Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 12th 2013 Contents A73
Thursday, September 12, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
In the aftermath of Finance Minister
Larry Howai s budget presentation, many
individuals in the sporting fraternity believe
that much more could have been done for
the future of sports in T&T.
In the brief statement on national sports
in Monday s 2013/14 budget, Howai spoke
about the rapid development of the National
Aquatic Centre, the National Tennis Centre
and the National Cycle Centre. Although
satisfied with those goals, the general con-
sensus is that not enough is being done for
the next generation of sporting heroes.
Former Soca Warrior and current man-
aging director of Central FC, Brent Sancho,
was a bit disappointed.
"Looking at the social issues we have in
this country, I would have liked to see more
given to the grassroot programmes," said
He believes more immediate funding needs
to be allocated to the ground level first, to
produce world class athletes.
"We must start from the developmental
level, or else we will have nobody to fill
Like Sancho, newly appointed president
of the T&T Tennis Association, Kendall
Cuffy, believes in developmental pro-
Although he appreciates the government s
initiative in the National Tennis Centre, he
says not enough is being done to nurture
"We need to start at the grassroot level;
this is where world class talent will be dis-
covered," said Cuffy, who has plans to meet
with the Sport Company of T&T (Sportt)
to discuss concerns in local tennis, and will
propose his developmental ideas.
Brian Lewis, president of the T&T Olympic
Committee (TTOC), is of the opinion that
T&T must start taking sports more seriously.
"We need to build sustainability to further
assist the sport economy," Lewis said. "I am
a believer that sport needs to get away from
the dependency syndrome."
He gave the example that more can be
done to develop sport entrepreneurship.
Njisane Phillip s stepfather and manager,
Phillip Whiteman, is contented with the
progress being made with the National Cycle
"I am happy with the development being
made," he said. He also said the Ministry
of Sport has been co-operating with the
"The cycling federation has given advice
on stuff that can be done to improve the
facility (cycle centre) and they have listened."
Whiteman also believes the centre will
develop a new crop of cyclists in T&T.
"I know this (centre) will bring talent, but
it needs to be properly maintained."
Whiteman mentioned this centre should
help economic growth in T&T as many
cyclists from abroad will continue coming
to T&T to compete.
"A lot of people are excited to come to
T&T and when people come to T&T we will
Slovak-based winger Lester
Peltier is disappointed that he
wasn t part of the national
team s Gold Cup campaign but
his return to the Soca Warriors
for the recent OSN Cup in Saudi
Arabia has left the former
Jabloteh player with a sweeter
pill in his mouth.
Peltier set up T&T s opening
goal against United Arab Emirates
last Thursday when he crossed
from the right for Willis Plaza
to head home.
He later scored his penalty
during the shootout which T&T
"Of course I was very keen to
follow the team during the Gold
Cup even though I was disap-
pointed because I was recovering
from a surgery and I wish I could
have been there to help the team
on the pitch," Peltier said.
"But having returned to the
team now I can say I m happy
to be part of the setup. And with
experienced players like Kenwyne
Jones, Khaleem Hyland and the
other guys, the team is definitely
making progress and everyone
is working harder and looking
better under the new head coach
(Stephen Hart)," Peltier added.
"I think we showed a lot of
character in this OSN Cup and
we ve shown that we can play
down to the end."
He expects to feature even
more for Slovan Bratislava this
"We won the major titles last
season and I was the topscorer
for the club. We ve been knocked
out of the Champions League
qualifiers but the club has set
some goals which is to win the
League again and get back into
Midfielder Kevin Molino
wants to test his ability outside
of the United States.
The talented player who hails
from Carenage, is currently
under contract at Orlando City
in the US Second Division after
agreeing to return to the club
for the current season.
But now the player seems to
have had enough of the League
"I ve also tried to set big goals
for myself. I m very thankful for
the time at Orlando and it s a
fantastic club. They ve been
great to me. I think I ve achieved
everything I wanted to there and
of course I have my sights play-
ing at the highest level and
maybe making a move to
Europe," said Molino on the
"I decided to come and join
the national team in Riyadh even
though it was far away but I
think it s the point of my career
where I need to playing inter-
national football as much as I
can. But I want to test my ability
at the highest level and I ll be
working towards that," he added.
Molino scored the game tying
goal in adding on time against
United Arab Emirates last Thurs-
day in Riyadh at 3-3 before T&T
lost 7-6 on penalty kicks.
UAE coach credits
T&T for good fight
T&T has come in for com-
mendation from the head coach
of United Arab Emirates Mahdi
Ali for their display at the just
concluded OSN Cup in Riyadh,
Mahdi s team defeated T&T
7-6 on penalty kicks after both
teams battled to the 3-3 regular
time draw last Thursday.
The UAE went on to defeat
New Zealand 2-0 in Monday s
final to take home the
US$50,000 first prize with T&T
receiving US$30,000 for finish-
ing third with their 3-1 win over
hosts Saudi Arabia.
T&T found their rhythm in
the second half against the Emi-
rates and took control of the
match with Kevin Molino head-
ing home the third and tying
goal in the second minute of
added on time after T&T had
been trailing 3-0.
"Trinidad (and Tobago) were
a tough team for us. They pro-
vided us with a really good
match and we are happy to have
come out winners in the match,"
"We started very well but they
were strong and they were quick.
They punished us for not hold-
ing on to the game. Overall I
think it was the harder game for
us. But the victory for United
Arab Emirates is a good one and
we re happy to have won the
The UAE team were in train-
ing for three weeks for the tour-
nament while T&T had one ses-
sion the day before the match
in Riyadh last week.
Plaza attracts interest
T&T forward Willis Plaza left
a lasting impression on those
who witnessed his performance
at the OSN Cup earlier this
The 26-year-old is back in
Trinidad after completing a six-
month deal with Song Lam
Nghe in Vietnam and already
clubs are knocking on his door.
Plaza scored against the Unit-
ed Arab Emirates with his first
touch of the ball last Thursday
to leave the scores at 3-1 and
was then fouled for Kenwyne
Jones penalty goal.
He was also impressive in the
opening stages of T&T s 3-1 win
over Saudi Arabia on Monday.
So far clubs from Belgium and
Holland are said to be eying the
former Jabloteh player.
Central FC s Terry Fenwick is
also keen to have the player work
under him again.
"I m very happy to be back
in the national team and to be
playing well," Plaza said . "This
tournament was a good oppor-
tunity for us to get some match
practice and we did well I
Hopefully we can continue to
keep improving. I am also hop-
ing to continue my club career
at a good level in order to con-
tinue my development," Plaza
Shaun Fuentes is the
director of communications
for the TTFA
Willis Plaza in action for the T&T
during their OSN Cup third place
match against host Saudi Arabia on
Monday. Soca Warriors won 3-1.
THE PRO LOOK
Peltier pleased with
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