Last week’s column focused on stagnation in the tourism sector and the weak marketing of T&T.
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W Connection adds six new players
Despite sitting 15 points clear at the top of the Digicel T&T Pro League standings, DirecTV W Connection has still added six new faces to its roster during the December/January transfer window including Suriname’s Dimitrie Apai and Cameronian teenager, Kenneth Mendi Nzonteu, both 19 year-olds.
The “Savonnetta Boys” also utilised the window by signing the St Lucian quartet of Shanoi Shawn Evans (19), Levi Francis (20), Eden Henderson Charles (20) and Jamil Myron Joseph (22), with the view of development in time for next season.
Speaking about the signing of the players from as far as Africa and the wide Caribbeam, W Connection owner/president David John-Williams boasted that his contacts awe
“We look for the best talent that is available and we already have all the good young T&T players such as (Mickaeel) Jem Gordon, Neil Benjamin Jr, Alvin Jones, Jomol Williams, Joevin Jones, Daneil Cyrus and so on.
“Other league clubs have also snapped up players before last Friday’s 3 pm transfer deadline, but with the main purpose of improving their positions on the standings, however we are really looking at (our new signings) for next season,” said the W Connection boss.
“We have them now so that we can develop them in preparation for next season. They are young players and there are one or two that we will use from time to time, just as we used Dimitarie Apai (as a second half substitute in last Friday’s 2-0 win over North East Stars).”
Commenting further on his club’s new signings John-Williams said, “Nzonteu (who plays midfield) is a good passer of the ball. We are working on his fitness level we expect good things from him.
“(As for the St Lucians) they have a base that we can work with. There are still areas of their game that we need to work on, just as we did with (St Lucian) Kurt Frederick and it is clear that he is now the best left-back in the league.”
The Couva-based club also welcomed the return of 24-year-old Brazilian goalkeeper Murilo Da Costa from Super League outfit Club Sando.
“So we are committed to developing the players technically and tactically. And we respect that they will develop over time, as did (St Kitts/Nevis internationals) goalkeeper Julani Archibald and Devaughn Elliot. We feel that they will all serve us well in the future.”
W Connection also utilised the window to welcome back 22-year-old winger/forward Shahdon Winchester before the T&T international returns to Finland’s FF Jaro, the club he served last season, in March.
Winchester, a product of the Connection youth system and a former T&T youth standout, has already rewarded the “Savonnetta Boys” with three goals in their last two games as W Connection, winners of this season’s Digicel Charity Shield, Toyota Classic and T&TFA Trophy, continues to dominate the league in undefeated style and a record of 10 wins and two draws for 32 points from 12 matches, while Point Fortin Civic FC, North East Stars and Police are next with 17 points apiece.
Also due to head off soon is Surinamese forward Stefano Rijssel as he is set to join Major League Soccer (MLS) Seattle Sounders over the weekend to spend two weeks in the club’s pre-season training with the hopes of securing a contract.
Rijssel was one of two players selected by MLS scouts from the inaugural MLS/Caribbean Combine in Antigua earlier this month for the MLS SuperDraft. The other player is Curacao midfielder Quinton Christina.
However, the Sounders made the early move in inviting Rijssel to their preseason training.
On Saturday, W Connection will tackle second positioned Point Fortin Civic from 3.30 pm at the Mahaica Oval in Point Fortin in a top of the table clash.
And although the “Savonnetta Boys” have already defeated the southerners twice this season, John-Williams forecasts increased competition in their 12 remaining matches.
“It will be competitive,” he said. “It’s not going to be easy. A lot of other teams have strengthened their rosters to improve their positions in the league standings.
“We have twelve games left in our case and we see it as twelve very competitive matches.
“But in football you must show a level of confidence. In the first half we have done well and put ourselves in a position that we must remain focused, continue to work hard, remain humble and take one game one by one.”