Waldrum says goodbye to Women Warriors; Texan axed by TTFA

The following letter to the editor was sent to Wired868 by former Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team coach Randy Waldrum, who was officially relieved of his duties today by Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams:

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Randy Waldrum (right) speaks to his players during a practice session in the United States in 2014. (Courtesy TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Randy Waldrum (right) speaks to his players during a practice session in the United States in 2014.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

To the fans of women’s football in Trinidad and Tobago,

It’s with deep sadness that I must report that I am no longer the coach of the Women’s Soca Warriors.

I was notified this morning by the President of his decision to not retain me moving forward. It’s very disappointing personally, as I had a four year plan to continue the growth and development of women’s football for the next cycle building on all we accomplished during the last World Cup qualifiers.

I have volunteered my time and was willing to continue to do so in order to see the players get the opportunity they so dearly deserve.

Since this decision came this morning, I have been reflecting on some of the great strides this team made over the past year. In spite of all that was not given to us to compete and prepare properly, this group of young women showed heart and character that not many teams have.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Lauryn Hutchinson (centre) screams for joy after scoring against Costa Rica in the 2014 Women's CONCACAF Championship semifinal. At right is defender Rhea Belgrave. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Lauryn Hutchinson (centre) screams for joy after scoring against Costa Rica in the 2014 Women’s CONCACAF Championship semifinal.
At right is defender Rhea Belgrave.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

Through the CONCACAF WC qualifiers where we played an amazing game against the eventual World Champions USA, to close matches versus Costa Rica and Mexico, this team fought as hard as any team I’ve ever been associated with.

We went in with no preparation or funding compared to the Concacaf powers that have everything they need to win, and we gave them every reason to fear Trinidad and Tobago.

I am still amazed and get teary eyed when I think about the drive to Hasely Crawford only to see people lined up along the streets waving and cheering as we drove by. Then to step on the field and see 20,000 plus people in the stands was incredible for women’s football!

We played a very attractive brand, and we saw our support grow from just 3,500 people who watched us win the CFU only several months earlier. We jumped 75 places in the FIFA rankings, which was the largest jump in history for any team!

We were clearly on the right path.

Photo: An adult and child support the "Women Soca Warriors" during their FIFA Play Off second leg clash against Ecuador in Port of Spain on 2 December 2014. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: An adult and child support the “Women Soca Warriors” during their FIFA Play Off second leg clash against Ecuador in Port of Spain on 2 December 2014.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

I want to take this time to personally thank all the people of Trinidad and Tobago for your unwavering support of me and Ben. We both fell in love with your country and you took us in with open arms, and for that I am so appreciative.

I cannot count how many of you have written to me personally, friended me on Facebook, and reached out to me personally after that game versus Ecuador. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I also want to thank Mr Raymond Tim Kee and Sheldon Phillips for the opportunity they presented me with.  I think they saw the vision of where we could go with women’s football, so a sincere thank you to both.

Lastly and most importantly I want to thank the staff there in Trinidad and Tobago that I worked alongside, and to the staff here in the States that helped us in trying to reach our goals.

To the players who have given both Ben and I a lifetime of great memories, I thank you the most.

We all went through some difficult times, but in spite of it all you guys remained committed to the dream of qualifying for a major tournament, and growing the women’s game.

Photo: The "Women Soca Warriors" enjoy a good result during the 2014 CONCACAF Championship. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: The “Women Soca Warriors” enjoy a good result during the 2014 CONCACAF Championship.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

I’m so proud of each and every one of you, and I hope you all continue to grow the game in some way there in Trinidad and Tobago.

I will always be here for you, you remain deep in my heart and my thoughts, and I’ll be in Houston cheering you on from the stands as you all attempt to qualify for the Olympics in Rio. Ben will be alongside me as well, and just know that you made us very proud to be the national team coaches of the Trinidad and Tobago Women’s Soca Warriors!

Women’s Soca Warriors Always,

Randy Waldrum

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Women's National Senior Team coach Randy Waldrum. (Courtesy TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team coach Randy Waldrum.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

Editor’s Note: Click HERE to read the TTFA president David John-Williams’ reason for dismissing Randy Waldrum as Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team coach.

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  1. A great coach and a beautiful man, Raymond Tim Kee and Sheldon Phillips selection of head coaches for both the Senior Mens and Womens teams was not coloured by irrelevant considerations other than getting the best persons for the job and it is my hope the current president will do likewise.

  2. I guess their plan is to replace him with a PNM flunky.

  3. So we are going to hire a coach with the ignominious record of being the first coach to fail to qualify out of the easy CFU tournament into CONCACAF? Boys will be boys.

    • Coaches do improve though. Just like people do. Stephen Hart’s last game in charge for Canada was a disaster but he is doing a brilliant job now.
      So I won’t judge him only on that stat. Although maybe people around the women’s team at the time can probably say why the team did that poorly.
      Gordon Pierre maybe.

    • Waldrum is the best thing to ever happen to this women’s programme. Men talking smack about failure to meet deadlines etc. If any local coach could have motivated and prepared these women and have them playing in a way that they did, we would really have no need for Waldrum. As for the bs about part-time coach, we have had many full time coaches in TT with little or no success.

    • Lasana Liburd woman are difficult to manage and coach and this group of players particularly so they did not buy into Hood philosophy then i donot know that much would have change up to now! The selection of this coach will give us a good idea of the direction the new TTFA is going! Need an update on the General secretary and technical director apppointments as well!!

    • Would be interesting to hear the views of some of the current players…(and would love to see the squad selected)

  4. i just don’t understand my kind of people , i been trying to follow and be a fan of the soca warriors football for years and i don’t think anything change as yet . to much friends and vipers in that ttfa . to me it seems that they really don’t want to to advance in anything they do . they have a good coach willing to sacrifice for a country that does not belong to him and willing to do the job with no pay but rather tell me that its better to pay a local coach with way less qualification, something wrong with the picture , nothing good is going to come good out of that .

  5. Cannot really accept this explanation… I agree with what Gerard stated… Did the President and his technical team have doscussions with Randy, or did they just request a proposal? If i was in Randy’s position, no committment, no discussions, I would be hesitant to submit anything…. So sad that the Women’s program will suffer, I am sure it will…

  6. I’m surprised nobody has mentioned his famous tweet yet. That’s the first thing I think about with Waldrum.
    That tweet changed everything as far as the women’s program goes.
    It brought attention to the team and, strangely, a greater feeling of self worth.
    The women began to stand up for each other more after that from what I saw.

  7. Great !! That would make the women happy..

  8. Don’t know what to make of this…

  9. Fair point Keith – with respect to the coach’s home base relative to the location of the majority of the squad members. But let’s be honest, the women’s program was not Randy’s first priority. The women deserves a full time coach. Not just any coach. They need a top-notch coach. Doesn’t matter if it’s local or foreign. Randy would be an excellent choice if we could get him full time. I would even go as far as to say re-hire him if he agreed to commit to the program full time.

    • Who is going to pay him full time? He has a job coaching in the U.S. professional league. He volunteers to coach the team.

    • And that’s my point Gerry. His US job is his first priority. The national team work is part time. He does what he can if he’s able to fit the ladies into his schedule. Don’t you think our ladies deserve better?

    • not disagreeing at all…. but let’s be fair…. do we know if a proposal was put to him in order to make him a full time coach…. Also given the make up of the team, him being part time and if provided with a FULL staff (foreign and local) is not bad given that most of the kids/ladies are foreign based …. for training purposes it is WAAAAYYY easier to send up 5 to the US than to bring down 10…. Some pieces of this puzzle not adding up…. and we will probably never know EXACTLY what transpired… however, given that what we know, he should have been retained… IMO

    • Carlos Lee Sure, But no one is coming up with the money it will take to hire a good coach. Again this guy volunteered his time.

    • ..And this is the dilemma. The correctness of the decision depends on the new appointment..

    • Agree – they should do a thorough search for a good full time coach. Hopefully sooner than later.

    • Maybe Randy’s son could be considered. Seems like he did most of the coaching anyway – and he’ll have his dad as a free consultant?

    • Who in there right mind would fully commit to anything the TTFA does? Money is always an issue and organization is clearly not their strong point. Sorry there Los, but yuh way off on this one.

    • Lol – So what you saying Brent – Randy is the right man for the job even if he works on a part-time basis?

    • with a proper staff…. ABSOLUTELY….. as much as we dont like it the US is still #1 in the world on the women’s side… And if we have access to a person/people who has and still contributes to that particular landscape why should we not use him?….

    • I just realised that FIFA Women’s Player of the Year Carli Lloyd is a Houston Dash player, which means Waldrum coaches/manages her.
      That might be totally irrelevant to this conversation. But surely Waldrum is good for something to even to have that post at Houston.
      I thought he would have gotten until the Olympic qualifiers. I think a change now is a risk in terms of the chemistry of the team.
      I do think Richard Hood is competent based on his work with Police FC though.

    • I hear you Ian. I personally think it’s an unworkable and an unnecessary situation to put the ladies under. Randy is not the only good coach out there. Let’s not be lazy and go find us a good full time coach. Hopefully there’s money to pay him/her.

    • Carlos and Keith, you both make a lot of sense. But I thought with the proximity of the CONCACAF tournament, Waldrum would remain until then and a decision would have been made after the TTFA technical committee.
      I agree that no coach should have a post for life.

    • so back to Brent’s point…. WHO of quality, in their right minds, given the TTFA’s track record of NON payment, will willingly put them selves through that mess…. All promises have never been met and resources for proper preparation, at least on the women’s side have been non-existent… We had QUALIFIED man with resources who could assist, working for FREE and that was not good enough…. not sure who out there would be better qualified for this job working with this TTFA….

    • There are lots of young up and coming coaches out there. We just need to put some work in to identify that diamond in the rough. One who is looking for a platform – a stepping stone to establish themselves and is willing to work within the meager budget of the TTFA. They’ll know ahead of time it’s a huge risk, but a risk they’re likely willing to take because they perceive the potential rewards as huge.

    • Fellas… You all are sounding like you’re not on board with the idea of a local coach. Is it the concept of a local coach that is problematic or this Hood fellow?

    • neither…. but if the person in charge is qualified and can get things done, and has shown progress where none was shown prior, and he is virtually Working for FREE, why not use him….. I guess most people here are not familiar with the women’s game (college thru national team) in the US…. ALL US female players come thru its college system…. He has won national championships at that level… He is also a coach of a professional women’s team (almost like our Pro league.. 🙂 ).. Just google the man and look at his CV in the women’s game… If we have ANYBODY (MALE or FEMALE) in trini that has that type of Resume or anything close to success in the WOMEN’s game he/she deserves to be in charge… however, right now, this change does not make much sense… he brings intangibles that no local coal will be able to provide IF provided the same resources (zero)….

  10. Sorry in advance Lasana but “STEUPS”

  11. No.. the issue is the coach was hired when PP was in charge and now is PNM….. so based on how things go he had to go…. does not matter if he was doing de wuk for free or the team looked like it was doing WONDERS with nothing… #eatahfoodmentality …. #theassnesscontinues

  12. ..Yes. The issues are timing and the proposed alternative..

  13. Why is everything always done at the wrong time? Always some bacchanal. I won’t be surprise if I read that they hire him back tomorrow lol

  14. ..To be fair, and I am not in anyone’s corner, it depends on the composition of the team. If the majority are US-based and the coach can access resources there, it may be cheaper than having the team assemble in Trini. Also, remember, Beenhakker never lived in Trini. He visited when the team assembled ahead of a match. It depends..

  15. Seriously Gerard? Coach was pretty much only available during tournaments. And the girls had to be flown up to the states for training. A bit of an unworkable and expensive solution don’t you think?

    • ^^^ EXACTLY.
      and if they WERE the real reasoning, why wasn’t the coach offered an opportunity to facilitate alternative options?

    • Let me repeat…bullshit! When are players usually available? Around tournament time. Most everyone on the team are in college. Second he is doing this for free. Third, BJ had it right. That was not the reason given. Fourth head coaches can set up programs to be carried out locally until he returns.

    • The college players were likely only available close to tournament dates. However, developing a national team program is not just about picking 20 players and coaching them 5 days before a tournament. It’s about scouting your opponents, it’s about identifying new talent, it’s about player/squad development. Maybe we should have hired him as a consultant rather than head coach.

    • FYI–He identified players from all over. When T&T played the U.S. do you know why the game was close because every T&T player knew what was going down and who did what. Do you know how local coaches scouted teams. They would call a friend and ask them to go look at a game for them and file a report. Being outside he has been exposed to the teams and players in the game unlike our coaches who do not even leave the country to take an advanced coaching course.

  16. Funny thing is now came from a police game and I was like Hood came from coaching women to a pro team lol

  17. TTFA president David John-Williams says Women Warriors coach Randy Waldrum was sacked for failing to meet deadline for coaching proposals; Police FC coach Richard Hood tipped to take over Trinidad and Tobago women’s team

  18. Bullshit!!! Has Hood turned in coaching proposals? Waldrum part-time, especially for free, is better than anything we have here.

  19. Now Earl Jean will take his place

  20. ..I agree it’s best. If a serious alternative is set in place. And I repeat, given the state of TTFA finances we are probably headed back to a local coach, which wouldn’t promise much, as far as I am concerned. Been there. Done that. We shall see..

  21. First hire by the new President should be interesting..

  22. I think this is the best decision for the women’s program. He was a part-time coach. Wasn’t willing to leave his stable job to fully commit to the women’s program – and possibly rightly so as the TTFA’s financial situation likely meant he would have had to take a pay cut to to work for us. He did a decent job and would have been very good to the program had we been able to get him on a full time basis.

  23. ..Under Pellerud in the 2007 Women’s U17 World Cup here in Trini. We beat Chile 2:1 and lost by one goal to both N. Korea and Nigeria. But your valid point is taken..

  24. It would be interesting to hear the reason(s) why this coach, who had these women playing harder and better football than ever, was not retained. Forget they did not qualify. When have we ever seen a T&T women’s football team play that quality of football with that level of commitment.

  25. I suspect I’m not a football fan but pray do tell why?

  26. Has the TTFA put out a statement yet as to their reasinong?

  27. Hhmm…Has the TTFA put out a statement yet as to their reasoning?

  28. Hmm I wonder what were the reasons

  29. I am coming to take over Kirwin Weston

  30. Hope a new coach will be appointed like yesterday.

  31. ..The new dispensation sadly resembles the old in its dithering. Given the parlous state of TTFA finances I quite imagine his replacement will involve a rehash of old formulas?..

  32. hmmmm guess the info he said was true indeed..smh..well yes!! sad how from one to a next!!

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