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TTFA resumes Warrior programmes; confirms National Security link

The Trinidad and Tobago national men’s under-16 team held its first training session today in preparation for next month’s Caribbean qualifying competition as the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) announced the resumption of its national programmes.

TTFA general secretary Sheldon Phillips said a national under-20 technical staff should also be unveiled next week while a new technical director and camps for the senior men’s and women’s teams are on the way.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago under-17 captain Anique Walker (right) shields the ball from United States player Mallory Weber during CONCACAF competition in January. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago under-17 captain Anique Walker (right) shields the ball from United States player Mallory Weber during CONCACAF competition in January.
(Courtesy Wired868)

“A technical director should be selected by no later than the 15th of July,” Phillips told Wired868. “And the national U-20 staff should be unveiled by next week.”

In the absence of a technical director, technical development committee Richard Quan Chan will recommend a coaching staff for the national youth team with the assistance of head coach Stephen Hart.

Former technical director, Anton Corneal, resigned in April due to the TTFA’s failure to meet contractual obligations to him while former technical development chairman Rudi Thomas pointed to a poor working relationship with the current executive as the reason for his resignation.

In their wake, Trinidad and Tobago’s men youth teams ground to a halt due to a lack of funding while Hart’s call for a lengthy training camp with his local players has gone unheeded.

However, the TTFA might have received another lease on life with an expected $4.8 million (US$750,000) cash injection from FIFA on the way.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) Raymond Tim Kee (right) enjoys some conversation at the 2014 FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Copyright TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) Raymond Tim Kee (right) enjoys some conversation at the 2014 FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
(Copyright TTFA Media)

“We are quite aware that we must continue the momentum,” TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee told the TTFA Media, “and this means that the planning and execution of our programs, training camps and international matches must take priority and must remain this way throughout the year.”

The senior women’s team, which is preparing for the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) leg of its Canada 2015 World Cup campaign, is scheduled to travel to Houston for a training camp from July 10 to August.

The Trinidad and Tobago women are expected their Mexican counterparts, WPSL team Houston Dash and the Dallas FC under-23 team during their camp while, before their departure, they should tackle Venezuela in two warm-up matches at Mahaica Oval and the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) ground.

There is no date yet for the men’s camp but Phillips expects that it will be a local one and should last for at least one week in August. It is likely to include an international game too, which will be the first home game for the “Soca Warriors” this year.

Photo: Argentina captain Lionel Messi (right) is tackled by Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland during their international fixture in Buenos Aires on 4 June 2014. (Copyright AFP 2014/ Juan Mabromata)
Photo: Argentina captain Lionel Messi (right) is tackled by Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland during their international fixture in Buenos Aires on 4 June 2014.
(Copyright AFP 2014/ Juan Mabromata)

Tim Kee, who is also Port of Spain mayor, confirmed too that the TTFA has turned to National Security Minister Gary Griffith to raise funds for the football programme. At present, according to Phillips, the local football body is approximately $28 million in debt.

Tim Kee said the Warriors continue to be supported by the Ministry of Sport and the Sportt Company. However, he said talks with the National Security Ministry have been promising and pointed to Crown Trace FC’s success in the FIFA Power of Football international competition as an example of football aiding the fight against crime.

“Minister Gary Griffith fully appreciates the role sport and moreso football can play in alleviating crime,” said Tim Kee. “There is also some funding support to come from the world governing body which we intend to use on development and our coaches to ensure that the operations of the TTFA programs remain on course.

“Those that we owe and other matters that are outstanding remain high on our priority list and we have established a strategy to address the most pressing of these obligations which we unfortunately inherited.”

Phillips said the 2006 Soca Warriors remain high on its list of priorities. The former World Cup players threatened to wind up the TTFA for failing to meet its court ordered payments.

Photo: The "Soca Warriors" received national Chaconia silver medals for qualifying for the 2006 World Cup.
Photo: The “Soca Warriors” received national Chaconia silver medals for qualifying for the 2006 World Cup.

“We are continuing discussions that is really where things are right now,” said Phillips. “We are working together to find a solution.”

World Cup 2006 player Brent Sancho, who is managing director of Pro League club Central FC, confirmed that the TTFA has been in touch with the players although he warned they will not be placated by empty promises.

“Yes, the talks have been continuing but we need something tangible; that is the bottom line,” Sancho told Wired868. “It is in the lawyers’ hands now. The petition has been done up so the process has been moving ahead.”

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.

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30 comments

  1. Actually I am talking about the camps they are going to do in the ?US,not one off games. Effective camps are expensive.

  2. Good question Trevor Bridglalsingh. I think it depends on your mechanism to raise money off of home games.
    You have gates, match day sponsors, television rights, etc. If you get at least two of those right, you will raise money.
    Otherwise, you play abroad and get paid just for showing up.

  3. In a situation where there are limited resources is it cheaper to bring a team here for two or three days and play a game than to carry a large party to stay for so many days in a foreign country to play the same one game?or is the trip the thing?

  4. @Chevron. I happen to live not too far from Crown Trace in Enterprise and the sporting facilities were face-lifts costing million of dollars but they are not being utilised while other grounds like the one in Chrissie Terrace which hosts an annual Football League (12 years now) and Sports & Family Day every Independence, has been overlooked despite representation being made since 2001 for the ground to be upgraded.

  5. Lasana & Sherdon, what concerns me is the justification for the possible finances being attained from National Security – referencing the Crown Trace FC project.

    As someone actively involved in the study of “Sport for Development” I understand sport can play a role in alleviating crime, however I wonder if the TTFA (or even the Ministries – Sport/National Security) understand how sport can actually be used to address social issues.

    It won’t be as easy as “let people play football and crime will stop”…so hopefully a research based plan (with greater thought than the Hoops of Life) will be soon forthcoming

  6. :)… man does fraid the two foot tackle boy…. lol

  7. Lol. You don’t stick with dem two foot tackles eh Briggsie!

  8. Problem…. we are not a footballing nation… we “does play football” … they day we understand the difference is when we have a possible shot of moving forward… until then…. expect more of the same…..

  9. Bear in mind that these are the things any football nation should be able to take for granted.

  10. This is something that´s long overdue. I hope their (TTFA) efforts are genuine and they focus on having some sort of continuity with our national teams.

  11. Houston training camp and we brokes ? I don’t understand

  12. Lasana my friend. I do hope this comes to fruition and I do applaud the effort. But Sometimes people are granted the gift of being blind to the obvious, I hope they continue to watch in our direction and give us the best preparation possible. Time is running out!!!

  13. I know what you mean yes all of a sudden the politrickians are involve in our football ent and I always taught that FIFA never allowed this to happen ent I guess things have changed. Them really good yes.

  14. i just don’t trust these PP people

  15. Sandra it eh no mind games nah I guess that they want to make certain that the millions don’t fall into the hands of the criminals anymore nah hence the reason it is now under the Ministry of National Security.

  16. remember the LIFE SPORT is now under GARY GRIFFITH AND HE’S MIN OF NATIONAL SECURITY. i don’t know what kind of mind games they playing someone please tell me

  17. sometimes i feel the the ttfa is run like a small parlour, when there is no money we close up shop, when we get money we open untill the cash runs out, some of these teams have tournements coming up shortly, and while other countries are in camp months, some years we will be in camp just for a week or so, and then we want to know why the other countries is leaving us behind this ttfg a and the govt has one thing in common they can fool us just to stay in power

    • Scotty Ranking

      Worse yet, TTFA does run like mamee parlour, and is like mamee gone on vacation in foreign and lef dem in charge. So if today dey feel tuh sell loose flour at $30 ah pong, dat is hew dey damn well going and sell it. If today dey eh like de colour blue, den dey eh selling nobody in ah blue colour top! So random and utterly arbitrary behaviour while governing the affairs of the world’s #1 sport in our country. No wonder The Soca Warriors still can’t get their money …

  18. Hate me but not one cent should come from the Min of National Security! The Min. of Sport has money… they spent $110 million on Life Sport in 2013. The Warner’s have money & assets that belong to the TTFA 🙁

  19. Lasana Hmmmmm I’ll wait and see before making any comments as T&T has been fooled by politicians to many times…..

  20. Nat sec have to support a national sport programme lol

  21. Hey however things move we go take it…. now we just need the movement to make sense….

  22. ah guess somebody in that administration reading yuh forums…lol…..

  23. Scotty Ranking

    Although the infection of funds will be welcome in honouring the TTFA’s ongoing and court-appointed responsibilities, I still have grave reservations about a sporting body seeking a bailout from a government ministry that does not have Sport in its name. DEspite Mr. Grrifth’s love of sporting endeavours, how is he going to financially justify spending government funds on a private sporting body when the funds aren’t forthcoming from the line ministry that deals with sport?
    What’s next? Red Cross will seek a bailout from The Ministry of Works? Boy Scouts can seek a bailout from The Ministry of Public Utilities? Can these entities bypass the respective line ministries they previously dealt with and petition any ministry of their choosing directly for a bailout?