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Russell, Spence on shortlist for W/Warriors coaching post

Two-time Pro League champion coach Ross Russell and reigning WOLF (Women’s League Football) title holder Jason Spence have been identified by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) as possible replacements for “Women Soca Warriors” head coach Randy Waldrum.

Photo: Ex-Defence Force head coach Ross Russell. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Ex-Defence Force head coach Ross Russell.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

TTFA technical committee chairman Richard Quan Chan confirmed both names today although he said there was at least one other person also being considered for the job. At present, Spence is the assistant coach of National Women’s Senior Team and Under-20 Team.

The TTFA should make a decision by this weekend.

The selected coach will lead the Women Warriors into the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games in July and the Rio 2016 Olympic qualifying campaign, one month later.

However, the coach will almost certainly receive a short term appointment as TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee remains open to a return by Waldrum.

“(Russell) is one of the persons being considered at this time,” Quan Chan told Wired868. “We have been having discussions with a number of our coaches (and) there are one or two other people but I won’t want to say anyone else on the list.

“We should finish by this weekend (because) we need to have a coach in place with Pan Am coming up soon… Jason is (also) one of the people we are looking at for the Pan Am ladies.”

Photo: The "Women Soca Warriors" get ready for action during their 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying adventure. (Copyright AFP 2015)
Photo: The “Women Soca Warriors” get ready for action during their 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying adventure.
(Copyright AFP 2015)

Russell is a former Trinidad and Tobago international goalkeeper who was once described by Hall of Fame inductee and 2006 World Cup custodian Shaka Hislop as the best local goalie he had ever seen.

He took over the helm at Defence Force in 2009 and led the Army/Coast Guard contingent to two Pro League titles in six years—in the process, he snapped an eleven year championship drought by the “Teteron Boys.”

However, Russell’s record off the two island republic is patchier. He twice failed to successfully guide Defence Force through the Caribbean Club Championship and into the CONCACAF Champions League while his National Men’s Under-20 Team was eliminated in the Caribbean phase in 2012.

He left Defence Force in January after his stint in the army came to an end. If selected, the 47-year-old Russell will have a potentially high profile opportunity to showcase his prowess, albeit with a national team uncertain of its resources for preparation or paying his salary.

The 44-year-old Spence is not as accomplished in the men’s game and was replaced midway through the 2014/15 Pro League season with St Ann’s Rangers. However, he led the Rangers women to the WOLF title in 2014 and also coaches St Francois Girls in the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) competition.

Photo: Coach Jason Spence (far right) leads the St Ann's Rangers team at a training session.
Photo: Coach Jason Spence (far right) leads the St Ann’s Rangers team at a training session.

Waldrum, who led the Women Warriors to within one goal of the Canada 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, expressed interest in retaining the job but was unavailable for the Pan American Games due to his duties with US National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) team, Houston Dash.

The TTFA rejected a proposal from Waldrum, which would allegedly allow him to instruct the team from overseas and show up for competitions that did not conflict with Houston Dash’s schedule.

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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71 comments

  1. Ricarda Nelson if you have been following my post eh although some folks think that I am a bacchanalist eh, I have been saying that unless the Coaches come together and form the Coaches Association and do the thing the right way like how it is done in other parts of the World like England, Brazil, Germany, and the America and stop fighting down each other like the crabs in the barrel eh trying to get to the top we will continue to be getting plenty licks when our national youth and seniors teams go to tournaments because these other countries are much more serious with respect to their football programs and know the benefits in doing so like developing players like Messi, Renaldo, etc etc, who represents top professional teams in the leagues abroad and makes millions of monies and then when the World Cup comes around also represents their sweet country and makes plenty millions of monies for their sweet country and also makes us feel very proud. and the other reason is that when our local Coaches competes against the real professional Coaches from these other countries it is also a done deal, but as you and I know that we always had the natural talent but the Primary schools, coaching schools, and of course the corrupted TTFA have to get their acts together in order for our sweet country to rise once more again and we will be a force to be reckon with in the Caribbean and more of our local players will be once again playing in the EPL and other top professional leagues abroad.

  2. This is why foreign players are selected over local players because most of the times they have the requirements for the job. Also don’t get me wrong if a foreign coach is the best man for the job I support but he must show the results also.

  3. Mango yes but when coaches are given a team to select and prepare players because there is a tournament around the corner, this is what happens. You select the closest resemblance to a player and try to work with it, Here is where the player real development work starts at National Level. Crazy What is the solution don’t enter tournaments?

  4. Well if I am the coach at the National Level eh trust me when I see that players don’t have a first touch, or have any passing and dribbling skills and no brain for the sport eh I bussing their throats one time and this is how I use to be very successful when I use to do my coaching thing in the America in the Haitain American semi – pro league because I use to watch and follow my greatest manager Sir Alex Ferguson and hence the reason why he was very sucessful over the years with the greatest team in the Universe Manchester United it wasn’t no friend thing with me and that corrupted TTFA officials wouldn’t be telling me who I must pick to represent our sweet country if I was the Coach. Them really good yes.

  5. I agree that we need to do a lot more for development. But that can’t be expected to be done at a National Level. This is where Primary and Secondary schools and coaching schools comes in. When you have to take sessions at National Level to teach passing and dribbling that takes away from moving on to the next level.

  6. Yeah but as I always say the problem isn’t only with some of our bootleg coaches the real problem is that our players are not developed properly hence the reason why our junior and senior national teams don’t do very well in the youth and senior World Cup tournaments and also because of the corrupted TTFA is always taking to long to put things in place for getting our teams prepared in a timely fashion, when you look back at our Women’s team videos you can definitely see the simple mistakes that was made through out the qualifiers especially the game against Mexico when our women scored the goal and was so very happy that they was celebrating to long while the Mexicans was waiting on them very patiently and as soon as the ball was touched by the Mexicans they immediately scored the goal and then finished them of and won the game and don’t talk about the last game against Ecuador when my keeper even my captain shudda make certain that they both pushed her players further away from her goal over the 18 yrds so she cudda get a better view of the ball when the opponent had taken the free kick or was it a throw in instead of leaving the goal post and running out in no man’s land to punch the ball and of course the goal scored and Ecuador won the game in 91 min and again caused many of our people and our players to start crying the same like what happened in 1989 when they was fooled again in thinking that our sweet country was going to their first ever World cup in Italy 1990 eh and not knowing that the corrupted Jack Warner and his cronies had other agendas and went to the bank smiling as usual. Them really good yes.

  7. The respect for Local coaches is missing and the respect must first start from the local coaches supporting and respectingeach other.

  8. I must make mention that the women also had a lot of say with the decision of choosing their coach. The women were the ones who were misled into believing that a local coach was not good enough for the job and so they went on to support bringing in a foreign coach. What is the purpose of having coaching courses. Give Ross and Jason the opportunity to earn what the foreign coaches earned.

  9. I think local coaches should be given the opportunity to coach our teams. Ross and Jason I believe will do a good job. Jason has the passion to work with the women and Ross has also served on other National Women’s’ Team that I have served on as the Manager. We should not think that coaching women should be different to the men. Ross has been successful with his Men D.Force team and I believe he can apply his same knowledge and tactics to the women.

  10. No one is recommending co-coaches as what is being transliterated – I too am NOT a proponent of head co-coaches. The suggestion was, hire them together, when said jointly in that order (meaning together as a team) with Ross as head coach and then Spencer.

  11. Uncle Earl, good morning eh. Our local coach do it for love, doh forget

  12. And this is the reason why they are taking advantage of our local coaches eh, because our local coaches doesn’t have a voice and the voice would have been the Coaches Association if they had established themselves a very long time ago to put a stop to this madness that is going on in our sweet country and this also goes for our players the same. Them really good yes.

  13. Gordon Pierre ah now ketch myself with what you said earlier eh, so they want to offer my local ex- warrior coach although he will be coming from foreign eh $ 2000 a month eh, and the other foreign base coaches are getting $ 2000 a week = $8000 a month eh. Them really good yes.

  14. Yeah and our professional league is not a real professional league where our coaches will be coaching real professional teams in the trenches so our professional league also needs to get their act together and make certain that the teams get their acts together and give us a real higher standard football product on the field of play and only then it might be a done deal at least for some of our local coaches who can control their ego, pride and emotions.

  15. Na i didnt read the whole thread discussion!! all i have to see is local coach and i no!! the discussion already!! ah endless cycle of saying this and saying that with no real progress!! beside just opinions floating!! while d football is dieing and the Management fills there pocket!! by being the biggest charity organisation known 2 man!!!!! ………….and yes uncle Earl Mango Pierre i agree what u say on the coaching courses!! but then again!!! they wll still fail.. cause they doh teach Ego and pride !!management in them coarses!!

  16. Well if you read what I said before they have to really get serious about the coaching business and taking all the coaching courses and in about 15 years they all should be ready to even get hired to coach in the foreign base professional leagues ent?

  17. hahahhahah !! na i eh mental!! just using me real name now!! and now on this coach scene!! hmmm honestly i fraid local coaches!! none are up to par!!

  18. David A Lara oh lawd yuh change your name again eh like yuh mental or what eh. hahahaha

  19. I was going to tell u that! But did not want lasana to bawl me up! Lol yea ur doctor and skipper doing good stuff!! Making u proud!!

  20. Well I head that a new foundation was launched for our young women in d sports so I guess good things will be happening for them in the future and I will really be supporting that eh.