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Charles needs a committed approach in Tobago

Thursday, November 15, 2012


OK! The U-20 squad failed to make it to the Concacaf qualifying round and no amount of excuses could wipe away the results that eliminated our team from going forward. 
If one is just a compulsive critic and could not see the absence of proper preparation, a problem which emanated from a lack of funds, then the concept of inadequacies in sports administration is not clearly understood by some of us. 
This young team of fairly talented players did not have avenues to test their strengths or weaknesses, neither did they have the opportunity to play against opponents who may have been able to expose them to the different challenges which they had to face. 
In other words, the team went to war with a slinging shot while their opponents were far ahead in terms of ammunition, (in football terms, training camps, formidable opponents, good nutritional and physical amenities). 
Our lads were always on a shoestring budget which may well have been the cause of insufficient camps, unavailable players, and some of the best players unable to make the trip. 
So why should the result be so surprising? Without knowing the details, the fans are asking how an economically challenged country like Haiti, or a weak soccer country like Curacao defeated T&T. 
Placing myself into the shoes of these players, I would have bemoaned the cold shouldered behaviour of fans, many of whom only support when the team is winning. They do not even understand that if they ever decided to make demands of the ruling body and show some concern for the players, the picture can be different. 
Does anyone recall that six years ago, our national team was struggling to earn points in the matches leading up to the World Cup finals for Germany.? 
Leo the magician was hurried into the country and he worked his mysterious but successful path to Germany. Do we recall the number of Trinis who found that the airfare to Bahrain was worth the sacrifice in order to give passionate support for the Warriors. 
Do we have to be assured that we are on the verge of success before we can join the Soca band support? 
Well, there is another challenge for our football, whereby a national senior team of very talented and experienced players are asked to face four opponents St Vincent, Guyana, and Surinam, two of whom they are not acquainted with, and Guyana, who defeated them in the World Cup preliminaries. 
Despite the number of well exposed players on the professional scene home and abroad, the route to victory in any team sports is based upon the cohesive methods, coupled with the use of their natural talents, and attitudes which will drive each player into a winning trend. 
I hope that the experience of Hutson Charles will allow him to motivate this group and help them to refrain from the fear of a negative audience, many of whom do not see themselves as part of failure in our country. 
At this late stage, any reference to inadequate administration or insufficient funds, must be cast aside and replaced by a diligent, committed, and assertive mindset, all of which will help us through to the next round of Digicel and into the Gold Cup finals. 
Being the optimist that I am, the players can upstage their opponents and although the self-centred professional clubs have refused to release Carlos Edwards and Darryl Roberts, this should add to the enthusiasm to the players who will earn their first place in the team. 
Good luck and may God guide your path towards success. 


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