Trinidad Footballers Have Taught Our Players Nothing

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

Jamaica's Referee Says No Fine Points In The Game Displayed By Visitors: Wrong Selection of Team Caused Our Defeat.
Man Who Refereed Six Of Eight Matches Played By Tourists Offers Suggestions—Trinidadians Strong Point Was Their Defence.

"JAMAICA has nothing to learn from Trinidad as regards football. The Trinidadians have taught us no fine points in the game. It is my considered opinion that we lost the Test Matches against the Trinidad touring team which recently visited us because we did not select our colony team in advance and let them play as a team."

So said Jamaica's referee, Mr. Mike Hanna, in a Gleaner interview. He should know what he is saying because he refereed six of the eight matches which the visitors played here and was in a position to estimate their play more than the pavilion sitter. Not only that, he had refereed countless of other matches against visiting teams here, and is the island's front-rank "ref."

"I think Jamaica lost from not selecting a proper team. What the selectors should have done was to select a team long before the Trinidadians arrived here and get them playing in the early stage so as to secure team work then if there were found one or two weaknesses they could have amended them early.

"It was rather futile to pick a probable team against possibles a week or two before the tournament as was done by us. A big thing which contributed to the downfall of the Trinidad side was that the players did not know they were playing until they saw their names mentioned in the press on the day of play. Many of them not knowing of this before did not keep themselves fit.

"I maintain that the Trinidad players are not better than us and they have not taught us anything. Their play has just been a pass-kick-and-run one. Their


is their defence. Maynard, Merry and Ambard and Tench were their great bulwark. Tench is the best centre half I have seen for some time and Ambard was cool and had excellent judgment. He is one of the best goalies that I have seen for some time.

"Trinidad was certainly slightly better than us in defence. The last team which played for Jamaica was good but it brings my point to the forefront again as to the necessity of having the players playing together for some time as what is the use of picking your best men and they have never played together?

"Another thing is, the Trinidad men were in bed at nine and ten o'clock at nights and were quite fit to play while our men not knowing that they would be called upon to play interested themselves in their usual social engagements. The [illegible] the last [illegible] were all over Trinidad in the first half while in the second half our boys proved physically unfit.

"Many of the boys, if they knew that they had to play would have kept themselves fit. Some players said that they did not know that they had to play until they saw their names in the Gleaner. In fairness to the men and the island this should not have been. It was seen how fatal this proved to be when during the last 50 minutes of play our men just died out.

"I need hardly stress the point as it is well know by those who saw the matches, that the


about Trinidad was their defence. Our defence was not consistent. Maynard was really fit and was fast, being always on the spot. He contributed quite a lot to the success of the touring team. Tench, the centre half distributed to the forwards beautifully and his performance was the best I have seen for some years.

"Trinidad footballers are not as good as the Costa Ricans. When we played the Costa Rica footballers some years ago we were much stronger than we are today. They played however better football than the Trinidadians and their team work was better. Even the Cubans played better football and displayed better tactics."

Commenting on the individual Trinidad players, Mr. Hanna said that Sutherland is a very good player. His speed had assisted him very well and he was outstanding every where.

"The outside right was also very good. He centred beatifully and the majority of the goals scored were caused by him.

"Ambard, the goalie should be congratulated for his splendid goal keeping. He is quick and covers beautifully and has wonderful judgment. His performance was certainly a revelation. He was something like Clarence Passailaigue in his day.

"Wilkinson, the Captain is


He worries you from start to finish. He is a very fine Captain and is always calling to his fellows. Whenever he is in trouble he redirects his forwards or makes new suggestions for some new line of attack. He sizes up the situation very quickly and uses up the situation admirably.

"There can be no doubt that he is a very fine captain and held his side remarkably well when it is considered that the Trinidad players had no time to practice after their selection come here. He had really done well with that side whose sportsmanship was marvelous.

"And now about the Jamaica side. I think I should mention the last match when Jamaica had things their own way. In the first half Jamaica showed up the best and our men should have had 3 goals up.

"The disappointing man on the Jamaica side was Captain Harvey and his performance in the game against Kingston should have shown the selectors that he was absolutely 'at sea." I also do not think that he should have captained the side as I do not think he had plaed with six of the men before. He only played with Kingston Club as a team.

"As I previously said, the Jamaica team should have been selected and teh men play as a team in about three matches in order to make any amendments necessary. If this was done I am quite confident that Trinidad would not have scored a goal against us. We were actually begging for a team.

"Hadden's play was outstanding for Jamaica. He was


of the island side. In the last match he carried Jamaica in his pocket. The reason why he did not play his usual game in the first match was because there was no proper understanding. In the last two matches he played with Pinkie Smith and there was complete understanding.

"Parke was the outstanding half at half line. At one time he was playing on all sides of the shop. If there was two like Parke Jamaica's chances would have been better.

"Pinkie Smith was also very good. He is a man who has been playing soccer for years and he would have done better if he had played in the half line. He would have strengthened the half line immensely.

"Sasso should not have been dropped as it must be remembered that he is a worker. He has 'guts.'

"Jamaica was never let down by its goalkeeper. We were let down by our forwards because
when opportunities were given them they did not make use of them.

"With regard the Montego Bay match, Trinidad was without Tench, Sutherland and Ambard, which


to them but they had Maynard and Merry and it must be remembered that Maynard meant much to the Trinidad side and he had never played in a club match before.

"Trinidad was 'at sea' in the first half because of the ground which was very uncertain. The Montego Bay people had everything their own way. In the second half, however the usual thing happened. Captain Wilkinson pulled his side together and got the ball to bump and changed his tactics. But even at that Montego Bay missed two dead certainties. One was a run through with only the goalie to beat and it was kicked wide outside. The only two chances which Trinidad had they made good use of. They hadn't as many chances as Montego Bay; it is certain.

"Some people have made capital of the fact that Trinidad did not play their strong side against the two clubs that defeated them. I make bold to say that if Trinidad had played their best team against the Clubs it would not have made any difference. The clubs went out determined to beat the visitors and the players played together and there was an understanding between them which made a very big difference.

"All that we can learn from this tour is


of good team work. We have not learnt any fine points of the game. I say this because in my position as referee I was in a fairly good position to estimate the play. In refereeing I saw nothing outstanding and spectacular in their play.

"I have enjoyed immensely the refereeing and there was no dispute at any time. At no time did the Trinidad players query decisions. The visitors though that our refereeing was of a very high standard. One player even said that their refereeing was not as good as ours.

"The tour proved a financial success and this should give the idea to the Football Board to get down a first class football side here and I feel certain that the Jamaica public would give the project their wholehearted support.

"I think that our football has deteriorated during the last three or four years. We have been going down the hill. There is no question about it that lack of interest has caused it. We want new blood. We want to see new players in action here. The only new players we see here are the soldiers and we should learn a few things from them as they play very nice football.

"There is some talk about getting a coach out here but I think if that money was spent in getting a good English football side out here we would benefit to a great extent."