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TTFA promises retainer contracts; Morace brings three foreign coaches on women’s staff

The Women Soca Warriors could kick off their France 2019 Women’s World Cup preparation with a rematch against Ecuador next month while the national players should also be offered retainer contracts soon.

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams made both revelations at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva yesterday during the unveiling of the Women’s National Senior Team head coach Carolina Morace.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Kennya Cordner (right) tries to escape a challenge from Ecuador right back Ingrid Rodriquez during their FIFA Play Off second leg meeting in Port of Spain on 2 December 2014. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Kennya Cordner (right) tries to escape a challenge from Ecuador right back Ingrid Rodriquez during their FIFA Play Off second leg meeting in Port of Spain on 2 December 2014.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

John-Williams explained that his association has asked FIFA to play the potential grudge match as the second game of a potential double header for either of the Men’s National Senior Team’s World Cup qualifiers against Panama and Mexico on 24 and 28 March 2017 respectively.

FIFA rules do not permit any match to be played before a World Cup fixture.

The Ecuador women snatched a late 1-0 win on their last visit to Port of Spain in a FIFA Play Off contest on 2 December 2014 to edge Trinidad and Tobago to a spot in the Canada 2015 World Cup.

John-Williams did not say when the women players would be offered contracts but suggested that Morace was already charged with creating a shortlist.

“The sooner the better for us,” said John-Williams. “Carolina [Morace] is evaluating the players right now and maybe she will shortlist about 25 to 26 players. As soon as we  get that shortlist, we will put things in motion for that.

“We need to work out the logistics of it, and added to that there is going to be a code of conduct that is going to be tied into the women’s programme as well.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (centre) is flanked by Women's National Senior Team coach Carolina Morace (right) and press officer Shaun Fuentes at a press conference in the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 1 February 2017. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (centre) is flanked by Women’s National Senior Team coach Carolina Morace (right) and press officer Shaun Fuentes at a press conference in the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 1 February 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Morace, who officially began training the senior squad at the start of this week, is a former Italian national player and coach while she also coached Canada at the 2015 World Cup.

She will work in tandem with compatriots Elisabetta Bavagnoli and Manuela Tesse and Australian Nicola Williams. Williams will be her first assistant on the senior team as well as the National Under-20 Team head coach. Tesse will lead the National Under-17 Team while Bavagnoli will assist all three squads.

“All the teams will be related,” said Morace. “It does not mean that all the teams have to play the same system, which for us is wrong. But it will help the younger players be ready when they reach the senior team.”

TTFA technical committee member and ex-national player Jinelle James will operate as team manager.

Morace also has an Italian fitness trainer and goalkeeping coach in Trinidad although both are expected to leave by weekend. The new Women Warriors coach, according to a source, should eventually select a local goalkeeping coach.

But how will the TTFA pay for all of this?

John-Williams suggested that the TTFA will utilise a CONCACAF subvention of US$125,000 per year.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (second from right) poses with Women's National Senior Team coaches (from left) Nicola Williams, Carolina Morace and Elisabetta Bavagnoli at a press conference on 1 February 2017. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (second from right) poses with Women’s National Senior Team coaches (from left) Nicola Williams, Carolina Morace and Elisabetta Bavagnoli at a press conference on 1 February 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

“There are certain revenues that are available to the TTFA that you’re not allowed [to use] to pay debts,” said the TTFA president. “I’m happy to say that the CONCACAF programme is going to finance the women’s programme.

“Don’t get the misconception that we’re contracting coaches and we can’t pay them—we have specific allocations. So therefore the US$125,000 that we get a year from CONCACAF is going to go into the women’s programme.”

No figure was given for the cost of the Women Warriors’ coaching staff but one insider gave an estimate of US$25,000 per month.

If accurate, it would mean that the TTFA could spend in the range of US$300,000 annually just on coaching salaries, before factoring in the cost for running the programme or offering player contracts. If John-Williams does have an alternative source of funding, he did not reveal it to the media.

At present, the TTFA is roughly US$2 million in debt—exclusive of the cost of former head coach Stephen Hart’s contract, which is worth close to US$500,000.

Morace said she was convinced to come to Trinidad and Tobago by the scale of John-Williams’ proposed project.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Women's National Senior Team assistant coach Elisabetta Bavagnoli (far left) and an unnamed fitness trainer (centre) and goalkeeping coach help a national player through her routine during practice at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 1 February 2017. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team assistant coach Elisabetta Bavagnoli (far left) and an unnamed fitness trainer (centre) and goalkeeping coach help a national player through her routine during practice at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 1 February 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

“He showed me that he wants to develop the women’s programme and he believes in the women’s programme,” said Morace, who held physical tests for her senior player pool. “In this country, there is a lot of potential. There are many [players] who are fit and that’s really important in football…

“We are surprised because some of them are already at a very good level, so they can just improve on where they are. This year we would not have any official competition so it will force us to get experience, to organise a lot of friendly matches, and to participate in some tournaments.”

Ecuador, hopefully, will be the Women Warriors’ first opponent.

Morace’s current player pool includes household names like Maylee Attin-Johnson, Kennya “Yaya” Cordner, Arin King, Karyn Forbes and her sister, Kimika Forbes, who recently signed for Colombia professional outfit, Independiente Santa Fe.

“[Morace’s decision to come here] is a huge boost for the women’s programme,” said John-Williams. “I think the opportunity presents itself now for Trinidad and Tobago to support the women’s programme.

“Carolina’s stay here goes beyond the national team, she’s going to be involved in grassroots programmes [and] coach education for women programmes. So it’s going to be a very holistic approach.”

AboutSean Taylor

Sean Taylor is a freelance writer with seven years' experience in the field, who has written for local publications including the Campus Chronicle, UWI Today, USPORTT, Metro and the Trinidad Express. He also studied Communication Studies and Portuguese at the University of the West Indies.

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30 comments

  1. I’d expect them to be unfit considering the length of time since their last game. And that’s what Carolina has a fitness coach for. So I’m not worried.
    The women’s domestic game and the men’s domestic game are set up differently and neither ensures that players are active enough. Women footballers barely play for three months in a year.
    But of course fitness is important.

  2. Well it was a good read…where the women’s coach again emphasised that the players are not fit and the local coaches need to take stock of making fitness an important part of football. I was there yesterday at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium where the team was doing 1000m repeats and they were grossly unfit. One girl #12 stood out but the rest couldn’t finish the workout and some walked.

  3. DJW you need to get out of our football….Big water pig

  4. Professionalism is important.

  5. Siewdath, the NLCB money isn’t even able to stretch to do the number of things they highlighted for that youth programme. Not competently anyway.
    To thin down that money further would be madness. Maybe well intentioned madness. But it won’t end well if they go down that route. They will become too exposed financially.

  6. ..The only way NLCB youth programme money could be used for women’s team staff and/or player payments is if the TTFA board turn a blind eye. Dat money is not for dat..

  7. Other than the CONCACAF gants, I imagine TTFA will seek to bite out of the $10million NLCB sponsorship (for grassroots programmes) to fund players’ retainers, while they hunt down new sponsorships based on targeted presentations following last Wednesday’s media conference to unveil fresh-water women’s programme.
    If TTFA get the go ahead for the TT v Ecuador grudge match then it will have a great opportunity to showcase the women squad’s potential, from which they can seek to capitalize on marketing momentum.

  8. How is it so difficult to find skilled and experienced women to coach?

  9. I wonder how the unpaid coaches and players feel. But I really hope they can keep this in motion all the way to 2019. It is our best chance ever to get to the World Cup with our golden generation so to speak…

  10. very good happy for the women. I wonder how the men feeling watch this.

  11. Invest in teams equally! It’s about time!

  12. Just curious…. when they call a coach’s salary, does that include his/her technical staff [foreign] or are those persons additional to the contract payment

  13. $25K USD per month for entire coaching staff is on low side…. If this is accurate, it is a good deal. Our female teams have real potential, looking forward to realising this potential…. Include some local coaches for continuity, and we on the road to success

  14. Very inappropriate
    No need for touching
    Stand and take the pic
    Better than that djw

  15. Hmmm, looks like DJW has his hands full.

  16. Sustaining such a programme for the long term should mean couple local coaches are embedded, fully involved and learning all details from soup to nuts..

  17. The TTFA always leaned heavily on Gov’t money and it was an open secret that some of the things taxpayers money was used for was already being taken care of by FIFA.
    But there were also big sponsors then.
    Now DJW has neither Gov’t funding nor any big sponsor for the senior men’s and women’s teams. Yet he is promising some wonderful and costly projects.
    I applaud the ambition. But I would like more answers on the financial side of things.
    Certainly won’t want to hear that we cannot afford to pay coaches after a few months…

  18. I’m wondering about the maths. It must be that there is another source of funding that we haven’t heard about. Because he cannot get even a third of the stuff done that he said would be financed by that CONCACAF subvention.
    I’m very happy for the women’s game because this is an excellent move for them. But I just hope that the entire board knows all the nuts and bolts of what is happening with all this money flying about.
    And I certainly don’t expect to hear after a few months that we are no longer able to finance the programme.

  19. ..I am happy ANY coach working for TTFA has a contract. But why is it then, that only SOME coaches get a contract? And why is it that some, mainly locals, have to fight for their wages?..

  20. No issues with anything except the lack of a local coach on the technical staff AND why is men’s program not equally capitalized?