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Cornelius Huggins looking to etch football history

Cornelius Huggins looking to etch football history

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When the Winward Islands Football tournament kicks off at the Victoria Park this Sunday, national senior men’s football coach Cornelius Huggins will be seeking to repeat a feat achieved by his father over 25 years ago.{{more}}

When St Vincent and the Grenadines last lifted the Windwards title back in 1986 in Dominica, the man at the helm was Huggins’ father, Fred Trimmingham.

In that final, the lone goal was scored by Collin “Willy Beast” Johnny.

Now on home soil, Huggins, who was installed in the position of coach just over a year ago, wants to repeat what his father achieved many years ago.

“ … I would like to repeat that and walk in my father’s footsteps and have that accomplishment,” Huggins told SEARCHLIGHT last Wednesday.

And, dad Fred Trimmingham still relishes fond memories of playing for St Vincent and the Grenadines in the four-island competition, then known as the Popham Cup.

Incidentally, Trimmingham is employed with the National Lotteries Authority at the Victoria Park, a venue where he made his name as a mean midfielder in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Trimmingham reminded SEARCHLIGHT that back then, the Victoria Park had a distinct incline in the middle, which made it difficult for the teams “coming up the hill” especially in the second half.

He recalled some epic battles with Grenada, with the likes of Tyrone Harbin in its ranks.

However, Huggins, who represented St Vincent and the Grenadines from 1993 to 2011, but never played in the Windwards tournament, now has the opportunity to make his input as the team’s chief tactician.

Huggins said his task has been made harder, as he is dissatisfied with the preparation of the local team.

“ … I must say I am not satisfied with the preparations, because the players hardly came out to train,” Huggins sighed in disgust.

Huggins noted that he specifically called up several of the Under-20 players to blood them in the senior team, but many did not heed the call.

A former captain and stalwart defender, Huggins deemed the actions of the young players as “disrespectful” to him and the country as a whole.

But answering Huggins’ summons were Myron and Shandell Samuel, who are plying their trade in Barbados, along with Nicol Stephens and Shemmol Trimmingham, who are campaigning in Trinidad and Tobago with semi pro-clubs there.

Huggins, however, hopes that things can get right from Sunday night from 8, when St Vincent and the Grenadines meet Dominica. Before them, Grenada and St Lucia go head to head.

Next Tuesday, April 23, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada meet from 8 p.m., which will be preceded by the encounter between Dominica and St Lucia from 6 p.m.

The Vincentians close off the show on Thursday from 8 p.m., when they engage St Lucia. Dominica and Grenada meet in the earlier match from 6 p.m.

The last Windward Islands tournament was staged in Grenada in 2001, when the host defeated St Vincent and the Grenadines 2-1 in the final. (RT)

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