Tue, Jul

Aurtis Whitley, branded a ‘delinquent’ player is out of contract.

All is left to see where 2006 World Cup midfielder Aurtis Whitley will ply his trade for the 2009 season, after South-based Pro League club W Connection failed to renew his contract when it expired last December.
Coach Stuart Charles Fevrier explained that the club’s decision is solely based on 31-year-old Whitley’s participation for the club last season. “We opted not to renew his contract for the 2009 season. He hardly played for us last season, so we decided it is better to invest in a younger player that can give us more,” said the Connection coach.

Whitley was considered ‘delinquent’ by his previous employers CLICO San Juan Jabloteh. He played for San Juan Jabloteh for nine years in the TT Pro League prior to his contract termination in September 2007. One week later he was signed by rival club W Connection.

Now it seems to be the same case at Connection with the T&T World Cup star missing numerous practice sessions and only featuring in under 25 percent of matches for the ‘Savonnetta Boys’ last season. His miserable season also saw him fail to hit the target for Fevrier and W Connection in the League which the club lost by two points to champion Jabloteh.

Whitley returned to the T&T national team in 2008, after being absent in 2007. He featured as team captain against England in June, in a friendly match marking 100 years of T&T football, which his side lost 3-0. However, the once top-rated locally based midfielder, spent most of his time recovering from niggling injuries which saw him feature little for coach Francisco Maturana later on in the year.

Now overlooked by the T&T national team and no longer attached to W Connection, the question is where will Whitley be for the new season? Meantime, W Connection made one new signing thus far this pre-season adding United Petrotrin forward Kevon Woodley, aged 23, to its roster.

Woodley featured brilliantly for United Petrotrin last season following the exit of ace forward Jerol Forbes in September, shooting himself to stardom scoring 10 goals in the league—most of which came after Forbes’ exit. “I feel that he has the quality to develop into a national player,” said a delighted Fevier.

“At the moment he was available and we didn’t hesitate.” Fevrier further explained that he hoped to sign a couple more players over the upcoming weeks as he strengthen his squad ahead of the 2009 season.