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TTFA allegedly asks Waldrum to help get W/Warriors match practice

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) allegedly turned to axed American coach Randy Waldrum yesterday in a vain effort to get warm-up matches for the “Women Soca Warriors” before their CONCACAF 2016 Olympic qualifying series kicks off against Guatemala on February 11 in Houston.

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

Waldrum, who the TTFA replaced as coach for being two hours late with paperwork, could not assist the local football body since his professional club, Houston Dash, is in its off-season at present.

The former Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team coach, who responded to questions from Wired868, made it clear that he wished his former team well and was sorry to hear they were still struggling to confirm matches.

“Unfortunately when (TTFA technical committee member Jinelle James) called, I told her the Dash and all NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) teams don’t start (practice) until March,” Waldrum told Wired868. “I mentioned the local youth teams would be the best they could get on such short notice… I do wish them well for the girls’ sake.”

Waldrum had initially organised a January 2016 camp for Women Warriors in Houston with all costs covered by a Houston-based university. However, the TTFA did not take up his offer and subsequently removed him as coach instead.

Wired868 tried unsuccessfully to get comment from TTFA president David John-Williams and interim general secretary Azaad Khan while James was unavailable since she left with the women’s team this morning.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Kennya "Yaya" Cordner tries to escape from Mexico player Veronica Perez during the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship. (Copyright AFP 2016)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Kennya “Yaya” Cordner tries to escape from Mexico player Veronica Perez during the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
(Copyright AFP 2016)

The Women Warriors were supposed to play two international warm-up matches against Costa Rica last week but did not go. Williams failed to respond to media queries about the cancelled friendlies but, in a subsequent statement to his own press officer, he admitted that the TTFA was late in its visa applications.

Williams retorted then that the TTFA was lining up warm-up matches against Mexico and two club teams and the Women Warriors’ preparation would not be affected.

“The girls will leave on Sunday (January 31) for a 10-day camp in Houston and we are trying to arrange a game with Mexico and two club teams,” Williams told the TTFA Media. “I don’t see the preparations as being affected. We will go to the Olympic qualifiers in good spirits and we hope that the girls will do well.”

However, in a press statement today, the TTFA admitted to having just one friendly match lined up before the national team’s Olympic campaign begins. And, even then, the local football body could not name the team that the squad would face or the date and venue.

“T&T has one warm-up game confirmed at this point,” stated the TTFA media release, “to be played against (an) ECNL club.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain and 2014 TTFA Player of the Year Arin King (left) dives in to tackle Colombia's Tatiana Ariza during the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. (Copyright AFP 2016)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain and 2014 TTFA Player of the Year Arin King (left) dives in to tackle Colombia’s Tatiana Ariza during the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
(Copyright AFP 2016)

The ECNL is the Elite Clubs National League and comprises of 79 youth clubs with levels between under-14 to under-18.

It is uncertain exactly which Houston-based women’s under-18 team will get to enjoy sharing the field with the likes of Trinidad and Tobago stars Kennya “Yaya” Cordner, Arin King, Maylee-Attin Johnson and Ahkeela Mollon.

The TTFA did go into more detail—273 words—about its decision to take a chef with the women’s squad. The release described the new staff member as “an innovative way to cut costs” as the squad would not have to rely on hotel food.

“We have got to make the best of this bad financial situation we inherited,” Williams told the TTFA Media. “The Sports Company and the Ministry of Sports have done their part with the tickets and the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee has chipped in as well. Therefore we must be innovative and think outside the box to cut costs.

“We are taking someone with an appreciation for what an athlete must eat and of course there is nothing better tasting that good home cooked T&T food.

Photo: TTFA president and ex-DIRECTV W Connection president and CEO David John-Williams.
Photo: TTFA president and ex-DIRECTV W Connection president and CEO David John-Williams.

“With the falling oil prices we have got to become creative while operating on tight budgets. We will evaluate how this works and then see the feasibility for the other teams especially in youth football.”

The team’s accommodation in Houston will be financed by the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC).

Attin-Johnson has been restored as the squad’s captain with King’s blessing, after the talented defender steered the Women Warriors through the Caribbean stage of their Olympic campaign during the former player’s self-imposed exile.

Coach Richard Hood will miss defenders Rhea Belgrave and Brianna Ryce, due to school commitments, while utility players Lauryn Hutchinson and Khadisha Debesette are out through injury.

However, Hood told the TTFA that he was happy with the balance of his team, which also includes star goalkeeper Kimika Forbes, attacker Tasha St Louis, France-based striker Mariah Shade and newcomers Kayla Taylor and Jo-Marie Lewis.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Women's National Senior Team and Police FC coach Richard Hood gestures from the sidelines during 2015/16 Pro League action against San Juan Jabloteh. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team and Police FC coach Richard Hood gestures from the sidelines during 2015/16 Pro League action against San Juan Jabloteh.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

“The squad comprises a mixture of experienced and new players to international football,” said Hood. “We do have a few players carrying minor injuries but we are confident that everyone will be ready to compete.

“I believe that it is a tremendous boost to the team that we have the opportunity to camp and acclimatise to the conditions in Houston.”

Hood assured football fans that, despite their challenges, his team’s goal is to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“We believe that we have a realistic chance of attaining success in this tournament,” said Hood. “We are very aware that it is going to be an enormous task but, God willing, we shall prevail.”

(Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team)

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)

Players who left from Port of Spain: Maylee Attin-Johnson (captain), Arin King (vice-captain), Kimika Forbes, Saundra Barron, Jenelle Cunningham, Anastasia Prescott, Chevonne John, Janine Francois, Naomi Guerra, Tasha St Louis, Ahkeela Mollon, Kennya Cordner and Jo-Marie Lewis.

Players who will join the team in Houston: Shallette Alexander, Karyn Forbes, Liana Hinds Danielle Blair, Mariah Shade, Kayla Taylor, Victoria Swift and Khadidra Debesette.

 

Editor’s Note: The TTFA adjusted its initial release, which claimed that the Women Warriors would play ECNL Club and not a club from the ECNL. Wired868 has made the appropriate adjustment.

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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88 comments

  1. Football in this country is run like a ‘fete match’. Or like a the game where you blind fold the person, spin them around four times, and then ask them to pin the tail on the donkey.

    Admin is made up of a bunch of incompetent jokers.

  2. The team has to play in Houston anyway. So they always had to go there.
    Funding could be a problem. But every team has a schedule in advance and the TTFA would need to explain why it is a problem.

  3. In this case, Houston is the venue for the tournament too. So I can see that making sense.
    I don’t understand what you mean about the arrangements being shelved Kester.
    Waldrum made a proposal for a Houston camp. And the TTFA never accepted it. So they never initiated it for it to be shelved.
    He was using his contacts to get some things done. Should Waldrum have handed over his contact book to the TTFA after they sacked him?

  4. Yuh know Venezuela may have been a way cheaper alternative in addition to the fact that you can get senior opposition to play against.

  5. BTW, I’m not holding him responsible but for the life of me I can’t get my head over the need for the multiple Houston camps especially considering the financial position of the organization.

  6. Hold on hold on, so the arrangements he made before he was terminated is shelved as a result?

  7. I just realised I didn’t address that point. In any line of work Kester, I don’t think anyone will expect you to play ball after you were fired. Because there is a value to your help.
    I don’t know if he could have helped and chose not to. But I can’t blame him in the circumstances.

  8. ..Kester. Fault cannot be apportioned to Waldrum. TTFA released the man with no (finaciial) plan for the future of this team – the immediate future any way. They messed up. Again. You can’t dismiss someone then ask them for help..

  9. We can only speculate Kester. He had an agenda drawn up and I’m not sure who his opponents were.
    Remember we did have international games lined up under DJW, we were just unable to play them.
    Waldrum’s idea was to get the women to Houston earlier so the college players would have been able to train before they returned to school.
    He would have known players more intimately than Hood who is in greater need of warm up games to see his tactical alterations in play and see some of his new players in action.
    Current situation doesn’t do Hood much favours. But he just has to do his best.

  10. Hahahaha!
    Agreed. There’s Dr. Eric! DJW is just at the opposite end of the spectrum… And well, idk which end you’re closer to. Lol. ?

  11. Lasana, wasn’t it Randy Waldrum’s idea for this camp just as the he was for the previous two in Houston? If so, which teams did did he arrange for us to play? Or is it cuz he was relieved of his ‘sweet bread’ duties he didn’t arrange the games. His team is out of season and the players have gone back to their homes or on vacation so exactly which team/s was he getting us to play? My guess is a that it would be another U18 team like the one we played the last time we were in H town.

  12. Hey, hey…all Williams not created equal!

  13. Could it be an issue of funding if matches would be held out of TnT?

  14. and THAT’s the bottom line rite there.
    when the media does it’s job PROPERLY—and not try to wine back for comps and tickets and frees—THAT’S when you will see the power of the Fourth Estate.

  15. If I ask any of the women how they are getting on right now: they’d probably say they are just focused on qualifying for the Olympics.
    Parents like Mike would be focused on supporting them towards that goal. I think that is as it should be and I respect that.
    My job is to give fans as close an idea as possible as what is happening with the team.
    So we all have slightly different jobs here. Mike, I hope the team does really well despite all the issues. I always do.

  16. sorry Mike King but all of that sounds like giving kudos to someone for doing what they’re supposed to do.
    can’t do that.

  17. Sounds all wonderful Mike. I must point out that the stuff you are talking about are all commonplace for the men’s teams minus the chef.
    (And I suspect that saying ‘they have a personal chef at their beck and call’ is stretching it quite a bit).
    I’m glad if the women are thrilled and in a wonderful place mentally as a result of their preparations and I look forward to see the manifestation of that soon.
    I don’t think a men’s coach would be too happy but glad that the women are…
    By the way, the women had pre-tournament camps before the 2014 CFU and CONCACAF tournaments. So I don’t understand why you listed that as a first… But I don’t want to dampen your enthusiasm!

  18. Say what you want about everything leading up to their departure. The bottom line is the team has arrived 11 days early before a major competition ( a first ) they flew direct rather than a stopover ( another first) they have a personal chef at their beck and call ( another first ) getting to play a friendly or two this week ( another first ). They are out training as I write ( again another first ). They never train on their first day of arrival ( because they arrive so late — jet lagged ). So despite not having the Costa Rican tour they are in Houston getting ready. Let’s give some credit where credit is due folks. Good luck to my Soca Women Warriors. Your number one fan ??

    • They left 11 days before a tournament when they were scheduled to leave 16 days before, including two competitive games aginst Costa Rica. They flew direct (Woop Ti Doo). A personal chef. Who has quantified and compared the costs? Thy are going to play against an under 18 club team You have obviously never seen the quality of youth club football, especially the women. They are out training on the first day of arrival. Really? Must be a really rigorous session. You sound more like a booster for the TTFA than a number one fan.

    • Lol. The airline they flew on flies direct to Houston. Thats standard. Thats has nothing to do with anything. I believe its continental…could be wrong…

    • Jamal Wiggins you and Gerrard are missing the point in my post. If you were infinitely familiar with the goings on of the program you would both not be making your statements I respect both your opinions and enjoy reading
      I am quite aware direct flights go to and from Houston daily however whenever the team travels they never get them ( ask anyone of them as such ). Hence my surprise ( which I am so happy ) they got a direct flight this time. FYI. I never stated I was the TTFA number one fan however just the Women’s squad number one fan and have been as such for 8 years and counting. Cheers to you both.

    • Mike King I introduced myself to you in Washington DC at one of the games so you know I am infinitely familiar with what goes on and I might add a lot longer than you. That might explain why I am so unforgiving of this miserable organization.

    • Gerard Johnson thanks I must apologize I don’t remember our conversation in DC. I met hundreds of supporters over the 2014 WWC Concacaf run.
      I appreciate your continued support.
      Cheers

  19. got these women like Stunt chicks.

  20. ..Aye! Allyuh kicksing! I suppose is laugh or cry..

  21. Keith, someone just asked me if Randy Waldrum got a Marvin Oliver. Maybe they will tell him that they terminated his contract but they didn’t fire him!
    Brent Sancho for TTFA President in 2010! 🙂

  22. First time to my knowledge that The former coach have to help out the people who fire him lol

  23. It will be a welcome miracle if this team makes it to Rio. Sigh… At least they won’t be hungry.

  24. ..People. We laughing and it is laughable in the extreme. But the downward spiral of the TTFA continues. From one disaster to another. And where is the new technical committee in all of this? Oh Lawd!!..

  25. He’d say we’re done. They should at least get a scrimmage vs a pro team or something ….jeez

  26. What do you think Stephen Hart would say if they told him to put Kenwyne Jones and company on the field to play against an under-18 club team as match practice before an international tournament?

  27. Consider this… If the Trinidad and Tobago men’s team were preparing for the World Cup or Gold Cup and the TTFA asked Leo Beenhakker or Stephen Hart to play against a local under-18 team:
    What do you think their response would be?

    • R U all crazy? What if they beat us? haha

    • Thing to cry for boy Gerard… Thing to cry for!

    • The sad thing is every time we take two steps forward, our inept and incompetent administrators take us three steps back. They put themselves out there as competent, as being able to do the job. They will criticize those whose positions they seek and when they get the opportunity, they can’t walk the walk. We are banana republics not because of our people, our resources or our size, but because we are ruled by nincompoops.

    • I think it is just a more difficult job than it seems from the outside. And that is why, as leader, you have got to keep the goodwill of fellow stakeholders while you try to work out what you are doing.

    • Lasana Liburd I know u r trying to be fair. But this was a botched job from the beginning because of personalities not because of difficulties.

    • I’m just still as desperate for improvement as ever. But I know we can’t afford to go backwards. So I’m still hoping they can shake off a bad start and get things moving.

    • The TTFA president is not a full time salaried post…..as long as this persists, expect ineptitude. I don’t believe it is a difficult job. Demanding perhaps…but not difficult. DJW isn’t a ‘now come’ to football or the football scene and as such this start ought not to have been as glaringly horrible as it is

      • The TTFA President may need to be full time in the short term but I think a better long term structure is to have the General Secretary run the day to day while the President and Board holds responsibilities for governance. If the TTFA President is an employee who does he report to? Who benchmarks his performance? Who evaluates his performance? Will the Board he leads fire him?
        I think the President should focus on governance, strategic planning and sourcing all resources particularly financial. Our past bad practice has been to allow the President/Special Advisor to run the day to day and governance without supervision nor accountability.

    • I agree the TTFA president should be a full time job. But even if it is, if you have the wrong personalities in the job, you will still end up with disasters.

    • Nincompoops. Dais a big word. Write it down. Lol.

  28. Wonder if they took some cassava to boil

  29. Waldrum, who the TTFA replaced as coach [ostensibly] for being two hours late with paperwork, could not assist the local football body since his professional club, Houston Dash, is in its off-season at present.

  30. “We are taking someone with an appreciation for what an athlete must eat and off course there is nothing better tasting that good home cooked T&T food.” Lasana today is not April 1st eh. So where this chef going to cook if they’re staying in a hotel?

    • I am noticing the trend in our public officers

    • Ok Sav. I was told that the Soca Warriors did this during their 2006 World Cup pre-tournament and tournament camp.
      They arranged with the hotel management beforehand to be afforded use to the hotel’s facilities at particular times arranged between both parties.
      It was easy for the Soca Warriors in Germany as they booked a small hotel and locked it down.
      So hopefully arrangements were made beforehand for the Women Warriors chef to use the facility. As innovative as DJW says his plan is, it was actually used before by a national team.

    • We have to get them match fit…at thus point thats all that matters but qe will hear everything

    • Arrangements can be made with hotels, particularly if they are smaller venues. However, most commercial kitchens do not accept outside foods or people due to the potential liability from bacteria, inconsistent sanitation standards and the need to segregate foods. The traveling chef often used by other national teams and clubs is better suited for a multiple guest house , condo or extended stay environment not hotels.
      I have to question, the statement “someone with an appreciation for what athletes must eat”. This is our women’s national team, we need a chef with meals developed by a nutritionist not someone with an “appreciation”. Furthermore, “home cooked T&T food” is not what I would recommend for athletes; so the statements are somewhat contradictory.

      • Lasana Liburd

        That’s part of the problem when you try to run a business by press release rather than interaction. You leave too much room for speculation.
        I have no idea what the arrangement is for this chef, who we are expected to give a standing ovation to. And good shout on the dietary side.

  31. Calling the coach you unprofessionally terminated for help? Really?
    Playing U18’s in preparation for Olympic qualifiers? Really?
    Implementing a chef with rationale of cost savings? Seriously?

    Its better that the TTFA do not issue press release, that no one speaks until they hire some professionals.

  32. Editor’s Note: The TTFA adjusted its initial release, which claimed that the Women Warriors would play ECNL Club and not a club from the ECNL. Wired868 has made the appropriate adjustment.

  33. The more things change the more they stay the same. #playerspaytheprice

  34. Rocky start for new crew at ttfa. Hope to see improvement in the coming months.

  35. “However, in a press statement today, the TTFA admitted to having just one friendly match lined up before the national team’s Olympic campaign begins. And, even then, the local football body could not name the team that the squad would face or the date and venue.” What a joke!

  36. They just notice the girls need to train for the qualifiers they going to play just now? But they could tell yuh who on the men’s team have ah button on he nose. #playfair #equaltreatment

  37. Haha @ “Wired868’s checks revealed that the “ECNL Club” does not exist. Instead, “ECNL” stands for Elite Clubs National League and comprises of 79 youth clubs with levels between under-14 to under-18.”

    Birdman at it again…

  38. ..This is the height (or depth) of stupidity. Lack of planning. Lack of foresight even. Lack of common sense. Lack of experience. Just plain dumb..

  39. bwahahahaha haha lmao this ttfa is a joke oui