Sunday, February 25, 2018

Tinto returns to Caledonia


JOSTLE: Costa Rica’s Pablo Herrera Barrentes (17) fights for the ball with Trinidad and Tobago’s Hayden Tinto during a World Cup 2010 qualifying game in Bacolet, Tobago.

Mark Fraser

Former Trinidad and Tobago international midfielder Hayden Tinto has returned to Caledonia AIA, the club he kicked off his professional career with nine years ago. Caledonia coach Jamaal Shabazz has also made a number of foreign signings.

Coming in are Haiti’s 34-year-old veteran defender Pierre Hithner, 22-year-old midfielder Cristoper Joet, Mejia Aguilar of Honduras, 23-year-old central defence/midfielder Rogello Robinson of Panama, 24-year-old defender Taylor Benjamin of Canada, 21-year-old Jamaican under-23 goalkeeper Rashaun Petterson, and 25-year-old defender Teriq Highland, from Barbados Defence Force FC.

The Caledonia coach have also retained the services of Grenada’s international goalkeeper Shemel Louison, defenders Nuru Abdullah Muhammad and Kareem Joseph, midfielders Densill Theobald, Keron Bethelmy, Jameel Neptune, Nathan Lewis, Kyle Bartholomew and Guyana’s Pernell Schultz, and forwards Dominican international forward Julian Wade and veteran Conrod Smith.

Shabazz has also promoted left-winger Kyle Adams from the Caledonia Reserves, as well as former goalkeeper, 25-year-old Zane Coker, who last represented Malabar FC, 23-year-old defender Keon Russell, who last played for Malta Carib Alcons, 19-year-old T&T defender Damani Richards, who last represented Harrisburgh City Islanders in the US, and 20-year-old Marcus Joseph, a talented attacking midfielder/forward.

Tinto joined Caledonia in 2006 and after two seasons at the Morvant/Laventille club he joined rivals Joe Public in 2009. The talented midfielder, scorer of a superb goal against Mexico in 2009 for T&T’s first ever goal at the Azteca Stadium, had a stint at Central FC and last represented Super League outfit Malabar FC.

Shabazz has welcomed back the 29-year-old ex-Malick prolific goalscorer with open arms.“Tinto is ‘Cale’,” said Shabazz. “He has been insisting since last season that he wanted to return to the club.”

Commenting on his Caribbean and Central American signings, Shabazz added: “The time has come for us to really use football as a vehicle for human development especially in our community. So by bringing in a cross-section of players from the islands and even Central America, it creates a new and challenging environment for both our players and staff.

‘’The new culture and learning to cope with the different cultures of a Haitian, and getting to understand the Central American concept, is in itself a real learning experience for us. Of course we want to do well this season so that Morvant and Laventille can raise their heads with a sense of honour and pride that we can produce positive.”