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Bronze for T&T Field Hockey Pan Am Champs

Monday, August 19, 2013

Trinidad and Tobago defeated the United States three goals to one to capture the third spot for bronze in the Pan American 2013 Men’s Field Hockey Championship in Brampton, Ontario Saturday before a gathering of approximately 1,000 including enthusiastic nationals of the twin island republic.


The team arrived in Canada late for the start of the championship but was fortunate that organisers rescheduled the programme to include the team in the playoffs. After winning two games T&T lost to Canada three-one. 


Coach Glen Francis described the match against Canada as an excellent game. T&T lost to Argentina eight nil. We have never beaten Chile by five goals to one in our lives. It is the first time and it’s the first time we were in a semi finals over eight to ten years. We defeated Brazil five goals to two,” Francis recalled.


The team included Kwan Brown, Cogie Butler, Darren Cowie, Shaquille Daniel, Aidan DeGannes, Solomon Eccles, Kwesi Emmanuel, Gilkes Gillet, Marcus James, Wayne Leggerton, Stefan Mouttet, Kiel Murray, Michael O’Connor II, Mickell Pierre, Dwain Quan Chan, Andrey Rocke, Christopher Scipio and Akim Toussaint


“In every single game our performance was excellent. Yes, we lost two games but the performance at the end of the day and a lot of people don’t understand as a coach it is not always about winning. You are not a championship team. It is about performance and this will give us more encouragement to work harder,” Francis told the Trinidad Guardian. Despite facing funding challenges Coach Frances said the team members used the negative towards a positive outcome. “The guys knew what was going on and they used that to motivate them. That brought out the best out of most of them,” the coach said. 


“The performance of the guys were excellent and they are really competing. Now they know they are not dwelling on the negatives too much. If something goes wrong now they’d say ‘okay, let’s get up and go again. They get back on their feet and start working again.


Cindy Martin-Faustin, team manager said they certainly could make use of a second pitch and proper equipment to clean and maintain it. “In Trinidad there is a lot of dust and a lot of sand because of where our pitch is located—next to a football savannah. All that sand comes and settles on the surf and Trinidad has two weathers—rain and sun—so when the rain falls on that, you get the build up of moss. It’s dangerous play for some people; you could break your leg. So we definitely need another turf and we also need the right equipment, which we have already sourced, which will cost about $70,000 to $80,000 (TT).


The hockey fraternity is trying to work with the Ministry of Sport and that is not an easy task. Aware of the fact that hockey is a minority sport with about 600 participants, it is relatively small compared to cricket and football. “Although we are a small fraternity, we are also first in the Caribbean in terms of hockey and we are ranked about 32, now coming out of this game we are going to be ranked somewhere about 28,” Martin-Faustin explained. Francis expressed his appreciation to the Lead Development Programme for the team’s support staff of trainers, physios, strength and conditioning psychologists who always believed the team would do well.


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