Comments By Captain Of The Trinidad Team

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

Pays Tribute To Sporting Spirit Of Both Players And Spectators.
Our Hospitality.
Says Jamaican Football Is Played On Similar Lines To Their Own.

A. WILKINSON, Captain of the touring Trinidad football team, gave a "Gleaner" Reporter, on Tuesday the following interview touching certain points of the tournament and other phases of the game. It is pleasing to note the fine tribute Mr. Wilkinson has paid to the playing of the teams in both the Sherwood Foresters and the Combined School games—the first two matches of the tournament, and most of all, his complimentary views concerning the sportsmanship of our players and spectators alike and his appreciation of the hospitality that has been extended to both the members of his team and himself.

Mr. Wilkinson said:—

"I think that Jamaica Football is played on very similar lines to our own. I have gathered that there was a good deal of discussion as to their best team formation so, that it is difficult so far to give a definite opinion as to the respective merit of the two teams.

"In a case like that a touring team has a certain advantage in that the number of players from whom your team can be chosen is definitely limited. This, obviously facilitates the development of an understanding and team spirit, two essential factors if a team is to be successful.

Experience And Youth

"The Trinidad team is a blend of experience and youth. The experience is mostly to be found in the defence, and the youth in the forward line. Two members of the team are still at school and two of the others have left within the last few months.

"From what could be seen from the combined colleges match, it would appear that the standard of schools football in Jamaica compares very favourably with that of Trinidad.

"One feature of the tournament so far has been the excellent sportsmanship exhibited all round; in that I include spectators as well as players. The atmosphere has been at all times a most pleasant one.

"In the match with the Sherwood Foresters we had to contend with a team which had a thorough understanding between all its unit. The rapid nature of their first goal, coming as it did, within thirty seconds of the commencement of the game, set our fellows furiously to think. The Foresters played a short passing game at which they are undoubtedly superior to us. It was of no avail for us to endeavour to beat them by playing them on their own type of game unless we could play it as well as, or better than, they could. Consequently we had to endeavour to make them play our game. It is not for me to say whether we were successful or not, but I think the result of the game was a fair indication of the merits of the respective teams at their own type of game.

"When one's opponent have a lead of two goals there is a tendency for individual players to resort to more solo efforts—a tendency, which has to be guarded against more carefully. It is probably true to say that the ability of our forwards to wipe out that two goals lead was to a large extent due to quick swinging movements which kept the ball moving from one side of the field to the other in a rapid advance towards goal.

A Gratifying Feature

"A gratifying feature of the first two matches was that the seven goals—five against the colleges and two against the Foresters—were divided among the three inside forwards, namely, Sutherland, three, Alkins, two and L. Henderson, two. It would, however, be a mistake for us to concentrate solely on any particular part of the team. This was amply borne out in the Colony match when, owing to a slight injury to the inside left—Sutherland—which somewhat impaired his speed, the outside left took up the role of goal getter, in his stead, scoring the equalizing and winning goals.

"There been a good deal of comment concerning the possible effect that the weather might have had on the game with the Foresters and against Jamaica. We had been informed, when we saw rain in the offing that the Soldiers played better still under wet conditions, so that we derived little consolation from the fact that in Trinidad we are accustomed to a good deal of rain and wet conditions for at any rate, a large number of our matches.

"ln the Colony match it would be fair to say that the slight rain which fell did make conditions more like those we are accustomed to in Trinidad. The ball was not quite so lively as had been the case when playing on a bone dry ground.

"A touring team away from home at Christmas has to be reconciled to foregoing the many festivities and pleasures of that season. If the Trinidad team has contrived to forego, to a larger extent these pleasures and to keep fit for the strenuous programme of three matches in four days, namely, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, it is in great measure due to the very lavish, but at all times considerate hospitality of all those, and their name is legion, who have endeavoured to make us feel at home and comfortable.

''A most enjoyable outing was arranged for us on Sunday when the team went to Dunn's River for the day. Lunch was prepared for us by Mr. and Mrs. Hallet and accompanied by Mr. Mordecai, Mr. N. N. Nethersole, Mr. Parkinson, Mr. Walker, and Mr. Judah, we enjoyed a most interesting and bracing trip through the Garden parish of St. Ann.

"Too much tribute cannot be paid to all and sundry who have been responsible for the different departments which must all function properly if the tour is to be a success. The efficiency, courtesy and thoughtful consideration which has been shown on all sides, has been very marked and is deeply appreciated by all the members of the Trinidad team."