Stern John.
Current Club:
Southampton (England, 29-Aug-2007 to present).
Position: Forward.
DOB: 30th October 1976.
T&T Debut: 1995.
Previous Clubs: Malta Carib Alcons 1996 (Trinidad), Carolina Dynamo 1997 (USA), New Orleans Riverboat Gamblers 1997 (USA), Columbus Crew (1998-99 - 52 goals - USA), Nottingham Forest (England - 1999 to Jan - 2002),
Birmingham City (England, 04-Feb-2002 to 14-Sept-2004), Derby County (England, Loaned from 13-Sept-2005 to 18-Dec-2005), Coventry City (England, 15-Sept-2004 to 28-Jan-2007), Sunderland AFC (England, 29-Jan-2007 to 29-Aug-2007).
Place of  birth: Cane Farm - Trinidad.
Height: 6ft 2".
School: El Dorado Senior Compresive (Trinidad).
International Honours: Trinidad & Tobago 2002 T&TFF Player of the Year. Stern John was named 1999 Shell/Umbro Caribbean Cup "MVP" after netting 10 goals. He is good with either foot and is also a good header of the ball.
Stats: Century of International Appearances.
NOTE: Nottingham Forest: Signed From: Columbus Crew for £1.5 Million.
Forest Debut: Nov, 24, 1999 v Portsmouth and scored after just 6 minutes.
Stern John then left Nottingham Forest after his 3 year contract was expired and signed for Birmingham City on the 08-Feb-2002 for a fee of £100,000, the whole package for John's services is in excess of £2.3 million a
two-year deal with a further option to extend at Brimingham City. Nottingham Forest wanted to keep their top goal scorer of the 2001 season (Stern John) but was unable to provide the cash.
Brimingham City: Signed From: Nottingham Forest for £100,000. Brimingham Debut:
Sat-16-Feb-02  v Barnsley and scored the lone goal winner in the game. Stern John played a huge part in taking T&T to the 2006 world cup, his shining moment came when he scored a double against Guatemala in the dying stage to send T&T to win 3-2 and then against Mexico he registered 2 more goals in a 2-1 come from behind win. Both games was played in the 2005 world cup qualifiers. In 2008 John was named Southampton's Player of the Year and also received the Goal of the Season Award. John rescued Southampton from relegation in 2007/2008 (season) when he scored 2 important goals in a 3-2 win over Sheffield United. It was a must win game for Southampton and the last of the season for them as well. John finished 4th (20 goals) in the entire Championship League and top scorer for his club with 23 goals (overall). He was later named ESPN-Soccernet Championship League signing of the season.

Related  News:
29-Jun-2008 Stern John eyes more goals for T&T.
22-May-2008 Stern: My stats speak for themselves.
04-May-2008 Maturana looks on as Stern John saves Southampton.
23-Apr-2008 Stern cops 'player of the year' award.
23-Apr-2008 1,500 students take part in Stern John’s skills event.
08-Mar-2008 Stern has that gut feeling.
03-Feb-2008 Stern John willing to impress Maturana.
24-Dec-2007 John: We'll support T&T coach.
09-Dec-2007 Santa Stern has Southampton in a jolly mood.
03-Dec-2007 Stern stepping into Kenwyne shoes.
28-Nov-2007 Stern: We have the experience to make it again.
03-Oct-2007 Stern John on MLS First XI: Men of influence.
30-Aug-2007 Stern: No regrets over swap deal.
29-Aug-2007 Stern John joins Southampton FC.
20-Apr-2007 Game time for Stern John skills programme.
19-Feb-2007 Edwards issues Stern warning.
29-Jan-2007 John completes move to Sunderland.
04-Jan-2007 John going back to Blues?
21-Nov-2006 John: Youngsters must set goals.
18-Nov-2006 Stern: TTFF treating us badly.
15-Nov-2006 John ruled out of tonight's affair.
02-Nov-2006 John fancies City's promotion bid.
07-Sept-2006 Stern could well make new turn.
09-Aug-2006 Stern set to shine, says Coventry boss.
09-Jun-2006 Mission Impossible.. Soca Warriors rewrite history
23-Apr-2006 John says World Cup squad gearing for total football.

Stern John returns to Coventry City.

Coventry Evening Telegraph.
17-Dec-2005 - The Sky Blues welcome Stern John back to training tomorrow after the striker was released from his loan spell at Derby County on Thursday.
John is likely to be on the bench for Monday's game at QPR, and manager Micky Adams is urging him to make the most of the second half of the season in a City shirt to ensure he is in good form going into the World Cup.
"Stern has got fantastic ability and you hope that anyone who is in the frame for the World Cup, whoever they are, would pick up their performances between now and the end of the season just to guarantee their place."
And John's club and international team-mate, goalkeeper Clayton Ince, is delighted he is back, saying: "Having any player back is always good, especially someone of Stern's calibre. He has been down and out so far.
"Both of us have been out of it so we need to cheer each other up and try to support each other to get ourselves back in the frame.
"I have kept in touch with him while he has been at Derby and we have been trying to give each other words of confidence to get ourselves back in it, and if we can't then both of us need to go somewhere else to play football."

Stern John - Warrior with the golden boot.

By: Keith Clement (Guardian).
09-Nov-2005 - Germany 2006 The final thrust.
Striker Stern John turned from villain to hero on October 12, when he scored two goals to lead T&T to a 2-1 victory over Mexico in the team’s final Concacaf World Cup qualifying match at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.
John, who missed a penalty in the 31st minute, redeemed himself in the 42nd minute when he tap in a shot, after the ball rebounded off the upright, following a low and powerful right-footed shot from midfielder Aurtis Whitley, to close the first half 1-1.
The goal was John’s 17th. It made him the country’s leading scorer in World Cup qualifying football.
In his efforts to erase his missed penalty from the minds of local football fans and to keep his critics quiet, he added another goal that gave T&T a 2-1 lead and victory, when he capitalised on a loose ball from outside the penalty area and blasted a left-footer high into the back of the net in the 61st minute. T&T now go into a two-match play-off with Bahrain on Saturday at home to be followed by an away fixture next Wednesday.
During the World Cup 2006 campaign, nine players scored their first World Cup goals for the Warriors. They are Hector Sam, Jerren Nixon, Cornell Glen, Errol McFarlane Jr, Jason Scotland, Densill Theobald and Scott Sealy. McFarlane scored three times.
John, however, accumulated his goals over the 1998, 2002 and current 2006 campaigns. For the 2006 journey, T&T played 17 matches and John scored in eight of them.
He scored doubles against Mexico, Guatemala and St Kitts and Nevis.
He has followed in the path of another great national striker, Steve David, who held the honour for 48 years with 16 goals, following his exploits in the 1974 and 1978 campaigns.
Before John broke into the goal-scoring title race, midfielder Angus Eve started the 2006 World Cup campaign with nine goals, but limited play after the preliminary round saw him gave way to John.
David, who was a member of T&T’s 1974 and 1978 World Cup squads, opened his goal scoring account with a hat-trick when the twin-island Republic hammered Antigua and Barbuda 11-1 in their first qualifying game at King George V Park on November 10, 1972.
The scorer of T&T’s first World Cup goal, however, was Jeff Gellineau who scored in the very first minute of play against Suriname, who lost 4-1.
It was Gellineau’s only World Cup goal.
David, who was said to be very skilful and blessed with kicking power, went on to score against Antigua and Barbuda in the return match, which T&T won 2-1. He then scored the only goal that defeated Suriname on November 30, as T&T played unbeaten in the group.
In the final qualifying round involving Haiti, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and the Netherlands Antilles, David netted a 61st minute item but T&T went down 1-2 to Honduras. He then scored the lone item for his country against Haiti but, again, it was another 1-2 loss.
He scored five goals in the next two matches–one against Mexico who T&T defeated 4-0 and became the first T&T player to attain a beaver-trick scoring all four goals when T&T routed the Netherlands Antilles.
It was Haiti, however, who went to Germany to represent the region with eight points, while T&T finished second on six and Mexico third, also on six points.
David played again in the 1978 qualifiers and scored three more times to climax his career.
Eve was a member of the 1991 World Youth Cup squad that went to Portugal and he made his senior debut also in 1991.
It was not until 1994 World Cup, though, that he made his debut in a campaign that ended in August 1992 when Jamaica defeated T&T and then drew 1-1 in Port-of-Spain.
Eve, a former Defence Force midfielder, scored his first World Cup goal in the 1998 qualifiers when T&T beat the Dominican Republic 4-1 in June 1996. National skipper Russell Latapy scored twice, one being an own-goal.
In the returned match, he scored two in a 8-0 victory.
The former ECM Motown and Defence Force player holds the distinction as being the top goal scorer in the 1995 Shell Cup tournament which T&T won. Eve who held the reigns as national captain in the absence of Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy, struck the back of the net six times.
The Carenage-born player who helped Defence Force to the 1995 Semi Professional Football League title with 14 goals, scored six times in the 12 qualifying matches in T&T’s attempt to book a place in Japan/Korea 2002.

T&T’s leading World Cup goal scorers

18 - Stern John
16 - Steve David
11 - Angus Eve
8 - Russell Latapy
6 - Dwight Yorke
5 - Marvin Faustin, Noel Llewellyn, Arnold Dwarika
4 - Marvin Andrews, Hutson Charles
3 - Jerren Nixon, Errol McFarlane Jr, Everald Cummings, Leonson Lewis, Nigel Pierre
2 - Andy Aleong, Leroy Spann, Ray Roberts, Philbert Jones, Kerry Jamerson, Anthony Rougier
1 - Carlos Edwards, Dennis Lawrence, Jason Scotland, Densill Theobald, Scott Sealy, Cornell Glen, Hector Sam, Jeff Gellineau, Alvin Corneal, Bobby Sookram, Leo Brewster, Warren Archibald, Anthony Douglas, Leon Carpette, Selris Figaro, Adrian Fonrose, Anton Corneal, Brian Haynes, Nevick Denoon.

About the Warriors

How broad is your knowledge base on the facts of T&T’s football history? G-Sports Arena is very happy to help you rekindle some lost history.

• T&T’s first World Cup match was Sunday, February 7, 1965 vs Suriname in Port-of-Spain. T&T won 4-1.

• T&T’s 11 World Cup captains—Sedley Joseph, Tyronne de la Bastide, Selwyn Murren, Selris Figaro, Leroy Spann, Michael Maurice, Clayton Morris, Dexter Francis, Russell Latapy, Angus Eve and Dwight Yorke (current).

• Stern John has so far scored the most World Cup goals for T&T (18).

• T&T youngest player was Dwight Yorke at age 17 years, 11 months and 19 days on Sunday October 30, 1988, vs Honduras at Queen’s Park Oval.

• T&T’s widest margin of victory in a World Cup match is 11-1 versus Antigua and Barbuda on November 10, 1972. The widest victory margin ever recorded, however, was 12-0 in a friendly vs Venezuela, in 1971, at Queen’s Park Oval.

• Steve David was the first player to score a World Cup hat-trick. He scored on November 10, 1972 against Antigua.

• Steve David was the first player to score a beaver-trick (vs Netherlands Antilles, December 17, 1973 and Marvin Faustin was the second (vs Guyana, April 17, 1988).

• Two players who became World Cup coaches—Alvin Corneal (played in 1966 qualifiers; coached in 1986 qualifiers) and Everald Cummings (played 1970, 1974 qualifiers; coached in 1990 qualifiers).

• Jeff Gellineau scored T&T’s fastest World Cup goal, first minute in February, 1965 (vs Suriname).

• Alvin Corneal (Feb 1965) and Anton Corneal (May 1988) are the only father and son to score for T&T in a World Cup qualifier.

Stern John's Caribbean dream.

09-Nov-2005 - It could almost be a quiz question designed to confuse any football fan: 'Which player, currently playing his club football in England, but not in the Premiership, has scored more international goals than Ronaldo, Gabriel Batistuta, Bobby Charlton and Jurgen Klinsmann?'

The answer can be found at Derby County Football Club and their striker Stern John, currently on loan from Coventry City. The 31-year old has scored 64 goals in 89 matches for Trinidad and Tobago and is just 13 goals away from equalling the legendary Pele's tally. But now the charismatic John has Bahrain and a FIFA World Cup™ appearance in his sights – and fans in Port of Spain will be praying he adds to his goals' total against the Asian hopefuls. Your scoring record for T&T is phenomenal – when you made your international debut nearly ten years ago did you think you’d score this many goals?
Stern John: No, but I wanted to! As a striker you love scoring goals, you want to score goals and I believed in my own ability. But I didn't think that I would score this amount. To be honest, I haven't really paid attention to the number of goals I have scored, until I was coming up to the record. But I didn't know how close I was to Pele's total until this interview. That's awesome! That's something that every player would like to do, but feel that they couldn't because Pele is such a legend.

How does it feel to be T&T's record goalscorer?
A goalscoring record is something that no one can take away from you. It's something that I am proud of, it's something that my family and friends are proud of and the joy that I feel right now will be increased providing we qualify for the World Cup. Being Trinidad and Tobago's record goalscorer is an honour, a great honour and it is something that I will cherish throughout my career and for the rest of my life.

It must be great to play in a side that create so many chances for you?
It is. We are a great team when we go forward because we have a lot of skilful players and players who do well whenever they have the ball at their feet. They make it easy for me to put the ball in the back of the net. Sometimes, I feel a little bit harsh on the other players: I get all the glory for scoring, but the guys who I'm playing with are doing most of the hard work for me.

How crucial has the return of Russell Lapaty been for T&T?
He and his return have been very, very important for us. We were struggling to create chances before he came into the team and that put a lot of pressure on myself to make the most of the opportunities I found myself in. Russell can not only create chances, but he can score goals as well, so it is no surprise that the team have been doing better since he has come back.

What's it like playing with Dwight Yorke?
He is a top man. He is one of the best players that I have played with or played against. I think he is still one of the best finishers in the world. He is a great professional who works really hard and he always goes about his job properly. It's great to play alongside him, we have a good understanding and I would like to think that our partnership works well for the team.

How did you feel when you missed the penalty against Mexico in the final qualifier?
Thanks for reminding me! No one would have wanted to be in my boots after that miss. My boots didn't even want to be my boots after that. I felt awful. But I had to put it to the back of my mind quickly and get over it. When you take a penalty you either score or miss. Sounds simple, doesn't it, but the emotions you feel are really powerful. On this occasion, the keeper made a good save and I just had to dig myself out of the hole I wanted to put myself in. To come back and score two goals after the penalty miss and win the game shows the character that we have in this side.

Are you confident going into the play-offs with Bahrain?
Yes we are confident. We don't know much about Bahrain, we are just focusing on ourselves. We don't want to take Bahrain too lightly. It's a massive game for both countries but there is no question of us underestimating them. We do think we are a better team than they are – but now we have to go out there and prove it.

Would you say you were favourites?
I think the general footballing world would consider us as favourites, but in a play-off situation, anything can happen. It's just two games, it's about who wants it more. Now we have to stay focused, forget about all the distractions and the feelings of excitement about playing at a World Cup – we just have to get there by beating Bahrain.

Would you have preferred to play the second leg at home?
Yes, I would have done. In truth, you always want to play the second leg at home, despite what other players and coaches may say. The first game is very important. It sets the tone for the second match. Personally I would have loved to qualify in Trinidad. It is something that we have been trying to do for decades; we came so close in 1989 – we only needed a point and we lost the game against the USA, so that's left a bitter taste in the mouth. However, I suppose that the most important thing is not where we qualify, but qualification itself.

What difference has coach Leo Beenhakker made to the team?
Leo has made a massive difference. He and his staff came in and set their stall out by telling us what they wanted to achieve and how they were going to do it. The players understand him; he understands the players and I think he has done brilliantly. He has been a great influence for me. When I was going through a bit of a drought, he kept his faith in me when the fans didn't and that is something that I will never forget. His appointment has been great for the team and for the country.

Do you think you would have been in this position without him?
I don't think so. When he came in he made a lot of changes and I think we needed that. A lot of the players were too comfortable under the old regime, but now different players have been brought in and we are trying different things. He has tested us and brought the best out of us.

And finally, just how far are T&T away from challenging the United States, Mexico and Costa Rica in the CONCACAF region?
I can see us challenging them and perhaps overtaking them. We have players who are working in the world's top leagues – players just as good as the Costa Rica, Mexico and the USA. What we have to do now is stick together as a team, work hard and keep our discipline. That is the most important thing, especially on the pitch. The USA don't really have a star player – they are just a very good team. We have to copy their example. But if we qualify for the World Cup, things are only going to get better for us.

What a gesture.

By: Shaun Fuentes.
19-Oct-2005 - Following his late double in the 3-2 win over Guatemala, Stern John received an offer from an avid fan via his website message board to have 25 kids form the Princess Elizabeth’s Home attend the match against Mexico in support of him and the “Warriors”.
The fan, Roger Gervais, purchased the tickets, all for the covered section, and funded transportation and refreshments for the young fans who got the chance of a lifetime to meet the team members at the start of the warm up before the game. John led his teammates across the race track to touch hands with them.
John recalled how he felt when being told of the offer.
In a column by yours truly on the TTFF website last month, it was stated “Stern was thrilled with the news and immediately the old “El Do” boy sounded as though just for that, he would score another pair of goals in the next big one against Panama and then seal it at home versus Mexico.”
Well the rest is history now.
John has since commented saying “It was a great feeling and just to see the looks on their faces when we went over to them before the match was something to remember. The evening was an absolutely amazing one.” John is now T&T’s leading World Cup scorer with 18 goals.

Johnny Bravo...Stern set to shoot back.

By: Lasana Liburd (Express).
06-Oct-2005 - Imagine you were at your workplace. Perhaps you have a data entry position, only you are having a bad day. You misplaced some files, your boss is furious and you and everyone else involved in the project must stay back until it is finished...and it is Friday evening.
It is not a nice thought.
But imagine if those co-workers spent the evening cursing and screaming at you. And they brought along about 500 friends to your cubicle to constantly remind you of your errors.
Imagine what it must be like to be Stern John.
The 29-year-old striker endured a year to forget. Effectively forced out of the England Premier League club, Birmingham City, chastised by subsequent employers, Coventry City, and then jeered at in his new home, Derby County FC, after just four outings.
It gets worse. You are even booed by your own countrymen, by the same fans who saw you score a national record 61 goals in 87 outings-only ten players in the history of the game have scored more and Brazilian legend Ronaldo (56 goals in 89 games) is not one of them.
John tries to blank out the negativity but he admitted to feeling hurt by the crowd response in recent times-and particularly at home.
"I never went through that in my career before," said John. "I tell myself that some of the fans are doing it because they don't know better and some do it because they want to get a reaction from you to get you to play better. But it is something I won't forget for as long as I live.
"To tell you the truth, you are one of the players who will always go back and represent your country and give your all and you just can't believe the reaction you get from your own fans.
"I mean, here in England when we are going back to play for Trinidad, your teammates and your manager laugh at you and say you have no chance of going to the World Cup. So you come back and you are thinking that you really want to do well to show them and then the (T&T) supporters react like that.
"But I think some people just don't have a clue and the rest of them so accustomed to me scoring goals that they see me going through a lean patch and they just don't know how to take it."
John is not one for mincing words. On the field, his style has always been more stand and deliver than tricky subtlety.
But does he accept that part of the blame lies with his own performances?
John countered that every striker goes through a lean period and he does not miss chances on purpose. He insisted he will not lose faith in his ability to score goals and his record supports the claim that his malaise is down to bad form and not because he is a bad player.
If he wheels away to celebrate another strike against Panama or Mexico in Trinidad and Tobago's upcoming qualifiers, he would have pulled level with former star striker Steve David as the country's most prolific marksman of all time in World Cup qualifying competition.
David scored his 16 goals in just two World Cup qualifying campaigns when there were few pushovers like the Dominican Republic to tally up on-John scored five times against them.
It took John three campaigns to pull within touching distance of David. But, before anyone scoffs, it should be noted that Dwight Yorke, the country's most celebrated player, and his enigmatic teammate Russell Latapy managed six and eight goals, respectively, from five qualifying series.
Unsurprisingly, John was critical of the way Trinidad and Tobago recognise their heroes. He mentioned former standout player and coach, Everald "Gally" Cummings, who urgently needs money to fund a knee operation, while he believes that David and former mentor Alvin Corneal do not get the respect they deserve.
He invited David to meet him before Trinidad and Tobago tackle Mexico in their final qualifier at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on October 12.
"If I score and we get to the World Cup that would be perfect," he said. "I never saw (David) play but to score that amount of goals and I understand he was a legend in his time. I would love to meet him some time and talk.
"That is one thing about Trinidad, we tend to forget our heroes People like him and Gally and Corneal put us on the map."
The big question, though, is has John gone past his slump?
He gave as definite a 'yes' as is possible-football is a game, after all, and open to certain vagaries.
John suggested that his double in last month's 3-2 win at home to Guatemala signalled his return to form. Perhaps more than anyone else, John is quite grateful for Latapy's presence in the national squad.
"His coming back took a lot of pressure off me," said John. "He can score as well as win games for you and countries know that. The first goal I scored against Guatemala came because Russell drew defenders and I just pulled myself out of the play and let him do his thing and waited for the ball.
"He takes the pressure off me a lot because now they can't look after me alone or Dwight."
But John is also hoping for a return of the positive passion that inspired Trinidad and Tobago to within touching distance of the 1990 World Cup.
He was 13 years old and seated under the national stadium's giant clock when T&T lost 1-0 to the USA on November 19, 1989.
"Being so young, I didn't understand the magnitude of losing and what getting to the World Cup meant," he said. "I think I cried more because I saw everyone else crying and all the emotion At the time, my dream was to play in a match like that at the stadium.
"Hopefully, this is our time. Hopefully, we would be heroes and they won't forget about us."
John's emotional ties with the Port of Spain stadium are perhaps reflected in his scoring chart. From his 15 qualifying goals, only two-at Honduras in 2001 and the Dominican Republic in 2004-came outside Trinidad.
He is hoping for a third away goal in Panama on Saturday but is most interested in Trinidad and Tobago qualifying, whether or not he scores.
He pleaded with fans to support the team and revealed the depth of emotion that flooded their dressing room following their 2-0 win at home to Panama.
After the final whistle, he sat with Yorke in the dressing room and gushed about the flag waving and cheering from the stands. He insisted that it helped the stuttering team recover their belief.
It is time for a final encore from the fans.
"If we are going to the World Cup, we're going as a nation not as a team," he said. "We need to put the negative things aside because the guys really working hard I remember when (West Indies cricket star Brian) Lara broke the record, he said that he hopes everybody supports him in bad times, too, because there will be bad times.
"But the fellas sticking together and working hard because whether the public support us or not, we know we have a job to do."
John hopes to play his part. He insisted that he was just as frustrated as the fans with his form, but promised to do everything possible to help T&T qualify.
He admitted that his drought might have adversely affected their World Cup dream.
"I know I have scored so many goals for Trinidad," he said, "but if I could take them back and score them now instead, I would, because it is such an important time for the team.
"I went through a goal-scoring drought when the team could really do with my goals. It is the first time I ever really went through a drought and it is not something I did on purpose.
"This is the World Cup, this is what you dream about and you are representing 1.5 million but what can you do? As a striker, you must go through a drought at least once in your career.
"But I believe my fitness is back now and my confidence."
He hopes to help fire Trinidad and Tobago to Germany. Some support would be nice.

Stern John joins Derby on a 3-month loan.

Derby Evening Telegraph.
13-Sept-2005 - Striker Stern John will become a Derby County player in time for Sunday's home Championship clash with Southampton. John will arrive on a three-month loan from Coventry City later this week to take full advantage of the 93-day rule.
The later the Trinidad and Tobago international signs, the later he can stay. If the 28-year-old is registered as a Rams player at noon on Saturday, he can remain at Derby until December 17.
He would then go back to Coventry before joining the Rams permanently once the transfer window reopens in January. There is little point in registering John earlier because he is unable to play against his current club, Coventry, when they visit Pride Park tomorrow night.
Derby will pay a fee for the player, possibly around £150,000. He cost Coventry £200,000 from Birmingham City a year ago and has another two years to run on his contract. John spoke to Rams manager Phil Brown at Moor Farm yesterday.
"Stern looks up for a new challenge," said Brown. "He is a big, powerful lad and we're looking forward to having him in place for the weekend." Director of football Murdo Mackay added: "We tried very hard to get players in last week and we are very close to bringing in new faces again and the board support that."
The move for John has been ongoing for about a week but had to be put on hold while he was away on international duty. John, who has also played for Nottingham Forest, was in World Cup action for Trinidad and Tobago last week.
He scored twice in a 3-2 qualifying win over Guatemala and started the 2-0 defeat by Costa Rica. Derby are keen to make sure business is done properly after the Adrian Heath saga in the summer. Heath quit as number two at Coventry to become Brown's assistant at Derby but returned to Highfield Road a week later after the two clubs failed to reach an agreement over compensation. Heath was assistant to Peter Reid when Coventry signed John.
"I don't think Stern has done as well for us as his ability suggests he should," said Heath.
"We have seen glimpses of what he can do but a change might do him good. "I'm disappointed it has not worked out for him because I thought he would be a terrific asset to the club.
"He will go on loan to Derby with a view to a permanent deal. If it goes through, we will wish him well because you do not like to see a player of his ability struggle."

Stern John willing to sacrifice place.

By: Shaun Fuentes.
22-Aug-2005 - No one was more disappointed than Stern John with last Wednesday's 2006 World Cup loss to the United States. Even more so, the Coventry City striker, the leading goalscorer for Trinidad and Tobago felt even worse because neither his performance nor that of his teammates was good enough to bring home a result for the "Warriors" who are now faced with a must win situation when they host Guatemala at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on September 3.
But now the former Birmingham City man is willing to play whatever role he can to see the team progress, even if it means coming off the bench.
"Everyone was disappointed with the way we started and the way we lost," John told TTFF Media.” We  gave ourselves a mountain to climb with the first goal and we panicked after that. You could see that by the way we just kept giving the ball away."
We conceded a stupid goal and we paid the price and hopefully we can learn from this and pick ourselves again, We have done it before but now is when it matters the most. The next few weeks will be the most critical of our careers," John added. Commenting on his substitution in the second half, being replaced by Kenwyne Jones, John didn't take it in bad stride.
"I ran about the pitch but it wasn't enough. The service wasn't coming our way and it showed that when Dwight dropped back into the middle our game changed a bit. But now it's not about Stern John anymore. It's about what's best for the team and the country getting to the World Cup. I was disappointed about the performance when I went off. I think any manager will be disappointed with any player who comes off the pitch because he knows he can do better. All we needed was just one chance. We have strikers who can score goals in myself, Kenwyne and Dwight but the service wasn't there. We just need to work on that... get more balls into the box.
"We missed Carlos with the crosses. At least I think Dwight needs to play in the middle because he's more into the game playing behind the strikers.
"All in all, I think we have what it takes to come back stronger than before. The game itself showed Kelvin (Jack) was brilliant and Silvio Spann had a good game in the right back position. Brent (Sancho) was also really good for us when he came on. But we need more than four or five players to do better including myself if we are to get results.
"I worked hard but it wasn't enough and even if it for the benefit for the team. It's now about Stern John anymore, it's about the team and the country and getting to the World Cup. I was disappointed about the performance when I went off. Any manager will be disappointed with any player who comes off the pitch because he knows he can do better, All we needed was just one chance in the game. We have strikers who can score the goals and we need that service into the box. But all in all, I think we can come back stronger than before. Kelvin had a brilliant game and Spann did well in the right back position. Sancho was really good when he came on as well so these are the positives to take out the game. But we need more than four or five players to do better including myself if we are to get results. John was not in the Coventry team which defeated Queen's Park Rangers 3-0 on Saturday but is hoping to force his way back into contention in the week ahead.

Q&A with Stern John.

By Shaun Fuentes. (2nd-Jul-2005).

1. What’s your most memorable moment or match, whether for country or Club?
Taking Birmingham City to the Premiership. Scoring the hattrick against Colombia in Miami. Scorer the winner over Honduras in memory of Mickey, very emotional time for me. When I won the MLS topscorer award in 1998. Most recently scoring the opening goal in Panama to quiet the critics, just winning that game was something we haven’t experienced in a while, for the players and the die-hard fans. Hope you reading this are one of them or will soon be one.

2. Name two persons, whether relative or not who have been an inspiration to you.
Dwight Yorke from day one. Growing up watching the Strike Squad, and seeing him make it big in England from a third world country. That has been a major inspiration to me. My uncles and my brother Kenwyne John. When I used to come up for Dallas Cup, he used to drive us around, be around at the hotel, he’s much older than I am and he lives in Miami. Always been there for me. I tend to inspire myself because I’ve always wanted to be successful. I know how much hard work it takes to reach there. I want to make full use of a talent and I hope I can encourage others as well whether it be football or any other gift

3. Any favourite player or team?
Back in the days I always liked Marco Van Basten, Roberto Baggio. David Platt – I was privileged to play with him when he also signed me at Forest. He’s a legend. Imagine Platty was so flexible that when the ball stuck in the belly on top the goal, he used to bicycle it out. Then there’s Dwight, I think they are two of the greatest I’ve been privileged to play with.

4. You preferred other profession? SWAT (said with a big laugh).
I really like anything that has a lot of excitement.  Something that’s really exciting. A state trooper chasing bad guys on the roads. I just like that adrenalin rush flow..

5. What do you hope to accomplish either in next 5 years or end of playing career?
Right now it’s helping Trinidad and Tobago to the next World Cup. That’s like a dream come true for me and my family, for all the guys on the team, for everyone in the country really. It going to be a feeling you can’t really explain. We all know we can’t do it as a one man show and right now we have been doing it really well as a team with the new gaffer and we have all intentions of keeping it up. The new gaffer has instilled a lot into the team – a lot of passion and maybe that is what we were missing before. Giving a lot more. We tend to be too passive and he’s getting us to play with a lot more emotion.

6. Who’s been among your most admired coaches and why?
I liked Rene Simoes and the current man in charge, Leo Beenhakker. Then there’s also Anton Corneal. Those coaches allow the players express themselves. They work with a plan and they know how to get players to execute to the best of their ability. I think in coaching, player management is very critical… how you going about in doing that is vital in a coach
7. What do you think of T&T’s chances of making it to the 2006 World Cup.
We have a good chance still .We started off slow but now after that Panama game we have shown that we have what it takes. We just have to keep it up. We were unfortunate to have the Mexico game so quickly after Panama. We gave up two silly goals but I’m not going to blame anyone because we win as a team and lose as  a team. I was disappointed though to have played like that and then lose like that. The only thing I didn’t understand is that we played so well and yet we lost and people thought we did really well.  That made the result even more disappointing for me. The team is much more organized now than ever before.
8. Any instances or plays that you always reflect on.
The disappointments just make me stronger and wanting to work harder. Having gotten so far, you never want to give up. At least I don’t. . I’m not one to go into a shell when the going gets tough.  Arthur “Jap” Brown who coached me at “El Do” and at Trincity United, always used to say it’s not that hard to get to the top but it’s how you maintain it or got higher was what was the difficult part. So far I have no regrets in my career.

9. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
My Mom Janet always used to say just go and do it to the best of your ability. Maybe that’s why I’m so competitive whether it be a fun game or something with high stakes involved.

10. What do you do to relax away from the game.
I’m a big movie collector. I also watch some DVDs and tapes of my old goals.  I also look at the old video Columbus Crew sent to David Platt which was really what he saw  before me signing at Forest.

11. What’s your favorite dish?
I eat too much lobster (laughs) and anyone who knows me knows that I love chicken… the healthy part – the centre breast.

12.. Favourite drink.
A slow Gin and Vodka orange and cranberry when I’m out, away from football.

13. Favourite time of year?
Christmas because it’s all about family and close friends. Being  in England for the last five years or more more away from home family and mates makes you tend to miss it a bit more.We also play through Christmas in England but still it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you still tend to enjoy it. I also celebrate two Christmas’ in England and T&T  because of the time zones (Laughs).

14. Most comfortable football boot?

15. Any advice to young and upcoming ones?
Set goals and go after them. Some get it faster and easier but never compare yourself with others. You can idolize others and take pointers, but you have to be yourself. There nothing that can replace hard work. Be truthful to yourself. Be true to the game like Michael said.

Mickey Adams pay tribute to Stern John.

By: Shaun Fuentes.
29-Apr-2005 - Coventry boss Mickey Adams paid tribute to John on Wednesday but hinted that the club may have to let him go for next season due to financial difficulties.
“He is a 20-goal a season man without a shadow of a doubt," he said of the player who has scored crucial goals in successive games to take his tally to 10 from 32 appearances.
"There are other aspects of Stern's game that I would like to see improve but there is no doubt that he is the best finisher at the club, given the chances.
But as to whether Adams can build a decent team around John, that remains to be seen.
"I will never get the team I want at this club and I won't even get it anywhere near," he said. "The finances at this club dictate what sort of team I put out next season. I have to try to get the best out of a group of players. Whether it is the team I want or the team I can possibly get, only time will tell."

Stern John: Stick by me T&T.

Playing Away with Lasana Liburd.
21-Apr-2005 - For much of the 2004/05 football season, Stern John felt as though his world was caving in.
Sold by Birmingham City, the club he helped into the England Premier League, only to be unappreciated by his new League Championship employers, Coventry City. Within five months, he worked with four different bosses at club and international level-a fifth, Dutchman Leo Beenhakker, was just appointed Trinidad and Tobago coach-while he dropped reluctantly from the Premiership to the League Championship and is danger of a further fall into League One.
His nadir came at the start of the month when national coach Bertille St Clair was sacked after a disappointed World Cup qualifying run, which coincided with John's goal drought, while he returned to Coventry to find new signing Shaun Goater entrenched in his place.
Worse still, John heard whispers that his starting spot with Trinidad and Tobago was under intense scrutiny.
Pride stung, he responded with his best goal this season and possibly his finest strike since his dazzling effort against West Ham in Birmingham's maiden Premiership campaign when turned Czech defender Tomas Repka and drilled past England international goalie David James.
John's solo effort on Saturday, in which he turned the Wolverhampton defence inside out before guiding home with the outside of his foot, earned Coventry a 2-2 draw that can be crucial to their efforts to stave off relegation.
Rather than celebrate with ecstatic fans and teammates, John strode to the corner flag with chest swollen. One suspects he felt he was vindicating his own talents as much as rescuing a proud club.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is believed to be a master of the "siege mentality". The world hates us, he supposedly tells his gifted squad, so let's throw it back in their faces.
John is a keen exponent of the art. He can be inspired when wounded.
"It is one of the best ways to answer my critics," he said, as he explained his goal "celebration". "Since I have been here, I have been up and down with the fans. Today they hate me, but tomorrow they love me.
"I was really emotional today when I scored because I believe I am one of the players who should be playing every week in this team."
Murmurs of dissatisfaction from his homeland cut him even deeper.
"I am a proven goal scorer so I don't have to prove anything for anybody," said John, last Saturday. "All strikers have goal droughts but it is up to fans and even the Federation to stick by me. Look at (Ruud) van Nistelrooy who is a world-class player and top goal-scorer for Manchester United. He came back and can't hit the back of the net, but Alex Ferguson is a good manager and still has the confidence in him because he knows he can win you games.
"Those are the kind of players you need to leave on the pitch. I mean you hearing all kinds of rumours about drop this one and drop that one and I think everybody getting too hasty.
"They just need to relax and let the new coach just do his job."
Van Nistelrooy scored twice in United's FA Cup win over Newcastle on Sunday-the day after John ended his own barren spell.
John needs only point to his impressive 56-goal international tally, which is the most ever by a Trinidad and Tobago player and the 11th highest on FIFA's record, to prove his own case. His record surpasses that of luminaries like Brazilians Romario (54) and Zico (52) as well as England's Sir Bobby Charlton (49).
There is a paradoxical element to John's argument, though. For on Saturday, he set out to dominate the opposing defence and terrorised his markers at every opportunity, which culminated in his dazzling strike. It was miles from his performances for much of the year when he lived off scraps in the opposing penalty area.
John recognises this too.
"At Coventry and for Trinidad, we don't create that much as a team so maybe I need to create more for myself," he said. "Normally I hold the ball up and play it wide and get into the box but the service is not coming. So I think I need to have something extra in my locker to pull a surprise and take on defenders and get a shot off.
"If I try to play post-up, sometimes I go through the whole game and don't get a shot. So I have to go back to the old Stern John."
The ability to spot your mistake, correct it and not own up for being at fault in the first place is typical in the world of professional sport.
Like Trinidad and Tobago's cricket phenomena Brian Lara answering critics, who claimed that he is not doing his talent justice, by buckling down for a big score without seeing the irony in his response.
As an athlete in the pressurised world of pro sport, self-doubt is suicide and motivation is gold dust.
At 16, John had to play as a defensive midfielder to break into the national under-17 team and, even then, had to settle for a place among the substitutes.
Three years later and as a striker, he was the linchpin of a more talented under-23 squad and broke into the senior squad alongside the likes of idol Dwight Yorke and Leonson Lewis.
For every setback, John emerged stronger and cockier. British writer Josephine Hart once said that damaged people are dangerous because they know they can survive.
John has done it before and is confident that he will rise again.
At just 28, it is likely that he will take his national scoring record, which he began building nine years ago, into the realms of absurdity.
It is difficult, almost ridiculous, to contemplate a national squad without John's predatory presence.
But, if you think he needs a kick up the backside, don't hesitate. He will be the better man for it.
Just don't mean it, of course.

John and Eve eye World Cup record.

Issued By: Shaun Fuentes.
16-Feb-2005 - Trinidad and Tobago striker Stern John and midfielder Angus Eve have found themselves in a neck and neck race to overtake former national striker Steve David as the all time top World Cup scorer for this country.
Eve, a veteran of three World Cup campaigns moved to 12 goals with his recent strike in the 2-1 loss to the United States, leveling with John while David remains the topscorer with 16 goals in 14 matches. David scored his goals during the 1974 and 1978 qualifying campaigns while Eve and John meantime have accumulated their goals over the 1998, 2002 and current 2006 campaigns.
Both players have passed former captain Russell Latapy (7 goals) and Dwight Yorke (6 goals) scored dating back to the 1990 campaign while current players on the list include Arnold Dwarika and Marvin Andrews with five apiece and Jerren Nixon, Errol McFarlane and Nigel Pierre with three apiece. Others in the top ten list include Noel Llewellyn and Marvin Faustin (five), Hutson Charles (four) and Everald Cummings and Leonson Lewis with three each.
According to the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF), John is now T&T’s all time top scorer with 55 goals in 75 matches while Eve is listed to have now appeared in 111 international matches for this country with 33 goals under his belt, “joining the symbolic but exclusive circle of players with a century of caps” the RSSSF stated. Eve made his senior international debut in a Shell Caribbean Cup match against Barbados in April 1994.
Both players were optimistic of adding to their tallies as they attempt to guide T&T to the Germany 2006 World Cup.
“I think it’s a real honour to be up there with the top scorers in World Cup action for the country and to have so many caps. In this country we never look at records but we always prefer to judge someone from day to day. If Lara scores runs today he’s great, if he makes less than ten tomorrow then he’s a failure. That sort of mentality continues to plague us. But at the same time I feel good about being able to contribute to the national team over the years and despite being referred to as a veteran now, I think having come off the bench in recent matches and done well shows that I still have some fight in me and can make a contribution,” Eve told TTFF Media on Wednesday. “I don’t go after records as such but I would probably bet in favour of Stern to break the World Cup record because he’s a proven goalscorer,” Eve added.
John, who is trying to shrug off a difficult spell at Coventry City, hopes to let his goals take T&T to some valuable points on the way to Germany.
“Last game was the first time I hadn’t scored in a while and it was disappointing. It’s good to be on the record list but at the same time breaking the record is not the aim right now. It’s more about trying to get Trinidad and Tobago to the World Cup. The record could come after,” John said from his Birmingham home.” He also responded to some recent critics who have been hitting out against the “Warriors” for the performance against the US. “It’s unfair to the guys because they have been trying their best and I believe now we are more a team than earlier on in this campaign. We don’t expect everyone to like us but at the same time, those with the power of the microphone or the pen. we expect them to support us somewhat and particularly those who are on air who don’t have the slightest clue about the game, maybe they should just not say anything. I think the die hard fans who came to the Oval will realize that we are growing and they will support us. As for the others, maybe we won’t even hear or read them and if we, it should just make us stronger and leave them to eat their words by the time this campaign ends,” ended John.

Stern John signs up with Coventry City.

Issued By Shaun Fuentes.
14-Sept-2004 - Trinidad and Tobago striker Stern John signed a three-year contract with English First Division side Coventry City on Tuesday morning and immediately received the number 24 shirt before joining his new teammates for training at the Highfield Road Stadium.
There had been speculation over the past couple weeks over John’s future with Coventry, Leeds United and former club Nottingham Forest all in the race to sign him but the former Columbus Crew man decided to go with Coventry on a 200,000 pounds transfer fee as he sees them as strong hopefuls for Premiership promotion under a good manager in Peter Reid.
“There were other clubs interested like Nottingham and Leeds but I decided to go with Coventry because they are an ambitious club and after speaking to the manager and the chairman, they really do want to get into the Premiership and I’m looking forward to that challenge of getting them up again,” John told his official website.  “I think the manager had a major influence on my decision as well because he’s been through it all and I am anticipating playing under him and the club is on the move up with the new stadium as well.”
John did visit “Blues” manager Steve Bruce at St Andrew’s on Tuesday as well.
“I must say there is some disappointment with having to leave Birmingham because I had a good time there and I wanted to thank Steve Bruce and the other guys as well as the fans for how they made me feel. But it was time for me to move on and hopefully I can have just  a good time with Coventry ,” John added. “I wanted to thank Steve for all he did for me and it’s good to leave the club on a decent note and I do wish them well for the future.”
The prolific T&T striker mentioned that at the press conference to announce his signing that questions were raised over his international status as they expect him to be away several times. This will no doubt affect us as unlike the Premiership, the First Division does not get time off during FIFA international breaks.
“They did talk about that and I told them that obviously it’s something that will have to be looked at closely because representing my country is a major aspect of my career and I will maybe have to sit with the T&T management and sort something out.”
 He also touched on his comments following last week’s World Cup qualifier against Mexico in which he lashed out at members of the national team for not giving a stronger performance.
 “I was not pointing fingers at any of the players but it’s just that I think we could do much better and I want to see us give that extra and even I as well will need to step up,” John said. “I just want us to get our act together because I thought had we given a better effort we could have at least come away with a point on the day. We are in a professional environment and as one of the senior players on the team I just want to see us do better. They should not take it personal because we are all professionals. We also owe the public more as well because it was great to see the stadium almost filled and we would like to give them more to cheer about.”
Coventry boss Reid also expressed delight on acquiring John. “You’re talking about a quality player in Stern, so I think it’s a really good scoop by the Club. Speaking to Steve Bruce, who I know very well, he has got the highest regard for Stern and I’ve known about him for a few years. I’m just delighted he’s at the Club and I think he’ll do a fantastic job for us. Up front is one of those areas where we’ve got a lot of competition but it’s a quality addition to that area.,” Reid said. John is expected to make his debut for Coventry in a League fixture against Gillingham on Wednesday.

Saviour Stern John quits Birmingham.

By: Ged Scott - Birmingham Evening Mail.
14-Sept-2004 - Birmingham have agreed to sell striker Stern John to Coventry for £200,000. The Premiership club say the Trinidad and Tobago international has signed a three-year contract at Highfield Road, although the Coca-Cola Championship outfit expect the final details of the transfer to be completed later today.
If football is a game of Monopoly, then Steve Bruce was last night close to trading in his Get Out Of Jail Free card by losing the magical, match-rescuing services of Stern John.
By agreeing to sell him to Coventry City for £200,000, Birmingham City are even set to make a small profit on the striker Bruce bought from Nottingham Forest as one of his first signings in February 2002. But, as far as John's impact in a Royal Blue shirt is concerned, the £150,000 they paid Forest for him is an investment long since paid back.
John, who sensed his time at St Andrew's was up when Blues signed his Trinidad & Tobago international compatriot Dwight Yorke late last month, was actually close to returning to Forest. They, like the Sky Blues, also agreed a fee and remained interested to the end, especially as John's move to Highfield Road had yet to be completed by last night.
But John (also linked last week with a move to Leeds United) was in Coventry yesterday afternoon having his medical and appears to have chosen the Sky Blues.
Set to become the first player that cash-strapped Coventry have spent money on (other than a nominal fee for Scott Shearer two summers ago) in three years, John might yet be available to pep up a forward line for the first time tomorrow night when Gillingham visit Highfield Road. But he will not be a Blues player much longer. Disappointing though some of his more recent performances have been, his past efforts ensure that he will leave St Andrew's a folk hero.
After scoring on his debut at home to Barnsley, John's eight goals in 18 games helped fire Blues to promotion three seasons ago. The most crucial of them, and easily the most profitable, was the one in the last minute of the play-off semi-final against Millwall at the New Den that took Blues to the Millennium Stadium. That strike launched John's penchant for scoring late goals - he struck in injury time at Villa Park in February.
Lack of first-team chances last season meant that John was sparingly used and he had to think long and hard before signing a new two-year deal in the summer. But persuading him to sign that contract has been to Blues' benefit, enabling them to command a fee for the 27-year-old.
After less than a fortnight with two Caribbean strikers on Blues' books, John's departure means that there is only one again in Yorke.
Blues' latest signing made his debut in Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Middlesbrough at the Riverside. But the effect was limited after he was selected to start in a primarily left-sided midfield role in which he did most of his best work back on the edge of his own penalty area.
Bruce said: "It was a bit difficult for Dwight to make any sort of real impact. I played him in a left-side role and we all know that's not his best position.
"But, with the injuries to Stan Lazaridis, David Dunn and Jamie Clapham, we're short down that side. I asked him to do a job and he did that, but I know full well where he'll be most effective for us when we've stopped having to mix and match."
Yorke's arrival may have given Bruce the breathing space to give Mikael Forssell the chance to shake off his knee problem.
But, in the eyes of Emile Heskey, a striker well used to being played out of position at Liverpool and for England, it's far too early to judge him.
"It was only Dwight's first game," he said.
"But we all know what he's capable of and we can go on from here."
In Related News taken from the CCFC.CO.UK Website, Stern John has cited Peter Reid as one of the main attractions in joining Coventry City.
The Sky Blues fought off a host of other Championship clubs to capture the services of the striker but he opted for a move to Highfield Road where he believes he can be part of a squad which aim to get up into the Premiership.
"This is a good opportunity to get back to the Premier League with Coventry because they want to go places with a new manager and new stadium," he said. "I think we’re going to go places - we’ve got a good squad here.
"The manager has done it already in this league and I think he’s a good manager so that is one of the main reasons I came here.
"I’m looking forward to playing as soon as possible, getting into the team and working hard.
"Hopefully I can bring something different to the team. My hold-up play is pretty good and I think I can score a lot of goals in this league also."
Peter Reid was delighted to get his man, after interest from Leeds and Nottingham Forest and believes the 27-year-old will add some much needed fire-power to City’s strike force.
"You’re talking about a quality player in Stern, so I think it’s a really good scoop by the Club," said the City boss when Stern was unveiled at a press conference.
"Speaking to Steve Bruce, who I know very well, he has got the highest regard for Stern and I’ve known about him for a few years. I’m just delighted he’s at the Club and I think he’ll do a fantastic job for us. Up front is one of those areas where we’ve got a lot of competition but it’s a quality addition to that area.
"This adds competition to the front men which is what any club wants. If you’ve got four or five lads who can get you goals, there’s pressure on them to come up with the goods."
"When a player’s got other clubs interested it tells you he’s a quality player and you have to work hard to get quality players," he said. "But we’ve got our man. That’s the most important thing."

Stern John touches on T&T’s progress and a successful first year skills programme.

By: Shaun Fuentes.
21-Jun-2004 - Trinidad and Tobago crackerjack Stern John believes that the “Soca Warriors” must take their game up a level if they are to be serious contenders going into the semi-final and final rounds of CONCACAF 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign. John, speaking on Monday, expressed his concerns with the current shape of the team following Sunday’s 2-0 win over Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo. “I’ve continued to score goals for the country which is what I’m out there to do but I think we still have a lot more work to do,” he said.
“The victory give us a big lift after the two disappointing losses, we’ve been able to bounce back. We are not totally satisfied with still much work to do but we will take the win and then start to buck up on the actual football we are doing there on the pitch.”
He thinks that the current form of the team is sufficient only up until the semi-final stage where T&T will come up against giants Mexico in a four-team group phase from which the top two teams will advance to the final round of six.
“The football we are playing now will get us through this round but when we get to the next stage, it’s going to be a totally different ball game. No disrespect to the Dominican Team but they were not really a match for is. I think we are six goals better than them and we are still not playing at our best.
“We have to understand we have all the talent but that’s not going to get us anywhere further. It’s really about possessing the heart and desire to achieve success. We have lost quite a few games and so I think we tend to accept losing to easily and we need to get out of that mentality and instead develop a mentality. I personally hate to lose and I’m hoping that as a team we can be more competitive.”
John added that talent alone will no longer see T&T as favourites in any tournament.
“We used to beat a lot of teams on talent in past years but the game has changed a lot. It’s more tactical and scientific today which is why we have more work to do. That’s where we will make or break as a team trying to qualify for the World Cup.”
He is also hoping that his teammates can step up and start significant contributions, particularly in the goalscoring department.
“I am concerned because we need to step up more to the test. Obviously I can be a marked one in the next round because the teams will come to us knowing that I am the main scorer and they are going to try to keep me out. As a result of this, I think all the players in general need to go that extra mile and even I will need to work a bit harder because we need to make the other teams fear us more as a team rather than individuals. When the next round comes up, all the opponents will be studying us. When we played against Costa Rica in the 1998 campaign, they knew Russell (Latapy) was the top man and they took him out early in the first round. I’m not saying is the same position with me but it’s just an example of what can happen,” John said.
The former Nottingham Forest man mentioned that coach Bertille St Clair is still working on finding the right formula for the team’s play.
“The coach is opening up to us to an extent and as much as he is in charge, he is also respecting the opinions of the players and we are realizing more that all of us have to work together. We have started discussing stuff as a team and it’s a case where we have turned a page to how it was done before,” said John.
The past American Major League Soccer (MLS) topscorer, while putting his efforts towards T&T’s 2006 World Cup qualifying bid, has also been making a contribution to the development of young players in T&T. Without a doubt, he is trying to ensure that the programme is an ongoing and successful one.
“The Skills programme can only get bigger and it was certainly successful in the first year. A lot of schools with the players, coaches and parents are keen on what we are trying to achieve and this can only auger well for the future development of our players. Even the teachers are learning the game better and we are preparing the kids for life too which can only be of benefit whether they go on to become professional footballers or take up another profession. It’s all about trying to bring good life to those who are involved in this effort,” John added.
He hinted that his club, Birmingham City will step in to offer more assistance to the programme.
“Birmingham City are trying to assist some of the kids next year by getting gears for them and hopefully we can have more sponsors on board too because it is important that we don’t forget the kids who can’t afford the gears to play the game,” he explained.
John, who grew up in Canefarm, Tacarigua, had it far from an easy while developing as a player in his younger days and as such he intends to make it somewhat easier for today’s youth to be afforded the opportunities without too much hardship.
“It’s very important that kids from the rural areas get the opportunities too because sometimes we tend to forget about them and most times you tend to discover the really talented ones in those less popular areas of the country,” said John who went on to thank all those who have made contributions in the first year of the programme.
“I also want to thank the current sponsors for their assistance because without the,, much of this would not have been possible. I also want to take the opportunity to express gratitude to all those who assisted in the running of the programme such as Mary Siu Butt and Muhammad Isa just to name a few who were part of the organizing committee like my friends, family members and all the supporters around the country from the coaches to the grounds men. I also want to make special mention of the parents who have stood by their kids because their role is extremely important in the development of the younger ones,” added the ex-El Dorado Secondary student.

Stern John looks after the next generation.

By: Shaun Fuentes.
24-Sept-2003 - Striker Stern John recently decided to put his money where his mouth by launching a nationwide skills programme for upcoming footballers and firmly believes this is the necessary approach for the development of the local game.
John, who graduated from a youth system, playing for El Dorado SC in the Secondary Schools League and also with Malta Carib Alcons, has received manual and financial support from the Ministry of Sport, Ministry of Education and several business partners in this project. A major part of the funding is coming from the Birmingham City striker.
The programme‚s mission is to foster a close working relationship with the stakeholders in the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs and the TTFF, in order to develop at a National Level, the football skills and technique of the youth in the Primary Schools throughout T&T. With the assistance of several prominent local coaches, the focus will also be on the developing of mental and social skills of the youngsters as well as proper training of parents, teachers and community sport leaders.
John is also expected to return home in May with coaches from Birmingham City to participate in the programme.
“I think it is a really good initiative that we have taken and I want to thank the Ministry and the other partners for helping meget this programme going. Hopefully we can all come together in this effort because right now it’s all about the youngsters.” said John.
John was also excited about having several past players and coaches involved, particularly the “Strike Squad” members such as Clayton Morris, Philbert Jones, Dexter Lee, Hutson Charles, Kerry Jamerson and Dexter Francis and Brian Williams.
The Stern John Football Skills Award Programme kicks off with the training of 80 primary school teachers from the eight educational districts in Trinidad and Tobago by 13 qualified coaches at two venues today, from 9am.
At the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar teachers attached to schools in the North, East and West of Trinidad will undergo their training while teachers in the South and Central districts of Trinidad will have sessions at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella.
The sessions will also be conducted at the same venues next Friday, while Tobago will stage its two sessions next Thursday and Friday at Shaw Park Complex, because of the opening of the Tobago Zone of the National Primary Schools Football, today also.
The programme which was granted a $560,000 four-year sponsorship from the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs is geared towards school children, both boys and girls between the ages of 9-11, involving 80 primary schools, 10 each from the eight educational districts in Trinidad and Tobago.
Following the completion of phase one next Friday, by the qualified coaches the second part of the programme will step into place, It includes the actual application of coaching skills acquired by the teachers to the training of the young players.
It will be followed by a support coaching guidance for schools by qualified coaches; a regional skills tournament April 26-May 9, 2004, while the regional quarter-finals, semis and national play-offs are scheduled for May 10.
During the programme, the young footballers will undergo theory and practical training, which includes, passing, dribbling, shooting, heading and juggling.
Coaches assigned to the programme are former national footballers Clayton Morris, Dexter Lee, Hudson Charles, Kerry Jameson, Dexter Francis, Dexter Skeene, Philbert Jones and Brian Williams.
Other coaches are James Balfour, former national Under-17 coach Dion la Foucade, Irwin Thomas, Kendal Crawford and Richard Fraser.

Stern John: ‘I am no bad John’.

By Lasana Liburd.
02-Jul-2003 - Trinidad and Tobago star striker Stern John has finally broken his silence to defend his professional reputation in the wake of a withering attack by former national coach Hannibal Najjar.
Najjar, who resigned from his post on April 1, claimed on a recent radio programme that his biggest mistake as national coach was in selecting John.
He argued that John, who scored three of his team’s four goals in their unsuccessful Concacaf Gold Cup qualifying effort, was a disruptive element in the camp who routinely disregarded curfew and other team rules and spent most of the time on his cell phone.
But the Birmingham City striker hit back by labelling Najjar as “dishonest” and “unprofessional”.
John admitted that he spent a lot of time on his cell phone but insisted he followed typical guidelines for British professionals which forbid use of the phone in the lunch or dressing rooms.
He retorted that Najjar should accept responsibility for the team’s failure instead of trying to point fingers.
And he was adamant that the former coach deserved much of the blame.
“When you have a schedule in which you have to play three games in five days,” said John, “no where in the world would you be forced to train twice a day for three hours. Are you kidding me?
“The players, especially the big guys like the Demmings, need to rest. If he was a professional he would know that.
“Players were unhappy, but no one would say anything. So for me voicing my opinion—and I never did it in a disrespectful way, you can ask any of the players—I looked like the bad guy.”
John claimed that Najjar’s resume did not suggest a realistic chance of success at the international level and questioned the reason for his selection as coach in the first place.
Things became even worse when John claimed that the squad realised Najjar was unwilling to listen to advice.
“He felt as if he knew everything,” said John. “Football players and managers must be able to communicate. But everytime the foreign players tried to talk to him and voice their opinion he thought they were undermining him and took it personally.”
John said that Najjar’s decision to go public through a sport programme on radio was the last straw.
“If you are a true professional,” he said, “whether it is true or not, you cannot go on the radio to talk about what happened in the dressing room.
“He should have told me to my face, not go on the radio and try and drag my name through the mud and make me look like a bad person.”
Najjar has already returned to the United States after his six-month stint at the helm of the “Soca Warriors” and was unavailable for comment.
At present, John is training with the national squad under new coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier for tomorrow’s friendly international against Venezuela at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
He insisted that his commitment to his country was beyond reproach.
“Is a dream for me to see the national stadium full again,” said John. “Anytime they call for me I am always there. You can’t really stop people from looking at the negatives.
“I got injured for T&T and lost my spot with my club. But if people don’t see that then that is how it is. I am not looking for brownie points...
“I will be back because I still dream of playing for T&T in a World Cup.”

Stern John cops award for most goals.

By: Shaun Fuentes.
14-May-2003 - Stern John made an early mark in his first year at the English Premiership level, finishing as Birmingham City’s leading scorer with eight goals.
John received the award for most goals at a gala awards dinner at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel. He went on to score his ninth (9) goal in 22 appearances, against West Ham United last Sunday.
John was also a top scorer with Nottingham Forest last season, with 15 items. He captured the 1998 American MLS Budweiser scoring title with 26 goals in 27 matches.
John paid tribute to former West Ham goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, who helped First Division Portsmouth qualify for the Premiership next season.
“I felt good deep down, to not only score in the final game but it was also a way of saying, well, this one was for Shaka. He was put through a lot last season at West Ham and he bounced back in the best way possible. This was an important goal and I’ll be looking forward to some rest before we get our preparations going again for next season.”

Stern John is T&TFF Player of the year.

By Lasana Liburd.
25-Dec-2002 - Birmingham City striker Stern John will have some Christmas cheer after all.
The English Premier League forward, who is recovering from a knee injury at present, will be named the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF) 2002 Player of the Year.
Although no official release has been sent as yet, a source confirmed that John would represent the sporting body at next year’s WITCO Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards ceremony.
The decision to award John the prestigious honour represents a notable break in tradition by the T&TFF, who have ignored foreign-based candidates since 1996.
Former national captain David Nakhid—then employed by Lebanese club, Al Ansar—was the last overseas player to be so honoured after his impressive performances during T&T’s woeful 1998 World Cup qualifying campaign.
The attitude of the majority of overseas players was blamed for Trinidad and Tobago’s demise at the time and an unwritten decision was made to snub them at subsequent award ceremonies.
In 1998, John broke a six-year Caribbean Cup record by “Strike Squad” standout and Vibe CT 105 W Connection striker Leonson Lewis with a tournament-record 10 regional goals, as well as the Most Valuable Player trophy.
He was also unanimously selected as Columbus Crew’s MVP and copped the United States Major League Soccer (MLS) Goalscoring title with 26 league goals.
Joe Public player Arnold Dwarika received the T&TFF’s nod that year.
Dwarika again copped the award in 1999 when national teammate Dwight Yorke had won the English Premier League, FA Cup and European Champions League crowns with Manchester United.
Yorke had also topped the scoring charts in England and Europe while simultaneously justifying a £12.6 million transfer fee—at the time, a club record.
John was overjoyed to finally get his hand on the biggest domestic personal award.
Ironically, his international returns have not been as impressive as 1998, while he failed to prevent the “Soca Warriors” from bowing out in the first round of the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
However, John’s timely First Division goals which spearheaded Birmingham’s promotion to the Premiership and his subsequent performances there tipped the scales in his favour.
“I am absolutely delighted,” John told the Express on Monday. “That’s what you play football win stuff. It means a lot to me because that’s where I started and it feels good to be recognised for what you do.
“No matter how much money you make in football, you always have things like this to boast of. Like how Yorke and (Andy) Cole can always look back at their awards with Manchester United.
“You could look back and say you won that or this.”
T&TFF president Oliver Camps could not be reached for comment on his organisation’s decision.
It was welcome news for John, though, as the young striker continues his rehabilitation.
He removed the stitches from his right knee last Sunday and was cleared by the club doctor on Monday.
He hopes to be back in Birmingham’s strip by January 5 when the “Blues” begin their FA Cup campaign and has already begun light jogging.
John is desperate to pick up where he left off and is sticking to his initial target of 20 league goals in his debut Premiership season.
At present, the 26-year-old striker has three league strikes and as many items in the Worthington Cup.
“My form has been good and I’ve been playing well,” said John. “But you have to work very hard for your goals at this level. And we (Birmingham) have no special players like (Zinedine) Zidane to create opportunities either.
“Our team is a work and scrap team and we (the strikers) just have to do the best we can with what we get.”
The T&TFF award is another reminder of his own quality.

Recent T&TFF Player of the Year winners:

1996—David Nakhid (Al Ansar, Lebanon).

1997—Clayton Ince (Defence Force).

1998—Arnold Dwarika (Joe Public).

1999—Arnold Dwarika (Joe Public).

2000—Reynold Carrington (W Connection).

2001—Arnold Dwarika (Joe Public).

2002—Stern John (Birmingham City, England).

Stern John may come for Gold Cup.

TnT Guardian Reporting.
7-Nov-2002 - Trinidad and Tobago’s English-based striker, Stern John, says he is likely to join his national teammates for the final qualifying round of the CONCACAF Gold Cup next April and is “eager to be part of the new journey the ‘Soca Warriors’ has started.”
John, speaking from England yesterday, said he was pleased to see Technical Director Hannibal Najjar was given the job and urged the younger players to put their best foot forward as that could be their opportunity to arrive on the international stage.
“I want to congratulate the new technical director on his appointment. He’s a man of serious business and he knows what he’s all about. All we can do now is give him all the support,” added John, the Birmingham City striker.
He said: “We have entered a rebuilding stage and we need everyone to be part of a collective effort to see our football rise again.”
He said: “All these players have to prove themselves. Different coaches have different styles and guys must now prove themselves again. I also want to see more new faces in the team.”
Meanwhile, Najjar said he's bringing top-rated MLS defender, Rick Titus, into the T&T team. Titus has had rave reviews and was voted “Defender of the Year” recently at Colorado Rapids.
Titus, 33, was born in Trinidad but lived in Canada and holds dual citizenship. He also was voted American A-League “Defender of the Year” for 2001 while playing for Vancouver Whitecaps. Titus arrives in Trinidad today.

Stern John and company treat the fans.

By: Shaun Fuentes.
17-June-2002 - Birmingham City marksman Stern John took some time out to touch base with the younger fans on Saturday when he lined up with the Matsimela all stars in the third annual Jugglers Soccermania at St Mary's College ground.
John lined up alongside national teammates Arnold Dwarika, Angus Eve, Michael McComie, Marvin Andrews, Kerwyn Jemmot, Adrian Narine and Ansil Elcock for the seven-a-side competition which saw some twenty eight teams competing including some girls team which included very enthused females.
The fans came out despite the early inclement weather and the day included fine entertainment with World Cup fever gripping all at the time.
Other players taking part were Errol McFarlane, Ross Russell, Don Morris and among others. Looking on was Brent Rahim, jsut back from Bulgaria where he enjoyed league success with club Levski Sofia. Both Rahim and John later spent a relaxing evening at the Icons of Music concert at the Queen's Park Savannah.
Morris' team from Belmont ended winners beating Matsimela's All Stars 2-0 in the final which was played in fading light causing John to withhold from full action. The winners took home $5,000.

Stern John gets warm welcome home.

By: Shaun Fuentes.
18-May-2002 - Aims to set own path, reiterates support for Simoes.
Trinidad and Tobago's new English Premiership striker Stern john arrived home on Friday night to a warm welcome from friends. Family members and well wishers at the VIP Lounge, Piarco International Airport.
Attired in a casual but smart way, the 25-year-old Birmingham City marksman was all smiles as he made his way in before a gathering which included his mother, grandmother, kids, Tyrique and Nakeisha, Technical Director Rene Simoes and Sports Minister Roger Boynes, as well as Mary Trotman, mother of the deceased Mickey Trotman.
John thanked all for seeing him through to his current status and also spoke of his continued support to Simoes in light of hearing of his departure from TnT.
"I thank God for everything that I have received so far. I would like to thank my mom and my grandmother and my family for supporting me all through the years. Also want to thank the whole of Trinidad and Tobago for supporting me also," John said in a brief statement.
He later responded to questions where he touched on the Simoes issue, saying that he still hopes the matter can be resolved.
"I read about the situation. We can't really do much with the financial side of it but we all know that the coach is a great coach and we'll love him to stay. I for one will love him to stay because he taught me a lot in terms of football and off the field stuff. We are professionals and we know about this kind of stuff. I just want to thank him for everything he has done for me and the whole of Trinidad and Tobago and hopefully he can stay on. Hopefully something can be worked out where he can stay on but that's how life is sometimes," John said in a soft tone.
The former Nottingham Forest player added that he was ready to make a name for himself rather than live in the shadows of former teammate and friend Dwight Yorke.
"Since I've been in England, I've been living in the shadows of Dwight Yorke and I think it's time for me to create a path for my own self. Make a name for Stern John really you know," he said to a loud applause. "No disrespect to Dwight Yorke. I mean I love him to death but it's time for me to make a name for myself and go in the Premiership and score some goals."
John met with Yorke and Russell Latapy at the London Airport on his way home and was congratulated by the duo who were on their way to a short holiday in Australia.
Asked to comment on the scenario since the change in club, John said "There were some ups and downs for me because we all know the financial situation was like at Forest. I was forced to leave Forest actually. Steve Bruce came to me at the same time and I went across to Birmingham City. That's where everything started really.
"Hopefully I'll be in the coach's plan for next season because there will be a lot of new players coming into the team. I am trying to get maybe 25 goals in the Premiership which will be nice. Twenty five goals in any league is a lot of goals. It's been a long hard season so I will try to enjoy the couple of weeks with my family and just get ready for next season.
As mentioned my Boynes, John plans to stage a six-a-side youth tournament this year which the Minister said his Ministry fully endorses. John will also film a Fruita television advertisement next week.
Boynes described John as "son of the soil and an ambassador for the country".
He added that plans will be made in collaboration with FCOTT CEO Peter Miller to visit England and some of the clubs there to sell the five stadia here for training camps. Boynes said this may be done when he goes to support Marc Burns and other local athletes at the World Championships in Manchester.
"It is quite clear now that we have a football base in this country now," added Boynes.

Rene Simoes was applauded following his words.

"I come not to praise you but to praise Trinidad and Tobago. You are the reason why we have to strive for excellence in this country. You have shown us that we can do it. If you fight, if you believe, if you work hard, God give us a high quality to play football and gave us a high competence to exceed as a human being. We have to praise Trinidad and Tobago for that and tell them to keep fighting. That dream is possible.
"To you Stern John, my friend, my player, I almost said my former player, I encourage you to not slave, to defend your achievement. You fight a lot to be there. Once you be there and you do not take care, you go to lose your freedom. There is nothing in the world like freedom. When you go anywhere, be Stern John, don't be the Premiership League. Everybody came here tonight not because you are in the Premiership but because you are Stern John. That's what we like. We don't like the Stern John in the Premiership, a famous player, a excellent player, we love the kid some people here saw grow. I have met the player here who is so humble. Don't let the fame transform you. Be the same one, that is the one we like, we enjoy and we are here to welcome you. I am not here because you are a footballer but you have shown me that you are really a great human being, the one I had a great chance in my life to meet," said Simoes.
TTFF President Oliver Camps was unable to attend but sent a congratulatory message to john which was read by Miller.
"I wish to extend heartiest congratulations to you on your grand achievement. It was indeed an honour to see you on the television on Sunday performing in front of those 70,000 odd fans accomplishing your goal of making it to the English Premiership.
"You demonstrated sheer class and composure and everything which was expected of you.
"Now you have made it to the next level and I hope that you take this as another stepping stone to greater things. It is hoped too that you maintain your standards and not allow all the fame and glory to affect your already admired personality and way of life.
"On behalf of the Executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation and all our member associations, congratulations again and we look forward to seeing you carry the T&T flag in the top flight of English football from next season," stated Camps.

Stern John sends Birmingham into playoff final.

Written By: Shaun Fuentes.
02-May-2002 - Trinidad and Tobago striker Stern John was the hero in Birmingham today following a 91st minute winner in a 1-0 victory over Millwall to send Birmingham City into the playoffs final against Norwich City on May 12 at the Millennium Stadium. Victory then will see john and his teammates playing in the English Premiership next season.
John became the man of the moment when he was on spot to meet a left side ball from Steve Vickers and slam home from inside the six yard box to send the City fans into a frenzy. Manager Steve Bruce could not have been a happier man as he had only moments earlier witness a near miss by the 25-year-old striker. City will look to move into the Premiership after a sixteen-year absence.
John who had a quiet first half also missed a early second half sitter when he won a challenge near midfield and ran into a one on one with goalkeeper Anthony Warner before blasting his effort over bar.
The result nevertheless was probably John's biggest goal of his professional career thus far and left the fans singing "There's only one Stern John, there's only one Stern John."
Bruce admitted: "I had been cursing Stern John all night as he missed two or three good opportunities. But I always thought we were going to create chances because the onus was on Millwall to attack us. It was very, very nice to get that goal so late in the game. It makes up for the last three seasons when, of course, we have lost in the play-off semi-finals."
Bruce has insprired an incredible turnaround in the fortunes of the club since taking over the reigns just four-and-a-half months ago.
But again he was quick to deflect the praise on to his squad.
"We have had one hell of a turnaraound this season," he added.

Stern John Ready for Bigger stage.

Written By Lasana Liburd.
Today: Millwall 0 vs 1 Birmingham. - vs 1 Birmingham. - vs 1 Birmingham. - vs 1 Birmingham. - Stern John 91st.
02-May-2002 - “Goalscoring for me is natural as long as I have the players around me to serve me the ball,” said Birmingham city striker Stern John. “It is like (Manchester United striker) Ruud van Nistelrooy. He is a good player but he also has good players around him to feed him the ball.”
It is not by chance that John used English Premier League sharp shooter, van Nistelrooy, to make his point and not, for example, a Division One counterpart like Crystal Palace’s Clinton Morrison.
No disrespect to Morrison, of course, but the Trinidad and Tobago international striker judges himself by higher standards.
And, from 2.45 p.m. (T&T time) today, John will strive to keep his dream of a career in the English Premier League alive as Birmingham City travel to Millwall in the Division One Play Off.
After a 1-1 draw at Birmingham on Sunday, it is Millwall who are favoured to scrape a spot into the Play Off final to contest the last Premiership spot up for grabs.
John doesn’t quite see it that way, though.
“We should have won the game yesterday (Sunday) and they came back and scored,” he said. “But the pressure will be on them now because they’ll be playing in front of their home crowd...They’ll have the added pressure of satisfying their fans.”
It is a converse opinion of the debatable home advantage theory.
John will hope it holds true this evening as he seeks to share the glamorous Premiership stage with close friends Dwight Yorke of Manchester United and West Ham's Shaka Hislop—both of whom are expected to switch employers by August.
The former El Dorado Senior schoolboy believes a win against Millwall can be the turning point for the “Blues” as he expects either team to start as favourites against Norwich City who took a commanding 3-1 first leg lead into yesterday’s crucial fixture at Wolverhampton.
As focused as he is on the task at hand, John's mind invariably wanders to the top flight, fanciful monthly awards, live Sky Sports matches and van Nistelrooy—the Dutchman who has captivated Britain after a record pre-season move from PSV Eidhoven.
The “Soca Warrior”, as he explained, should have beaten him to the Premiership.
In 1999, John turned down opportunities with Premier clubs such as Watford and Leicester City to join Division One outfit, Nottingham Forest, then guided by former English international star David Platt.
Three years later, he is anxious to finally show his wares on the stage that has always captivated him.
“I didn’t think it was my time to go then,” John told Express Sports on Monday. “I wanted a team that was going up...Going as a striker into a team facing relegation is tough, everyday under pressure...every day needing results.
“I don’t regret not going.” But his decision to join Forest, a club with a rich history in European football, did not always look like a shrewd one.
It was on the recommendation of Yorke that then newly-appointed Forest manager, David Platt, signed John from United States Major League Soccer (MLS) team Columbus Crew for £1.5m.
Doubts over the ability of a MLS player to fit into the British game were so profound that Forest agreed to pay £180,000 if John managed 15 league goals and £29,000 for ever item beyond that mark.
The Forest backroom was subsequently made to look quite foolish earlier this year when—a spate of injuries finally behind him—John raked up 13 league goals despite the inconvenience of regular flights to the Caribbean to represent T&T in the World Cup qualifiers and CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The financially-strapped Forest could no longer afford the former MLS top scorer and Birmingham poached him for a mere £100,000.
John admitted that it took some time to adapt to the English game which has improved him as a player.
“I’m much stronger on the ball than I was at Columbus,” he said. “It is much more physical here than anywhere else in the world...I have also gained more experience.”
Birmingham has already benefited as John’s seven goals from 16 games with the “Blues” has shown remarkable return for their investment thus far. But it is Birmingham’s last two matches that will most interest the club which have been defeated in all four visits to the Play Offs and have not played in the top flight since 1986.
And manager Steve Bruce would be pleased to know his star striker shares his hunger for top-notch opposition. First, there is the matter of a tricky away tie to Millwall to negate.
For all his unruffled composure, John did reveal some nerves as he prepared for a trip into enemy territory.
John notched a hattrick on his last visit to Millwall when Nottingham Forest were held to a 3-3 tie but has not scored in his last three games for Birmingham. He was dissatisfied with his first leg performance against Millwall although the London Times newspaper gave his display a six out of a possible 10 points—the second highest score awarded from the match.
“I was in and out of the game,” said John. “I could have played better. The service wasn’t that good. We didn’t play the way we wanted...Too many long balls. “And we were up against massive centre halves...Hopefully we can change that (tactic) in the next match.”
He admitted that a barren spell weighed heavily on centre-forwards particularly at such a crucial stage in the season.
“My last game, I didn’t really get any chances,” he said. “That is scary. That is when you start to panic. Because you know when you’re getting chances and haven’t scored you’re just unlucky.
“I already have a high expectation of myself and they have a high expectation of me. Because when I came I was doing the business (of scoring goals).” John said he would be happy to go scoreless if it meant his team winning the match. But statistics show that a scoreless match for the Warrior could be a bad omen to his club.
None of John’s 20 league goals have come in a losing game for his team—whether Nottingham or Birmingham.
Ironically, it is a former Trinidad and Tobago hopeful who stands in his way.
Millwall goalie Tony Warner, who has T&T parentage, had offered himself to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF) in the build-up to the 1998 World Cup qualifiers.
But the then Liverpool reserve did not fit into the T&TFF’s plans as he had little chance of unseating Hislop or his back-up Clayton Ince, who campaigns for Division Two bound team Crewe Alexandra.
John must give Warner a glimpse of the talent inherent in his national red, black and white strip today. His Premiership dreams are likely to depend on it.

Stern John gives $1,000 to Blackman fund, urges fans to give their support.

By: Shaun Fuentes.
05-Apr-2002 - Trinidad and Tobago English-based striker Stern John on Friday made a contribution of $1,000 towards the Nkosi Blackman fund and is urging local fans to make their contribution by turning out in their numbers at Sunday's charity game for the Under 17 striker at Mahaica Oval from 2pm.
John, speaking from Birmingham on Friday, said without a doubt he would have liked to be present at the game but nevertheless his support would be there. John's national teammates will be in action as a T&T squad takes on a Pro Sports Caribbean eleven comprising of several well known players including Angus Eve, Cornell Glenn, Aurtis Whitley, Devon Mitchell, Colin Samuel and others.
"I know things have not been that easy for Nkosi since the accident and also since his mom passed away last year. He is a talented player and he's one of us. I really hope that things work out well for him and I've heard that he's coming along okay and is anxious to be back playing. I think we should all come together and help him in his efforts because what happened to him could happen to anyone of us. Whatever contribution the fans and the players can make will count a whole lot," said John.
Technical Director Rene Simoes sees Sunday's game as an ideal way to show support to Blackman.
"We will show respect and gratitude to him. We understand that we have to do something for that one we love. Blackman is a player that we love and we appreciate what he did for the Under 17 team in the past and we have a lot of hopes for him for what he can do in the future for Trinidad and Tobago. I invite and encourage everyone to show up to give their contribution to Blackman and it will be good for him to see the love given to him.
"My hope now is to put all categories into movement so there will be Under 23 players in my team for this game along with my senior players. What I am doing now is to putting the Germany 2006 project into movement so we have the Under 20 and Under 17 in camp, the Under 23s will play and then soon we will call another Under 20 team for camp. There is only one way for me to stay here which is to see that this project can be carried out," Simoes said”.

Birmingham City's Coach Praises Stern John.

Brimingham City Website.
14-Mar-2002 - STEVE Bruce has praised Stern John for his performances since joining Blues and believes that the striker has added an extra dimension to the team's play.
Since his arrival seven games ago the Trinidad and Tobago international has scored three times and Bruce believes that he brought him in at exactly the right time.
Bruce said: "As a manager you sometimes have to make difficult decisions and I decided to bring him in after letting Marcelo go up the road. 
"I thought it was the right thing do for the club at the right time and he's settled in very quickly." 
The Blues boss says he is also pleased John's influence away from the pitch, adding:"Stern is very popular in the dressing room, but laidback is not the word for him! 
"His technique is what impresses me most.
"He's got a wonderful touch and it's great that he's scoring a few goals.
"But it was his all-round game which attracted me to him in the first place.
"When he first came over to the UK he started with a bang and then had a terrible knee injury.
"This year he's back playing the way he can. 
"If you look at his record as a striker for Columbus Crew his record was second to none. 
"It was almost a goal every game which is a good statistic at any level. 
"He's always got a goal in him he's a good finisher with two good feet. 
"It was a good piece of business. 
"Sometimes when a team is having problems like Forest in crisis you have to act." 

Another good Stern John debut - Stern John puts TT on hold for Birmingham again.

T&T Express & Newsday Reporting.
21-Feb-2001 - STERN JOHN is certainly not perfect. But the inability to make a grand entrance is not among his shortcomings.
In 1999, John marked his first home appearance for English Division One club Nottingham Forest with a goal that came so early in the match that buddy Dwight Yorke was still trying to locate his seat.
Last Saturday, he got his relationship with ambitious Division One team Birmingham off to an equally promising start with the lone item—a tidy sidefooter from a crossball—in a 1-0 win over Barnsley.
Naturally, it delighted Birmingham manager Steve Bruce, who had acquired John for just £100,000 from cash-strapped Forest.
“Everyone can see we have nicked a great player off Nottingham Forest,” said Bruce after the match. “He has two great feet. He has a wonderful touch and is a big strong lad... He uses the ball well and, more importantly, he scores goals...
“I had worked with him at Nottingham Forest when I did my coaching badge. I liked what I saw as I thought he was a hell of a player. In this respect, I had some inside information thanks to (former Forest manager) David Platt.”
John himself had only positive sentiments about Birmingham and is hopeful that his new employers can still win promotion to the Premier League.
At present, the “Blues” are in ninth spot and seven points shy of fifth-place Burnley and a play-off berth.
“I want to take Birmingham up,” said John. “Steve Bruce has told me to go out and enjoy myself. If we continue to play as we can do there is little reason why we shouldn't get into the play-offs.
“My partnership with Geoff Horsfield will get better and I will lead from the front. I’ve settled in well. All the players can play so we have a good relationship.”
John is anxious to put his problems at Forest behind him.
An unusual clause which stipulated that Forest pay his former club Columbus Crew £180,000 for his 15th league goal and £29,000 for each additional strike made John too costly for the financially struggling team. He would hope that business deals are less surreal at Birmingham.
“I was disappointed (at) how things developed at Forest,” said John. “My first season I began well then I had my knee injuries. I overcame that problem and began scoring goals again but it was unfortunate that they have this financial problem.
“But I am happy here and I hope I can continue to score goals for Birmingham City.” There was some news for Trinidad and Tobago fans as well. “I have just joined a new club and I have to settle in,” he told the club website. “There is no major tournament for the next two years or so, so the young lads who are there should get a chance to play. “I have already played for a long time and I hope they understand what is happening.”
In the meantime, Birmingham will expect many more cool finishes.
Stern John has been leading the TT attack during the unsuccessful 2002 World Cup qualifying campaign and is seen as crucial to his country's chances for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
However John's decision to opt out of future international commitments with the national team is expected to pose a serious problem for technical director Rene Simoes who is currently trying to build a unit to launch a successful bid for Germany.

Stern John sets his standards.

Shaun Fuentes.
18-Feb-2002 - Trinidad and Tobago striker Stern John is hoping to do much of the talking with his boots for the remainder of the season as already he has began being prompted about hanging up his national jersey.
Speaking to TTFF Media on Monday, the 25-year-old striker was still in a celebratory mood following his goalscoring debut performance on Saturday for Birmingham City.
"I was off to a good start and I am very pleased about that. I was anxious to go out there especially after my original debut match was cancelled last week. I had some butterflies but that was expected. I played well overall, the goal was just an extra plus and the coach was really happy about my performance," said John.
He added "Some folks here are even talking about the possibility of me hanging up my boots from playing for the country but I'm not taking it on, I am just here to do my best for the club and retiring from international football is out of the question."
"I got a great reception from the fans and some of the local newspapers also had King John as their headlines, but I didn't think much of that," he said.
Looking ahead to Saturday's League encounter against Watford, a team once after John, he added "It's another chance to do well and a chance to also show my worth against a club that was once interested in me."
"I've set a standard for myself and people will be expecting things from me. But I'm not under any pressure. I'm just looking forward to enjoying myself and playing the football."
John, recovering from the flu, also commented on a TT$1,000 donation to the local arts during Sunday's Telethon held at the Queen's Park Savannah.
"It's something for the youngsters and for the arts. It is important that we give something and support each other," he said.

Blues finally tie-up deal for Stern John.

By: fleX.
09-Feb-2002 - Birmingham City have today completed the signing of Stern John.
The Trinidad and Tobago international striker has signed from Nottingham Forest for an undisclosed fee on a two-year deal with a further option to extend.
The whole package for John's services is in excess of £2.3 million.
John has scored 14 goals for Nottingham Forest this season including a hat trick against Millwall, and his last goal for the East Midland's club was against Blues in the draw at St. Andrew’s on New Year’s Day.
His most recent international appearances were in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in January against Martinique and Costa Rica, a game in which he scored.
He will be available to play, if selected, in Sunday’s game against Bradford City at the Bradford and Bingley Stadium.

Stern John tipped for Blues success.

By: fleX.
06-Feb-2002 - According to Teamtalk News, Steve Bruce has tipped new-boy Stern John to quickly become a "big asset" and huge crowd favourite at Birmingham after sealing his £100,000 move.
Bruce was delighted to complete the capture of John in a cut-price deal from Nottingham Forest on Monday and hopes to get a work permit in time for him to make his debut at Bradford City on Sunday.
Bruce said: "I trained with him when I was doing my coaching badges at Nottingham Forest and he has got that ability to beat a man and make something happen.
"He is very comfortable in possession and he is good in the air. He has got a bit of everything and I just think he can finish. He has definitely got something.
"Nottingham Forest paid over £1.5million for him two or three years ago. He has had a bad injury and it took him a while to get over that. But I have no doubts at all that he will be a big asset for us.
"As soon as he knew we were interested he wanted to come and join us. That was pleasing and I am sure he will be a big favourite with the fans as he has something that gets you out of your seat.
"He makes something happen and I am looking forward to working with him."
As for the permit, Bruce added: "That is the big question for us and we hope it comes through by the end of the week as we would love it to arrive by then and we are doing all we can to see what we can do."

Stern John anticipates weekend debut and keeps his ties with TnT.

By: Shaun Fuentes.
06-Feb-2002 - Trinidad and Tobago striker Stern John will have one final medical examination on Wednesday before signing a new contract with Birmingham City which will see him through until the end of the season and three years to follow.
The 25-year-old striker was in high spirits on Tuesday evening as he anticipates a debut match against Bradford City on Sunday.
John also took time to clear up a report in the English Press which suggested that he would be staying away from representing Trinidad and Tobago within the next two years in order to strengthen his professional career. He mentioned that even though the next World Cup Qualifiers doesn't start until 2004, he will continue to keep his options open to T&T.
"What I mean is that once there are no major games, then I would try to be excused. But it's not a situation with me turning my back on the country for the next to years. I have not given up on my country and I never will because it's Trinidad and Tobago that has brought me to where I am. The only way I will not wear the national colours is if the country doesn't want me," John told TTFF Media.
Speaking about his time at Birmingham so far, John added "I started training since Monday and things have been really enjoyable. The manager's style of football is what I like, where he stresses on playing the ball on the deck and getting it around.
"The players here have accepted me very well and I was even somewhat surprised about that. I am really excited and I'm looking forward to possibly making my debut against Bradford on Sunday once everything is sorted out."
He also commented on his transfer which was worth close to 100,000 pounds.
"It was a situation where Forest needed to sell me and they were looking to get whatever they could, so it would have been difficult to call a high price and then end up failing to get a sale. This could have meant me going away for free. But all in all, I'm satisfied because my personal wages are better than what I was getting at Forest," said John.
John added that he will move into a new apartment which is being provided by the club on the weekend.

Stern John to sacrifice internationals career.

By: fleX.
05-Feb-2002 - Stern John became the second T&T player this month to put his international career on hold as he focus on his new club Birmingham City of the English first division league.
Previous to this T&T and Livingston defender Marvin Andrews also stated the same as he too blanked the Warriors for another two years.
"I won't be going back home to play for Trinidad & Tobago for a very long time.
Now that we're out of the Gold Cup we don't have any more competitive games for at least two years.
"I think qualifying for the next World Cup starts in 2004 so that will be the next time I go back to play stated Marvin Andrews.
Now former Forest striker Stern John, who just needs a new work permit to fully complete his £100,000 switch to St Andrews, said: "Birmingham are a big club and they are right up there to try and get a place in the play-offs. As long as we keep going week in week out we can get there.
"For me I want to play in the Premiership. Hopefully I can score some goals for Birmingham to help us get into the Premiership. I can hold the ball up, spread the play and put the ball wide.
"For now, I think that I am going to rest my international career because I am at a new club and I have to settle in. So I will give it a rest for a couple of seasons and see how it goes."

Stern John deal done, dispite permit problem.

By: fleX.
04-Feb-2002 - Stern John has now completed a £100,000 move to Birmingham City although he will still be forced to wait for a work permit.
The Blues are also waiting for international clearance from Trinidad and Tobago.
The £100,000 deal has already been set-up for Forest's 14-goal leading scorer, with the clubs agreeing terms before the weekend.
The player needs a work permit while his financial advisers are also flying over from the Caribbean - so it could be later in the week before he can be unveiled at St Andrews. The hitman was at Birmingham's abandoned game against Crewe last weekend after which Steve Bruce revealed: "We are very close to him agreeing a deal subject to a medical. We would welcome him and perhaps he could provide the spark we need to start scoring some goals. For a fee of just £100,000 it is a great bit of business."
Blues should have no problem getting a work permit for Stern John as he has been on the T&T national team for quite a while now so that should make him eligable, Stern who scored against the Blues for Forest in a 1-1 draw at St Andrews on January 1st, has only just returned from the 2002 Gold Cup duty with Trinidad and Tobago in the US.
The club's co-owner David Sullivan added: "He has to get a work permit and that could take a few weeks." Providing a deal is done, Bruce will have added John to his squad sooner than he had expected and he continued: "I had originally earmarked him as a close-season signing when he would have been available under the Bosman ruling, but now we have a chance to bring him in for a paltry fee we thought we may as well.
"I worked with him when I did my coaching badges at Forest a year ago and liked what I saw. He has played well this season but Forest are reluctant to play him because if he scores they have to pay his former club in America (Columbus Crew) more money."
Forest, who want to sell John before he becomes a free agent in the summer, will make a massive loss on the deal as they paid £1.5million when he signed from MLS outfit Columbus Crew in 1999.

Forest blanks Leicester City and Crystal Palace offer for Stern John.

By: fleX.
30-Jan-2002 - The club have revealed that they have denied attempts by Leicester City and Crystal Palace to sign Stern John on-loan.
It has been revealed that both Filbert Street boss Dave Bassett and Selhurst Park chief Trevor Francis have attempted to lure the Trinidad and Tobago hitman for a loan spell, but the club are not willing to let him leave for anything other than a straight-cash move after it emerged he will not be offered a new contract.
The 26-year-old former Columbus Crew man, who was signed by David Platt, is the club's leading scorer with 14 goals this season but his contract comes to an end this summer and the current financial restrictions at The City Ground mean Forest are forced to try and trim their wage bill by letting him go for free then or selling him at a cut-price fee now.
Meanwhile, John will hope to earn a quick-fire recall to the Forest side for tomorrow's City Ground clash with Portsmouth.
The hitman missed the last game - a goalless draw at Sheffield United 10 days ago - because he was away on Gold Cup duty.

No new Forest deal for Leading goal scorer Stern John.

By: fleX.
21-Jan-2002 - Stern John's career at the City Ground now looks almost certain to end in the summer after it was revealed he will not be offered a new deal.
The Trinidad & Tobago striker is Forest's leading scorer with 14 goals this season, but the club are unlikely to offer him a new contract.
John's current deal expires this summer and the player has made no secret of his desire to stay at the City Ground, however, he looks like having to find himself a new club after Paul Hart told the club's EGM on Friday: "We have no plans at the moment to offer Stern a new contract."
Financially-troubled Forest are so crippled by debts that they are determined to trim their wage bill and the former Columbus Crew man, who is believed to be earning in the region of £6,000 a week, is likely to be a victim of that policy.
With the forward finally hitting the goal trail after the injury-plagued spell that dogged him following his arrival under David Platt, there will no doubt be numerous potential suitors for his signature.

My future's in England - Stern John.

17-Jan-2002 - Trinidad and Tobago star striker Stern John has admitted that he wants to continue playing English football, even if Forest fail to offer him a new contract.
The Trinidad & Tobago striker's current deal expires this summer and the cash-strapped club have not yet offered him a new one.
And John, who is Forest's leading scorer with 14 goals, admits: "I would like to stay with Forest, but if they can't afford to keep me I will have to move on.
"Whatever happens I would love to stay in England. It's the best country in which to play football."
Meanwhile in a report in the USA Today newspaper, headlined "Shrewd MLS move with John pays off" stated that the US league had enjoyed huge financial benefits from John's move.
"The results have MLS officials counting the cash," the paper stated.
It was said that John's transfer fee to Forest was worth around 1.5 million pounds for a two-year contract. The USA Today reported that the deal guarantees MLS a US$2.7 million transfer fee that will rise to $4 million if John did not suffer a catastrophic injury. And should he score goals at half his MLS pace, incentives will be added that will push the American league's profits to $6 million. 
Added to that, if John were to be sold to the English Premier League before his two-year-contract is up, MLS would get a substantial part of that sale.
MLS senior vice president Ivan Gazidis who arranged the dealings for John made it clear that after the league refused to let John go last season, they achieved what they had set out to with John's eventual move.
"Our first goal was to keep him in MLS. Our second goal was to make sure MLS was very well-compensated for his departure.
"I think we achieved that," he said.
The US newspaper went on to add that, "Although MLS owned John's contract until December, 2000, it bowed to financial realities. John was making US$ 45,000 yearly from MLS, and the league could not match his estimated current salary of US$700,000-plus with Nottingham.
Gazidis said profits would be used for other acquisitions, including a replacement for Columbus.
Profits from John's sale easily top the US $1.3 million for South African Shaun Bartlett.

Stern John: Simoes inspired team’s performance.

TRINIDAD and Tobago Football Federation technical director Rene Simoes has fostered respect and unity among the national squad which has led to better performances from the players, said striker Stern John.
Trinidad and Tobago finished their CONCACAF Zone World Cup qualifying campaign with a 1-0 win away to Honduras, where John scored the winner, and a 0-0 draw against the United States at home last Sunday.
And according to T&TFF communications officer Shaun Fuentes, John, who plays for Nottingham Forest in the English First Division, believes Simoes’s handling of the team was instrumental in their positive showing.
“I don’t think that there are bad guys on the team or any such thing but the Brazilian has come on level terms with us,” John explained.
“He has stamped his authority. He’s not treating anyone like little guys. Every player is a big man and a professional. If you want to be treated like a little boy then he will treat you like one. Once you have something on your mind, you can talk to him and he will understand. It’s not a situation where as if you’re in a cage or anything.”
At the end of Sunday’s match against the USA, John disclosed that Simoes has been the main influential figure behind the so-far successful rebuilding of the T&T team.
“The preparations were good, but I think the atmosphere in the camp stood out. Nobody’s been pulling away from anyone. We have all been staying together as a team and working as a team. We just have to look forward to the Gold Cup (in the US in January).
“We need to get the backing of the public and the sponsors. We have a good thing going now. The Brazilian is doing an excellent job and we just need to give him the support,” John added.
John would have preferred Trinidad and Tobago to end their World Cup qualifying campaign on a winning note.
But like many of his teammates, he believes there have been some benefits to be derived from the experience which can hopefully lead to bigger success.
Looking forward to their Gold Cup campaign next year, Simoes sounded cautiously optimistic about T&T’s chances in the tournament.
“If we keep improving as we have been then I think the Gold Cup will be a great tournament for us. It will be a different ball game when we play Costa Rica. We will be better prepared to play them this time,” said Simoes.
T&T have been grouped with Costa Rica who they face in their opening match on January 20 at the Orange Bowl in Miami.
Simoes added that local-based players will be called for a training camp from December 3-14 in Tobago and the rest of the squad, including overseas-based players, will be called in on January 7 for final preparations, which include a warm-up international away to a Central American nation.

Emotional Stern John : It's been difficult for us but we have to overcome the disappointment.

Nottingham Forest striker Stern John says it will take a while before he can recover from the disappointment of seeing the dream of qualifying for the 2002 World Cup virtually slip away over in the space of two matches.
During an interview on Saturday, an emotional John said the last few days has been hard for him as well as his other teammates including Russell Latapy and Dwight Yorke who have both shared some good advise with him.
Everyone's trying to be a man at this time under the circumstances but we still have to face the reality that we had this good team and we couldn't do it which is unfortunate for us.
It's been very tough for us especially me because I really wanted to go to the World Cup. It's like we're here in Bermuda and we don't even feel like we want to go back home because we know we have disappointed and we don't even want to face the public but we have to face it. We've disappointed so many people especially the kids. But I think we gave it our best shot and it's a learning experience for us and luckily for some of us we have a chance still to make it to the World Cup but for people like Russell and Dwight, this was their last chance and that has been very hard for them," said John.
The TnT striker believes he can be part of at least two other World Cup qualifying campaigns and has no intentions of laying any blames for the recent run of disappointing results.
"We can't really look back at the negative things. If we were winning we wouldn't have done that. Now that we are losing, we can't point any fingers. We win together and we lose together as a team."
"We still have a lot of talent in the country. Russell and Dwight were speaking to me and they have like handed the team over to me. Myself and Arnold and the other guys, we have to uplift the team and get the preparations right from now. It's a rebuilding stage for us. From this Jamaica game we have to play for pride. I really want to win some games at least. We have something to prove against these teams in the remaining matches. None of these teams really beat us on the park. It was just an case of simple mistakes we made and at this level you will get dealt with big time with such mistakes," said John.
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