The Trinidad Amateur Football Association (TAFA) was formed on July 23, 1908, and First Division play in Port-of-Spain included such teams as Casuals, Clydesdale, Local Forces, and Shamrock. League play was conducted in front of the Grand Stand in the Queen's Park Savannah.
During each of the first seven years of First Class competition between 1908 and 1914, the League Shield winner was one of the three clubs: Casuals; Shamrock; or Local Forces. In 1915, play was suspended because of World War I. When play resumed in 1916, the Best Dark Virginia Cup was won by Queen's Park who repeated this feat in 1918 and 1919. Queen's Park also won the League Shield in 1919. In this decade, the TAFA began its efforts in expanding competition throughout Trinidad with the goal of producing a team to represent the country against other colonies in the Caribbean. The earliest such competition was believed to be 1919.
Queen's Park dropped out of the First Class competition in 1920 and would not return until 1967. First Division play in the North was dominated during this decade by Maple and Everton. Their dominance was so overwhelming that these two teams placed almost all the players on the T&T team in intercolonial competition against other Caribbean countries. The Maple standouts who represented T&T included Ellis Achong, Harold Achong, Joseph Daniel, Sydney deCoteau, Ivor Hart, and Clifford Roach. The Everton standouts who represented T&T included Alfred Charles and Arthur Maynard. Among the other players who represented T&T was Thor Schjolseth.
It is believed that the Football Association (FA) Cup Competition began in 1927. Everton captured the FA Cup in 1929 when Maple walked off the field trailing 3-2, after players H. Achong (Maple) and Leslie (Everton) were sent off the field by the referee.
|FA CUP RESULTS|
|1927||Shamrock (4)||Leaseholds (2)|
|1929||Everton (by default)||Maple|
In 1931, T&T toured British Guiana (Guyana). In 1933, a dominant Everton team was suspended from First Division play and many of its stars moved to other teams. In 1935, a T&T team toured Jamaica. In 1937, T&T returned to British Guiana under the leadership of Ken Galt who, at twenty, became the youngest captain ever of a T&T soccer team. Other players who represented T&T during the 1930s included Ellis Achong, George Chambers, Ahamad Charles, Alfred Charles, Joseph Daniel, D'Arcy Galt, brothers George Grant and Rolph Grant, Ivor Hart, Arthur Maynard, John Sutherland, and Conrad Tench.
|FA CUP RESULTS|
|1937||UBOT (3)||Shamrock (2)|
By the 1940s, amateur leagues had been established in the two largest cities, Port-of-Spain and San Fernando. However, permanent football fields dedicated to the growth of the amateur game and to the development of players to compete at the international level still had not been established. In Port-of-Spain, the Port-of-Spain Football League (POSFL), which was generally recognized as the premier league, continued to conduct its games at the Queen's Park Savannah in front of the Grand Stand, while the Northern Amateur Football League (NAFL) conducted its games at the northern end of the Savannah. In San Fernando, the Southern Amateur Football League (SAFL) and the Southern Amateur Football Association (SAFA) functioned at venues such as Skinner Park and Guaracara Park. The photo (at right) shows the 1946 FA Cup winners, Maple, one of the more successful POSFL teams of the 1940s: from left, (Back Row) A. Joseph, B. Niles, Hugo Emmanuel, G. Besson, Carl Turton, and John Sampson; (Middle Row) C. John, S. Thomson, Andy Ganteaume, Victor Richardson (manager), Prior Jones, C. Dolly, and P. Carr; (Front Row) V. Joseph, Paul Regis, Hugh Sealy, and A.F. Joseph. In 1946, a T&T team visited British Guiana.
Whereas T&T cricketers had already begun to represent the West Indies in international competition by the late 1930s, international competition for soccer players was restricted to playing against other countries in the Caribbean community. However, after the end of World War II, interest in local cricket and soccer grew almost equally and they became by far the two most popular sports in the country. The photo (at left) shows the T&T team that had a successful tour of Jamaica in 1947: from left, (Back Row) Victor Richardson (manager), Popo Simmons, Ian Seales, Prior Jones, Lionel Lynch, Joey Gonsalves, Randolph Merritt, Johnny Huggins, Gerry Gomez, and Eric James (secretary); (Middle Row) Rex Burnett, Putty Lewis, and Malcolm McLean; (Front Row) Syl Dopson, William Baird, Noel Winn, Ken Galt, and Andy Ganteaume. Gerry Gomez, Prior Jones, and Andy Ganteaume also represented T&T in intercolonial cricket and played Test cricket for the West Indies.
|FA CUP RESULTS|
|1944||Colts (1)||Sheffield (0)|
|1945||Colts (5)||Forest Reserve (0)|
|1947||Notre Dame (2: Terry Bates, Pat Massy) )||UBOT (1: Peter Nicholson)|
|1949||Joint Winners - Maple & Carlton|
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