FORMER national players Brent Sancho and Densill Theobald say the lack of local, professional leagues is no excuse for poor performances by the TT men’s football team. The two were reacting to the team’s 1-0 loss to St Vincent and the Grenadines, who are ranked 176th in the world, on Sunday. TT are currently ranked 101st.
This has been TT’s third loss in the last four games. The team previously suffered losses to Panama and the US, and a draw against Guyana in the Concacaf Gold Cup.
Speaking with Newsday, Theobald said, “I feel disappointed. Whether it’s a young team or an experienced team, I think I’m disappointed in the results because our football is supposed to be far superior to St Vincent and we have too much talent in our country to not be utilising and to not be playing at our full potential.”
He said he believes the team lacks proper structure and a foundation for continued success, but his former national teammate and current TT coach Dennis Lawrence should not be blamed for the team’s performance as he is “working with what he has”.
“When you look at it, we haven’t been able to have our professional leagues. Ascension (Invitational Tournament) just began so most of our players are just getting started. But in saying that, it’s not an excuse either for our lack of match fitness. We should compensate for that with our desire, our work ethic and I honestly believe it has to go both ways. It also has to go with the players looking within themselves to do more.”
Sancho also described the result as disappointing and said the players need to do more.
He said, “It’s no secret that the local leagues haven’t really started here, and you could tell our players’ match sharpness that you’d want to see in an international match wasn’t there. It’s one thing not playing games and using that as an excuse but you’re professional athletes — you have to train, you always have to try to be at the top of your game and I just feel like the recent crop of players we have within our national programme have a lot of deficiencies that should not be there at this level.”
He said regardless of the squad having a lot of young players, any team that TT puts forward should get positive results.
TT will participate in the inaugural Concacaf Nations League which begins in September.