-time reigning champions Central FC stayed on course for a historic third straight Digicel T&T Pro League crown after a 3-0 blanking of Police FC at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar on Wednesday.
The trio of Jason Marcano, Darren Mitchell and Kishun Seecharan all found the back of the net as Central FC rebounded from last weekend’s shock defeat against Ma Pau Stars (2-0) to improve to 35 points from 14 matches, two behind former champions W Connection and with a match in hand.
To conclude the season, Central FC has four matches left to play (Defence Force, Pt Fortin Civic, St Ann’s Rangers, San Juan Jabloteh) while W Connection has three regular left to play against Morvant Caledonia United, Jabloteh, and Ma Pau Stars.
At Malabar, Central FC dubbed the “Couva Sharks” were prepared to bounce back from early on and grabbed the lead through attacker Marcano who headed past Police goalkeeper Adrian Foncette in the tenth minute.
Following a volley of first half chances on either end, coach Dale Saunders’ men finally got the desired 2-0 cushion on the stroke of half-time with Mitchell completing Jem Gordon’s right side move by hitting into the far bottom corner of Foncette’s net.
Three minutes after the resumption, Central FC, which strengthened its attempt for a third consecutive league this season with the signing of former US Major League Soccer defender Julius James and the return of winger Rundell Winchester, extended the lead to 3-0. This time Seecharan completed a simple tap-in from close up after another fast break led by the speedy Winchester who squared from the right.
Mitchell was denied another by Foncette on the hour mark, and eight minutes from the final whistle Foncette was lucky not to concede another when Marcano headed onto the crossbar.
And a minute later substitute Johan Peltier struck wide off a well-placed Marcano cross as Central FC, who returns to the Malabar venue tomorrow (Saturday) against Pt Fortin Civic, continued their dominance.
The loss left Police, which has been without injured striker Makesi Lewis (broken leg) for most of the season slumped in seventh position on 16 points as coach Richard Hood’s pairing of attacking Perry brothers Jameel and Kareem failed to produce the goods for the Lawmen, who return to the Malabar on Sunday against sixth placed Club Sando.
Ma Pau Stars 2 (Jerrel Britto 78th, Nicholas Thomas 85th) vs Club Sando 2 (Akeem Humphrey 55th, Kemuel Rivers 65th pen)
Pt Fortin Civic 4 (Darnell Hospedales 3rd, 17th, 89th, Nion Lammy 39th) vs San Juan Jabloteh 2 (Elijah Manners 50th, Nathan Lewis 68th)
W Connection 1 (Dimitrie Apai 20’) vs St Ann’s Rangers 0
Defence Force 1 (Aklie Edwards 60th) vs Morvant Caledonia United 1 (Dylon King 26th)
Central FC 3 (Jason Marcano 10th, Darre Mitchell 45th, Kishun Seecharan 48th) vs Police FC 0
Latest Standing Teams P W D L F A Pts
1. W Connection 15 12 1 2 44 13 37
2. Central 14 11 2 1 29 13 35
3. Jabloteh 15 8 2 5 27 21 26
4. Ma Pau Stars 15 6 4 5 29 27 22
5. Defence Force 14 6 2 6 22 23 20
6. Club Sando 15 5 3 7 23 27 18
7. Police FC 15 4 4 7 30 29 16
8. St Ann’s Rangers 15 4 4 7 30 29 16
9. Morvant/Cale 15 2 5 8 18 26 11
10. Pt Fortin Civic 15 1 3 11 15 53 6
Upcoming Matches Today
Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva
St. Ann’s Rangers vs San Juan Jabloteh,6pm
Ma Pau Stars vs Defence Force, 8pm
Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo:
Morvant Caledonia United vs W Connection, 6pm
Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar
Central FC vs Point Fortin Civic, 3.30pm
Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar
Police FC vs Club Sando, 3:30pm
Sans Souci Bay, trained by Richard Hannon and re-united with proficient stable apprentice, Tina Smith, is definitely worth chancing in a Maiden Stakes over seven furlongs of Wolverhampton tapeta tonight; I’ve spent a lot of time on two all-weather programmes, the other will be staged on Lingfield polytrack.
When it’s necessary to prize out selections after careful scrutiny, checking and re-checking, it’s usually because I’m attempting to make selections from extremely moderate thoroughbreds and give you a chance of winning.
That sums up my morning perfectly, never has one been confronted with such rubbish and how anyone can bet seriously on some of the tripe continually served up is beyond my comprehension; hopefully the menu will improve!
Tina was replaced by Sean Levey over course and distance three weeks ago but it made no difference; San Souci Bay ran his usual consistent race but didn’t approach a ‘career-best’ time-handicap mark achieved under the young lass back in November. His last three races have been over this course.
Sans Souci Bay is no ‘cert’ by any means but hopefully a 7lbs allowance will weigh heavily against six ordinary rivals and is worth following.
According to the Charles Hills camp once-raced Marettimo has improved and should be ‘thereabouts’ in the eight-runner Maiden Stakes over ten furlongs of Lingfield polytrack; it is a moderate race and needs to be.
John Gosden-trained Keswick was third on debut earlier this month but is no great shakes, a comment which applies to several others.
Perhaps we ought to heed the Hills advice and have a modest each-way punt at huge odds.
Incidentally Hamdan Al Maktoum has sent Hills forty horses!
That is because the Dubai-based Sheikh Hamdan knows 79-year-old Barry will be overseeing operations; you can’t beat experience!
Seprani is fancied and has form good enough to make one of three placings in the opening 3-y-o handicap over seven furlongs.
Lingfield, 10.00 Seprani (e.w) 12.40 Marettimo (e.w)
Wolverhampton, 2.45 Sans Souci Bay (nap).
Three T&T players have made the cut for the Cricket West Indies Under-19 team for the upcoming Regional Super50 Tournament. They are Kirstan Kallicharan, Matthew Patrick and Te-Shawn Alleyne.
The other three players who were on trials and missing out are Cephas Cooper, Navin Bedaisee and Keagan Simmons.
The 14-member squad includes five players who were part of the team which won the ICC Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh last year.
These are allrounders Shamar Springer and Keemo Paul; middle-order batsman Kirstan Kallicharan; wicket-keeper/batsman Emmanuel Stewart; and left-arm fast bowler Obed McCoy.
The West Indies Under-19s are participating in this tournament as part of their preparation for the ICC Under-19 World Cup, to be played in New Zealand next year. Springer, Paul and McCoy will not be eligible for that tournament, but have be selected as part of their continued development and monitoring.
Head Coach Graeme West outlined the details behind the team’s preparations. “We have a really fantastic group of players selected for this tournament and we believe they will do very well. We had a camp in Grenada before Christmas, which went really well. We will have another camp here in Antigua in the build-up to this event, which should get us in the right frame of mind as we play against older and more experienced opposition,” West said.
“On the team, we have included three ‘over-aged’ players – Springer, Paul and McCoy – to add a bit of strength especially to the seam bowling department. They are three quality bowlers, and they can bat as well, and we believe will serve West Indies cricket very well in the future.”
The West Indies Under-19s will play in Zone A which is based in Antigua. They will play alongside defending champions Trinidad & Tobago Red Force, Windward Islands Volcanoes, Kent Spitfire and host team Leeward Islands Hurricanes.
Te-Shawn Alleyne, Alick Athanaze, Joshua Bishop, Shian Brathwaite, Kirstan Kallicharan, Mikyle Louis, Obed McCoy, Matthew P atrick, Keemo Paul, Jeavor Royal, Javier Spencer, Shamar Springer, Emmanuel Stewart and Bhaskar Yadram.
Graeme West (Head Coach), Tony Gray (Assistant Coach), Dwain Gill (Team Manager), Khevyn Williams (Physiotherapist), Dinesh Mahabir (Analyst), Zephyrinus Nicholas (Trainer).