TERRY FENWICK has threatened to replace any national footballer not willing to work hard for the overall good of the team with another who is.
“If you’re not doing it, I put somebody in the wings ready to step in and step up,” the former England defender said while continuing session with a locally-based national squad.
Fenwick began initially working two months ago with 87 prospects, consisting of mainly young players, before recently reducing the squad to 27. By the time Trinidad and Tobago faces World cup qualifiers in three months, Fenwick will again cut the local contingent. He will then add those players competing in leagues abroad as well as overseas-born players of T&T ancestry, to make up a final group from which he will choose the national team.
The 60-year-old former Tottenham Hotspur defender hinted that a player who thinks that his place in the national team is assured because off his talent might be in for a surprise.
“My team will only be the best players we got. So when some player is not playing as well, out he comes and the next one comes in,” Fenwick declared, “That’s the nature of the game that we are in. It’s professional football.
“I will be making them changes, so that I do not have people on the inside thinking ‘hah, am good’,” Fenwick added, “I want it competitive, all the time, every time.”
The newly-installed national senior men’s team coach said there had been great improvement among local players who have trained under him three times a week, recently. Initially frenetic, with players sometimes doing too much to impress the new coach, Fenwick feels recent national team sessions have become far more structured with time.
“We are hitting players and moving the ball so the opposition can’t get it back, too,” Fenwick said while commending the efforts of the local players who he has put through heavy work for the past two months in the absence of play in the yet to be started TT Pro League.
“We had one or two things where we are getting tired later in the session, where we’re getting sloppy, passing over there somewhere. That will get better with fitness. But generally speaking, I was delighted with what I saw today. Moving the ball quickly, being decisive. The quality of some of them balls were brilliant,” Fenwick exclaimed.
One of the players to make the last cut from Fenwick’s initial huge squad is Justin Sadoo, the Point Fortin Civic and former Naparima College midfielder. Sadoo spoke of the hardship of being a local professional footballer and said he plays football for the love of the game and a chance to represent T&T at international level.
“Beside the Army or the Police (teams), which are established, it’s very hard for a Pro League player because the league is just about five to six months a year. I kind of depend on my family most of the time,” stated the slightly-built 20-year-old.
“The love of the sport keeps me going,” Sadoo added, “I would like to give my all for this country. Playing for the country, I think, is the best thing for a youngster in this moment and it is always a pleasure,” he added.