Red Force coach pleased with overall team improvement, despite fifth in WI Championship

Red Force head coach David Furlonge.  -
Red Force head coach David Furlonge. -

DESPITE finishing fifth at the end of this year’s eight-team West Indies Championship, Trinidad and Tobago Red Force coach David Furlonge believes there were more positives coming out of their 2024 performance as compared to last year’s fourth-place finish.

Of their seven games played, TT won four, lost two and drew one. The draw, against Guyana Harpy Eagles in their opening match because of rain, Furlonge said, proved pivotal in their end result.

Additionally, two low-scoring innings in their losses versus Barbados Pride and Leeward Islands Hurricanes were also pinpointed as integral batting slip-ups, which would have also changed the trajectory of the team’s progress.

However, Furlonge was pleased with these troops and was able to see the silver lining among the over 17 years of a trophy-less four-day campaign for TT.

“We had three bad innings but I think our season was a good one. We had six centuries this year compared to two last year, four five-wicket hauls compared to one last year, 11 fifties; all in all, it was good.

“Our fielding improved. I think we dropped our first set of catches in the last game here (against Combined Campuses and Colleges), where we dropped two, where our tally would have been 12 to 15 catches dropped for the season. We’ve improved in most areas. We’re still doing an assessment,” he said.

Furlonge added that the opening drawn result, which saw TT pile on 215/4 against Guyana, led by an unbeaten century from Jason Mohammed (100 not out) before the heavens opened, was crucial in starving them some precious points on their championship quest.

“We didn’t get a single bonus point in that game. If you look at it, if we had beaten Guyana, we would have gained an extra 17 points and we would have won the title. Or even if we had played the game and it was drawn, we would have gotten eight or nine points which would have put us second overall,” he added.

Their low-scoring innings against Hurricanes and Pride, Furlonge said, was owing to a “difficult wicket” for the former and a “lack of application from the batsmen” in the latter.

And despite those shortcomings in both matches, the ex-QPCC coach lauded his team’s efforts throughout the tournament.

Against Jamaica Scorpions in their final match, spinner and Red Force vice-captain Bryan Charles snared 13 wickets for 125 runs across both innings, a season-best. Wicketkeeper Amir Jangoo topped all scorers this year with his impressive 218 while TT finished with the highest innings score of 591/7 against CCC.

These, among other stats and individual contributions, were exemplary in the coach’s eyes.

On his bowlers, Furlonge said, “Bryan and Khary (Pierre) bowled in tandem. One time in the season (Charles) he was bowling consistently with the right line. The wickets he didn’t get, Khary took them at the other end. Bryan has been working hard and on different variations. He’ll continue to improve.

“The bowling of Anderson Phillip, who bowled on some flat wickets. Despite that, he hit some batsmen and showed aggression. He’s back and fully fit. His bowling to me was a highlight.”

Regarding his batsmen, “We had Jyd Goolie there, who we took and threw into the all-important position at number three, with the absence of Darren Bravo. He’s a batsman and he did an excellent job at that.

“Also Amir Jangoo, a double-century, was another highlight. With Jyd at (number) three (batsman) and Amir at five, they stamped their authority in those positions.”

Looking back on the season, Furlonge remains contented.

“We did well and we learnt as we continued. For the bowlers, in terms of our line and length, we needed a little more patience. In the first innings against Barbados, it was reckless batting and we have to learn from that going forward.

“We had a meeting and they guys spoke about preparing from now for the Super50, but they want to prepare from now, for the next four-day tournament.”

He confirmed the players are now on some well-deserved time off but will return to their clubs for the start of the Trinbago Knight Riders’-sponsored T20 Festival and the remainder of the domestic 50-over season.


"Red Force coach pleased with overall team improvement, despite fifth in WI Championship"

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