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Forget old talk, just play—Daniel

Thursday, September 15, 2011
The Pro Look
Keon Daniel is fouled during MLS action.

United States-based midfielder Keon Daniel says players like him who are reaping the benefits of opportunities must do whatever they can to inspire others who ply their trade in the local leagues. The Philadelphia Union player has made a name for himself since arriving at the club in March and believes there are also opportunities for others to follow. “Hard work pays off. It’s great for me being there and it’s the same for others who are based overseas. We’ve worked hard and it’s important for us to build on this and try to help football overall,” the 24-year-old from Lambeau, Tobago said. Giving a brief insight into life as a professional player, Daniel explained: “It is inspiring to see the way you are treated by the club. The MLS standard is pretty high. Everything is well prepared. You come in early, the pitch is well prepared.

“It’s much better than home. We say we are professionals but we do things anyhow. Hopefully the guys from abroad can help those back home by talking to them and trying to inspire them.  And hopefully the League can learn as well as the persons who run the clubs.” He normally arrives at the training ground 90 minutes before the session to spend time with team-mates and in the process improve the camaraderie. “Then you just have to go there and play football. I have become more aggressive since I arrived there. If you are not aggressive then you won’t play. “There are a lot of players competing for spots in the team. Forget the old talk and just play football,” Daniel summed up the approach to the game abroad. He is two games short of 50 appearances for T&T, scoring nine goals. Daniel’s agent Andre Fortune said Union’s immigration attorney was assisting in the player’s visa problem (which prevented him from playing for the club last weekend) and the TTFF may be asked for assistance.

Benn sorry for sitting during T&T anthem
West Indies cricketer Sulieman Benn has no problem standing for the Trinidad and Tobago national anthem, or so he says. The Barbados left-arm spinner was openly seen disregarding the playing of the T&T anthem prior to last Tuesday’s 2014 World Cup qualifier in Bridgetown. After keeping his seat, he then stood up for the playing of the Barbados anthem with a wide grin across his face. A couple days earlier Benn was on the same flight from Port of Spain to Barbados along with members of the “Soca Warriors” after taking part in Wipa’s “Balls of Fire” affair. “People should know me better than. I have no problem with Trinidad, Trinidadians, or the Trinidad anthem in the least,” he said. “What people do know about me is how competitive I am. That’s all I was doing. It’s in my nature to be competitive. This was all about the sport, and me being patriotic to the footballers of Barbados. But if people think I should not have done it, or were offended, I apologise,” Benn added. T&T plays Barbados in another World Cup qualifier at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on October 11.

Latapy appears in Hibs testimonial
Russell Latapy returned to his old Stadium at Easter Road on September 4 to play in a testimonial match for former Hibernian team-mate Ian Murray. The “Little Magician” was given a standing ovation at the highly anticipated event which saw the present day Hibs team line up against the Hibs Legends. Former French star Patrick Viera and Robert Pires also made guest appearances in the match. The Scotsman newspaper described Latapy as the fans’ favourite while the Edinburgh Evening News said he was sublime as ever. Latapy however missed the final penalty in sudden death which saw the current Hibs eleven win the affair after being deadlocked 5-5 in regulation time. “These guys never lose the skill, they just lose the pace and happens to all of us at the end! But you saw with John's finishes and Russell's through balls they were exceptional players and we were lucky to get them back. “This might be the last chance the Hibs fans will get to see them play, so it's great for them as well,” Murray said.
Latapy also added: “It was a special team with a top manager in Alex McLeish who has gone on to prove at Rangers, Scotland and now in the English Premier League. “It was a tremendous team which played entertaining football which was great for the fans. I had some fantastic years with Hibs.”

Carpette: Benefits to be derived from license course
Former national midfielder Leon Carpette believes youth footballers need to do more training and not wait for team sessions if they intend to develop at a rapid rate. Carpette, who has four appearances and one goal for the T&T, was speaking after completing a TTFF/Dutch C License coaching course at the Ato Boldon Stadium recently. He spoke well about the course saying he believed it would aid coaching development in T&T. “Myself and the other guys have learnt a lot. The program was very informative and will help to improve the quality of coaching here,” said Carpette who is coach at Carapichaima East Secondary. “You never stop learning and not much is new to me because I’ve attended a lot of coaching programs with the Brazilians, English and so on and more or less they all look at football the same way.
“What struck me about this course is where you start with the basic four versus  four, seven versus seven and eleven versus eleven as you go up with the various ages.”

As to whether he thinks it could help lift the standard of play in the Secondary Schools League with some of the coaches from the schools having participated in the course, the former Paragon and San Fernando Strikers player added: “It should be able to lift the level but what is lacking is passion. You hardly see players training on their own. With a lot more work, you can improve your technique and skill and this program gives you some insight. “I think it will help the coaches in the communities but it’s important the youth come out regularly to the coaching sessions.” Carpette scored in a 2-1 win over Barbados in a 1978 World Cup qualifier in Bridgetown back in 1976. He also appeared in the 1974 World Cup qualifier versus Honduras which T&T lost 2-1 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.


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