Venezuelans to play for Big Cannons.
Former national defender, now turn coach Shurland David is the new coach of T&T Super League champions FC Santa Rosa. He was unveiled to the media at a press conference at the Arima Town Hall yesterday on a one-year contract, officially replacing Derek King who led the team to the super league title for a second time in 2018, before moving on to HFX Wanderers FC in the Canadian Premier League.
David whose coaching career began as an assistant to Jerry Moe at Caledonia AIA and included stints at North East Stars as an assistant coach and head coach, WASA FC and a Maloney development team up to recent, said his intention is to maintain the winning culture which the Arima club has been known for over the years.
The 'Big Cannons' as they are affectionately called, won the title back in 2016 under Keith Look Loy as a coach, before Hydro-Tech Guaya United made a clean sweep a year later (2017). Look Loy, who also held the position of club president, relinquished his coaching duties to King last year, a decision that also reaped instant success.
In front, a small gathering David said "It is good to join the Santa Rosa family. They have a good track record, the attitude of the team, the culture of the team is marvellous, considering they came from the zone and when they reached into the super league, they were contenders. It's a nice task to follow after Keith as a coach winning, and after Derek, as a coach winning. So we want to maintain the winning attitude."
He noted "The culture the club has created over the past four years is one of a positive attitude, discipline-wise also. I just want to continue and improve what has been done and try to make it better. Last year Queen's Park came close so we have some work to do. We cannot afford to sit on our laurels and say we won last year and we will do it again."
David promised his team will be boosted by a number of new faces to their roster this year but told the media he could not reveal any names until the deals have been sealed and signed. But Look Loy, who was instrumental in bringing David to their fold, said they will be giving trials to two Venezuelan players as the Venezuelan community has become part of the national community and mainly the Arima community.
The players whom both have a lot of experience playing in the top tier Venezuelan League system are aged 18 and 21.
The decision to give the opportunity to the Venezuelans is in line with his philosophy to refreshen the squad every year, ensuring new blood and new competition for spaces.
According to Look Loy "This season, following on the success last year and the fact that we sent two players to professionals contracts in Canada, this year we looking to bring in new players, particularly new younger players. We have a sizeable pool of experienced players from last year and we cannot win anything without experienced players, but we're also bringing in several young players from within and outside the club, who fall in the age range 17 to 20-21, with an eye to producing players to go abroad."
The super league faces an expected change in the structure this year, following a recommendation by FIFA/CONCACAF for a merged league.
Video - SPORT: David Takes Over As Santa Rosa Head Coach