St Ann’s Rangers apart, this Pro League season has been a thoroughly competitive one with many memorable individual performances.
So, here is our senior Ruby Tuesday/Wired868 All-Star Team. You’re welcome!
Jan-Michael Williams (Central FC/Goalkeeper):
Adept glove work, sharp reflexes and accurate distribution are only a fraction of what Williams brings to the table. He might not wear the captain’s armband but his good cop-bad cop routine with Central FC defenders and referees could be used in management courses for shift supervisors across the country.
Not to mention the fact that, like Shaka Hislop before him, Williams makes goalkeeping look cool.
Kaydion Gabriel (Central FC/Right back):
Central FC’s own energiser bunny. He has only played at right back for about a year and a half, but this converted winger has adapted quickly with his tireless running and aggression.
He has a bright future once he continues to learn his trade and adds muscle.
Weslie John (Point Fortin Civic/Defender):
John can sometimes go unnoticed alongside the magnetic personality of his captain, Andre Ettienne. But he is a solid defender. Mobile, aggressive, decent on the ground and fair in the air too. He did an excellent job this season.
Mekeil Williams (W Connection/Defender):
‘Splash’ sometimes let himself down in the past with the occasional decisive error. He was more focused this season and a true leader for the “Savonetta Boys.”
Trinidad and Tobago has some bright talents available in central defence at the moment. But Williams can be as good or better than any of them.
Ross Russell Jr (Defence Force/Left back):
There is a shortage of left backs at the moment and few stand-out performers. Russell is an attacking winger who was asked to take on this role due to squad injuries and he caught the eye with his positive body language and effort. An awkward customer to face.
Marvin Oliver (Central FC/Midfielder):
At 39, Oliver is old enough to be father of more than a few Pro League players. And he is happy to school them.
He started the season at sweeper back under Zoran Vranes, so as to preserve his legs. But that turned out to be an underestimation of his powers.
Oliver’s understanding of the tempo of the match, his eye for the pass and his ability to spot problems early, made him indispensable to Central’s title winning season.
And that made the evergreen Rastafarian the Ruby Tuesday/Wired868 Player of the Year!
Neveal Hackshaw (North East Stars/Midfielder):
He has been compared to a young Khaleem Hyland. He isn’t quite there yet; because Hyland was, frankly, a phenomenon as a teenager. Still, Hackshaw is improving at an impressive rate and has showed a range of abilities this season—whether as a midfield anchor or box-to-box player.
Enjoy watching him while he is in the Pro League. He shouldn’t be here too long.
Jerrel Britto (W Connection/Right wing):
Simple and unassuming, Britto was an unsung hero this season. But where would Connection be without his pace, alertness and, most of all, finishing prowess?
Britto is uncapped at senior international level and there is no clamour to change this at present. Perhaps a solid performance at CONCACAF Champions League level might change that.
Ataullah Guerra (Central FC/Playmaker):
Guerra can drift from spectacular one minute to disinterested the next. But he is the Pro League’s most gifted player and the opponent everyone fears.
Quick, tall, strong, skilful and able to shoot with both feet, Guerra looks something created in a lab. But he is yet to hit the heights of other local legends like Arnold Dwarika, Aurtis Whitley and even Kerwin “Hardest” Jemmot.
Still, he cruised into our all-star team in that bewitching way of his.
Jason Marcano (Central FC/Winger):
Two weeks ago, this position might have gone to his teammate Darren Mitchell or North East Stars’ Keron Cummings. But Marcano’s form at the business end of the season was inspiring.
His unorthodox running style and voice—imagine Mariah Carey with a sore throat—sometimes masks the facts that very effective player. A good dribbler, accurate crosser and hard worker.
Devorn Jorsling (Defence Force/Striker):
The Pro League’s answer to Alan Shearer. Jorsling is strong, simple and effective. He holds up the ball for teammates, wins fouls or spins away from defenders to unleash havoc with his left foot bullets. He can deliver a mean set piece too.
There is nobody with a Trinidad and Tobago passport that you would want to see shoot at goal more than this soldier boy.
And the next best things:
Cleon John (North East Stars/Goalkeeper):
Very capable, reliable and an excellent leader.
Akeem Benjamin (Central FC/Defender):
‘Battery’ is a risk taker, which can lead to him into problems. But he has good feet for a defender and he is improving every year.
Keryn Navarro (North East Stars/Defender):
‘Mr Versatile’—Navarro can do a job anywhere across the backline or even in midfield. Another unsung hero.
Todd Ryan (Police FC/Midfielder):
His eight Pro League goals was bettered only by Marvin Oliver in his position. Strong as an ox and shoots like a mule. Ryan is always a handful.
Darren Mitchell (Central FC/Winger):
He got the worst of his coach’s tinkering in the latter stages of the season but often made an impact off the substitutes’ bench as well. Mitchell’s pace, energy and spirit would be an asset to any team. The sky is the limit if he is able to produce a more consistently accurate final pass.
Keron Cummings (North East Stars/Playmaker):
One of the Pro League’s most entertaining “Number 10s.” ‘Ballpest’ is an eye-catching dribbler who is blessed with a tremendous left foot strike. He deserves a chance to show what he can do on the international stage.
Hashim Arcia (W Connection/Playmaker):
‘Lord Arcia’ probably drinks water in a champagne glass. His soft touch and appreciation for angles makes him seem as if he is playing a refined game than most of his opponents. Always worth the price of admission.
Marcus Joseph (Point Fortin Civic/Attacker):
A gem of a player. Mobile and aggressive with a left foot shot that many millionaire footballers would kill for. The upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup could be the making of him.
Willis Plaza (Central FC/Striker):
Once a bustling utility player, Plaza has recreated himself into a pure forward. He strikes the ball as clean as a whistle and with little noticeable back-lift. Although he missed half of the season, he still gets into our team after his tremendous form in the past five months.