Got an email from Alan Errington, local coaching legend, the other day. He had scanned an article he wrote for a BCSA quarterly newspaper, called the Whistle, back in 1984. It was about the three or four weeks we spent in Trinidad at the qualifying tournament for the U19 Youth World Cup in the Soviet Union.
It’s a great read and gives a frank, honest description of what is probably one of the tougher slogs any CSA team has faced. Factoring in the length of the trip, the accommodation and food, and the heat and humidity, there can’t be too many teams that endured the sort of hardships that Alan’s tale runs through. Now, of course, it’s a great laugh to think of Nick Gilbert finding a maggot in his rice and the time I reached to pick up what I thought was my watch from a desk drawer only for some sort of bug to fly away as my hand got close.
Alan actually got taken to task by the CSA when this came out and nearly lost his job with the team as a result. Funnily enough, he even left out the part about the full scale brawl at the end of the final against Mexico (I have a vivid memory of our trainer, Greg Bay, a former Junior hockey player, out on the field, dukes up, while Mexican players launched Bruce Lee kung fu kicks at him)…
Anyway, here’s the scanned article. Not the easiest document to read but worth the effort.