For a long time, Tobago have been dependent on the coaching skill of Bertille St Clair, who led Trinidad and Tobago to a 2000 semi-final berth, its best-ever showing at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.


Thursday’s international friendly, which was won 3-0 by Guadeloupe, gave Tobago a chance to expose a new coach to international football. Given the job was Marlon Toppin, a former Goal City footballer, who led Roxborough Lakers to a close second spot to Goal City in the Tobago Premier Divison last season.


“We have a young coach, Marlon Toppin. He has been working with Roxborough Lakers, but it’s his first time in charge of a Tobago team. So, the Guadeloupe match also gave him exposure and the chance to grow as a coach as well,” stated Everton Alfred, general secretary of the Tobago Football Association (TFA).


Given that they did not have much of a preparation, Toppin had Tobago playing quite well, particularly in the first half, against Guadeloupe. Toppin gave almost every player a run, using an entirely different team in either half. And if the TFA has its way, Toppin may get a few more chances to coach Tobago in other friendly internationals.


“This is one of the few ways our coaches get to take a step further and learn the game at an international level,” Alfred added.


Not that Tobago is trying to break away from the Trinidad and Tobago national team. Instead, Alfred thinks Tobago players need exposure apart from a T&T national team, and a few games separate might give T&T national coach Stephen Hart the chance to scout the talent on the sister isle.


And Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) apparently have no problem with Tobago playing on its own team from time to time. In fact, TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee, who is also Mayor of Port of Spain, sees it as a partnership.


“I know there are a lot of good players in Tobago and at times they are not known, they are not seen, and all the dynamics. We have to put an end to that,’’ declared Tim Kee. “So, when we got the games against Guadeloupe, we offered Tobago the opportunity to handle it. We had at times assisted them with how to organise it, but its all part of my promise to involve Tobago in the international football.”


Among the players Tobago fielded against Guadeloupe were Stokely Vale’s Tyronne Manning, one of the top five National Super League players of 2011; Akini Ferguson, last year’s top-score with Tobago champions Goal City; his brother Kerlon Ferguson (Goal City), a former player with 2010 T&T Pro Legue runners-up T&TEC; defender Omar Charles, who played Pro League football with both Central FC and Point Fortin Civic in 2013-2014; Gem Gordon, a 2013 trialist with England club Walsall, who played for Pro League champions W Connection; and McKenzie Denoon, the 2013 keeper for Tobago schoolboys football champions Speyside, who came on and made several good second half saves.


Since the demise of Tobago United, the sister isle does not have a professional team, so Tobago players have to come to Trinidad to play club football at the highest level. Among them are Rundell Winchester and Trevin Caesar, who a few months ago were playing for Central FC and North East Stars, but are now playing for clubs in the Belgium and US, respectively. Darren “Chucky” Mitchell is also Tobago-born, but now plays for Central FC.


“There is an exodus of players leaving once again, going to Trinidad because they want to ply their trade at the best level,” stated Peter Granville, coach of the now defunct Tobago United, Tobago’s only Pro League team. “But you never know what will happen in the next couple of years.”




1. Joel Sampson (GK), 2.Simon Nedd, 3.Mensa Pollard, 4.Omar Charles, 5.Vernon Wilson, 7.Staffano Wright, 10.Kerron Phillips, 11.Arthur Moses, 12. Andel Brown, 16.Kern Harris, 17.Tyronne Manning, 19.Kerlon Ferguson, 20.Larry Potts. SUBS: 6. Nyron Orr, 8.Deon Thomas, 9.Anson Campbell, 13.Karlon Morris, 14.Gem Gordon, 15.Carmichael Sealy, 18. Akini Ferguson, 21.Devon Leacock, 22(GK) McKenzie Denoon.

TRINIDAD and Tobago will tackle the hosts when the second edition of the Pan American Women’s Under-23 Volleyball Cup serves off tomorrow in Peru. The clash will take place at 7 p.m., two hours after the battle between the other two teams in Group A, Argentina and Mexico.

The Group B matches are also scheduled for 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. with Costa Rica and Dominican Republic taking the court to follow the Colombia/Cuba encounter. The winners of both round-robin groups will move straight into Friday night’s semifinals, while the runners-up and third-placed teams will contest quarterfinals the night before.

The champions will be crowned next Saturday. There are five countries – Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico and T&T – representing the NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) region and the top two will secure tickets to next year’s World Under-23 Championships.

Argentina, Colombia and Peru are the South Americans involved and the team which finishes the highest of the three will earn the other ticket.

All T&T’s group matches are at 7 p.m. and they will face Argentina on Monday and Mexico the day after.

This country’s team is spearheaded by star national player Channon Thompson, who was voted Best Server, Best Spiker and Most Valuable Player (MVP) when T&T were crowned Caribbean champions for the fifth successive at home last month. Marisha Herbert and Malika Yorke, who were also on that squad, are also in Peru, and the team also includes national player Zahra Collins and top juniors Kaylon Cruickshank, Alexandrea Jones and Reann Young.

Jones was the Best Digger, Best Receiver and Best Libero while Cruickshank was the Best Blocker and Best Spiker and Young was the Best Scorer and MVP when T&T were crowned Caribbean Under-19 champs for the third straight time at home last December.

The team is being coached by national senior player Saleem Ali, who will be assisted by national senior coach Nicholson Drakes.

T&T is the only newcomer to this tournament, replacing Canada, the sixth-placed finishers in the inaugural event two years ago when Dominican Republic defeated Brazil for the gold medal and Argentina picked up bronze.

Borel betters 19-metre mark

Renny Quow struck gold at the Memorial Van Damme IAAF Diamond League finals in Brussels, Belgium, yesterday. The Trinidad and Tobago quartermiler clocked 45.37 seconds to claim top spot in the men’s 400 metres. Belgian Kevin Borlee picked up silver in 45.44, while bronze went to Brazilian Anderson Henriques (45.52).


The Memorial Van Damme victory was Quow’s second one-lap triumph this week. On Tuesday, the 27-year-old athlete topped the men’s 400m field in 45.13 seconds at the 50th Palio Citta della Quercia meet, in Rovereto, Italy.


Cleopatra Borel was in fine form in Brussels, the T&T thrower producing a season’s best 19.13 metres effort to secure fourth spot in the women’s shot put.


Olympic, world and Commonwealth champion Valerie Adams continued her impressive winning streak. The New Zealand field athlete won for the 56th time on the trot with a huge 20.59m effort—the best throw in the world this year and a new Memorial Van Damme record. Germany’s Christina Schwanitz threw the iron ball 19.86m to finish second, while third spot went to American Michelle Carter (19.73m).


Borel opened yesterday’s competition at 18.81m. She followed up at 18.27m, before producing the big 19.13m throw in round three. The experienced campaigner’s last three throws were 18.52m, 18.11m and 18.27m.


The 19.13m throw was Borel’s fourth 19-plus effort this season. In March, she threw 19.10m and 19.02m en route to gold at Cuba’s National Championships. And in June, Borel landed the shot 19.04m to finish third at the adidas Grand Prix IAAF Diamond League meet in New York, USA.


Richard “Torpedo” Thompson clocked 10.10 seconds in the Memorial Van Damme men’s 100m dash to finish eighth in a nine-man field. St Kitts and Nevis’ 2003 world champion Kim Collins brought up the rear in 10.19.


Justin Gatlin was dominant, winning in a world-leading 9.77 seconds from fellow-American Mike Rodgers (9.93) and Jamaicans Asafa Powell (9.95) and Kemar Bailey-Cole (9.96). Briton James Dasaolu (10.00), American Tyson Gay (10.01) and Jamaica’s Nesta Carter (10.01) finished fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively. Gatlin was back on the track one hour later, romping to victory in the 200m in 19.71 seconds.


T&T squad: Zahra Collins; Nicolette De Mille; Kaylon Cruickshank; Shakile Grannum; Alexandrea Jones; Marisha Herbert; Destiny Leon; Trajane Ramey; Channon Thompson; Malika Yorke; Kiana Young; Reann Young. Saleem Ali (coach); Nicholson Drakes (assistant coach).

Jonathan De Matas captured a bronze medal in the sparring competition in T&T’s historic participation at the fifth International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) World Cup, which took place recently in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

The five athletes who represented T&T were all members of the Euge Taekwon-Do Academy.

The team was led by Franklyn Eugene (ITF IV Dan), and included Francisca Sadal (black belt I Dan) Aaliyah Maharaj (black belt I Dan) Christopher Nakhid (black belt II Dan) De Matas (red belt).

Nakhid participated in four events: patterns, sparring, technical breaking and power breaking.

He placed fourth in power breaking and competed keenly in his pattern event, Eui Am, in which he was narrowly edged by his opponent, 3-2.

His first round sparring match was against a Slovenian opponent which he lost 4-0.

Sadal competed in the patterns event in the 36-45 age group and was one of the three competitors out of six competitors to complete the event.

This is the first time that a female athlete from T&T has competed in the patterns competition.

Maharaj competed in Power Breaking and in the 36-45 age group and made great representation. Again, this was the first time a female athlete from T&T competed in this event.

There was only one competitor in this category placed first as the competition standards were very high.

Eugene competed in sparring in the 36-45 advance senior age group.

In the first minute, his Argentinian opponent was ahead by two points. Then, Eugene converted the score 3-2. However, at the end, the Argentinean came back to win the event. In the power breaking, Eugene was placed seventh in a field of 36 competitors, edging closer to the current world leaders in the event from Paraguay, Argentina, and England.

De Matas, meanwhile, competed in patterns in the colour belt 18-36 age group and won his first round against his Argentinean opponent.

His pattern Hwa–Rang was just too powerful for the Argentinean. In his second round of patterns, he faced a Jamaican opponent whom he lost to by one point. In the sparring competition, De Matas was able to capture the bronze medal against another Jamaica opponent. De Matas was up on points. However, deductions had the best of him. To his credit, De Matas fought hard and again his technical abilities exceeded those of his competitors.


This country’ senior men and women’s hockey team will begin their quest towards qualification for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro, Olympic Games in Brazil when the second edition of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) World League continues with one of its first round world qualifying tournaments in Kingston, Jamaica from September 30 to October 5.

The tournament will be contested at the newly laid synthetic pitch at Mona Campus, New Kingston, Jamaica with host Jamaica, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Puerto Rico women competing for the lone available spot to round two in Montevideo, Uruguay from February 28-March 8, next year.

Two years, the national women’s team reached as far as round two in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where they ended in fifth spot in the six-team competition with a 1-4 record.

The “Calypso Stickwomen” lone win came against host Brazil, 3-1 while they were overwhelmed by tournament winners USA (7-0), runner-up Chile (6-0), third placed Scotland (7-0) and Uruguay, 6-1.

In the opening round which was held at the National Hockey Centre, Eastern Regional Sports Complex, Tacarigua, T&T was third behind Canada and Uruguay after hammering neighbours Barbados (7-0), Guyana (5-0) and Venezuela (5-1) for a 3-2 record. The two defeats came against round one winner, Canada (4-0) and runner-up Uruguay, 2-0.

Expected to be coach of the team once more, is former national player Anthony Marcano, who was the helm at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland where a very youthful T&T squad was crushed 16 -0 by South Africa, 14-0 both by New Zealand and India, 4-1 by Canada and 4-0 in their tenth placed match against Wales.

.....T&T men favourites to qualify

The national men’s team will be favourites to secure the lone spot available to round two Chula Vista, California, next year (February 28-March 8) when they match sticks with Jamaica, Barbados, Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

However, they will enter the tournament without regular coach Glen “Fido” Francis and England-based ace Kwandwane Browne, who both have work commitments.

Reached for comment, Francis said he has been putting off his promotional courses at the T&T Defence Force because of national team duties for a while now, and it cannot wait any longer.

Despite his absence, Francis, a former national goalkeeper said he expects the team to do well.

“Our squad is a very good one with a great mix of youth and experience and I think the T&T Hockey Board will meet shortly to decide on whether to appoint Andrew Wilson or someone here in T&T as the interim coach.

He added, “Wilson is no stranger to the guys as he worked with them at the recent Commonwealth Games in Scotland, Scotland, and even if he is not selected I am confident in whoever the board decides on.”

At the Commonwealth Games, the locals who were without a few key players had a miserable outing ending in tenth spot after a 2-0 loss at the hands of Wales in their playoff.

Earlier in their round-robin group, T&T was also beaten by England (6-1), New Zealand (8-0) and Canada (3-1) before recording a first ever win at the Games, 4-2 over the higher ranked Malaysia.

When the inaugural World League competition was held two years ago, T&T flicked off its round one campaign on home soil in fine style by ending its four-team round-robin series after victories over Chile (2-1), Barbados (3-1) and Venezuela (9-2) at Tacarigua.

However, the second phase in Rio de Janeiro proved much more challenging as T&T suffered losses against Argentina (9-2), South Africa (10-2) and Chile (0-4) but won against Brazil (6-2) and USA, 4-3 via a penalty stroke.


TRINIDAD and Tobago shot put queen Cleopatra Borel has been having one of her best seasons so far and will be looking to continue her medal- winning performances at the final IAAF Diamond League meeting, Memorial Van Damme in Brussels.

Borel who is ranked seventh on the IAAF world rankings this year with a season’s best heave of 19.10 metres set in La Habana, Cuba, earlier this year.

Five times this year she has thrown the shot 18 metres or more.

Borel secured a silver medal at last months Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, with an 18.52m toss.

And on Sunday last she earned bronze at the Birmingham Grand Prix in Brussels eiyh a heave of 18.62m.

She is currently ranked fifth on the Diamond League table with two points, trailing main rival Valerie Adams of New Zealand who is on top of the table with 24 points while German Christina Schwanitz is second with six followed by American Michelle Carter (four) and Lijiao Gong of China (three).

Borel will face Adams, Schwanitz and Carter in today’s competition.

National champ and record holder Richard “Torpedo” Thompson will also end his season today, facing the starter in the men’s 100m.

Thompson finished sixth at the IAAF World Challenge in Zagreb, Croatia, earlier this week crossing the line in 10.31 seconds behind Jamaicans Kemar Bailey-Cole (10.07) and Asafa Powell (10.07) who was first and second respectively. American Mike Rodgers was third in 10.10 seconds.

Last Sunday, “The Torpedo” won the IAAF Wold Challenge in Berlin, Germany clocking 10.15 seconds while American Dantarius Locke finished second in 10.16.

Another TT sprinter Keston Bledman placed third in 10.23.

National 400m champion Renny Quow will be running at his second meeting since the Commonwealth Games today. On Tuesday, he won the men’s 400m at the 50th Palio Citta della Quercia meet in Rovereto, Italy.