Police FC head coach Richard Hood will steer the Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team into the 2016 Olympic qualifiers next month into the United States.
The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) confirmed today that Hood, who is a sergeant in the Guard and Emergency Branch, was a unanimous choice to replace former “Women Soca Warriors” coach Randy Waldrum.
The women’s team should begin practice tomorrow and are due to face Costa Rica on January 25 and 27 in friendly matches away to the Central American nation. They will head straight to Houston after the Costa Rica friendlies for a pre-Olympic qualifying camp.
“We wish thank extend gratitude to Randy Waldrum for his services extended to the National Women’s Team and we wish him the best in his future endeavours,” TTFA president David John-Williams told the TTFA Media. “Richard Hood will head the Women’s Team. I have a lot of confidence in Richard. I think he is an upcoming and developing coach.”
John-Williams admitted that the decision to replace Waldrum with Hood was made by the four-member TTFA Executive Committee, which the president heads, and not the inactive Technical Committee.
However, he said it was in the best interest of the team to act quickly.
“We are doing it in the best interest of the team,” said John-Williams. “It was a unanimous selection with the executive at the time because the technical committee was not set up and we had to take a decision.
“It sort of went against what I had preached but the circumstances demanded that we took a decision.”
The TTFA did reveal its Technical Committee today, though, and it is headed by Pro League chairman and former “Strike Squad” forward Dexter Skeene.
According to its new constitution, the chairpersons of the TTFA’s various committees must be board members, which made Skeene eligible.
The entire committee comprises: Dexter Skeene (chairman), Dr Alvin Henderson (Deputy Chairman), Bertille St Clair, Errol Lovell, Jinelle James, Stuart Charles-Fevrier and Muhammad Isa.
Fevrier, who is also the DIRECTV W Connection coach, St Clair and Isa are all ex-Trinidad and Tobago national coaches while Henderson, Lovell and James are former international players. Isa is also the technical director of Pro League team, Club Sando.
St Clair is the first coach to take Trinidad and Tobago to a FIFA tournament, after he led the National Under-21 Team to the Portugal 1991 World Youth Cup.
John-Williams explained that Fevrier will oversee the youth arm of the technical committee while St Clair, Lovell and James will have responsibility for Tobago, the goalkeeping department and the women’s game respectively.
It would suggest that, in theory, James will play a vital role in the selection and dismissal of future national women’s coaches.
“(The technical committee) covers a wide area and we are quite confident in the expertise and capabilities of the members of the technical committee,” said John-Williams. “Stuart Charles will oversee the youth arm of the technical committee, Bertille St Clair (will oversee) Tobago, Dr Henderson is the deputy chairman, Lovell will be in charge of the goalkeeping department and Jinelle James will there for the women’s game.”
Fevrier’s role is likely to create a buzz, since Connection invests heavily in youth players and, arguably, could be said to have an interest in the selection of national youth coaches.
However, as John-Williams pointed out prior to the election, Connection already had plenty of its players on the various youth teams, even before former TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee was voted out of office on 29 November 2015.
John-Williams said he would not encroach on Skeene’s role as Technical Committee chairman.
“I don’t intend to be an executive president, even though I have been functioning as an executive president in the first month,” said John-Williams. “But, yes, the Technical Committee will be in charge of that mantle and I have a lot of faith and confidence in the people that the Executive has placed on the Technical Committee.
“And we hope they will do a good job.”