(Preview to Aldwyn McGill's football biography)
In Caribbean circles the name Aldwyn "Midget" McGill is usually associated with football and winning. Based on his 85% career winning record Aldwyn's "Vintage Midget" football Biography refers to him as "Aldwynable". Aldwyn started his soccer career as a midfield player and transitioned to become the most prolific goal scorer in the Toronto Caribbean soccer Community from the late seventies until the end of his career in the new millennium.
But whether as a midfielder or as a forward Aldwyn has always been rated as one of the top players in the leagues he has played.
Aldwyn highest accomplishment as a player was when he was selected to the Trinidad and Tobago squad to undergo specialize training for international duty (FIFA World Cup Germany '74)
Aldwyn's national football exposure came at a time when the two McGill brothers were playing for Colts Club of Belmont better known as the "Belmont Battalion" in the Port of Spain Football League (P.O.S.F.L).
However, the national football scene was not as intriguing as it should have been for a young upcoming football star like Aldwyn after he watched the ups and downs his brother encountered on the T&T team prior to him being called up. Hence, after joining the national team and being sequestered for training in Tetron Bay, Carenage, Aldwyn felt his decision to relocate to Toronto after receiving a Canadian (landed immigrant)
visa during that time was a no brainer. However, Colts football administrators were not entirely ecstatic at Aldwyn's decision to migrate to Canada just two weeks after being called to the T&T national squad and while the club was having one of its better seasons in years in the POSFL.
It was also at a time when Colts was advancing in the prestigious Best Dark Virginia (BDV) Cup knock out competition.
There are those who were oblivious to the fact that Aldwyn could not catch a break from coaches who did not look beyond his statue when he was growing up. They did not know that "Too small" was the operative word Aldwyn had heard when he was auditioning to showcase his talent in the main football market in Port of Spain.
One of the biggest pill Aldwyn had to swallow was after he was deprived of the opportunity to showcase his football skills, when players of lesser talent were chosen because of their bigger size. But to his credit he walked to another team training session in the same Savannah area and was picked up by then coach Paul "Polly" Regis of Maple Club which happened to be one of the most prestigious football club in Trinidad. The try outs were for the newly instituted U-19 Juvenile Division at the time and the Maple exposure was not only a valuable experience, but it turned out to be the opportunity that enabled Aldwyn to be seen by the top coaches in the Port of Spain Football League.
"Aldwynable" quotations: "I must say that I was blessed to be born into a family with deep spiritual roots. As the last of my mother's seven children and coming from a poor family I had the best examples to follow.
Teaching is the main profession in the family and to this day making new friends and forming new relationships is very normal for me. It has certainly helped in my travels around the globe and allowed me to settle into countries like Germany, South Africa and Brazil, only to name a few.
As players we were taught and constantly reminded that there was no letter "I" in the word "team" but after putting in the extra work to improve our games our philosophy was that there is an "m" and "e" (me) in team which meant that everyone had to bring something to the table (game) with nothing short than a 100% effort.
What paved my way was the unwavering support of my family especially my two older brothers, (Leroy and Victor) who played football at a high level. Family kept me as down to earth as humanly possible but their support could not have prepared me for some of my early football experiences which brought me crashing down to earth.
One such experience was at Fatima College Ground in Mucurapo, Port of Spain when I was invited to train with the Trinidad Under 19 squad for a tour to Bermuda. And when the names for the tour was called at the end of the practice, there was a pause before my name was mentioned. The pause was to inform me that the scouting report "indicated that the players in Bermuda were bigger than those of my statue", hence I was not selected to make the trip. It was a bitter-sweet moment. The bitter taste was because it was another occasion when I was overlooked because of my size. The sweet was the fact that my name was mentioned and the Bermuda tour was eventually cancelled. Even sweeter was the fact that that U-19 experience was the last time that size was ever an issue for the rest (35 years) of my playing career.
"I remembered discussing my decision to travel to Toronto, Canada with my boss St Elmo Gopaul (God rest his soul) in his office at the Teacher's Union Office on St Vincent Street, and as hard as he tried to convinced me that it was my time on the Trinidad team, the more I was determined to play my last match for Colts against Maple club in the semi final of the prestigious Best Dark Virginia (BDV) Cup and staged my exit. It was a risky preposition however, since the match was played the night before I travelled to Toronto".
Colts went on to defeat Malvern 1-0 in the BDV final and it was reported that my brother (Victor) was the stalwart for the Colts defence. He was the captain at the time and some time later one of the winner's medal was forwarded to me by the club in Canada.
"My move to Canada surprised a lot of people in the Trinidad football circles. It was felt that I would have been enthused to join my older brother Victor, who represented the country as a defender on the squad like many brother combinations who represented Trinidad before us. But from a very young age, I watched, listened, and learned how to make decisions which could have paved a path to create my identity. No disrespect to the country o my birth, but, migrating to Canada turned out to be one of the best decisions I've made in my life" I opposed the popular choice because I knew that there was another life beyond just football.
"Looking back at my football career it is important to note that my success in the Port of Spain league occurred after I represented community teams, Cipriani United, and Morvant United in my district where my character blossomed and my confidence grew. I must admit however, that it was under coach Dennis Yhip's philosophy and teachings with Colts Club in Port of Spain Football League that helped justify my national selection.
I joined Colts after playing for the two most successful teams in the Morvant community and as their names imply they both utilized a united effort to accomplish what no team in Morvant has been able to achieve thus far. Their success outside of Morvant made them household names in Trinidad football.
The Morvant United team under the captaincy of Russell McIntyre was always favoured to advance to the final four of the country's prestigious Best Village Competition while Cipriani United was the first team to have represented a united Morvant effort in PYM football League in San Juan.
Cipriani United revolutionized football in Morvant and with their modern brand of football it helped catapult several players into the national squad. Cipriani United won the Eddie Hart Football League in 1971. The Eddie Hart league is rated as the best community football league in Trinidad and Tobago.
Aldwyn McGill was born to Victor (Sr.) and Iona McGill at 47 Cipriani Street in Morvant, Aldwyn recalls never seeing himself as small until he recently watched pictures of his childhood. He started his competitive football career with SEPOS (South East Port of Spain Secondary) school in 1966 after Arthur (Jap) Browne organized and trained the team. Aldwyn was ranked one of the youngest players to have played in the Morvant football League in the early sixties after debuting with his oldest brother's (Leroy) team name Blackpool
Aldwyn was first given the sobriquet "Midget" in his early teens by an older lady in the neighborhood called Baby Myers when he was the smallest kid hanging around his brother Victor and his friend Gerald Myers. He felt that the Midget name helped him gain affection and admiration when he displayed his skills as a footballer and eventually earned the respect from people who got to know him both on the field and off the field.
Ironically, Aldwyn's brother Victor is called by the name "Bigger". The name is a short version of the alias name "Bigger Moose" that was printed on the back of Victor's team jersey some years earlier. The team was called Who Cares.
"Aldwynable" teams: T&T- SEPOS, Cipriani United, Morvant United, Maple, Colts. Toronto- Players, Iere, Spoilers, Caribbean Stars, Bell United, GS United, North Scarborough Soccer Club,
At the age of six his family moved to 15 Caimit Street (around the corner) after living in (country) Gasparillo for a few years. On returning to Morvant, Aldwyn attended St Dominic’s RC Primary School before enrolling at Sacred Heart Boys RC in downtown Port of Spain where he passed the Common Entrance Exam to attend South East Port of Spain Government Secondary school.
Ironically while attending Sacred Heart and also South East schools Aldwyn was called "Stumpy" by his school mates. But after he was given the alias "Midget", Aldwyn was hard pressed to show more than just his ability to play football but also forced to develop a mental and physical toughness.
McGill mentions that he now smiles with people who have not seen him since his teenage years when they are amazed at how tall he has gotten. While he thinks
everything in his existence is due to God's work he has taken a special pride in the "Aldwynable" name and concept based on the many obstacles and challenges he encountered and overcame.
Aldwyn, winning started in Trinidad when SEPOS school was crown champions of the Progressive Football League in 1966. He figures that winning became a trend due to the constant hard work and regimentation inherited from playing with Cipriani United. Winning became a habit by the time the potent Morvant United team came along.
Since moving to Toronto, Canada in November of '72, Aldwyn continued his winning ways after joining Iere SC (74) and players SC (75) and winning became contagious. "Aldwynable" won over 20 scoring titles, together with multiple team and league Most Valuable Player awards while his teams dominated leagues and tournaments.
Aldwyn was also voted Player of the Year of the Toronto and District League in 1984 and Coach of the Year in the Canadian Professional Soccer League in 2002. Aldwyn went on to earn the respect of the Toronto Caribbean Community as one of the best if not the best administrative minds in soccer. Stay Tuned!
Stay Tuned for Aldwyn "Aldwynable" breakdown of his past teams, teammates, players, coaches and administrators who contributed to his 85% career winning record.