Make room for the Geriatrics

Recent weeks have seen a number of decisions made in sport that boggles the mind much like the international financial crisis has done for the past several months.
In the Caribbean we have seen the return of Dwight Yorke to the Trinidad and Tobago football team and the more recent announcement that Russell Latapy will soon be with the team in the dual capacity of player and coach. On the international scene we have the Americans heralding the return of Lance Armstrong to cycling.
The issue that we wish to address this week relates to the fact that Yorke is 36, Armstrong is 37 and Latapy is 40. It therefore seems that we are well into the era of geriatrics in sport. But there is much more for us to consider.

Latapy and Yorke
That the leadership of the sport have returned to Yorke and Latapy must be reflective of some major problems at the developmental level of the sport in the country.
While undoubtedly both Latapy and Yorke have been good players, neither has achieved global stardom. At best they would be remembered as good players, nothing more. For all of his ‘magic’ Latapy has not been deemed sufficiently attractive to the English Premier League teams or to the Italian and Spanish top teams. Thereby hangs a tale. He has been virtually stuck in Scotland.
He began his professional career in Portugal where he played for Academia, Porto and Boavista before going off to Scotland where he played for Hibernian, Rangers, Dundee United and Falkirk.
Yorke has been on something of a downward slide ever since his removal from the Manchester United front line some years ago. He began at Aston Villa then moved on to Manchester United then later to Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham United, Sydney (Australia) and finally, Sunderland.
Both players have had chequered careers in the sport engaging themselves in conduct off the field that were often considered not in the best interest of the sport they played or their own best interest.