CALCUTTA VILLAGE, Corozal District, Sun. Aug. 2, 2015–In a training match this evening in preparation for their Tuesday, August 18, Champions League encounter with Queretaro FC of Mexico, Verdes FC shared the playing time among their full roster of players, on their way to an 8-1 drilling of a feisty Calcutta eleven who featured the formidable Michael Whittaker up front.
Deon McCaulay was warming up to enter the game when I arrived at half-time, and he quickly got on the scorecard, while sharing the ball and assisting on a couple goals for his teammates.
The Calcutta team is no pushover. They just defeated a fresh young FC Belize squad, 4-3, a week ago on Saturday; but Verdes was obviously at another level.
Are they ready for Champions League? We’ll find out in a couple weeks’ time.
I noted a couple instances where a foreign player (not Alcides Thomas) appeared selfish when approaching the goal area, ignoring beautiful passing opportunities, when Deon was cutting into wide open space, choosing instead to try and “pop” his way into striking position. He seemed in a desperate hunger to make his mark, to impress someone about his game, perhaps to enhance his marketability? But, ignoring Deon, young man?
I asked Deon after the game if he felt upset by what appeared to us like some bad choices by a couple of his teammates. Deon took it all in stride. His opinion was that, if they make those bad decisions, it would only hurt how their game is viewed by the coaches and scouts. He seemed patient with them, understanding their insecurity, and comfortable in his confidence that he knew what to do when the situation arises.
A short while later, I saw a situation, and I couldn’t let the opportunity pass to prompt a meeting between two great strikers, one from the past and the other the reigning best striker in Belize. Deon had never heard of Negro Hall (that’s pronounced Neh-gro, not Neegro), the original Negro, not his baby brother (or was it his nephew) Estevan, who was also tagged with the “Negro” label. The very outgoing and vocal Negro, a great striker from the 1970’s and early ‘80’s Corozal Sugar Boys, relished the opportunity to try and pass on his wisdom in the striking department to the young superstar. Hopefully, among the words of advice Negro offered to Deon, some little piece might further enhance the repertoire of the already accomplished striker. For me, the moment was special, because it represented the old generation giving its blessing to the new.