KERWYN Hardest Jemmott, a temperamental midfielder who was recently released by CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh, has now found favour with national football teams head coach Bertille St Clair. According to sources close to the TT set-up, the 26-year-old Jemmott has been included in the Trinidad and Tobago team currently preparing for the Caribbean Zone Digicel Cup First Round Group D round-robin contest.
The sources also added that St Clair has been particularly inclined to keep Joe Publics captain and central defender Derek King, who has been included in the team for every World Cup qualifier to date without leaving the bench. This while ex-nationals Keyeno Thomas, Ian Gray and David Atiba Charles are left to languish in the T&T Pro League. Those decisions, as well as the coachs style and his controversial inclusion of 11 overseas-based professionals to play in last Wednesdays qualifier against St Vincent, were topics of discussion during Saturdays Meeting of the Minds at the Nu Tec Conference Room, Dr Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence, Tunapuna.
The meeting was arranged by Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) special advisor Jack Warner. Present were a number of local football personnel included TTFF President Oliver Camps, TTFF Technical Director Lincoln Tiger Phillips, CONCACAF technical committee member Alvin Corneal, Chairman of the TTFF technical committee Rudolph Thomas, Sedley Joseph, Peter Granville, Earl John, Muhammad Isa, Rudolph Thomas and Strike Squad captain Clayton Morris. TT Senior Team Manager Richard Brathwaite, Assistant Coach Ron La Forest, womens Technical Director Jamaal Shabazz, Under-20 Coach Anton Corneal and Under-17 Head Nigel Grovesnor were also in attendance at the three-hour meeting of the minds. Warner noted that the meeting was well-attended, an absolute gem. What has been the collective wisdom, said the FIFA vice-president, is that the technical structure of the team has to be reviewed.
Stressing that more critical roles will be given to Phillips and Corneal, two former outstanding national players in the 1960s, Warner noted that all those present at the meeting were optimistic of the teams chances of qualification for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Phillips, the ex-QRC, Maple and TT goalkeeper, admitted that We must prepare and we must know what we are preparing for as the team goes into the final round, from February until November, against Mexico, United States, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama. He was adamant that the TT team will be privy to information from their opponents courtesy of reports from scouts, adding that We have to improve our scouting development programmes. St Clair was absent from Saturdays programme, but Warner stressed that the technical committee will meet with the Tobago-born tactician to discuss urgent matters arising from the teams lack of lustre performances this year.