In a gesture geared towards placing the history of Trinidad and Tobago football at the disposal of the nation’s youth, the local governing body (TTFA) today presented authentic copies of the Legacy of the Soca Warriors publication to some one hundred schools in the country.
The intention is for the books to be placed in the libraries of each of the secondary schools which are affiliated to the Secondary Schools Football League. The presentation took place at Naparima College, San Fernando on Tuesday.
“This is part of the FA’s overall drive to get the education of football in schools We feel it is very critical that the students understand the history of football in our country,” TTFA General Secretary Justin Latapy George told the gathering on Tuesday.
“We feel it is important that we start here and because of that the FA has decided to follow through with the distribution to the schools. It is very important that we understand what we are currently, where we want to be and we believe this is just a small part in stepping into that direction along with other things that the FA has rolled out under the current administration led by our President David John Williams,” Latapy-George added.
“Part of what we do with our past and what we intend to do moving forward really resides with the students , the Secondary Schools League and other stakeholders,” he added.
SSFL President William Wallace echoed similar sentiments.
“It is said that if you don’t know your history then you do not know anything. I think this snitbit of our history is very important in terms of our footballers knowing where we came from and where we are heading. We are grateful for the gesture from the TTFA and we will be placing these books into the libraries and looking forward to it being part of what is offered at the secondary schools,” Wallace said.
The Legacy of the Soca Warriors, written by Valentino Singh, takes the reader through one of T&T’s most historical journeys with enough for both the technical football fan, or the person who just supported with national pride.
With photographs that put the reader on the pitch, the publication also doubles as a picture book with many of the images being different from those popularly published in the media.
The passion in the writing is as real as it was during Germany 2006 and you can almost hear Maximus Dan’s (MX Prime) Fighter, which became the side’s anthem, jumping off the page.
As well as documenting Germany 2006, the book takes the reader back into the history of Trinidad and Tobago’s World Cup campaigns (beginning in 1964) and most notably the agonising near misses of 1973 and 1989.
No facet of the Warriors experience is left untouched. There is an assessment of each group opponent, a look at how the German hosts took the team to their hearts, the resolute performances, Shaka Hislop’s heroics, the last hurrah of Russell Latapy’s dancing feet and Dwight Yorke’s consummate skills and how football united a nation.
Chapter 4, Reflections, a very short chapter, described T&T’s previous missed chances to make the World Cup—against Haiti in 1973 and in more recent memory, the deflating loss against the US in 1990 here at home. It goes into the psychology of our entry into the Fifa fray—and giving an idea of the national mindset during both ‘73 and ‘90.
This glossy tome is definitely a collectors item.