Iconic Trinidad and Tobago footballer and 2006 World Cup player Russell “Little Magician” Latapy looks set to link up with former international teammate and close friend, Dwight Yorke, at Macarthur FC in Sydney, Australia.
Latapy officially resigned his position as Barbados Men’s National Senior Team head coach today and, according to a close source, has left for Dubai to discuss terms with Macarthur.
Once details are agreed, the 53-year-old former Porto and Glasgow Rangers playmaker will work as Yorke’s assistant at the Australia A-League club. Yorke has a two year contract with Macarthur, in what is his first professional job as a head coach. Latapy’s coaching knowledge, once acquired, should serve as an extra insurance.
The 53-year-old Latapy, who is three years older than Yorke, worked as assistant coach at Falkirk and Inverness in Scotland while he was head coach of the Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team (2009-11) and led the National Under-15, Under-17, and Under-20 Teams (2016-18).
He took over the top job in Barbados in 2019 and steered the “Bajan Tridents” into Concacaf’s second tier, after topping their group in League C. For good measure, Barbados won Concacaf’s Fair Play award too for the 2019-20 Nations League competition.
The Tridents have struggled recently though. And, with two games to spare, they have already been relegated from League B—after successive defeats to Cuba, Guadeloupe (twice), and Antigua and Barbuda.
Barbados Football Association (BFA) president Randy Harris, who is also Caribbean Football Union (CFU) president, confirmed Latapy’s departure via a press statement.
“After much discussion, Russell has decided to tender his resignation as head coach of the Senior Men’s National team with immediate effect,” said Harris. “On behalf of the BFA, we extend our sincere thanks to Mr Latapy for his service to football in Barbados. We are grateful to have had Russell as part of our management and leadership team and we wish him and his family every success in the future.”
Yorke, a former Manchester United star, will hope his relationship with Latapy on the sidelines is as successful as it was on the pitch—and as charming as it appears to be off of it.
Macarthur FC finished seventh from the A League’s 12 teams last year and were six points shy of Wellington Phoenix, who snatched the last playoff spot. The immediate challenge will be to finish one place better in the upcoming season, which kicks off on 7 October.
“I am extremely excited in what is my first-ever senior full-time head coaching role, to take the reins at Macarthur FC,” Yorke said last month. “Having played in the inaugural A-League season, I have continually followed the competition and am aware of both the footballing and fan demands in Australia.
“I look forward to adding a positive contribution and [improving] the game at all levels, however, of course my primary focus will be with the ‘Bulls’—to deliver them success and a style of football that defined me as a player.”
Latapy will help.