Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

Former England defender, coach of Central FC and San Juan Jabloteh in the Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) Pro League, Terry Fenwick, has been named the head coach of the twin-island republic’s senior football team, the Soca Warriors.

Jamaica and West Indies women cricketer Stafanie Taylor was, on Tuesday, named in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) One-Day International (ODI) Team of the Year.

Reggae Boyz defender Alvas Powell was selected by David Beckham's newly formed Major League Soccer (MLS) club Inter Miami FC.

Powell, who signed from Eastern Conference MLS side, FC Cincinnati, was selected in the second round (third overall) of the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft on Tuesday evening.  FC Cincinnati will receive $50,000 in General Allocation Money in compensation for the selection.

The 25-year-old Powell made 13 appearances for FC Cincinnati, including 10 starts in the club’s inaugural MLS season in 2019. The Jamaican was acquired from the Portland Timbers via trade on December 27, 2018. 

Powell made 14 appearances for the Reggae Boyz and scored his first two international goals in a CONCACAF Nations League group stage match in Guyana on September 9.

Inter Miami co-owner Beckham will welcome his former club LA Galaxy to Florida for the new franchise's MLS home opener.

MLS is welcoming two new teams for the 2020 season, with Inter and Nashville SC taking the league to 26 franchises.

The full schedule for the next campaign is still to be confirmed, with the 2019 season ending just over a week ago with the Seattle Sounders defeating Toronto FC in the MLS Cup final.

But Inter have announced their first official home fixture, with Beckham's team to come up against Galaxy at their temporary stadium in Fort Lauderdale on March 14.

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard is not yet a frustrated man but the big all-rounder is noticing a trend with his side he would like to put an end to.

"I thought we gave it away in the last 20 overs with the ball, didn't execute well,” said Pollard, voicing a sentiment he has on at least three occasions since the start of a tour to India.

The West Indies were bat out of a game against India in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday after the hosts posted a mammoth 387-5 with man-of-the-match, Rohit Sharma, slamming 159 from 138 deliveries and KL Rahul more than helping with 102 from 104 balls. All-rounder, Shreyas Iyer, scoring 53 from 32 to help push the score along as the West Indies gave up too many in the closing stages of the first innings.

The West Indies, in reply, scored 280 all out in 43.3 overs, with Shai Hope, 78, and Nicholas Pooran, 75, doing the bulk of the scoring. Keemo Paul also had an enterprising cameo, scoring 46, to take the visitors to the total.

Still, Pollard believes the batting of India shows there is reason to fear the power the West Indies batting line-up has on offer.

“It goes to show in order for them to win, they've to score big against us,” said the skipper.

Again, Pollard reminded his charges that there were little things the team had to get right if they were to turn some of these losses to wins.

“For us, it's looking to improve in small areas. We weren't able to execute our plans like we would've liked. Maybe 40-50 runs less, it would've been much different,” said Pollard.

Pollard did give some of the credit for the nature of the defeat to the opposition, saying the start the openers gave the Indian middle-order made things easy for them.

“Credit to them, Rohit and KL batted well, it allowed the guys lower down the order to come and score freely.”

The series is now tied at one apiece with one ODI remaining and Pollard has issued a warning to the hosts that the one-sidedness of the defeat doesn’t mean the West Indies have dropped their shoulders or that the series won’t still go the way of the visitors.

“Pooran and Hetmyer - talented youngsters who I've spoken about earlier. Hope too has shown consistency in the way he goes about his game. It's a matter of putting the pieces of the puzzle together, nothing happens overnight. We deserve to go out with a bang, our heads and shoulders are still high. We'll come back and fight hard in a couple of days."

Coach of rising sprint sensation Jamaican sprinter, Briana Williams, Ato Boldon expects the young phenom to go even faster in 2020 after her preparations for this season put her in a good place.

Williams, who decided to run as a senior at last year’s IAAF World Championships of Athletics, made the Jamaican team after finishing third at the country’s national champions in a quick 10.94 seconds, behind legends, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Elaine Thompson.

Despite the qualification, Williams was not at the World Championships after a positive drug test, which was eventually commuted with the athlete found to have done nothing wrong, meant there was no time for her to get there.

Last season, Williams also ran a nippy 22.88 seconds.

According to Boldon, Williams could have been faster last season and the season before, but for some reason, was not achieving her full potential.

“In 2019, only five women ran faster at 100m. I’ve considered the possibility that she had been holding back in practice in the last two years, training with a group. That’s clearly not the case this year, and she has set numerous personal bests in her preseason practice runs,” said Boldon.

The difference, this season, is that Williams has ditched her training routine, and is now doing her practice on her own.

“As far as her training, I had some major concerns when we started in October. She had no female training partners for the first time under me and she hadn’t competed since July,” said Boldon, who had split with Williams training partner Khalifa St Fort.

“I thought taking in someone to train with her would be a good idea. Well, it turns out I was wrong. She assured me she didn’t need a training partner. Her workouts have always accurately indicated to me what’s coming, and she will be better in 2020 than she was in 2019,” Boldon said.

Sacked head coach of the Trinidad and Tobago men’s national team, Dennis Lawrence, will be replaced as early as next weekend to give the new boss time to help the side prepare for a two-legged CONCACAF Gold Cup playoff against either Guyana or Barbados.

The next FIFA match window is in March of 2020, giving the new coach just three months between the first acid test and turning the fortunes of the Soca Warriors around.

Trinidad and Tobago are in freefall at the moment, winning just one game in 2019 and currently lie at 104th in the world, just a few ranking places above its lowest all-time position.

A statement from the William Wallace-led Trinidad and Tobago Football Association on Sunday confirmed the sacking of the 45-year-old coach, who has been in charge of the national team since January 2017.

According to reports coming out of Trinidad and Tobago, the TTFA’s board had a nine-hour meeting Saturday at the Ato Boldon Stadium. It was at that meeting that the decision was taken to relieve the coach of his duties.

The TTFA’s statement said Lawrence’s representatives and the board will meet to determine the terms of his departure.

Under Lawrence, Trinidad played 31 matches. They won five, drew seven and lost 19 for a win percentage of 16.13 per cent.

In those matches, TT scored 36 goals while conceding 53.

Despite that poor record, Lawrence may be another in a long list of coaches to be owed significant amounts by the TTFA.

The coach had two years left on his contract and had delayed signing that contract until a performance clause for his sacking was removed.

The clause had said Lawrence had to maintain an annual success rate of 40 per cent while dropping no more than six points in the FIFA rankings.

Lawrence has overseen a 20-point drop in the rankings stemming from 795 days without winning a competitive game.

It is not yet known who the William Wallace-led Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) have been considering as replacement for Lawrence, but when the former T&T defender was given the job, Stephen Hart, Terry Fenwick and Stuart Charles-Fevrier were the names on the shortlist.

Hart recently said the job was not one he would consider under the circumstances that existed in Trinidad & Tobago.

Jamaican Richard Holmes scored a technical knockout victory over Guyanese Winston Pompey in the main event of the second staging of the Wray and Nephew Rum Punch boxing card at Skateland, Half-Way Tree on Friday night.

Referee Owen Nelson waved off the six-round contest at the 47-second mark of the second round.

In the first round, Holmes attacked Pompey aggressively while breaching his defence a few times to land shots mainly to the head. A straight right-hand shot sent Pompey crashing to the canvas for the standing eight-count.

Holmes went on the prowl again at the sound of the bell for the second round and eventually backed Pompey into one of the neutral corners and unveiled a barrage of shots  before Nelson waved off the contest.

“I am coming off two defeats and this win puts me back on track for a fight in February," said the 32-year-old Holmes.

“We worked in the gym on outside, inside body shots. The execution was very good. Tonight, with my stance, the perfection of the punch was more effective than ever. The things that I have been working on, I used them whenever time I got the chance,” he further added.

Holmes' professional record now stands at 19 wins and 11 defeats.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts says his organization will be announcing a new head coach for the Reggae Girlz in a matter of days.

According to Ricketts, the JFF’s technical committee, which has the prevue of selecting a coach, will make its decision after discussions with stakeholders on Tuesday.

According to Ricketts, the decision will be made to replace former head coach Hue Menzies, who announced his intention to leave the programme via the media more than a week ago, despite not receiving a formal resignation.

“We haven’t gotten anything official,” said Ricketts.

“But he has gone public [with his resignation], so we just have to take it that he will not be a part of the programme,” he said.

Menzies announced his intention to leave the programme after four years, citing a lack of communication from the JFF regarding a new contract that had expired in August, as well as unpaid salaries and reimbursements.

Menzies had refused to coach the team until all unpaid monies were sent his way.

The former coach’s stance meant he missed the first round of Olympic Qualifiers with the Reggae Girlz.

Those qualifiers still went well under the guidance of assistant coach Lorne Donaldson, with the final round of qualifiers set to take place from January 28 to February 9, 2020.

Donaldson’s performance is reported to have made him frontrunner for the job, however, the assistant has hinted at reservations about taking the new post.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was yesterday named the Best Female Athlete at the inaugural Panam Sports Awards in Fort Lauderdale.

The Jamaican sprint star was earning the award for her performances at the 2019 Pan American Games, while Brazillian gymnast Francisco Barretto was named the Best Male Athlete.

Fraser-Pryce, who was running in her first Pan American Games, broke the 200-metre games record, a mark that had stood for 40 years, when she clocked 22.43 seconds for gold.

Fraser-Pryce was beating American cyclist Chloe Dygert, Argentine swimmer, Delfina Pignatiello, Mexican racquetballer Paola Longoria, and Venezuelan triple jumper, Yulimar Rojas.

Barretto was beating Grenadian javelin thrower, Anderson Peters, Trinidad & Tobago cyclist Niholas Paul, Venezuelan fencer Ruben Limardo and Cuban wrestler Mijain Lopez.

Ahead of a massive One Day International test against India, West Indies assistant coach, Roddy Estwick, is an optimistic man.

The West Indies beat Afghanistan 3-0 in their last ODI series, but in truth, the Caribbean side have faced very lean times whenever they have played the 50-over game.

Despite winning just nine of the last 25 ODIs they have played in 2019, assistant coach, Roddy Estwick believes there are signs the West Indies are ready to make things interesting.

Estwick was speaking ahead of the start of the ODI series against India, saying the West Indies have shown they have the quality to challenge top sides and have combined that with the work ethic to make it stick.

“It’s exciting times for us. When you look at somebody like (Shimron) Hetmyer, (Nicholas) Pooran, Shai Hope – we’ve got young batsmen who are developing,” he said during a press conference, pointing to the talent in the West Indies middle order.

“But the key thing is how you prepare, if you’re prepared to work hard and you’ve got a benchmark in Virat Kohli – somebody who you will see in the gym and will work very, very hard, and once our ­players can learn from players like that, then we’ve got a chance because without hard work there’s no success, and hard work is boring but it gives you great success,” said Estwick.

“Once they can learn and keep working, keep dealing with the process, then they’ve got a chance.”

Estwick also pointed out that there must be some patience when thinking about those young players and the way they have been performing recently.

Roston Chase has been a mainstay in the West Indies Test cricket side, but not so much in ODIs.

The official draw for the qualifying matches of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup is in the books and Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago, Bermuda and Cuba, despite already being placed in round two, are not set to have an easy of it.

As announced in March of 2018, the 2019-2020 Concacaf Nations League kicked off the road to 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup. After group stage play, the top two finishers in each of the League A groups and the top finisher in each of the League B groups secured their participation in the 16th edition of the Confederation’s premier tournament for men’s national teams.

 

The road to the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup will continue next year with a two-round qualifier, to be played in a direct elimination format. Beginning in March of 2020, the second-place finishers of League B will face the first-place finishers of League C. The four matchups were drawn as follows:

 

Matchup 1: Guadeloupe vs Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Matchup 2: Barbados vs Guyana

Matchup 3: Bahamas vs French Guiana

Matchup 4: Guatemala vs Monserrat

 

After home-and-away play, the four round one matchup winners will advance to the second round, where they will face the third-place finishers of League A. The second round will take place during the FIFA window of June 2020. The four round-two matchups were drawn as follows:

 

Matchup 5: Winner Matchup 1 vs Haiti

Matchup 6: Winner Matchup 2 vs Trinidad & Tobago

Matchup 7: Winner Matchup 3 vs Bermuda

Matchup 8: Winner Matchup 4 vs Cuba

 

This mean Haiti will play against either Guadeloupe or St Vincent and the Grenadines, while Trinidad & Tobago has the task of trying to turn back either Barbados or Guyana. Bermuda, who have done well to date, have either the Bahamas or the dangerous French Guiana, while Cuba must contend with either Guatemala or Montserrat.

After home-and-away play, the four matchup winners will qualify for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, joining (in alphabetical order); Canada, Costa Rica, Curacao, El Salvador, Grenada, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Suriname and the United States.

The gala event in Miami, FL was attended by Concacaf President Victor Montagliani, Concacaf General Secretary Philippe Moggio and the presidents of all 41 Concacaf Member Associations.

The draw was conducted by Concacaf Development Director Jason Roberts and Concacaf Director of Competitions Carlos Fernandez.

The complete schedule, including dates, kickoff times and host venues for the qualifying matches will be announced at a later date.

 

Antigua & Barbuda Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, believes the YASCO Sports Complex, a facility that functioned in a state of disrepair and the only track and field facility on the island, will have it’s refurbishments complete in short order.

According to Matthew, the workers are preparing to carry out the final phase of work before the laying the new surface of the track.

“They have done all of the preparatory work in terms of the sub-base and everything, so the final layer is to start going on, and I am told it’s supposed to be about five or six day’s work, and it cures for, I think, two weeks and then the rubber goes down,” he said.

The YASCO facility has been the subject of embarrassment for the country on a number of occasions with promises for its upgrade going unfulfilled on a number of occasions.

Add the high-profile athletes Cejhae Greene and Miguel Francis, to a growing list who refuse to use the facilities and the news takes on even greater value for the island.

“We’re expecting someone here this week [from track builders Mondo] and so between myself and the president of the NOC [EP Chet Greene], I’ve sent off some correspondents to PASO and Mondo because we have to proceed. We don’t want to continue to delay the laying of that final layer of asphalt because there is a lifespan on things like the adhesive which we’ve had for a while,” he said. 

The news contrasts a previous announcement from president of the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association, Everton Conelius, who said persistent rains were causing delays that could amount to another five months of delays.

Despite losing their T20I series to India 2-1 thanks to a 67-run defeat in Mumbai, West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard is looking forward to the upcoming ODIs saying there are many positives for his young charges.

"Taking the positives, when you look at our performances with the bat through the series, consistent, we'll take that as a unit,” said Pollard.

“Yes, we lost 2-1, but we have three more games to look forward to in the ODIs."

The all-rounder, who slammed 68 from just 38 deliveries in a valiant but in vain effort to chase down the 240-3 made by Virat Kohli’s side, understands that the West Indies need to sort out how they go about bowling in T20Is.

Sent into bat, India’s Rohit Sharma smashed 71 from 34 deliveries, while his opening partner and eventual man of the match, KL Rahul scored a brisk 91, doing so off 56 deliveries. Kohli himself was savage, ending unbeaten on 70 from 29 balls.

In reply, the West Indies would end on a creditable 173-8 despite a top-order collapse.

“At the end of the day, we know we need to get better at executing with the ball,” said Pollard.

On the other hand, Pollard believes such is the power and class of the young side, which lost Evin Lewis to a knee injury while they were fielding, that any total is gettable.

“In our minds [240 was gettable]. 230 has been chased here when England played South Africa,” he said.

The youthfulness of the side is also something that gives Pollard reason to hope for a turnaround in results in the near future.

“There's a lot of emerging players coming through. Yes, the bowling is a concern, but we have a roster of guys coming through. Those are the areas, but we know success is a boring thing, you need to do the right things day in and day out,” he said.

Former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president and Port of Spain Mayor, Raymond Tim Kee is dead.

The 71-year-old Tim Kee, passed on Sunday at his Flagstaff home after a long ailment, leaving the football fraternity in mourning.

TTFA President William Wallace issued condolences to the family, saying he had lost, not just a colleague in football, but a friend.

“He was a good human being who cared for his fellow men. As an administrator, he never micromanaged but instead allowed guided initiative. He had the game at heart and was one of those persons who hurt over the last couple years,” said Wallace in an interview with T&T website Wired868.

Wallace was the National Senior Team manager during Tim Kee’s term in office.

“I salute the memory of an exceptional man who I knew as a voice of reason. My heartfelt sympathy condolences to his entire family,” he said.

Wallace’s comments were made on the back of a TTFA statement, which also issued condolences, remembering Tim Kee as a kind-hearted man, ‘devoted and committed to serving his country the best way he could.’

Tim Kee took over presidency of the TTFA in 2012 after Jack Warner was forced to resign amidst a US investigation into corruption within FIFA that implicated him.

Tim Kee’s presidency saw a resurgence of the Soca Warriors but also an increasingly troubling financial situation. Constant squabbles with his board over those financial issues led to his eventual ousting in 2015 by recently deposed president, David John-Williams.

Trinidad and Tobago Super League president, Keith Look Loy, as well as Strike Squad captain Clayton Morris have also expressed their condolences.   

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