Earl Jean, assistant coach of W Connection, acknowledged that the team’s capture of the 2017 Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) FA Trophy was “worth the sacrifice”.
W Connection clinched their fifth TTFA FA Trophy on Friday, after defeating Police FC 3-1 in the final at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
Connection’s long-serving coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier was in his usual spot on the bench but it was Jean, his fellow St Lucian, who directed proceedings from the sidelines.
“It was worth the sacrifice,” said Jean, in a post-game interview. “I think the team has been through a lot this year. Financially, and on the field, it has been tough for the team. We wanted (the players) to be committed, we wanted them to give effort because, at one point in time, we had games back-to-back, with just one day rest.
“We had them in camp for over a week,” continued the former W Connection striker and San Juan Jabloteh coach. “We asked them for a little sacrifice and they did that. The most important thing is that the sacrifice paid off. They gave a big effort and they won the game.”
Ex-national midfielder Hughtun Hector scored twice and Surinamese winger Dimitrie Apai got the other as Connection prevailed over a 10-man Police FC team.“We haven’t gotten everything from Hector because (he) has been carrying injuries and we have tried to help him out, tried to give him some rest,” said Jean. “But Hector is one of the players that (came) through the youth level. He even plays better as a striker sometimes because of his experience and his quality. He gave us a big game, he and Marcus (Joseph).”
Jean added, “I think our defence played a solid game, plus Weslie John and Briel (Thomas) in the midfield. (Neil Benjamin) has given us a lot. So I’m elated for the Christmas season.”
Asked to summarise the 2017 season, Jean replied, “We got the job, it was 70 per cent done. We wanted to win the League. We didn’t, but coming away with two trophies (FA Trophy and First Citizens Cup), what more can we ask for. I think consistency has shown. The team was consistent and that’s what we’re happy about.”