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W/Warriors start Pan Am and Olympic preparations without head coach

The Trinidad and Tobago National Senior and Under-20 Women Teams have started preparation for upcoming international football tournaments with no appointed head coach for either squad.

The senior women are preparing for the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games and Rio 2016 Olympic Game qualifiers while the youth will soon start their Papua New Guinea 2016 Under-20 World Cup campaign.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Maylee Attin-Johnson (centre) signals during their 1-0 FIFA Play Off defeat to Ecuador in Port of Spain on December 2. Looking on are teammates Arin King (left) and Kennya Cordner. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Maylee Attin-Johnson (centre) signals during their 1-0 FIFA Play Off defeat to Ecuador in Port of Spain on December 2.
Looking on are teammates Arin King (left) and Kennya Cordner.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

St Ann’s Rangers Women’s Team coach and Pro League team manager Jason Spence was named assistant coach of the senior and youth teams and has handled the sessions for both along with fellow assistant coach, Desiree Sarjeant. The two teams have trained together so as to make up numbers.

“I am trying to get the women ready for the Pan Am games and the Olympic qualifiers,” Spence told Wired868, “and the under-20s are getting ready for their CFU competition, which starts in June. I brought them together to make sure the numbers are good for a quality session.

“In the first session, last Tuesday, there were 28 players, which was a mixture of seniors and under-20s. A number of them are into exams and CXC and so on, so it is a challenge to get them to come out.”

It is a far cry from the adrenalin rush of wearing the red, white and black strip for both teams in 2014. The National Under-20 Team, led by captain Anique Walker and technical director Anton Corneal, came within four minutes of an Under-20 World Cup place, only to be held 3-3 by Costa Rica in regulation time and then spanked 7-3 in extra time.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago under-17 captain Anique Walker (right) shields the ball from United States player Mallory Weber during CONCACAF competition in January 2014. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago under-17 captain Anique Walker (right) shields the ball from United States player Mallory Weber during CONCACAF competition in January 2014.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

And the “Women Soca Warriors”, captained by Maylee Attin-Johnson and coached by American Randy Waldrum, were on even terms with Ecuador for 179 minutes of their 180 minute two-legged FIFA Play Off contest before conceding a heartbreaking last minute goal at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 2 December 2014.

One senior player, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Wired868 that the lengthy layoff and uncertainty since the Play Off match has only added to the players’ frustration.

“It is absolute madness,” said the women’s player. “From almost qualifying for the World Cup four months ago to just absolutely no football and then now we don’t even have a coach or know the future of the team.

“Football is our passion and the girls just want to play and represent their country but it is really hard to do with how terrible our administration is. Regardless of us having no money, things can be done a lot better in terms of communication with the team.

“Why, after all that time, do we still have no senior coach?”

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)

Spence is none the wiser himself.

“All I know is, based on the appointment that I got, I am the assistant coach of both of the teams,” he said. “I’m guessing that Randy (Waldrum) will continue as head coach of the Senior Team. And I’m not sure who will take charge of the Under-20s; that I cannot answer for you.”

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) technical committee chairman Richard Quan Chan confirmed that former head coach, Waldrum, is their first choice. But Quan Chan could not say when the TTFA would make a final decision.

“We are in discussions with Randy Waldrum (and) are talking with him about the possibilities,” Quan Chan told Wired868. “He is getting the girls to work so we will want to see what possibilities there are. And the Under-20 job is part of that discussion, although my personal view is that one (head) coach cannot work with two teams. It will be very difficult.

“We have been trying to finalise over the last three to four weeks and it might take another two weeks… Everything is not straightforward. We will have to do something soon.”

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

At the moment, Waldrum already has a job. The Texan is head coach of the Houston Dash squad, which competes in the United States’ National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). And Dash will be in action this August when the Women Warriors are battling for Pan American glory in Toronto.

Last year, local coach Marlon Charles covered for Waldrum while the latter handled his duties in Dallas. However, Charles but dumped by the TTFA before the women’s CONCACAF qualifiers and was not even offered a ticket to watch the Warriors’ decisive Play Off match against Ecuador.

The Chaguanas South Secondary teacher, who also coached the current youth team at under-17 level, said he will not consider another national appointment until he is paid outstanding stipends.

“I’m not going to do anything until they pay me what they are supposed to pay me,” said Charles, who said he was not paid his monthly TT$3,000 stipend since 2012. “I’m not getting into the fussing and fighting, I just want to get what is owed to me…

“If they give me the opportunity to coach one of the teams, I don’t have a problem. But that must be cleared up first.”

Photo: Ex-Trinidad and Tobago women's coach Marlon Charles (background) instructs his team during an international fixture against Chile in the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore, Aug 12, 2010. Chile won 1-0. (Courtesy SPH-SYOGOC/Seyu Tzyy Wei)
Photo: Ex-Trinidad and Tobago women’s coach Marlon Charles (background) instructs his team during an international fixture against Chile in the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore, Aug 12, 2010.
Chile won 1-0.
(Courtesy SPH-SYOGOC/Seyu Tzyy Wei)

The anonymous Women’s Warrior suggested that her teammates are prepared to work under a new coach if necessary and are happy to have a local boss. But she said they are anxious for an illustrious appointment.

“If Randy can share his time properly with the national team and make an impact with the time he has, then I am all for it,” said the senior player. “If not, we need a new coach. I am thinking along the lines of an Angus Eve or a Terry Fenwick… You can’t bring a coach without a level of success to their name, otherwise players will think: ‘What are you coming to teach us?’ That is human nature.

“We want someone with success who can demand that level of authority over players. At the last Pan Am Games, we saw how players played as if they would die for Angus and players always enjoy working for Fenwick too.”

Angus Eve, who is Trinidad and Tobago’s appearance record holder, led North East Stars to the 2015 TTFA FA Trophy and steered Naparima College to the 2014 SSFL Premier Division and BG T&T/First Citizens Big Four titles.

Photo: Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (left) and North East Stars coach Angus Eve glare at each other during their 2014 Digicel Pro Bowl quarterfinal clash. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC coach Terry Fenwick (left) and North East Stars coach Angus Eve glare at each other during their 2014 Digicel Pro Bowl quarterfinal clash.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

And Fenwick, who represented England at the 1986 World Cup, is one of the Pro League’s most successful coaches and is on the verge of helping Central FC to its first league title.

Incidentally, Eve’s first coaching job was as Fenwick’s assistant at Jabloteh although there is little love lost between the pair these days.

While the TTFA contemplates its Senior and Under-20 Women’s head coaches, new technical director Kendall Walkes quietly begun his duties with the local football body earlier this month. Walkes is a former technical director at West Chester University in the United States and the third successive North American-based appointment from current general secretary Sheldon Phillips, after men’s head coach Stephen Hart and Waldrum.

The TTFA has still not paid off its last technical director, Anton Corneal, but needed to hire a replacement before it could access FIFA funding or its annual subvention. The football body is believed to have received in excess of US$750,000 (TT$4.7 million), which is the TTFA’s subvention plus its share in television rights from the Brazil 2014 World Cup.

The Women Warriors hope some of that money will be invested into their teams. Thus far, the mood has been downbeat.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago players Kennya Cordner (right) and Anique Walker head for the dressing room after their 1-0 FIFA 2015 Women's Cup Play Off second leg defeat to Ecuador on December 2 in Port of Spain. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago players Kennya Cordner (right) and Anique Walker head for the dressing room after their 1-0 FIFA 2015 Women’s Cup Play Off second leg defeat to Ecuador on December 2 in Port of Spain.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“I feel they just don’t care about women’s football,” said one player. “They say there is no money but where is the $1.5 million (collected from the Ecuador Play Off) that they said would be pumped back into women’s football? Four months later and we haven’t seen a dollar from that; so where is the transparency or accountability?

“We don’t play for money but, if they are making money off of us, then the players want what is due. It is a very frustrating and unfortunate situation and it is pushing people away from wanting to represent their country.”

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief 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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69 comments

  1. The country is without leadership, how can we expect the national team to have any?

  2. Possibly members of TTFA will have to go on a trip to decide ….ent

  3. On the “Eve” of the Games, we still “Fenwicking” with the choice of coaches! Besides, the likes of coaching women can be a far cry from coaching men so we better give thought to the names we pelting around as possible replacements for Waldrum.

  4. Once again we are failing to prepare. When did they get rid of Waldrum?

  5. Yet another sign of our backwardness

  6. Yes Francis Bruzual…I’m also thinking along those same lines as well. Even the best FA in sport requires a certain level of robust support from government/business entities in order to sustain and maintain. We all know what has and continues to go on in Trinidad and Tobago as it relates to money and priorities.. Consider this..The money from “LifeSport” alone would have greatly benefited any number of sporting disciplines for quite some time. To Miss Forbes, you are understandably frustrated now..but some of us have felt the same even before you were born young lady trust me. P.S.- as a current players I urge you and others to be mindful of how u use social media/media to express stuff..and especially so in the heat of things. Let the people like us do that..you just focus on improving the skills and passion that you were obviously blessed with. Peace!

  7. ..These are the comments of Frustrated Youths . .. ..Its even more hurtful to know Trinidad has someone in the likes of Brent Sancho , as the Minister responsible for football .. . ..And , Mind you – This is from those who ‘ Express ‘ themselves …. . . Trinidad s Problem is MAINTENANCE – When Something Is WORKING Good >> Trinidad does not have the foresight to HIRE a maintennance Officer / Coach , to keep it running good . . . . .To Kamika ,and the rest – Your LIFE is football . Do not be Dismayed by TEMPORARY Setbacks …..MY Words of Comfort = What Misfortune You are experiencing , is only TEMPORARY . My Father Has A Bigger Picture Ahead . . . . . By All Means , Express yourself , But Dont Give Up . Leave Notes On Brent Sancho s Notebook ALSO ……..

  8. Hannibal Najjar

    Sorry for the ladies, and sorry for this rather “punny” remark, but we are at least pleased that the men’s team “have a Hart”. By the way, did we not see our Prime Minister parading the stadium and hear her giving full and proud support for the ladies before we went down to Ecuador?

  9. Remember Randy Waldrum is still the coach the TTFA and the players want.

  10. The games begin once more with who to put …..Earl Mango Pierre

  11. There was a whiff of that in truth. And then when Trinis travel, we become the small islanders begging to be given a chance on merit.
    Besides, coaches like Stuart, Terry, Zoran and Earl have been here so long that we have to respect their contribution. I feel the same about players like Shane Mattis, Charles Pollard and Kendall Velox.

  12. Well the talk was that he wasn’t a Trini and that they couldn’t have any coach from any small island coaching our National team. Them really good yes.

  13. I’ve said before that Stuart didn’t deserve to be fired based on results while he was national coach.

  14. It was not official shortlist Colin. Just one player stating a preference. I can’t tell you why she called those two coaches and not two other coaches.
    Another player has already disagreed on another thread and said she doesn’t want to work with a coach who hasn’t done anything for women’s football. So it is just opinions.

  15. In all this talk about local coaches being rumoured for this job, why no mention of Stuart Charles Fevrier? And this has nothing to do with my affiliation to W Connection – just curious…

  16. Well yuh right about that yes because when I use to be fighting against the injustices against our players who was representing our sweet country in the Caribbean Cup in Brooklyn NY back in the days eh one player told me that is wasn’t about the monies it was about representing our sweet country and I am sure that there were other players who felt the same way and the tournament was making thousands of monies in the summer time and our players never got one cent and most of them wasn’t even working and didn’t have anything to eat after the games well after 22 yrs now that the tournament has been in existence I heard that some of the teams are finally planning to do some thing about it even some teams might not take part this season, so the exploitation continues. Them really good yes.

  17. That said. If I am professional coach, I won’t do it for free. I must at least see that they value my time and show me how they intend to pay me.
    How can school coaches be paid and national coaches go unpaid?

  18. Again I agree to a point. But how can I call a coach a house negro because he decides to sacrifice his time for free to coach local athletes representing their country?
    Like VS said: everyone has to paddle his own canoe.
    I can understand those who won’t take the job and I understand those who do.

  19. And if Randy Waldrum is really a man of integrity and character he shouldn’t return and coach our Women’s National team because of the experience he and his son had before with respect to how the players were treated especially when they had to go to America with only $500 US and then he had to reach out to the football community and beg for help which in turn was very embarrassing for our sweet country. and all our real professional coaches should also not take the job in a form of protest against the corrupted TTFA as to the treatment of our local coaches, but then again their are always the house negroes who always say country first even if they are not being paid and always take up the job to coach our sweet country while the corrupted TTFA officials continues to go to the bank smiling. Them really good yes.

  20. I agree Mango. But players have to make their own decision about what they willing to sacrifice and how much they want to rock the boat. So I don’t judge them on that.

  21. Yeah but the only persons who does speak anonymously are the ones who are afraid of their own shadows eh, and feel that they will be black listed from the teams eh, the same as the Magician Latapy who never spoke out against the madness that the corrupted Jack Warner and the corrupted TTFA was doing for years eh, but because he got caught up in the same madness eh, when they didn’t pay him for his services for coaching our sweet country eh, now he is speaking out eh, well all the players should start to follow their captain’s Maylee Johnson footsteps and speak out about the madness the same eh, and she is still the captain eh so I don’t know what they are afraid of. Them really good yes.

  22. Why you all want to play guessing games about the source? Anonymous is anonymous. Whoever wants to speak openly will do so when they’re ready.

  23. Lol. You know the women’s team better than me Gordon Pierre. I’m not aware of coaches not wanting the job.

  24. Yeah that is the same thing I said when I read the story eh, who is the anonymous person that is talking now eh, when my captain Maylee Johnson was the first ever captain in the history of our football men/women to speak out against the madness that the corrupted TFFA continues to do eh, so what happened she is now the anonymous person?

  25. And will love a national update on the women proleague, guess its top secret lol!! Until the money done pass out smh!! And Sana give the real reason no local coach want to work with the women’s team

  26. Good story Lasana!! Strange all of a sudden we have anonymous sources when before for ticket prices, no marlon charles, pay issuses the list goes on persons were glad to parade in the media!! Guess they mask up now!! All military men know what that mean will the real women warriors please stand up!!

  27. No hope in hell that these jokers could run a parlour, far less a national association.

  28. Well finally my foreign base Technical Director has been revealed. Good luck Kendall Walkes.

  29. Ok everyone..let’s all just take tiny lil step back here a bit.. I don’t much like the TTFA in the least either…but these things take a collective effort from any number of other entities to be successful. Let’s see what happens in a few days. Positive vibes people.. Blessings!

  30. I understand your frustration. In whatever way I can help, I will always do my best. If only it is just to ask for better treatment and needle the association to put its best foot forward.

  31. It is frustrating to know that it has been four months since we played and yet still no training and just one little desparate practice game against the under 20 last Tuesday what can that do and yet still no training stueps

  32. That player needs to go to sleep whoever made those suggestions because I sure that randy made plans with this sicking ttfa and yet still nothing cannot be done but I know come July they would want results stueps

  33. Kimika Forbes, those two coaches were only suggestions by a player. I don’t know that the TTFA is considering either.
    And Randy Waldrum is still the coach that the TTFA wants.

  34. Well I guess i am going into early retirement because i would not be playing under either of those coaches. I am sorry to say but have these coaches ever worked with women to even have them as considerations. Stueps the entire ttfa needs to be thrown out same shit just a different day. so I am up here working my ass off and yet still they are negotiating. who is going to be the coach BS

  35. Why does it have to be same foolishness over and over….smdh yes.

  36. Or, in the words of the great philosopher Benjai: Ah fed up of the same thing, over and over…

  37. Is bout time terry fenwick be given an appointment to coach one of our local teams he is by far the most successful local coach to expose youth talent anyone thinks otherwise of his credibility is bias !

  38. They can say what they want but is the TTFA serious, Fenwick should not be even coaching here in the first place.

  39. Richard Zen O’Brien, they are still in discussions with Waldrum but it is not a simple reappointment. Waldrum remains the guy they want. A lot is explained in the story including, Arthlon Dcoach, why the women say they are happy to have Eve or Fenwick.

  40. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

  41. lmaoooooooooooooooooooooooo i love my circus 🙂 hue hue hue hue hue

  42. I didnt even realise Waldrum was let go.

  43. Terry Fenwick to coach who???? they mad,

  44. Here we go again….Nothing changes except the weather.