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CENTRAL FC Pro-team assistant coach Travis Mulraine feels he can contribute to lifting the local football standard which he said has dropped significantly.

To this end Mulraine launched his football academy in February in which he plans to teach the basics of the sport to youngsters between the ages 6 -16 years. Sessions are held at the weekends from 9.30am-11.00am at the Aranjuez Savannah.

Mulraine who was captain of the Trinidad and Tobago team in the 1990s said he wants to equip the next generation young footballers with the skills to move onto the TT teams and possibly on an international team.

Mulraine said in order for there to be an improvement in the standard the coaching curriculum has to change. “We have to take a page out of the books of the Dutch. They coach total football and that is what we need. We must teach the young players the right things as whatever they learn in their youth will remain with them.”

He added that the Pro-League is being wrongfully blamed for players not displaying the basic football fundamentals. “The Pro-League has come in for a lot of criticisms and it is not responsible for the poor showing of these players. If these players were given the right coaching before they had finished school, the level of football would have been higher.

The players are not getting the right coaching in the youth system whether in the schools or in some clubs,” said Mulraine.

In comparing players at the local TT Pro League to those internationally, Mulraine explained that there is not much of a difference technically but he was quick to add that TT players are way behind tactically.

The Central FC coach said in addition to football, the academy will also help in the all round development of the players, including players’ diet, education and how do interviews. The academy will target an under-16 team in the coming years which Mulraine said, will be registered to compete in the Northern Football Association league.