Mon, Dec

Keron "Ball Pest" Cummings opens his own coaching school

KERON “Ball Pest” Cummings is preparing for life after active football and is also seeking an opportunity to pass on the knowledge he has gained by opening his own football coaching school at Simeon Road, Petit Valley.

Cummings, 33, came to national prominence with his performances at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, but he had always been a top player in the local professional football league. Former Trinidad and Tobago and Canada head coach Stephen Hart once described Cummings as one of the best players he had ever coached. Cummings has now revealed his own ambition to coach children.

“During the Covid (19), I started to do one and one training, and now that the restrictions are dropping, I plan on opening it (coaching school) officially, probably next week,” stated Cummings.

A naturally gifted footballer, Cummings said it had always been his ambition to pass on his expertise to the younger generation.

“When children look up to you, there is the opportunity to do something for the youth and dem, by giving them an opportunity to learn the game, “he explained. “I always believed I should give back to my community because after my time, I will want a next youth to pick up the same trade as me.”

Cummings’ coaching school will cater mainly for youths in the Western region such as Petit Valley, Carenage and Diego Martin but he says that anyone willing to learn will be welcomed.

Cummings will be catering for children between ages four and 12 and will also have an Under-17 group for older youths. He revealed that he is also on the search for a few sponsors, since many of the youngsters in his target group do not always have the means and finances needed to be involved in the game at an organised level.

“Many of the kids barely come with shoes,“ Cummings stated.

A technically gifted midfielder, Cummings was spotted by Hart while having a great season for North East Stars in the Trinidad and Tobago Pro League and was drafted into the Gold Cup squad, where in July 2015 he scored twice in a wildly-exciting 4-4 draw with Mexico—voted one of the best-ever matches in the tournament’s history. Having had 14 national caps, Cummings’ other international goal also came against Mexico, in September 2015, during a 3-3 friendly international draw in the United States.

However, with a Major League Soccer (MLS) contract beckoning, Cummings’ career took a hit when at age 27 he was shot in the leg. He reported that a gunman was waiting to rob him of his gold chain after a night out. His career resumed locally with Ma Pau Stars, Central FC, Morvant Caledonia United and more recently Terminix La Horquetta Rangers.

Cummings is taking a philosophical approach to the low points in his career and believes that when one door closes, another opens.

“When something is your bread and butter and you don’t have it, you have to find something else. So, I focused more on the kids,” said Cummings, “I would not say it was a hard thing, because I got more opportunity to stay home with the children.”

Although he is looking in the direction of coaching, Cummings said that he had not retired from football, and is among a group of players training with senior men’s national team coach Angus Eve. He is looking at a couple of clubs as well.

“I started training with Eve,” he announced, “and I am now focusing on getting back sharp.”

SOURCE: T&T Express