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“Creep before you walk”, says former national footballer Jan Steadman.

With that in mind, Steadman is hoping to take newly-formed Marabella Flames from the Second Division of the Southern Football Association (SFA) right up to the T&T Professional Football League (PFL) in a couple years time.

“I prefer to start in the lower division and work my way up,” said the 60-year-old, who starred alongside the likes of Warren Archibald and Leroy de Leon in the ‘hey’ days of Mt St Benedict’s, known back then as the “Brunner Boys”.

“You have to creep before you walk,” stressed Steadman. “You have to know it inside out. Everybody feels that just racing with the ball is football. Football is a commanding game. What is actually taking place in the game is in your head.”

Newly-formed southern-based Marabella Flames will start from scratch by entering the SFA with the intention of getting promoted all the way to the PFL.

Strange enough, the idea of introducing Marabella Flames to local football came all the way from Brooklyn, New York in the United States.

American-based business owners, Trinidadians Anthony Lambert and DarioTrujillo, who currently ran a football academy for kids in Brooklyn

CHAMPS Academy, decided to establish a football franchise in Trinidad and the name Jan Steadman came up.

“It was like a dream come through,” Steadman pointed out. “Here I am with my coaching school and really can’t go into the big league because of the lack of funds ... and up comes an offer from Lambert and Trujillo that I could not resist.”

Lambert, who was the owner of semi pro team Brooklyn United in New York, is presently in T&T with the intention of seeking information for what is required to take Flames to the highest level.

“The Marabella football Flames want to start as a new franchise in the T&T Pro League but CEO Dexter Skeene suggested starting

the franchise in the lower league and work our way up the ladder,” said Lambert.

“At the end of the day, starting in the lower division will work out better for us. It gives us the ability to build a community based team from scratch,” added Lambert.

“After being exposed to a scientific approach to training from college level to semi pro, I saw the need to utilise state of the art training equipment to help with the development and to upgrade the skills of the youths within the San Fernando community,” said Lambert.

“Another thing we are trying to do is to create a pipe-line for the local players based in the southern community to experience the type of training methods used by overseas players.”

Lambert revealed that equipment valued over TT $35,000 was shipped down and is now being utilised by players training with Flames. Among the equipment are agility ladders, hurdles and poles and balls.

One of the early products of the Jan Steadman School of Coaching has been “Strike Squad” striker Leonson Lewis.

Steadman was one of the first set of players from T&T to play professionally in the US, turning out for New York Cosmos and New York Generals in the 1960’s.

Ironically, while teaching at St Benedict’s he was the head coach of Naparima College - a job that saw him take his school’s southern rivals to several titles in the Championship Division of the Secondary Schools Football League (including a clean sweep in 1999).

Over the years, Steadman was able to produce several outstanding players who landed scholarships in the United States.

Former St Benedicts standout Edson Landeau will operate as the team’s general manager.

The team is still running screening sessions for players at Skinner Park in San Fernando. Training days are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

When the SFA opens on Saturday, the Flames will be wearing their flaming all-red outfits (home kit).