Contracts of T&T internationals Clyde Leon and Andrei Pacheco and former internationals Romauld Aguillera and Nickholson Thomas weren’t renewed with club W Connection ahead of the 2011-2012 season and to many observers, it leaves doubt over the club’s relentless ambitions of winning titles, especially following last season’s empty cup.
However club President David John Williams and St. Lucian head coach Stuart Charles Fevrier remains very optimistic in the club’s ability to earn silverware and even enjoy a healthy transfer market this season.
Connection finished last season empty handed—the first time in the club’s professional history which started back in 1999—and had not one international transfer. Very disappointing for the Couva based club with huge ambitions which has produced English Premier League standout Kenwyne Jones of Stoke City.
Connection finished fourth in the Digicel Pro League Championship and reached just one Final in the Digicel Pro Bowl where it suffered a 1-0 defeat against Joe Public with the goal scored by former striker Andre Toussaint.
“No season is the same,” elucidated Williams. “Last season we had a very good squad but nothing is guaranteed in football. In England, Arsenal and Tottenham had really good teams and played well but without silverware. Manchester City had a good squad and just managed the FA.
“We had a very young but very experienced squad. With the exception of Clyde Leon and a couple others, our players were teenagers and some under the age of 23 but a lot of people didn’t recognize this because they have been seeing most of these players playing in our first team in the past three to four seasons.
“When we look at players such as Hughton Hector, Shahdon Winchester, Christian Viveros, Matthew Bartholomew, Murilo Da Costa and others that came through our youth system and now makes up our first team, it shows that we are doing the right thing.”
Williams went on to highlight his club’s youth development with reference to the current Oasis Youth Pro League standings in which Connection’s U13 head the standing and tied with San Juan Jabloteh in the U15 standing but behind by goals difference.
This season Connection digs deeper into its nursery for talents which would add to the first team roster.
A decision commended by Williams adding, “I can’t see it making for a bad season.”
Williams also revealed that this season, the club’s budget estimates a forty percent decrease from last season.
Coach Fevrier ably assisted by his fellow countrymen, former Connection captain Earl Jean and present assistant coach and current captain Elijah Joseph have been overseeing a number of trialists and teenaged players over the past weeks in which to select from for the 2011-2012 roster.
“This season the objective is the same and that’s to always do well,” said Fevrier. “We’ve brought in a lot more youngsters from our youth teams and we are trying to balance the books as well.
“The main thing this season is trying to do business with some of the players and of course try to do well and win silverware in the domestic competitions.
“Of course it would seem harder if we have a younger bunch (and a smaller budget) but I am always confident in whatever squad we have. I do believe we can compete. And once you can compete, anything is possible.”
Commenting on last season, Fevrier said, ““Its football. We went ten years winning titles every year but in our eleventh year we didn’t and that’s how it is sometimes. But I was pleased with our team play, because most of our games we played good football. I’m a coach that is always concerned on how well we play and not just the wins.
“Our football was good but we lost points too soft in too many games and that’s where the problem was.”