The Soca Warriors Online (SWO) will like to take this opportunity to thank our readers and loyal supporters for their continued support.
Now regarding the matter at hand, one cannot help but notice the path the Trinidad and Tobago football administrators continue to take.
When it comes to T&T football, some may say the more things change, the more they remain the same, and despite who says it they are correct.
In a January 4th T&T Express feature it was reported that the president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF), Mr. Oliver Camps stated in his end of the year speech that it's time to get the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation's (TTFF) house in order in 2011.
In his speech Mr. Camps acknowledged that there are a lot of issues to be sorted out before T&T football, particularly senior men's football, can begin to see improvements.
In spite of Mr. Camps’ epiphany, two days later the TTFF made a trademark decision that indicated that T&T football is heading for yet another controversial season. Stoke City striker Kenwyne Jones was named Trinidad and Tobago’s Player of the Year, a decision that raised many eyebrows and made many ask what the criteria was for earning such a prestigious award.
No offence to the former Southampton hit man, but since 2005 Jones has only scored 4 goals in 45 games for T&T. The last time Jones scored a goal for his country was against Cuba in a 3-0 win at the Hasley Crawford Stadium on the 19th of November 2008.
Interestingly, all four of his goals were scored at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. Three goals were from friendly encounters and one was a World Cup qualifier. This was slightly bettered by his exploits in the English Premier League where he scored 26 goals in 94 appearances from 2007-2010 for his former club Sunderland and he currently leads his team Stoke City with 5 EPL goals to his name.
To make matters more intriguing, Jones has not even played for Trinidad and Tobago in 2010! The last time the big striker suited up for his country was on the 14th of October 2009 against Mexico in a 2-2 tie, where he entered the game in the 77th minute for Devon Jorsling.
Speaking of which, Jorsling on the other hand has scored an overall 13 international goals in 25 matches, with 9 goals in 7 games during the 2010 season. Though the Defence Force target man has never scored against an opponent outside of the Caribbean region, he did managed to save T&T many times last year from embarrassing draws and defeats against weaker teams in the Caribbean such as Antigua and Guyana.
But in all fairness to him, Jorsling has never gotten the opportunity to start against opposition other than Caribbean teams, so we are still to see what he can offer at a higher level.
2009 Pro League Player of the Year, Kerry Baptiste scored 46 goals in all competitions at club level that year, but could only muffle up 3 goals in 7 games for T&T in 2010. However, it must be noted that despite a lean 2010 he did have an impressive 2009 at club level, winning the Pro League Golden Boot, Pro League Player and Striker of the Year, TTOC Sports Personality of the Year, Pro League Championship medal, Big Six medal, FA Trophy medal, Pro Bowl medal and Toyota Classic medal.
Then at international level he scored goals against St Kitts, one against Honduras and a double against Mexico during the 2009 World Cup qualifiers. After such an outstanding year the TTFF were strangely reluctant in naming Baptiste 2009 Player of the Year.
The award went to then Swansea City striker Jason Scotland, who scored 24 goals for his Club and a hattrick for T&T against Dominican Republic in a friendly game on October 8th 2008 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. This seemed to be enough for the striker to cop the TTFF’s top medal. Prior to his hattrick though, Scotland had not scored for T&T since 2004.
In 1999 there was another similarity in the TTFF’s decision making when Arnold Dwarika was named Player of the year. The talented midfielder scored a whopping 45 goals in the Pro League, but could not compare to what Dwight Yorke had accomplished that same year.
Dwight Yorke was joint-top scorer in the English Premiership League (EPL), won the treble with Manchester United, came 10th in FIFA's World Player of the Year, named Carling Cup Player of the Year, was Runner-up PFA Player of the Year, named to the PFA Team of the Year and finally was awarded a Chaconia Gold Medal by the T&T government.
In my estimation and I am sure many would agree, Defence Force striker Devon Jorsling should have been awarded 2010 Player of the Year. He was T&T's 2010 top goal scorer and currently leads the Pro League chart with 14 goals and 21 in all competitions thus far.
His accomplishments did not go unnoticed as it was recently reported that the big striker signed a contact with US Soccer League team, Orlando City Austin Aztex and is due to fly out in February 2011 to join his new teammates.
Maybe there is a reason Devon Jorsling was overlooked. Is this another indication of a blacklist? Will this be the end of Jorsling and his teammates who represented T&T in 2010, as the players are currently locked in a salary battle with the TTFF and former TTFF enemy Minister of Sports Anil Roberts? Both of whom came up short in paying the T&T players and left them feeling angry and unsettled during the Christmas holiday season.
In any case as far as “Player of the Year” goes, the fans at Soca Warriors Online (SWO) would like to question the criteria for bestowing such award and are hoping that the TTFF could come clean in subsequent decisions.
It’s a new year and if you want to make a change for the better "Mr. President" then it’s important to start doing things the right way and set a path for professionalism and respect.
It’s not too late to turn things around and with eleven months remaining in the year it’s enough time to recap, refocus and make a positive change to T&T football once and for all.
Mr. Camps it’s time to take your own advice and get your house in order! Either you step up to the challenge the stability of our football demands or step down and bring in someone with fresh and modern ideas to finally set T&T on the right path.
We have been haunted by negativity for far too long! Together we aspire, together we achieve (remember that?), now let’s finally do this together and recapture the glory our football, our fans and our nation deserve.
All the best to our players, our Federation, and all stakeholders of T&T football, we at the SWO are hoping to see a bright 2011 and beyond!
2014, we coming!