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TTFA axed Waldrum over slow paperwork; Hood tipped for W/Warriors post

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams confirmed this evening that the local football body decided to replace Randy Waldrum as Women’s National Senior Team head coach, due to the latter’s failure to meet a deadline for proposals for his plans with the team and the players he wanted for the Rio 2016 Olympic qualifying series.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Women's National Senior Team coach Randy Waldrum. (Courtesy TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team coach Randy Waldrum.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

Waldrum, who is also the head coach of US professional women’s team Houston Dash, was informed this morning, by John-Williams, that the TTFA had decided to go in another direction.

The 54-year-old Texan coach, who was popular with the national players, took charge of the “Women Soca Warriors” in mid-2014 and led the team to the inaugural 2014 Caribbean title and the 2014 CONCACAF Championship semifinals before falling to Ecuador in a two-legged play off for a Canada 2015 World Cup berth.

Waldrum had pleaded for a chance to develop the local women’s game over the next four years, leading up to the France 2019 World Cup. However, his hopes were dashed this morning.

“Mr Williams let me know this morning that he will not use me again,” Waldrum told Wired868. “So I guess I am finished. I just want to say a big thank to you all the players and fans who have supported me ever since I got there…”

Waldrum said he was disappointed by the TTFA President’s decision but not surprised. John-Williams, according to the Texan, told him that he was considering bringing in a local coach from their first conversation, just hours after his appointment on Sunday November 29.

Photo: Then Trinidad and Tobago captain Maylee Attin-Johnson (number 9) is congratulated by Dernelle Mascall (second from right) and her teammates after her successful penalty kick against Guatemala in 2015 World Cup qualifying action. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Then Trinidad and Tobago captain Maylee Attin-Johnson (number 9) is congratulated by Dernelle Mascall (second from right) and her teammates after her successful penalty kick against Guatemala in 2015 World Cup qualifying action.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

“I wasn’t really surprised (by my dismissal) because the very first time he took office he indicated he was thinking about changing things and going to a local coach,” said Waldrum. “But he said his mind wasn’t made up yet. This was even before the (international) games in Hawaii and San Antonio…

“And I was catching wind from people back in Trinidad, since then, that he was going in that direction.

“I am disappointed because I think we made a lot of strides in the first year that I came there. And I had ideas in mind to revamp all the national programmes over the next three year cycle.”

However, John-Williams said that the decision to change the Women Warriors coach was made over the last week, due to Waldrum’s failure to submit plans for his post. The proposal was supposedly meant to encompass the team’s programme for the next four years.

“I contacted Randy Waldrum (on Saturday January 2) and I asked him for a proposal by the Monday (January 4) on (his plans as coach) and the list of players he wanted to use,” John-Williams told Wired868. “We decided that he needed more time to check the schedules before he could be sure about the availability of the players. So I gave him until Wednesday (January 6) for that since it was the more difficult of the two.

“Neither deadline was met.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (right) presents a Wired868 token of appreciation to "Soca Warriors" supporter Peter Cumberbatch during the 4th Annual Wired868 Football Festival at UWI SPEC Grounds, St Augustine on Saturday January 2.  (Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (right) presents a Wired868 token of appreciation to “Soca Warriors” supporter Peter Cumberbatch during the 4th Annual Wired868 Football Festival at UWI SPEC Grounds, St Augustine on Saturday January 2.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

The TTFA president said he met with his Executive Committee—which comprises of vice-presidents Ewing Davis, Joanne Salazar and Allan Warner—on Wednesday and they decided to relieve Waldrum of his post. This was relayed to the national women players in a meeting that same evening.

“The decision was based on his failure to submit documentation,” said John-Williams, who is also the former president and chairman of Pro League club, DIRECTV W Connection.

John-Williams said Waldrum emailed him the requested paperwork at 12.59 am on Thursday January 7, just hours after the TTFA told the Women Warriors that they would choose a new coach.

“On January 7 at 12.59 am, he (wrote) to me,” said John-Williams. “I responded to him at 2.54 am and said: Dear Randy. Thank you for your email which I received at 1 am this morning on the 7th of January 2016.

“I am disappointed to receive it so late…”

The TTFA President informed Waldrum that he would pass his proposal on to his Executive Committee and get back to him.

Photo: Former "Women's Soca Warriors" head coach Randy Waldrum (left) talks to Trinidad and Tobago defender Arin King during the 2015 World Cup qualifying campaign. (Courtesy TTFA Media)
Photo: Former “Women’s Soca Warriors” head coach Randy Waldrum (left) talks to Trinidad and Tobago defender Arin King during the 2015 World Cup qualifying campaign.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

But the Executive Committee, according to Williams, decided to stick to its initial position and informed Waldrum today that it felt a local coach gave the Women Warriors the best chance of qualifying for the France 2019 World Cup.

Williams suggested that finances was one consideration in the TTFA’s decision. Although Waldrum was unpaid, he preferred to prepare the team in training camps near to his home in Houston.

It was a preference the coach justified in the past by pointing to the inadequate training facilities and conditions where they were previously housed in Trinidad.

Waldrum, according to the TTFA president, also indicated that he would miss national team practice to attend the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) draft on behalf of the Houston Dash on Friday January 15.

Last November, the coach had also ruled himself out of the Caribbean stage of the Women Warriors’ Olympic qualifiers and the responsibility fell to then assistant coach Anthony Creece. And Ross Russell deputised for Waldrum at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games last July.

Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Women's Team coach Ross Russell (centre) and attacker Ahkeela Mollon (right) debate a refereeing decision while Argentina defender Nerina Garcia prepares to take a throw. Both teams played to a 2-2 draw in the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Women’s Team coach Ross Russell (centre) and attacker Ahkeela Mollon (right) debate a refereeing decision while Argentina defender Nerina Garcia prepares to take a throw.
Both teams played to a 2-2 draw in the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

John-Williams said those incidents were also taken into account by the TTFA Executive Committee before its final decision.

Waldrum declined comment on his late paperwork or the various reasons given for his dismissal.

John-Williams refused to officially reveal the new Women Warriors coach. But Wired868 understands that Police FC coach Richard Hood, a former national women’s coach who led Fuego to the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) title last year, is favoured to replace Waldrum.

Ironically, four years ago, Hood was in charge of the Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team for the London 2012 Olympic qualifying series. They were eliminated in the Caribbean phase, after a 1-0 loss to the Dominican Republic.

However, his unfancied Police FC team are second in the Pro League at the moment ahead of former title winners like defending champions Central FC, W Connection and San Juan Jabloteh.

Photo: Fuego and Police FC coach Richard Hood. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Fuego and Police FC coach Richard Hood.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Prior to taking office, John-Williams vowed that he would not get involved in the hiring and firing of coaches but will leave such duties to the appropriately appointed TTFA committees.

The TTFA does not have a Technical Committee in place at present but John-Williams said it will officially announce the members for that committee tomorrow.

So, should John-Williams and his ExCo have waited another day or two and allowed the TTFA Technical Committee to decide who it wanted as Women Warriors coach?

“I do not think so,” said John-Williams. “I was under pressure to make a decision and I didn’t have time to wait…

“The women have to be in training. They (should) start training on Thursday (January 14) but I had wanted them to start training on Monday (January 10).”

Trinidad and Tobago opens the CONCACAF leg of its Olympic qualifying series on February 11 against Guatemala. The Women Warriors will then face Canada and Guyana on February 14 and 16 respectively.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago star Kennya "Yaya" Cordner (right) runs at the Guatemala defence during the 2014 CONCACAF Championship. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago star Kennya “Yaya” Cordner (right) runs at the Guatemala defence during the 2014 CONCACAF Championship.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

The top two Group B nations will advance to the semifinal round with just two CONCACAF nations advancing to Rio. Group A comprises of Mexico, Costa Rica and World Cup champions and host nation, the United States.

Waldrum, who sent a farewell letter for Trinidad and Tobago women’s football fans to Wired868, said he will attend the Olympic qualifying matches with his son and former national assistant coach, Ben Waldrum, to support the Women Warriors.

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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72 comments

  1. Big load of Bull…. TTFA should be sacked instead…. Waldrum was the best thing that ever happen to the women football team… as Kevon Agostinistated Waldrum sacrificed alot… this is really disappointing…

  2. So if Hood is asked for his proposal – to be submitted in 4 days – and he is late by a couple of hours, would he be fired as well?

    Randy and Jwala must now look from the sidelines.

  3. From what I was told, the proposal requested by the TTFA was a four year projection leading up to the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.

  4. as usual the tyrant has handed down the hammer again always want 2 control and do things his way once a dictator always a dictator this is his style for the last 20 plus years they wanted 2 buss randy throat longtime now he did it and giving the country a byllshit lame excuse 2 exercise his will again

  5. To be fair, I was told about Waldrum’s potential absence for the draft being an issue for the TTFA earlier today. But I thought that was said to me off the record at the time and did not include it in my story.

    • Just the draft you were told about earlier? Or all the other missed tournaments etc as well?
      Where was this practice session supposed to take place anyway? And how many other practice sessions would he have been at?

    • Does Waldrum Jr attend practice sessions? Was he potentially going to miss the Jan 15 practice session as well?

    • Still though… Why only initially two days to submit such a voluminous document?

    • I was told about the draft. I don’t know. Ben Waldrum was supposed to be Randy’s assistant on the national team and he does not have a role with Houston Dash so he would not have attended the draft.

    • sounds like trumped up isht.
      this is the same women they sent to Brazil with no prep? but somehow allll of a sudden the practices are ABSOLUTELY unmissable??

    • Okay. Waldrum’s camp doesn’t want to draw this out… But the former women’s coach did say that his son would have trained the team in his absence.
      And also he put in a proposal to get the team training since the start of January in Houston. He had gotten a local youth club to cover the costs of their accommodation and meals. The TTFA would only have had to pay the cost of their airfare.
      Brent, Ian and Carlos, this might interest you. He felt this would have allowed the team two weeks to train together since about half of the squad is in school and cannot train right now or until roughly five days before the tournaments kicks off.
      He claimed that was turned down.

    • I think because he had no job contract, the TTFA decided to use its free hand to decide who would be best for the role in their opinion. And that’s what they did.

    • once again, Sana puts this one safely away into the jep nest.
      not ah man move!
      breds…seriously yaw! yuh WOKIN!

    • The TTFA is ludicrous. A man was supposed to miss an important assignment with his paying job for his volunteer wuk? Seriously?
      Did they even discuss payment with Waldrum before asking for a multi-year plan?
      They honestly not feeling like a bunch of ridiculous human beings?

    • I really can not believe we discussing a coach who could never make time to b with his team!!! He did a fair job with a team built to win at d time he failed could not commit to d team good rediance!!!! I will not go into d number of time he has not shown up for work as they say!! Seem like d ‘ white man ‘ have we confused

    • Why the white man reference? The man was good at what he did. Be careful what you ask for…..

    • I tired talk to Gordon about the white man talk. Hart dark enough?

    • Bc it seem like d only thing that got us debating y we should bend over backwards to keep him!! As i said he did a fair job! The girl definitely played heart and soul for him but besides that not much to shout about at Concacaf he beat hati and guatamala who we normally beat lose to Costa rica and Mexico which we normally do and lost to a very poor Ecuador team record at that level win 2 draw 1 and lost 4 whats all the noise about Marlon Charles would have done that!!!

    • Sana i know u always tell me about that but it is not racial just a reference to our colonial mentality i will say foreigner from now! lol

    • Maybe Marlon would have. But he didn’t. The team created hype, impressed people and filled the stadium.
      And that happened under Waldrum. That’s why people talk about him. Not because he is white.

    • The team hype and filled stadium had nothing to do with Waldrum it had to do with a team that had developed to the point of being built to win at that point a favorable Concacaf draw and many ppl hard work behind the scenes to rise the team profile the never put himself out of this comfort then nor now so the girls loved him but his going is no life and die lose!! editor note that team was built to win then so will not rise a gallop any time soon has a good olympic draw but only to come out the group

  6. They were taken into account by the TTFA executive committee when? After hearing about the negative reaction to the original reason given about not submitting the proposals? Look… Lol.

  7. Editor’s Note: Randy Waldrum, according to the TTFA president, also indicated that he would miss national team practice to attend the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) draft on behalf of the Houston Dash on Friday January 15.
    Wired868 was unable to reach Waldrum to verify this.
    Last November, the coach had also ruled himself out of the Caribbean stage of the Women Warriors’ Olympic qualifiers and the responsibility fell to then assistant coach Anthony Creece. While Ross Russell deputised for Waldrum at the July 2015 Pan American Games.
    John-Williams said those incidents were also taken into account by the TTFA Executive Committee before its final decision.

    • That’s bullshit! I spoke to Randy about his having missed the Caribbean qualifiers and his reply was the TTWNT manager Sharon (forgot her last name) made a hash about his tickets and then in trying to correct her mistake sent the tickets in the wrong name. A calamity of errors and unprofessionalism.

  8. Then if that is the case say so (the ramifications of him not submitting the proposal)…. I go with Brent on this… it was just an out to fire him… Waldrum played chicken and got KFCd by TTFA…

  9. I hope so Lasana. But knowing how things are done in Tnt and with the recession it’s very likely the TTFA is still fighting with the Ministry of Sports to get funding for the upcoming qualifiers.

  10. The tournament is next month. So I truly hope any proposal necessary for the Ministry of Sport went in long time.
    All the Sport Ministry needs is a head count. Not so? I’m not sure. But I would think they wouldn’t need much more than that.

  11. I suspect the TTFA needed to develop a budget for the women’s Olympic qualifications and needed to get the budget before the Ministry of Sports at a set timeframe to solicit funding. Randy’s tardiness likely caused the TTFA to miss whatever timelines they had previously agreed upon with the Ministry of Sports and as such received the boot for his failure to deliver. Just a hypothesis on my part.

  12. Are you facking kidding me? TTFA after this man put in so so much MC sacrifices with these ladies this is what it has come too? Why wasnt no one sacked when allyuh send the man and a group of professionals to represent a country with no money and he have to send a plea to his organizations just for the players to have something to eat??? I tell you 6 of those half dozen of the next yes! I hope the players take a stand on this issue and make their voice be heard clearly. Too much of shit happening for far too long

  13. ..Actually, I really want to see if the usual suspects will have anything to say. After all, they went all postal over much more insignificant matters…

  14. The women’s team should give DJW and the TTFA executive until Friday to come up with a plan up to 2019 and see what happens.

  15. From his(DJW) own words the chain of events leading to the termination of the Coach is lacking logic, professionalism and character. Again, the actions of the TTFA has embarrassed our nation, how can we treat a volunteer who showed more patriotism than many nationals in such a manner? I have high expectations for the TTFA but this action lacked class.

  16. Proposals are great but realities are more important. The TTFA couldn’t commit to this coach for 2 months far less for 4 years. They wanted to fire the man and looked for the lamest excuse.

  17. Word from a close source to Randy Waldrum basically says: why sack a coach for being two days late with a proposal that wasn’t due to kick in until after the Olympic qualifiers anyway?
    And: why should Waldrum sweat over handing in a four year proposal as women’s coach when the TTFA president said he probably wouldn’t keep him on anyway?

  18. I have no problem with a change of coach. Waldrum isn’t in T&T enough for my liking and at the end of the day he hasn’t taken us to a WWC which was the ultimate goal. We had 3 chances to qualify the last time and didn’t get it done. Try someone new.

  19. “John-Williams said Waldrum emailed him the requested paperwork at 12.59 am on Thursday January 7, just hours after the TTFA told the Women Warriors that they would choose a new coach.”

    So he informed the women that Waldrum was fired before he had the decency to inform the coach himself? Keep it classy DJW.

  20. Tell dem why yuh mad Brent.

  21. Agreed , this seems orchestrated. Getting rid of a coach who has been doing good things .

  22. Once again making our women unstable. Steeeuppps. What has really happened to make our talented people deserve such things.

  23. ammm…. so Police in 2nd place in Pro League…..and this qualifies him to coach a WOMEN’s national team how? And Is police… dem like the army dont need a whole lot of resources to perform… by the nature of their jobs part of their job requirement is being and remaining fit….. that team is also State sponsored as they get gov’t salaries (correct me if I am wrong here) so in relation to salaries they are capped, but they also as public servants are entitled to benefits (including retirement which has to be factored when comparing salaries)…. so Lasana Liburd is the resource issue perceived or real (like a Watford vs Man City/ Man U or a Real betis vs Real Madrid)?

  24. Editor’s Note: Ironically, four years ago, Richard Hood was in charge of the Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team for the London 2012 Olympic qualifying series. They were eliminated in the Caribbean phase, after a 1-0 loss to the Dominican Republic.

    However, his Police FC team are second in the Pro League at the moment and lead better resourced clubs like defending champions Central FC, W Connection and San Juan Jabloteh.

  25. This seems like a premeditated move. I don’t know any professional or corporate organisation that gives a man a 2 day deadline for a strategic development plan.
    who in Waldrum’s TTFA-appointed staff would have been in charge of preparing that? Or was this Waldrum’s homework assignment?

  26. The irony! Haha in other words let’s find someone less qualified and pay less….I didn’t read the article

  27. this seems like a premeditated move on John-Williams’ part.
    the reasoning and rationale and timeframes outlined don’t seem like what would obtain in a professional outfit.

  28. And people thought Kenwyne and the men’s team were harsh with their deadline?
    I would’ve preferred the TTFA say they wanted a local coach. I can support that mentality even if the timing could be better.

  29. I guess they take paperwork very seriously…do they have all their paperwork in order…? If not, they should fire themselves…

  30. Our TTFA president is an idiot. Y I fire the coach for not meeting an administrative deadline? Really? He full ah sh*#