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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.

  21. Uncle i will have to tell u like d mister, u like too much bacahnal!! Lol not no say just less!! They time almost up to so the focus is about younger players guess the ttfa ready to retire some of them! Lol

  22. So what are you saying that the players don’t have any more say in picking the coaches eh?

  23. Hahaha to be fair the players who cause them coaches to b moved!! But now the TTFA aint taking that bullying because them get bully from the players too!!

  24. Gordon Pierre like yuh forget Marlon Charles and Prof. Jamaal Shabazz was training the teams to or what eh and what happened to them eh. These corrupted TTFA officials really good yes.

  25. Oh gosh uncle Earl Mango Pierre i wil only give u initials DA from Penn, DM from seattle, AF from atlanta the rest were offered only 2000us per month on is a former soca warrior too

  26. By the way Gordon Pierre which foreign base coaches will be coming to our sweet country to be the coach in the our Women’s league eh, and they will only be getting $8000 US a month eh.?

  27. I have not read all the comment, but there several topics we can address when coaching women. In my opinion, women are more discipline, we have more home responsibilities, which may lead to drop off, physically considerations are important, therefore coaches needs to be knowledgeable and trained and the social interactions between the coach and players, many times lead to inappropriate relationships

  28. No joint coaches never work, one singer, one song

  29. As much as there are issues with the governing body, Ross is seasoned, hardened, and aware. It is a good go and it may be only for a short/long enough period to warrant gaining the experience while lending his skills and abilities to the ladies especially with his military background.

  30. Hannibal Najjar, I don’t agree with the joint coaches here. Unnecessarily problematic to me.

  31. Kendall Tull, the Pro League ends in May and might start as late as October.
    Tournaments in July and August could mean a chance to broaden your horizons, network and put yourself on the market.
    If the funding comes to get some preparation–and the Sport Minister and TTFA president seem to be agreeable at the moment–then there actually are reasons to take such a short term appointment.
    That is a cynical view I know. But those are the pluses as I see them.

  32. Lasana – Russel should stay far from the stress of dealing with the TTFA if he knows what’s good for him.

  33. Give Ross and Spence the duties jointly and in that order.

  34. Kurtwyn Baird trust me I done know all of that already yes and yes I rebuked all of them a very long time ago because they cannot handle the “TRUTH” Them really good yes.

  35. Prince Borde of course that is understood Anton Corneal top his class in Germany eh, and he thought that he was ready to be a top class coach without having any stats in our sweet country like many other names that I can call and look at what the German Frazn Becky did with meh German national team eh when he won the World Cup and he didn’t even have a licence eh which means that the licence thing is really for the fellas like the fellas like in the America who never kicked a lime but because the have an A licence or other licences that gets the big jobs in the colleges and universities yes and I know that you know what I mean ent Them really good yes.

  36. Earl Mango Pierre I feel some people trying to tarnish your name,as a bacchanal and gossip man,rebuke that brother it could go a long way,you know your friends

  37. The problem as I have been saying for a very long time now just like how I will be returning to really get the Players Association up and running as it should have been a very long time ago to somewhat stop the exploitation against our players in our sweet country the same has to happen to the Coaches Association that seriously needs to be up and running in our sweet country so that our local coaches can take the necessary courses and organize them selves as top class coaches so that maybe about in another fifteen years who knows some of them will even get employment coaching in different top leagues abroad just the same like how the foreign base coaches comes to our sweet country and gets the jobs and gets very high monies for doing so and everything else so that they can be successful.

  38. Earl Mango Pierre sometimes licenses doesn’t mean that they could coach eh

  39. Yes I agree it is definitely two different type of coaching that is needed for the both.

  40. You agree with me? Not all coaches a meant to coach women. But even coaching men you have to deal with personalities differently. Something I could say to a trini wouldn’t go over the same with ah Brazilian. But men can usually take any kinda tongue lashing.

  41. Prince Borde although ah like the bacchanal eh. ah like the good bacchanal thing not the bad bacchanal thing and yuh see how I got you to explain another side of the coaching the women thing because if you ever was to hear some of our coaches and other foreign coaches talk in the locker room eh you will hold your head and bawl yes and there are a few of them in our sweet country that say that they are coaches and don’t have a clue about coaching fuss they don’t even know that they doesn’t know how to coach poor fellas. Them really good yes

  42. Mango you good yes! Like bacchanal and thing. Calling man out and tagging them

  43. Kurtwyn Baird Do you think that they will open the coaching thing to the public eh, and the next thing Terence William Fenwick gets his chance to apply eh, and then they cannot turn him down because he is certainly more qualified that many of them if not all. Them really good yes.

  44. Women are more disciplined than men. They try to follow tactics. And when coaching women they play for the coach. They must like the coach to perform. If they don’t like the coach they would not. From my experience. Mens game is obviously more intense. They are more creative on the ball but at the same time will go out there and do what they want. Not necessarily following the tactics. They don’t care what’s going on off the field, they don’t have to be friend friend. Just go out their and play. With women I was listening to a pro coach in the U.S and they monitor the mood of the players and thing.

  45. They need a coach tate! So explain? The Olympic men team just got one its just the gross imcompetence of the TTFA but to suggest punishment? I just want ur line of thinking

  46. Kurtwyn Baird oh gosh you know that the corrupted TTFA and them does only recycle the same Coaches over and over that continues to take our National teams to tournaments and they always loosing ent they don’t like to open no coaching opportunities to no public . Them really good yes.

  47. you disagree Gordo? You think they’re being what? rewarded?

  48. Prince Borde well share your thoughts as to what Brent Bennett stated about the differences between coaching the men and the women nah and I also want to hear from my other foreign base Kurtwyn Baird coach on that same topic.

  49. Just for my info,was this coaching job opportunity open to the public? or was it only by recommendations ?

  50. Dennis Allen how u come up with they punishing the ladies team tho?

  51. Hahaha Earl Mango Pierre ah figure since it’s free thing happening these days I might as well throw in meh hat. I moving on up! Ah coaching women these days eh. And on my D3 team ah had 3 national team players eh. And a kid that play for São Paulo and flumese youth team eh. So what yuh self eh.

  52. Prince Borde sorry eh, we are not hiring any Coaches who coaches third division teams eh, hurry up and get your necessary licences nah to coach the Premiership teams nah. hahahhaha

  53. Wait nah where my interview? Kirwin Weston lol

  54. Ross is an excellent coach it is left to b seen how the ‘ senor players’ accept it!! And lets remember to some coaches have being offered as much as 2000us per week to coach in the WPL

  55. It requires different motivational techniques. Women from an emotional standpoint are totally different. You cannot use the same methods to coach men and women. Just my humble opinion.

  56. I’ve heard that said Brent Bennett. But what does it mean? Can you explain. Sherlan Cabralis, what is the difference between coaching men and women?

  57. Coaching men and women are two entirely different things. Good luck gentlemen

  58. Well the corrupted TTFA will also nominate their own Coaches who will always put their country first and don’t mind not being paid on time and always accepting promises especially when they come from our protective services and you done know that they don’t ever take them to the court to get their well deserved monies. Them really good yes.

  59. Awesome! May the best man get through. I think he did a phenomenal job with DF. We need people that comes with experience more than recommendations from the “who know who” system.

  60. It was a mild stroke. I don’t think that it was a major issue. But they do have a deal that allows heart checks for the entire teams now.

  61. Heard an interview on the radio…I agree with Dennis. It looks and smells like they are punishing the women. Why? What good does it do? Who does it hurt the most? Are egos and personalities bigger than our sports teams and bigger than the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago? Smh

  62. Can Ross Russell heart take it? I thought he has heart problems.

  63. and—worst of all—the coach will be made a scapegoat if the women fail to go one better in their next cycle.
    and that is patently unfair. the women’s programme needs just as much resources—sometimes even more (any of the players have kids? what about daycare?)—than the men’s programme

  64. Well, the biggest issue for me would be that there is no program in place–from what I understand–that tells us what our women’s teams will be doing for the next three months, let alone the next three years.
    So I agree with you for the most part.

  65. all that said doh? hope whoever gets the gig is able to continue to build on the core of the team and has the belly to go and scout all around the country to find the missing pieces to take the team to the next level—and KEEP THEM THERE

  66. i don’t like to run my mouth on local-only coaches, but we giving them #WomenWarriors a raw deal. It’s worse than punishment for not qualifying for the World Cup—it’s punishment for daring to make us believe they could do it.

  67. Lol. Tell me more Dennis…

  68. *sniff*
    smell that? Thats what you smell when the pot burning down cause the water dry out

  69. So there are no top of the line women coaches in our sweet country who can also be nominated for the job eh. Them really good yes