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Club Sando debutant striker Nathaniel James, left, vies for possession with AC Port of Spain’s talisman Duane Muckette during the T&T Premier Football League at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar, Arima on March 19th 2023. James scored the lone goal in Club Sando’s 1-0 win.

NATHANIEL “Natty” James’s 15 goals for Tiger Tanks Club Sando in the inaugural season of the TT Premier Football League (TTPFL) last season were good enough to win him the golden boot and the Forward of the Year honours when the league hosted its awards at Hilton Hotel, on Friday night.

Tier-one champions Defence Force and Tobago’s 1976 FC Phoenix – winners of the second tier and entrants for the upcoming season – saw their players win the lion’s share of individual awards.

James, who helped Club Sando to a third-place finish last season, earning him a contract in Jamaica, was unable to seal a hat-trick of individual awards, though.

He was pipped for the league’s best player of the season by his T&T teammate and Defence Force central defender Justin Garcia, who was also named the league’s best defender.

James, who is currently in Jamaica, was singled out by Minister of Sports and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe-Lewis as a “solid example of determination.”

Delivering the feature address, Cudjoe-Lewis, said it would be “remiss of me if I didn’t mention Nathaniel James.

“He (scored) the winning goal against Curacao just a few weeks ago – Mr James, I want to say to you … on behalf (of the nation) we say sincerely, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.

“But I have just one request,” she quipped, “please don’t leave the action for so late in the game.”

James, 19, made his national team debut against Curacao in September, coming off the bench in the 82nd minute and scoring a free-kick just five minutes later to win the match.

With respect to his recent form and transfer to Jamaica’s Mount Pleasant FA, Cudjoe-Lewis said, “I think you are one more solid example of determination and dedication to your craft that will only result in tremendous success. You are also a role model .”

Christopher Biggette, a recent addition to the senior men’s national team squad, was named the tier-one’s best goalkeeper of the season, ahead of national team back-up Denzil Smith of W Connection, and 39-year-old AC Port of Spain’s Marvin Phillip, who recently announced his international retirement.

Lloyd Andrews of Defence Force was also awarded coach of the season. Nigel De Souza, head coach of 1976 FC Phoenix, won the Tier Two equivalent.

AC Port of Spain’s Duane Muckette was named the midfielder of the year.

1976 FC Phoenix’s ace forward Mickaeel “Jem” Gordon walked away with three honours to his name, picking up the Forward of the Year, the Golden Boot (with eight goals) and the Player of the Season awards.

His teammate Devaughn Daniel earned the goalkeeper of the year award, while Erick Charles of Petit Valley Diego Martin United and Sean de Silva (QPCC) were named the best defender and midfielder. Daniel and de Silva were also nominated for the Player of the Season awards.

The TTPFL said coaches of all teams were invited to make selections for the awards. The next TTPFL season will kick off on November 24, with the notable absence of long-time T&T and Caribbean club giants W Connection.


Tier 1

Goalkeeper of the Season: Christopher Biggette (Defence Force) (winner), Marvin Phillip (AC Port of Spain), Denzil Smith (W Connection).

Defender of the Season: Justin Garcia (Defence Force) (winner), Josiah Trimmingham (Tiger Tanks Club Sando), Randanfa Abu Bakr (AC Port of Spain).

Midfielder of the Season: Duane Muckette (AC Port of Spain) (winner), John-Paul Rochford (AC Port of Spain), Justin Sadoo (Defence Force).

Forward of the Season: Nathaniel James (Tiger Tanks Club Sando) (winner), Ataulla Guerra – Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Brent Sam (Defence Force).

Player of the Season: Justin Garcia (Defence Force) (winner), Nathaniel James (Tiger Tanks Club Sando), Duane Muckette (AC Port of Spain).

Golden Boot: Nathaniel James (Tiger Tanks Club Sando).

Coach of the Season: Lloyd Andrews (Defence Force).

Tier Two

Goalkeeper of the season: Duvaughn Daniel (1976 FC Phoenix) (winner), Dillon King (QPCC), Cleon John (Police FC).

Defender of the season: Erick Charles (Petit Valley Diego Martin Utd) (winner), Javon Williams (1976 FC Phoenix), Jeremiah Bristol (1976 FC Phoenix).

Midfielder of the season: Sean de Silva (QPCC) (winner), Bringsluck Nche (Petit Valley Diego Martin Utd), Trevin Caesar (1976 FC Phoenix).

Forward of the Season: Mickaeel Gordon (1976 FC Phoenix) (winner), Isaiah Leacock (Harlem Strikers), Jason Devenish (QPCC).

Player of the Season: Mickaeel Gordon (1976 FC Phoenix) (winner), Duvaughn Daniel (1976 FC Phoenix), Sean De Silva (QPCC).

Golden Boot: Mickaeel Gordon (1976 FC Phoenix).

Coach of the Season: Nigel De Souza (1976 FC Phoenix).