Sun, Jul


I don’t know that we will ever have a football orgasm as was provided by the beloved Strike Squad of 1989.

The climax was not what we prayed for but very few would deny that the ever charismatic Everard ‘Gally’ Cummings had the entire nation really pumped up, both emotionally and physically.

It was a stroke of hard luck that America broke us, heading off to Italy and leaving behind a limping T&T that has since gone soft on its World Cup efforts.

Our efforts to perform on the big stage has ranged from mediocre to ordinary, with all sorts of dysfunctional reasons attributed to our failure.

Players have come and gone and even our two most celebrated players, Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy, were forced to retire from the national scene while we were still competing in the World Cup qualifiers.

We have had coaches — dime a dozen, all controversially exiting, with nothing to show with the latest being our failure to qualify for the Gold Cup and a coach (sic) admitting that he was out coached. That may have been the understatement of the year, but at least Hannibal Najjar was honest.

Enter Stuart Charles Fevrier.

Having heard him speaking with Andre Baptiste on radio and saw his two-part interview with our own Gregory Trujillo in last week’s G-Sport, I have a sneaky feeling that Trinidad and Tobago is on to a good thing.

‘Gally’ was special, confident and built himself into a force that was difficult to dislodge while the Strike Squad was on the road.

And while it would be difficult to emulate him, there are lessons which Charles Fevrier could do well to recognise and work with, during the next few months.

He will not get much respect or support from T&T until such time as he builds a team that plays good, creative football and WINS.

He has started on firm ground via the recent South African tour. And reversing the dismal performance which the team gave against Venezuela earlier this year, with a good 2-2 draw here in June, would certainly have done his cause some good.

It is also a good sign that the Football Federation has given him a free hand as far as selection is concerned. He has signalled his intentions, opting for the younger players which suggests that he is thinking long term.

That, of course, is the best place to start. We have had too many coaches complaining (although some did it quietly) that certain members of the football hierarchy were pulling the strings as far as the selection of players was concern.

Charles Fevrier has had his pulse on T&T football, having lived the more informative years of his life here, played as a pro in T&T and coached the W Connection team to several successes.

His humble personality is likely to endear him to all.

“I saw my decision to accept the job as national coach as a further opportunity to build on the contribution I made to the local game at club and international level. I was happy for that opportunity,” Charles Fevrier told G-Sport.

Getting a squad to Germany 2006 is not beyond Trinidad and Tobago.

In pursuit of that goal, Charles Fevrier’s task is much bigger than building a football team.

T&T’s new coach must stoke the population - supporters, business and government into a frenzy, the likes of which will evoke the thrill and excitement of 1989.

If one is to judge by his statements so far, it would seem that he understands his role!