Coach Has A Rough Way To Travel

Ruthven Baptiste
Date Published: 

English Coach Kevin VerityEnglish Coach Kevin Verity

WE HAVE yet another football coach.

On Friday July 20 at Skinner Park a double header programme was put on to introduce English coach Kevin Verity to Trinidad.

POSFL's Defence Forces came up against SFL's Point Fortin Civic Centre and North/East opposed South/Central.

Verity has been contracted by the TFA, and brought down with the help of the BOMB sisters, to prepare our national squad for the forthcoming world cup preliminaries in Haiti, and he has four months to do this.

He seems elated over his new job, but I doubt very much whether the state of our football administration will sustain that elation. Verity is the latest in a long line of coaches who have never been able to get very far with their assignments.


The records show that every year a new coach is appointed after the preceding one has left the job in disgust and frustration. It was Joffre Chambers, who did a marvellous thing with Dynamos club in the early sixties, then Noel Pouchet, Conrad Braithwaithe, the Hungarian Brunner, Michael Laing, Ken Henry, Edgar Vidale and now Kevin Verity.

The most creative of them — Chambers, Brunner and Laing — left the most frustrated.

Brunner was outstanding. He was a former Hungarian national player and his personal experience with the game at World Cup level was of immense value to our football.

Brunner really made a great impact on the game here.

It is now history that the high standard of play achieved by the St. Benedicts College team in the mid sixties was the fruit of the Hungarian's labour.

Brunner's troubles began when he was made national coach. The free hand he enjoyed with St. Benedicts he never had with the national team.

This has been the central problem our coaches have had to face. Brunner, because he had gained deserving popularity with football fans, managed to achieve some measure of flexibility.

But Edgar Vidale, our most recent ex-coach, has had to live with a selection committee whose members seldom if at all attend practice sessions, yet they are the ones who select national teams.

Verity is likely to have many more problems than the restriction of his freedom. Were he to select a national from players' performances in the introductory match, Muhammad Aleem (formerly Dick Furlonge) would surely have been one of them.

But Muhammad is one of TFA's footballing outcasts.

According to the grapevine, he had a falling out with former TFA Secretary Eric James.

Verity will have to learn who are the 'bad boys' over the next four months. He will also learn that you have to pick a man from Tobago, form the East and from Central. Merit doesn't matter.

When he learns all that, and he begins to feel the limitation on spirit, he will discover that nothing serious is possible.

If he can settle for being just a highly paid trainer, praise the beauty of the country and its multi-racialism at cocktail parties, and present the illusion that the TFA is doing everything for our football, then he is likely to enjoy his stay in Trinidad.