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(Left to right) International cricket star Dwayne Bravo, Michelle Mungal, brand manager - soft drinks division - Malta Carib, TT Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene and Collin Murray, sponsorship and events manager at Malta Carib pictured during the launch of the Malta Carib Youth Pro League 2015 at the President’s Box of the Queens Park Oval in Port of Spain on March 20, 2015.
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The 2015 Malta Carib Youth Pro League season, which is already in progress, will again be an all-male affair.



At Friday’s launch of the tournament organised by the TT Pro League at the President’s Box, Queen’s park Oval, Port-of-Spain, Dexter Skeene, the organisation’s chief executive officer, said for now this division of the League would be an all-boys affair.

He said before the girls segment was introduced the TT Pro League needed to get the components in the adult division right and ensure the effective operations of the junior category was seamless, too. Only then would female athletes be invited to participate and exhibit their skills adding to the dynamics of the sporting event.

Skeene said the junior instalment of the League was where the organisation was able to drive inspiration and motivation. In his view, administrators of the League did not have the luxury of being short-sighted considering that the future of the entire organisation and the improvement in the standard of play resided in the quality of the youth football and the development programmes.

Competition in this season’s tournament will feature athletes in the Under-13, U-15 and U-17 divisions. Last year’s fixture had U-14, U-16 and U-18 footballers on show. While no cash awards have been assigned to the competition, individual and team awards would be presented. 

But even as the footballers gear up, advocacy efforts through the use of social media was being applied to bolster awareness and positively promote these athletes during each game and stage of the League.

“We must encourage our players to experiment and be creative; not being afraid to make mistakes. Too many times our creative players are being stifled because the focus is purely on winnings and not development. These issues are part of a greater awareness that we must have if we are to strive for the excellence that is necessary to effectively take our youth to the stage where they make a smooth transition to senior and international football. 

“The youth are invaluable. They are an investment, not expenditure. I have said it before and I will say it again: get your academy and development infrastructure wrong and your demise is certain; it is not a question of if, but when,” he said.

“Additionally, in the absence of a well-structured and coherent youth development pathway, T&T football will never grace a senior Fifa World Cup on a continuous basis. It is at this stage that the right attitude, technique and skills are nurtured and properly developed. I urge, even implore the TT Pro league clubs to address in a serious and dedicated manner the proper development of their youth teams. It is at this level your best coaches and football minds should be focused.”

He said local football administrators only had to look to the tried and tested systems being employed and deployed by champion international clubs Barcelona FC, Manchester United, and Santos FC.

In addition to the technical and tactical aspects of the game, Skeene said, the clubs identified dealt with the proper age specific physical preparation, exposure, psychological and educational aspects, which would produce complete players who were ready to play and perform creditably at the international level.

“Germany decided in 2003 to place the focus on producing more technically proficient home grown players and the German Football Association implemented a talent development programme, which was introduced with the aim of identifying promising youngsters from 8-14 served by a 1,000 part-time coaches, all of whom had to hold the UEFA B-Licence and were expected to scout, as well as train the players. The results can be seen in their performances on the world stage in both club and country competitions,” said Skeene.

“This shows the importance of having and implementing a proper youth development structure. We have recognised this and the TT Pro League is laying the foundation and providing the platform for our youngsters to fulfil their true potential with this Malta Carib Youth Pro League. I anticipate a very exciting menu of youth football this season. We have and believe in the talent that resides in the Malta Carib Youth Pro-League.”

RELATED NEWS

Malta Carib partners with Youth Pro League in support of youth development.
ttproleague.com.


West Indies and Trinidad and Tobago cricket star Dwayne Bravo, in the capacity as brand ambassador for Malta Carib on Friday, told young footballers during the launch of the Malta Carib Youth Pro League 2015 to grab the opportunity offered to them with both hands.

Bravo, speaking at the President’s Box of the Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain, in the presence of attentive youngsters and youth coaches, said, “Dwight Yorke is a perfect example.”

Bravo reminded that Yorke, a former Aston Villa and Manchester United star, who was picked up by the scouts of English club Aston Villa as a 17-year-old, could have easily decided to return to Tobago due to the cold conditions in England among other challenges and today be an unknown.

“He is retired now but the whole world knows of Dwight Yorke,” continued Bravo. “Try to be another Dwight Yorke or another Russell Latapy.”

The 31-year-old international cricket star highlighted that some of T&T’s present foreign based international footballers such as Kevin Molino (Orlando City – United States), Khaleem Hyland (Racing Genk – Belgium) and Lester Peltier (Slovan Bratislava – Slovakia) all started in the TT Pro League.

“You can make it but it’s not an overnight process,” the Queen's Park Cricket Club (QPCC) player told the young footballers. “You all have a perfect opportunity and I plead to you, grab it with both hands because some guys don’t have this opportunity.”

Bravo, who names Brian Lara as his childhood and present role model, added, “Growing up my dream was to play cricket at the highest level [like Brian Lara]. So from a very early age I knew what I wanted in life. You can live your dream but it doesn’t come easy. The most important thing is discipline; how dedicated you are to your sport and to your teammates. Respect your teammates and your coaching staff. Never doubt yourself; always think that you can achieve anything.

“There are great opportunities for you where sport is concerned; it can change your life. I came from a very poor family (…) and I am in a position now where I can provide for my entire family.”

Bravo congratulated Malta Carib for taking up the partnership role with the TT Pro League “in helping develop the youths of the country”.

Malta Carib – the popular beverage among kids and adults – will be predominantly displayed and among prizes during matches as well as on social media such as facebook, twitter and instagram during the 2015 Malta Carib Youth Pro League which kicked off on March 15.

But Colin Murray, sponsorship and events manager at Malta Carib, explained that his company sees the partnership as the perfect opportunity to align Malta Carib with football, a sport which encourages the youth of Trinidad and Tobago to explore their full potential both on and off the field.

“Malta Carib takes pride in partnering with the Trinidad and Tobago Youth Pro League 2015,” said Murray during the launch of the 2015 YPL season and Malta Carib partnership with the league. “We at Malta Carib (...) commend the TT Pro League for their vision and management of this league over the past ten years in the [various youth] divisions as we truly believe that the only way forward for sport in our beloved country is in the investment in the youth and the development process of the respected individuals involved in their care.

"Malta Carib sees this partnership with the TT Pro League as enhancing not only the league but a partnership that will make a difference and we would like all the players to be aware that Malta Carib will be initiating a number of individual prizes for the average performers. So to all the players taking part in the Malta Youth Pro League we urge you to give your best, try hard, be fair and be disciplined in your approach. You will reap the rewards.”

Ten clubs (Caledonia AIA, Central FC, Club Sando, Defence Force, North East Stars, Point Fortin Civic, Police FC, San Juan Jabloteh, St. Ann's Rangers, W Connection and newcomers Club Sando) will contest each other from March 15 - July 17 at Under-13, Under-15 and Under-17 levels in the Malta Carib YPL 2015.

The Malta Carib YPL 2015 action will resume on Sunday 22 March with North East Stars hosting Point Fortin Civic at the Larry Gomes Stadium training field; W Connection against Central FC at Gilbert Park; Police hosting Defence Force at the St. James Baracks; San Juan Jabloteh hosting St. Ann’s Rangers at San Juan North Secondary; and Caledonia AIA welcoming Club Sando at Maracas Recreation Ground in St. Joseph.

TT Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene, who expressed heartfelt gratitude to Malta Carib for their commitment to the Pro League and the youth of the nation, said, “More than any other activity that the TT Pro League is responsible for, the Youth Pro League is where we derive inspiration and motivation. We cannot ever be short-sighted. The future of the TT Pro League and the improvement in the standard of play, resides in the quality of the youth football and the development programmes. The youths are invaluable. They are an investment, not expenditure.”

Skeene, like in the past, cautioned clubs, “Get your academy and development infrastructure wrong and your demise is certain. It is not a question of if but when. Additionally, in the absence of a well-structured and coherent youth development pathway Trinidad and Tobago’s football will never grace a Senior FIFA World Cup on a continuous basis.

“It is at this stage that the right attitude, technique and skills are nurtured, honed and properly developed. I urge, even implore the TT Pro League clubs to address in a serious and dedicated manner the proper development of their youth teams. It is at this level your best coaches and football minds should be focused.”

Skeene advised that clubs such as Barcelona, Manchester United, Ajax and Santos are good examples of clubs that live and breathe youth development. He also highlighted that Germany’s decision over a decade ago to place focus on producing more technically proficient home-grown players have seen recent benefits at club and country competitions.

“I also wish to remind [clubs] that we must encourage our players to experiment and be creative, not being afraid to make mistakes. Too many times our creative players are being stifled because the focus is purely on winning and not development. These issues are part of a greater awareness that we must have if we are to strive for the excellence that is necessary to effectively take our youth to the stage where they make a smooth transition to senior and international football,” said the TT Pro League CEO.

Sunday 22 March 2015

UNDER-13 DIVISION

Larry Gomes Training Field, Malabar
North East Stars vs Point Fortin Civic—10 am

Gilbert Park, Couva
W Connection vs Central FC—10 am

St. James Barracks, St. James
Police FC vs Defence Force—10 am

San Juan North Secondary, San Juan
San Juan Jabloteh vs St. Ann’s Rangers—10 am

Maracas Recreation Ground, St. Joseph
Caledonia AIA vs Club Sando—10 am

UNDER-15 DIVISION

Larry Gomes Training Field, Malabar
North East Stars vs Point Fortin Civic—2 pm

Gilbert Park, Couva
W Connection vs Central FC—2 pm

St. James Barracks, St. James
Police FC vs Defence Force—2 pm

San Juan North Secondary, San Juan
San Juan Jabloteh vs St. Ann’s Rangers—2 pm

Maracas Recreation Ground, St. Joseph
Caledonia AIA vs Club Sando—2 pm

UNDER-17 DIVISION

Larry Gomes Training Field, Malabar
North East Stars vs Point Fortin Civic—4 pm

Gilbert Park, Couva
W Connection vs Central FC—4 pm

St. James Barracks, St. James
Police FC vs Defence Force—4 pm

San Juan North Secondary, San Juan
San Juan Jabloteh vs St. Ann’s Rangers—4 pm

Maracas Recreation Ground, St. Joseph
Caledonia AIA vs Club Sando—2 pm