TT UNDER-15 men’s football team coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier is calling for more competition for his squad, as they turn their attention towards the Concacaf Under-15 Championship, which will take place at the IMG Centre, Bradenton, Florida, United States from August 4-12.
Charles-Fevrier was speaking during the post-game media conference, on Sunday night, after his team suffered a 4-1 licking by Mexico in the final round-robin match of the TTFA (TT Football Association) Youth Invitational Tournament.
The TT team were beaten 5-4 by Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on Wednesday, followed by a 4-0 spanking by the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on Friday and Sunday’s defeat at Couva.
According to Charles-Fevrier, “If you watched (Sunday’s) game, you’ll see you need quality to play that type of football. I’ll like to keep this programme going. If the Association wants somebody else, that’s not a problem. I hope I can stay with them.
“What we need now is to play more Central American and North American teams instead of Caribbean teams,” he said. “It’s not that we cannot play Caribbean teams, but I believe we need to focus a lot more on the Central American and North American teams. If we have to qualify for any major competition, these are the teams we have to beat.”
Charles-Fevrier, who is also the men’s team assistant coach and W Connection coach, acknowledged, “Everybody has their opinion but I’m a football man. I don’t want to fight with (anybody).
“We (can) sit down, have a conversation and see what’s best for TT football. It’s difficult now to get any meaningful thing going with football in this country.”
However, both Charles-Fevrier and the TTFA have been criticised on Facebook, for the team’s results, particularly since the TT squad have been together since 2017 while their three Central American opponents were fielding teams that were all assembled this year.
TTFA board member and outspoken critic Keith Look Loy wrote, “The marketing hook was ‘the future is now’. The public was sold an illusion about how good the (TTFA) Elite Programme was, how well the boys played in beating Intercol players.
“Two years have been spent to produce what we have witnessed,” he continued. “Our boys were beaten and outclassed by teams formed weeks ago.
“Attention must be paid to the selection of players into this programme, and to the selection of staff,” Look Loy noted.
“The excuses will flow. But the public has long made sense out of the nonsense and concluded on it.” Player agent Dion Sosa mentioned, “I have been saying for years, how can we say we want an elite programme when we don’t have the elite development coaches in the game, on the staff or administration.”
Sosa called for the inclusion of Jean Lillywhite, Anthony “Dada” Wickham, Anthony Sherwood and Michael Grayson on the national youth teams’ set-up.
And former World Cup referee Ramesh Ramdhan, directing his criticism towards Charles-Fevrier, wrote, “Having these kids for two years, you are just contented to develop them from constant defeats. Heaven help us.”