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NE Stars fire coach; Rangers maul Tobago

By JOEL BAILEY Monday, May 5 2008

NORTH EAST Stars have fired their coach Ken Elie while St Ann’s Rangers mauled Tobago United 5-1 on an eventful Round One Match Day Five of the Pro League on Saturday.

Elie’s fate was sealed after North East dropped to the bottom of the 10-team standings, courtesy of a 3-0 defeat to debutants Ma Pau in the first match of a double-header at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella. Former Trinidad and Tobago midfielder/striker Clint Marcelle will now take up the coaching duties at the 2004 League champs.

That defeat was North East’s fourth in five games and, with new sponsors (Economy Supermarket Limited) and a new management structure on board (including the appointment of ex-national captain Anthony Rougier as its technical advisor), the results were too much for the team’s administrators to handle.

In a story on the league’s website, club manager David Farrell stated, “North East Stars FC have released from duties its technical staff for the ‘senior’ team.”

The technical staff comprised of Elie, his deputy Anthony Dhanoolal (who played under Elie at WASA FC in 2006, when Elie led the club to the national FA title), and equipment manager Curtis Neptune.

“The club believes that in the direction of the football being played on the field was not producing the results anticipated,” Farrell added.

Marcelle, who spent a few weeks as an assistant coach at W Connection earlier this year, also had a coaching stint with the now defunct Starworld Strikers in 2006.

The 39-year-old, who has played for over 10 clubs in Portugal and England from the late 1980s to the early part of this decade, was planning to join North East to work with its youth players.

“However, in the current extreme situation, Clint would redirect his efforts to the ‘senior’ team and provide an assistant to work in the youth programme,” said Farrell.

In Saturday’s first match at Marabella, former TT forward Cornell Glen put Ma Pau ahead with 50th minute header while Sayid Freitas widened the advantage with a 56th minute strike.

And Freitas’ cousin Christon, directed a cross from Rennie Britto past North East’s goalkeeper Andrew Durant in the 78th.

Petrotrin won their fifth straight match to remain atop the points standings, by a 2-0 margin over Defence Force at the Palo Seco Recreation Ground. National players Keon Daniel (25th) and Jerol Forbes (74th) were on target for the victors.

Rangers finally registered their first win of the season, at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet.

Captain Josimar Belgrave produced a virtual one-man show, as he netted a beaver-trick (19th, 33rd, 49th penalty and 90th), following striker Keyon Edwards’ fifth minute opener. Veteran Guyanese forward Collie Hercules’ 53rd minute penalty was scant consolation for the hosts.

Skipper Trent Noel converted a freekick in the dying seconds as defending champs CLICO San Juan Jabloteh edged Caledonia AIA 2-1 at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Arima.

While the attention focussed on 2007 Most Valuable Player (MVP) Marvin Oliver, who made a late appearance for Jabloteh against his former club, Noel, who has been shockingly overlooked by new TT coach Francisco Maturana, netted the spot-kick after AIA captain, Guyanese Charles Pollard, brought down another veteran, Jabloteh’s St Lucian forward Earl Jean.

Defender Ronald Primus put Jabloteh in front after 35 minutes before Kareem Joseph equalised for Caledonia with a 58th minute penalty. But Noel will have the final say, as Jabloteh kept pace with Petrotrin in the standings.

In the second scheduled match at Marabella, Colombian forward Oscar Torijino notched an 83rd minute winner as W Connection edged Joe Public 1-0.

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