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SSFL Annual Awards: SportsMax committed to exposing schoolboy talent - Lee

By Lance Whittaker and George Davis January 31, 2019

SportsMax Marketing Manager Tanya Lee joined the SSFL Annuals Awards ceremony in Couva where she insisted the company's effort to showcase regional schoolboy football talent would continue.  The event marked the regional broadcaster's fourth year of association with the event.

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  • T&T need better opponents than Caribbean teams claims U-15 coach Fevrier T&T need better opponents than Caribbean teams claims U-15 coach Fevrier

    Trinidad and Tobago national under 15 team coach Stuart Charles Fevrier has called on the TTFA to secure more matches with Central American opponents in order to close the gap between the twin-island republic and CONCACAF’s top teams.

    The recently concluded TTFA Youth Invitational football tournament proved to be a chastening experience for the national team.  The young Trinidadians lost matches to Panama, Venezuela, and Mexico. 

    The match-up with the Panamanians was closely contested with T&T losing 5-4 by the odd goal, the team, however, went on to lose 4-0 and 4-1 to Venezuela and Mexico respectively.

    With the tournament serving as a warm-up for the CONCACAF Under-15 Championship in August, the gulf in quality has proven to be a concern.

    “We need to play more Central American and North American teams instead of Caribbean teams.  It’s not that we can’t play Caribbean teams, we are from the Caribbean region but I believe now we have to focus a lot more on the Central American and North American teams.  If we are to qualify for any major competition these are the teams we have to beat,” Fevrier said.

    “Playing against Caribbean teams is a lower level obviously because when you watched the level of football tonight (against Mexico) for me it was very high,” he added.

    “In the last 10 minutes they were still going, it was nothing for them.  They already have a professional mentality and our boys are still playing college football.”

  • Bale's agent not interested in 'slanging matches' with Madrid boss Zidane Bale's agent not interested in 'slanging matches' with Madrid boss Zidane

    Gareth Bale's agent is not willing to enter into "slanging matches" with Zinedine Zidane after the Real Madrid boss claimed the Wales forward refused to play in the pre-season friendly with Bayern Munich.

    Madrid boss Zidane accused Bale of making his own decision not to feature in the International Champions Cup defeat to the Bundesliga champions at the weekend.

    The absence occurred in the wake of Zidane admitting his desire for the 30-year-old to be sold sooner rather than later.

    Bale's agent, Jonathan Barnett, branded the Frenchman a "disgrace" in response to those comments, but insisted there would be no ongoing war of words on Tuesday.

    "That's not something we've ever spoken about [missing the Bayern game]. I'm not getting into any slanging matches," Barnett told Omnisport.

    "I've never criticised anybody for anything other than what they said or what they did."

    Bale joined LaLiga giants Madrid in 2013 and signed a lucrative contract extension in 2016.

    And with three seasons still left to run on that deal, there is no urgency from his camp to force a resolution.

    Barnett confirmed on Tuesday to Sky Sports News that the player will not consider a loan move away from the Spanish capital amid strong links to the Chinese Super League, where clubs are reportedly considering offering wages of £1million per week.

    Barnett declined to reveal Bale's preference for China or Europe, adding: "If Gareth finds something that he really likes then we'll talk about it.

    "He's a Real Madrid player. He's got three years on his contract. Nothing can change that fact.

    "If he didn't have a contract it would be a problem for him. But he's fine. He's signed a contract and he's fine."

    Madrid face Arsenal in an International Champions Cup clash in Maryland on Tuesday.

  • Barcelona 1-2 Chelsea: Abraham and Barkley strike on Griezmann's debut Barcelona 1-2 Chelsea: Abraham and Barkley strike on Griezmann's debut

    Antoine Griezmann made his Barcelona debut on Tuesday but was unable to prevent the LaLiga champions slipping to a 2-1 friendly defeat to Chelsea in Saitama.

    World Cup winner Griezmann – who joined the club in a €120million move earlier this month – made little impact during his 45-minute appearance against Frank Lampard's side, who went in front through Tammy Abraham's 34th-minute goal.

    Barcelona looked bright at the start of the second period before Ross Barkley's fine finish nine minutes from time sealed the win, despite Ivan Rakitic's late strike.

    Chelsea continue their preparations for the 2019-20 season with a game against Championship side Reading on Sunday, while Barca take on Vissel Kobe – and their former player Andres Iniesta – a day earlier.

    Barcelona could – and perhaps should – have gone ahead inside the opening minute but Oriol Busquets' header from eight yards sailed over Kepa Arrizabalaga's goal.

    Abraham was equally wasteful in the 23rd minute, blazing a half-volley over from six yards after Marc-Andre ter Stegen had failed to hold Christian Pulisic's powerful strike.

    The striker made up for that miss soon after, though, coolly rounding Ter Stegen and slotting into an empty net after Jorginho had cut out Sergio Busquets' sloppy pass on the edge of the penalty area.

    Pulisic could have doubled their advantage five minutes before the interval but crashed a left-footed effort into the side netting, while a subdued Ousmane Dembele saw his low strike kept out by Kepa at the other end.

    Barca were a team reborn after making 11 changes at the break, Rafinha, Carles Perez and Carles Alena all testing Kepa with low strikes in the opening stages of the second half.

    Chelsea substitute Kenedy inexplicably headed well wide after latching onto Barkley's lofted pass but the England international made no mistake in the 81st minute, squeezing an effort inside Neto's right-hand post from 18 yards.

    The Spanish side at least ended the game on a positive note, Rakitic thundering into the top corner from distance in stoppage time.

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