Home / Volley / Global Football / Brian Williams named T&T U-20 coach; W Connection U-16 coach gets the nod

Brian Williams named T&T U-20 coach; W Connection U-16 coach gets the nod

Former “Strike Squad” defender and United Petrotrin coach Brian Williams is the new head coach for the Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team.

Photo: New Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 coach Brian Williams. (Courtesy TTFA Media)
Photo: New Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 coach Brian Williams.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

But, not for the first time, Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams might have to field questions regarding a possible conflict of interest, as Williams is the current under-16 coach at the W Connection football club, which is owned by John-Williams.

The new head coach will be assisted on the National Under-20 Team by his former Trinidad and Tobago international teammate Kerry Jamerson while the remaining staff will be announced at a later date.

John-Williams said the appointments were “approved” by the TTFA technical committee, which is headed by Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene. The Under-20 Team start their Korea 2017 World Youth Cup qualifying campaign in mid-June.

“We are pleased with the appointments,” John-Williams told the TTFA Media. “(…) The good thing about this administration so far is that the technical committee approved the appointments.

“They were given certain guidelines and we have the support of the technical committee and I am happy to make the announcement on behalf of the technical committee.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago left back Keston Julien celebrates his goal against Guatemala in the 2015 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship. Julien made his senior competitive debut for W Connection at just 16 years old. (Courtesy MexSport/CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago left back Keston Julien celebrates his goal against Guatemala in the 2015 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship.
Julien made his senior competitive debut for W Connection at just 16 years old.
(Courtesy MexSport/CONCACAF)

Wired868 was unable to confirm whether the TTFA’s technical committee created its own shortlist of coaches and selected Williams. And what guidelines the committee received before making its choice.

Skeene could not be reached by telephone while Dr Alvin Henderson, the technical committee’s deputy chairman, refused to even say whether the committee has met and insisted all questions must be directed to the chairman.

Williams said he has already begun shortlisting players for the National Under-20 Team and suggested that the local football body will attempt to use National Senior Team winger and Eredivisie player, Levi Garcia, for their campaign.

“We have at least 16 players already shortlisted who are playing with the senior teams in the local Pro League,” said the national youth coach, “and of course we have some other talents like Levi Garcia who is also eligible to play for the Under-20 team.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) bamboozles the Curaçao defence during a 2014 U-20 Caribbean Cup fixture. Garcia, 18, is still eligible to represent the Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) bamboozles the Curaçao defence during a 2014 U-20 Caribbean Cup fixture.
Garcia, 18, is still eligible to represent the Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“I will have a look at the players coming out of the past Under-17 team and we will gather all the information on eligible players from the North American Leagues and other overseas leagues.”

The National Under-20 squad will largely comprise of graduates from ex-National Under-17 Team coach Shawn Cooper’s 2015 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship squad.

Cooper took the national youth squad to the CONCACAF stage for three successive tournaments and twice got the “Red, Black and White” into the quarterfinals.

However, the QPCC and Presentation College (San Fernando) coach was not interviewed for the new post.

“Since I came back (from the 2015 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship), nobody (from the TTFA) had any dealings with me whatsoever,” said Cooper. “I think they should shortlist people in terms of their track records and then call them into interviews and so on.”

Photo: Queen's Park Cricket Club (QPCC) football team head coach Shawn Cooper gestures from the sidelines during the 2015 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship. (Courtesy Mexsport/CONCACAF)
Photo: Queen’s Park Cricket Club (QPCC) football team head coach Shawn Cooper gestures from the sidelines during the 2015 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship.
(Courtesy Mexsport/CONCACAF)

Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team assistant coach, Derek King, who led the Under-20 Team to the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, was also not offered the chance to interview for his former post.

Nor was St Ann’s Rangers coach Angus Eve, who is familiar with much of the country’s teenaged talent after steering Naparima College to successive SSFL Premier Division titles in 2014 and 2015.

Eve took Trinidad and Tobago to the CONCACAF stage in their London 2012 Olympic qualifying series. And, although he failed to get to the knockout stage of the Guadalajara 2011, his Under-23 Team returned home unbeaten after draws against hosts Mexico, Uruguay and Ecuador.

“No one called me or asked me to send a resume,” Eve told Wired868. “When Keith Look Loy was technical director, he asked me to send in a resume and I think I did pretty well. We were unbeaten in the Pan American Games and we got into the final CONCACAF round of Olympic qualifying.

“And I have never been asked since to be the coach of any national team. But congratulations to Brian and his staff. I know he has been in football for a long time and I wish him all the best in his job.”

Photo: Then Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 midfielder Aikim Andrews (seated) celebrates his goal against Curaçao with teammates during the Under-20 Caribbean Championship. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Then Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 midfielder Aikim Andrews (seated) celebrates his goal against Curaçao with teammates during the Under-20 Caribbean Championship.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Williams’ last international post was exactly a decade ago when his National Under-20 Team, which included Khaleem Hyland, Radanfah Abu Bakr and Ataulla Guerra, was eliminated in the Caribbean stage by Jamaica.

And he has not held a notable coaching portfolio since he led United Petrotrin to sixth place in the 2008 Pro League season.

However, Williams was considered to be a good man-manager with a keen eye for talent while, as a player, he competed with distinction at CONCACAF level with club and country.

“It is always an honour when called upon to serve your country and particularly a national football team,” Williams told the TTFA Media. “I know exactly what it means to be the head coach of a national team and it comes with a huge responsibility, especially when the expectations of the Trinidad and Tobago public are very high.

“I am personally looking forward to this challenge and aiming to see what difference I can make in this part of the FA’s program.”

Photo: QRC playmaker John-Paul Rochford (left) keeps the ball from St Mary's College attacker Ethan Shim during 2015 SSFL action at Serpentine Road. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: QRC playmaker John-Paul Rochford (left) keeps the ball from St Mary’s College attacker Ethan Shim during 2015 SSFL action at Serpentine Road.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

John-Williams confirmed that the Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 Team will continue its India 2017 World Cup preparations under current coach Ken Elie.

“In terms of the Under-17 team, a program has been running since under the past administration and has continued,” said John-Williams, “and we are very happy about that.”

Elie said his squad has already been cut to 32 players and identified FC Santa Rosa midfielder and QRC student John-Paul Rochford as one of his four standout players.

“There are four very special players in the squad,” Elie told the TTFA Media. “We have a couple outstanding players from the SSFL and one in particular from W Connection.

“John-Paul Rochford, who was on a training stint at Manchester City recently, is also there with us. And, when the squad comes together for the tournament, I am confident we will qualify for the CONCACAF Finals and then look to seal our place in India.”

Photo: Naparima College striker Isaiah Hudson (left) turns on St Anthony's College defender Nicholas Moyou during the 2015 National Intercol final in Marabella. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Naparima College striker Isaiah Hudson (left) turns on St Anthony’s College defender Nicholas Moyou during the 2015 National Intercol final in Marabella.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Elie’s “special” but unnamed W Connection player is likely to be Naparima schoolboy Isaiah Hudson, who made his senior Pro League debut in 2016 for the “Savonetta Boys.”

John-Williams vowed to distance himself from Connection’s day-to-day business, so as to avoid a potential conflict of interest.

However, emails received from the aunt of Connection striker Dwight Quintero showed that, up until March 2016, John-Williams continued to act on behalf of the Couva-based football club.

 

Editor’s Note: The comments with respect to the Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team player pool were made by new head coach Brian Williams and not TTFA president David John-Williams, as previously stated. Wired868 regrets the mix-up.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

Check Also

Unrest, victimisation and Randy’s letter; “Yaya” spills beans on T&T’s campaign and her refusal to play against USA

Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team star forward and all-time record goal scorer, Kennya …

39 comments

  1. Forgot about Eve but where is he at now and what is his record like there, save the senior team staff who else have had success at concacaf level….really believe that should be a prerequisite……… because all I seeing happening here DJW is nutten but “frienism”.

  2. local coaches = pedestrian pro league
    pedestrian pro league = uncompetitive in concacaf tournies more often than not

    local coaches = pedestrian paced SSFL that breed bad habits in our young players

    local coaches = national youth setup that may at time dominate in CFU, but gets ripped to shreds in concacaf

    our coaches jus don’t know the game well enough to achieve success beyond CFU……

    some level of relative success at concacaf level or similar should be a prerequisite to coachin youth teams for that level competition, otherwise we jus spinning top in mud

    JMO

    • Lasana Liburd

      That might be the case. But it could also be that the local coaches, just like the local players, need exposure competing off the island to hone their abilities.
      We know some of the national teams over the years were pretty much set up to fail because of poor preparation.

      • but lasana simple things like workin on our speed of play and conditioning doh require even jumping on a plane……american players doh have no set ah ball skills to talk about yet once ran rings around us with some of d quickest “pass and move” football I ever see…..and some might disagree but d efficiency of dat was beautiful in its own right…..beenhakker did a similar exercise in prep for ah match against Costa Rica dat play in d Saprissa ……we lose but I saw dat as d best way to drill ah side, especially when yuh short on time and exceptional talent and again man doh need to jump on ah plane to learn dat…….Beenhakker tell we…Wim tell we, doh be it in an insulting way

        It have nuff sport science and speed training info right on d net alot of it free too…..coaches need to take d initiative,

        steups, ah will go a step further and say dat improving speed of play and general mental and physical conditioning towards improving said, should be a league policy objective.

        • Totally agree regarding speed of play and speed of thought is absent in the local game. Players have acres of space for 4 and 5 touches with no pressure, that will not prepare us for the international level.

          With this highly talented pool, speed of play can get them to South Korea.

          • Thank you sir, that issue has been pointed so many times, need look no further than d senior team, hart has among other things tried to Improve d speed of play and continuous press, dat alone has played a big role in d senior team successes especially against Mexico.

  3. Williams is the U16 coach for Connection. There ya go!

  4. John Williams could have whatever personality ,like the WIBC his time. Would come ,we fed up of dictators ,does these coaches have any connection to w connection

  5. Not much to say here, except that I’m concerned about this recycling of the coaching stock. John-Williams is a strong personality who seems to want things his way or nothing at all. I’m surprised that so many successful local youth coaches weren’t even given the opportunity to interview for the position. There has to be some transparency in how they select coaches. That technical committee might very well be a puppet.

  6. Djw is a master manipulator…he need to go…he will ruin Trini football

  7. To be honest Lasana Liburd I just don’t want to have to watch concacaf.com online onto see T&T under 20s or under 17s get run over in previous tournaments

  8. The president isn’t even on the technical committee, is he?

  9. Drexel, I spoke to the TTFA president soon after his election and suggested that all coaching positions should be advertised with any and all coaches being able to submit applications.
    Then the technical committee will have a better chance of picking the best possible name.
    It doesn’t matter who Chandani might or might not look. Do you think an open tender is the best fairest way to appoint someone to a national position?

    • Not only that… if paying staff is a problem, then send one of the [3] senior assistant coaches [King or Charles etc] to the U20. That way the U20 can possibly feed into Hart’s philosophy for players during the crucial qualification phase.

    • Plus, he engaging in despotic behaviors.

    • I think some of these coaches earn a living outside of football and will not be expecting to survive on the TTFA salary/stipend.
      Richard Hood is a policeman, Kerry Jamerson is a soldier and Brian Williams works at Petrotrin.

    • Beside your great questions Lasana, the Technical committee meetings, and other official meetings should have minutes in my humble opinion. Professional organizations and organizations with a healthy respect of transparency and accountability insist on the Secretary, or some administrator, keeping track of dates, attendees and what was discussed at the meeting. Any chance there were technical committee meeting minutes which the TTFA would care to share?

  10. Chandani Boodoo if you were president of TTFA who would you have chosen to manage the under 20s and why?

  11. Steups. This man is a joker yes.

  12. Lol. I just made a correction. I found out he is the current Connection under-16 coach.

  13. I just praying he can get the under 20s into the next major tournament

  14. Yeah…. I don’t know what to do with all those questions you asked cause I’m usually the one asking them… But remember that discussion about maximum leadership and the constitution not allowing for it etc etc… Hate to say I told ya so ?

  15. Congrats to the coach and his assistant – wishing them the very best…

  16. Well, he boasted about his role in the video. It is unprecedented to have a football president talking about squad selection.
    And I don’t what is meant by the technical committee “approved” Brian Williams. Did they interview people for the job? How did they come by Brian Williams’ name? Was Brian even interviewed at all?
    Nothing against Brian Williams at all who is a great guy and showed himself as a capable coach in the past. But I’m looking at the principle because we are supposed to be moving into a new era of governance.