Club Sando Under-18 standouts Isa Bramble, Ronaldo McIntosh and Declan Marcelle are among a new crop of teenagers that will feature in the new 2018 Pro League season for the Oranges’ first team after the exit of captain Akim Armstrong and Trinidad and Tobago internationals Tyrone Charles and Jared London.
The experienced trio of Armstrong, Charles and London all suited up for Central FC in the recently concluded finals of the Concacaf 2018 Caribbean Club Championship in Jamaica and could be in the Couva Sharks set up for the new domestic season.
“They (Armstrong, Charles and London) were out of contract and requested transfers which we allowed, and with all that happening it gave us more impetus to move in the direction we wanted in terms of developing younger players,” said Club Sando head coach Angus Eve who plans to make Sando 14-year-old midfielder Nirvan Ramnarine the youngest player to feature for a first team in the Pro League.
“Let’s just say he is my next Justin Sadoo.” Sadoo, like many of Sando’s promoted players, was a standout at Naparima College where Eve also serves as head coach. However Sadoo, a classy attacking midfielder, will likely renew his commitment to Point Fortin Civic for the upcoming season.
“This has always been part of Sando’s five-year plan and these new additions came through the youth ranks at Sando. This is the goal of our chairman Mr (Edison) ‘Eddie’ Dean to continuously develop the youngsters, hence the reason I coached the Under-18 team this season [in the Flow Youth Pro League].
“And following the recent utterances in the media by the national senior team head coach (Dennis Lawrence) on his disappointment in the level of the young players, we see it more important to try and develop these players,” added the former T&T midfielder and most capped player of all time.
Dennis Lawrence questioned the technical level and fitness of the players after selecting a number of fresh faces for a friendly against Panama last April in an attempt to widen his locally-based player pool.
Cordell Frontin, Dillon Yearwood and goalkeeper Raheem Lee are also among the list of Club Sando teenagers promoted to the first team where they will combine with defenders Nicholas Thomas, 21, and Trevin Latapy, 23, midfielder Michael Basdeo, 21, and midfielder/forward Keron Cornwall, 25, who will serve as the backbone of the fresh-look Oranges alongside experienced left-back Kemuel Rivers, 30, and goalkeepers Stefan Berkeley, 26, and Kelvin Henry, 25.
“I can spot talent,” said Eve who is also head coach of Naparima College where he also helped develop a number of the new promoted Sando players. “I believe these [promoted] players have the potential to play senior football. It’s not an overnight thing but after this season they will be better prepared to hold their own next season.
“I do have a lot of experience working with young players like in the past with Sheldon Bateau and Kevin Molino who went on to do extremely well at national senior level. Also I was just 17, just left Mucurapo Senior when I started playing with top club at the time ECM Motown alongside the likes of seniors Ron La Forest, Kelvin Jones, Leroy Spann and Anthony Streete. So I know what it takes as a player and as a coach.”
Eve has also snapped up the services of 20-year-olds in Micah Lansiquot (St. Ann’s Rangers), Shawndell Augustus (San Juan Jabloteh) and Shadeon Arthur (Central FC), and former Point Fortin Civic player Tigana Sparks, 30, and Kadeem Gittens, 22, who both joined rom Southern Football Association (SFA) side Union Hall.
Former Naparima star and Club Sando youth player forward, Quinn Rodney, who earlier this year joined W Connection and made his debut for the Savonetta Boys at the Caribbean Club Championship group stage, has returned to Sando for the new season.
Sando will however be without Josiah Trimmingham for the next few months after the 21-year-old defender suffered a broken leg in training with the T&T national team earlier this year while winger Akeem Redhead has returned to Point Fortin Civic.
“Trimmingham’s cast came off last week and from the latest prognosis, the foot has healed well,” explained Eve. “He now has to start to undergo physical therapy but it’s going to be a long road back …nothing sooner than four to five months.”
Trimmingham, according to Eve, was set to become Sando’s new captain. “We value Trimmingham so much that we gave him a contract and will pay him a salary for the new season [even though he is side-lined].
Club Sando 2018 squad
Goalkeepers: Stefan Berkeley, Kelvin Henry, Enrique Changiah (U21) and Raheem Lee (U21)
Defenders: Kemuel Rivers, Trevin Latapy, Nicholas Thomas, Shadeon Arthur (U21), Shakiyl Phillip, Tigana Sparks and Josiah Trimmingham
Midfielders: Keron Cornwall, Jason Joseph, Kevon Piper, Micah Lansiquot (U21), Michael Basdeo, Shawndell Augustus (U21), Kadeem Gittens, Aaron Kennedy (U21), Ronaldo Mc Intosh (U21), Cordell Frontin (U21), Declan Marcelle (U21) and Dillon Yearwood (U21)
Forwards: Quinn Rodney (U21), Russell Alfred and Isa Bramble (U21)
Staff: Angus Eve (Head Coach/Trainer), Michael Maurice (Assistant Coach/Goalkeeper), Muhammad Isa (Technical Director), Roger Ryan (Physiotherapist), Eddison ‘Eddie’ Dean and Derek Lange (Team Administrators), Anil Ramnarine (Equipment Manager) and Claudius Celestine (Assistant Equipment Manager)
SOURCE: T&T Pro League