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Brazilian tactician plots Petrotrin’s ‘09 success

Monday, April 27 2009

MARCOS TINOCO has promised trophies for United Petrotrin during the 2009 local football season, a couple of months after he replaced former national player Leon Carpette as the Petrotrin’s coach.

The Brazilian-born Tinoco, who is a former Tanzania youth team coach, was speaking in a recent interview on the Pro League’s website.

“As far as I understand, United Petrotrin have had a good programme over the past couple years but didn’t achieve many trophies.

“So our aim this year is to get trophies, win competitions and of course we are looking to getting into the CFU (Club Championship) and perhaps CONCACAF which would bring exposure for our local players as well,” Tinoco added.

Petrotrin have earned two titles within the last five years — the Lucozade Sport-sponsored Big Six crown in 2005 and the Toyota Classic in 2006.

But, after plummeting from first place, early in the season, to sixth, and the removal of Brian Williams as coach, Petrotrin have also revamped their roster with the inclusion of a number of ex-Trinidad and Tobago standouts – Aurtis Whitley, Trent Noel, Cyd Gray, Stokely Mason, Nigel Daniel, Arnold Dwarika and Gary Glasgow.

With the global recession hitting a number of Pro League clubs, including reigning champs San Juan Jabloteh, Caledonia AIA, St Ann’s Rangers and North East Stars (who have opted out this season), Petrotrin have emerged (along with Joe Public) as the major financial powerhouses in local football.

And, to show their intent for the season, Petrotrin engaged in a two-week pre-season camp in Colombia last month.

“It’s coming along very nice,” said Tinoco on his pre-season work. “We’ve been together for almost two months, so preparations have been coming along very good.

“We have made a trip to Colombia as part of our pre-season and the team has really surprised me over there,” he continued. “It was early in our pre-season and our team lacked a bit of fitness but we performed very well in a few practice matches played in Colombia.”

Petrotrin won one match, lost one and drew the other two in their Colombia tour.

“We are confident ahead of the season,” said Tinoco. “We know that there is still a lot to do. So we are working on the tactical aspect of the game right now.

“I have done research on all the top (teams) here,” he added. “I watch a few (CFU) Champions matches played here in Trinidad and I can say that (TT) football is above the rest of the Caribbean and we have a couple good teams.

(The League) will be a tough competition,” added the Brazilian-born tactician. “Of course we will always have to play for our wins and we know that we will face some big problems in the League.

“It’s difficult to say where we will finish but I can say that we will do the best to win. We are not here just to participate,” Tinoco ended.

While Tinoco is gearing up for the start of the season (tentatively set for April 28), another newly-appointed coach, Defence Force’s Ross Russell will miss the curtain-raiser due to national team commitments.

Russell is also the goalkeeping coach with the Trinidad and Tobago Under-17 team, currently competing in the CONCACAF Under-17 Championships in Mexico, for a spot in the 2009 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria.

“We are playing a very fast game at the moment,” said the lanky Russell, whose son Ross Jnr is also a part of the national Under-17 squad. “We have been working on this sort of game all pre-season and I’m sorry to miss it.”

Ex-national midfielder, Hutson “Barber” Charles — coincidentally the assistant coach of the TT Under-20 team who will be competing at this year’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Egypt — is also the technical director of the Defence Force team.

In Russell’s absence, Charles will fill in, with former Defence Force’s midfielder Marvin Gordon as his assistant.

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