Real West Fort United owner/coach Ron La Forest (centre) talks to his players during a training session at the Corporate Ground, Westmoorings on Saturday. PHOTO BY JEFF MAYERS. - Jeff Mayers

FORMER national footballer and Under-17 team coach Ron La Forest hopes to develop quality footballers through his new club Real West Fort United.

Newsday visited the team’s trials at Corporate Ground in Westmoorings, on Saturday.

The owners of the team are La Forest, Shurland Hartley and Gordon Pierre.

West Fort United would comprise players mostly from West Trinidad and Port of Spain.

La Forest said forming the club has been years in the making. “This was in the making since 2017. I was down (at) Guaya (United), I did tremendously well in Guaya. I won the league and the cup for them that year 2017…this initial idea of mine it has been in my mind about five years ago when they decided to build the stadium down in Diego Martin.”

The Diego Martin Sporting Complex was completed last year.

The West Fort coach wants to support the communities of west Trinidad. “This is a good plus for me to embrace the whole community of Diego Martin, Carenage, Pt Cumana, L’Anse Mitan, and to form a nice team to play in that stadium down there.”

Pierre also wants to make a difference through football. “The club was formed to harness the footballing talents of western Trinidad and use it as a vehicle for community change and restoration.”

Pierre has high hopes for the team. “In five years I see Real West Fort United being the top football team in T&T with strong community roots and support. In ten years I see Real West Fort United being one of the top clubs in the Caribbean Football Union and Concacaf.”

La Forest said he is hoping to choose 30 players by next weekend from the trials currently be held.

He planned to give some of the top performing players t-shirts at the end of Saturday’s training session to signify the talent he sees in those players.

Discussions are being held with potential sponsors, while he has gotten some assistance with trials.

“There are some people who are interested in being around us so they decided to come and start us up with some equipment and stuff like that. We are in talks right now in terms of sponsorship.”

West Fort United are aiming to compete in the Ascension League, which La Forest is hoping kicks off in August.

”For starters they have what you call an Ascension League…we made a request because it is an invitational tournament. We made a request to get in and verbally they told us that we are inside.”

It was a youthful squad in training on Saturday, but La Forest said he is willing to pass on his knowledge to all.

“Try-outs are still taking place. It does not matter to me (because) I enjoy teaching, so if you are young, old, indifferent it does not matter to me. I was just telling them what matters is that you came here for a purpose…and once you could listen to me and follow my instructions it should be easier for you to play.”