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Discussion: Was the TTFA right to overrule technical committee and select Lawrence?

The technical committee of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) declared, via an internal vote, that W Connection technical director Stuart Charles-Fevrier was the best candidate to lead the Soca Warriors for the remainder of the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign and beyond.

Former Central FC and San Juan Jabloteh coach Terry Fenwick was considered the second best candidate.

Photo: Former Everton assistant manager and new Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team head coach Dennis Lawrence. (Copyright Everton FC)
Photo: Former Everton assistant manager and new Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team head coach Dennis Lawrence.
(Copyright Everton FC)

However, the TTFA’s board of directors opted instead for former Everton assistant manager and World Cup 2006 defender Dennis Lawrence, who was, arguably, the technical committee’s third choice.

The board was allegedly concerned about Fevrier’s closeness to TTFA president and W Connection co-owner David John-Williams as well as whether the outspoken Fenwick, a former England World Cup defender, would be a suitable employee for the local football body.

The current TTFA board of directors comprises: David John-Williams (president), Joanne Salazar, Ewing Davis and Allan Warner (vice-presidents), Samuel Saunders (Central FA), Sherwyn Dyer (Eastern Counties Football Union), Karanjabari Williams (Northern FA), Richard Quan Chan (Southern FA), Anthony Moore (Tobago FA), Joseph Taylor (Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees Association), Sharon O’Brien (Women’s League Football), Wayne Cunningham (Eastern FA) and Dexter Skeene (TT Pro League).

The TTFA technical committee consists of: Dexter Skeene (chairman), Dr Alvin Henderson (vice-chairman), Bertille St Clair (former World Youth Cup coach), Errol Lovell (former national goalkeeper), Jinelle James (ex-national player and current administrator) and Muhammad Isa (technical director).

Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago national coach Ron La Forest (left) makes a point to Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene. (Courtesy Allan V. Crane/Wired868.com)
Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago national coach Ron La Forest (left) makes a point to Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene.
(Courtesy Allan V. Crane/Wired868.com)

So should the TTFA board be commended for its initiative and bravado in voting against John-Williams’ vice-presidents and the technical committee in selecting Lawrence? Or did the directors overstep their mark by ignoring the advice of a committee specifically set up to rule on such matters?

Should the technical committee be satisfied that their advice was considered, even though it was ultimately disregarded? Or should the members of that committee feel slighted and ponder their own futures due to the board’s final decision?

Does Lawrence’s top flight experience as an assistant coach make him the safest pair of hands? Or does the fact that he has been selected over experienced head coaches suggest that overseas achievements always trumps local achievements—regardless of scale?

Give us your views below:

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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195 comments

  1. Just to add insight to Sean Powders comments. When Graham Rix was coach at Chelsea and Gullit was manager, he basically picked the team. He coached the players everyday and advised Gullit on fitness, performance attitude etc. Usually in EPl etc the manager is exactly that. He manages all aspects of the club and doesn’t necessarily spend as much time with players as the coaches. This is where Tallest would have developed his coaching skills. However, a great co pilot doesn’t necessarily make a great pilot. A manager has ultimate responsibility and usually makes the final decisions. This could be where Tallest may lack experience. Finally, as we found with Rix, who was a fantastic, knowledgeable coach, Trini players are different to EPL players. Rix tried to do things at Central that worked with Zola, Lampard, Terry, di Matteo, Makele etc. Just didn’t work with Trini players, yet Fenwick got results with that same group. This is why the technical committee is supposed to give their recommendations based on wide criteria not just badges. The board, who are not required to have the same depth of football knowledge, are supposed to rely heavily on the TC. That’s the whole point.

    • Interesting point which does kinda match with what some of us have said.
      Lawrence wasn’t Martinez’s number two though. And I still say it would help to know exactly what his duties were.

  2. Charles Murray, that technical committee didn’t have the cajoles to stand up to DJW when he foisted Saintfeit on the national team. They should resign.

  3. Lasana or Sheldon , purely for public consumption. Do you know how much the committee members and board members get paid for attending meetings?

  4. Yuh kno every other state funded organisation where tax paying dollars are used these same ppl who talking bout patience will want to see changes now but suddenly they doh mine waiting years upon years to see changes in TT soccer which would mean lots of tax paying dollars being wasted….. patience is the reason we cyar fill stadiums….. Let’s have patience , crime will get better, let’s have patience, corruption in high places will stop etc etc. This country just not serious but we real patient.

  5. If TTFA board wanted to select the National Senior Team Coach, why was a technical committee appointed? They showed the utter disrespect to the technical committee. I have reservations about the choice.

  6. Let’s be clear of this none of them was better or superior to each other generally… Neither was a manager at a top level club… Dennis is credited with being a first team development coach under Martinez but please don’t make it look like he picked the team and make subs to change a match… They all need to go out and get more experience… Think of all the teams you back as a club and look at their most iconic managers and see how they made themselves… Most never started managing top level or national teams.. Some started with teams ppl didn’t bat an eye at and did great things… Congratz to him but let’s see how this works out…

  7. Since, I’m not privy to the the facts in respect to the pros and cons of both sides argument, I cannot make an informed judgement. However, from the vibes on the ground it appears that the masses are in full support of the TTFA.

    • Not speaking for all…I believe we are in support — this time — of the chosen coach. Not really the TTFA, it’s a hot mess, starting from the top!

      Look right now we are hoping that TTFA — meaning the boss — keeps his hands off of the team and let the coach coach.

  8. Fail tnt back to the old rum party woman and fame… Will never be a great soccer team…

  9. Focus on Qatar 2022 brother…

  10. We should be IN HASTE thinking about the next game….rather than thinking about another obstacle…………..Fenwick left Jahbloteh for an English low tier team and was booted out after about 4 games in charge…if so much………..DON’T FORGET……….a local would have taken us to the World Cup in 1990 !!!

  11. Give him the two match claws as well don’t be bias…

  12. Agreed.. the personnel leaves a lot to be desired

  13. I would not go into a lengthy response but regardless how good Everton was ,DL was not the Head Coach and could probably be a fantastic manager but I can’t agree that he is better qualified than SCF or TF or even Maturana…He is the man now and I fully believe he is going to try but this Hex calls for a seasoned manager with a track record of transforming local talent to be able to play abroad at an international level ….and that my friend both Coaches in this bootleg pro league have done for years??

  14. My response: I think one issue we have with Lawrence is that we are not quite sure what his duty was at those clubs. He must have been doing something right to be taken by Martinez to Everton. But he wasn’t his Number Two.
    So I’m sure he can be a great asset to T&T football. But I’m not exactly sure what his strength as a manager is yet.
    For instance, I asked Alex McLeish about Russell Latapy’s managerial ambitions once. And McLeish said Latapy would make a very good assistant coach because of his charisma and his ability to command respect from players. But he did not think Latapy had it in him to be the boss.
    A great assistant isn’t always a great boss. I don’t want to sell Dennis short though because I have no idea whether this applies to him at all.

  15. Whoever you select has to be properly assessed! There’s no excuse!!!!!! A CV is not an assessment!!!!!!

  16. Lasana, is babash people drinking ah wat?

    Where in the world a committee of any organization have final decision making authority? Every committee of every organization exists to advise the Board, the Board has final voting authority normally memorialized by resolution. The process is appropriate, the only weakness was the quality of the people in the process.

    Worse yet people drinking babash and puncheon on the so called “inexperience” of DL compared to that of TF and SCF. Are people serious? What is the quality of the leagues them men manage in? Terry was at Portsmouth in 1995 then which top global league team he managed or asst. manage? What country he served as manager, or asst. manager or scout ? Oh is dominance in the same Pro League that is ranked where among global leagues? The same Pro League we all agree is not a “pro” league.

    SCF entire career has been at W Connection plus an unsuccessful stint as national coach. His managing success is again in a the same Pro League that is ranked where among global leagues? The non “Pro” League.

    DL served as asst. coach to two different EPL clubs, one of the top two leagues in the World if not number 1. He recently was serving as a scout for Belgium, the country currently ranked 5 in the world. DL was part of a Wigan coaching staff that beat Manchester City in FA Cup final in 2013. DL was part of an Everton coaching staff that finished 5th in EPL in 2015. In 2015-16 DL was part of an Everton coaching staff that got to the round of 16 of UEFA Europa League. Seems like babash and puncheon causing people to rate Pro league success on equal level with EPL and Europa League expericence. I do not thing these comparisons are equitable.

    Folks, Everton is probably valued at US$200 million in a league were competitors like MAN U are valued greater 1 billion. What are the values of the clubs SCF and TF worked? Yes size does matter!

    DL worked in the high pressure cut throat environment, with ruthless agents, real prima donna players and savage 24/7 media. I realize some will say he wasn’t the headman but he survived at two EPL clubs working on his craft and profession such that his boss brought him along with Graeme Jones and Theiry Henry to Belgium. Graeme Jones who was at Swansea, Wigan and Everton. Theiry Henry needs no introduction. This is the experience and environment DL is

    This is not an attack on the TF nor SCF because I respect for their accomplishments. I merely am adding some qualitative perspective. Whether the DL hire is a TTFA distraction or people do not agree with the process are two matters but please do not say DL does not have experience in comparison to the other candidates i.e. TF and SCF.

    If I am looking to hire for a senior level position; I either look for an experienced CEO or a VP on the rise. I sure as hell not looking to promote a branch manager from my rural office.

    Back to babash and pucheon

    • Lasana Liburd

      Hahaha. I always find it difficult to argue with you Sean. I think one issue we have with Lawrence is that we are not quite sure what his duty was at those clubs. He must have been doing something right to be taken by Martinez to Everton. But he wasn’t his Number Two.
      So I’m sure he can be a great asset to T&T football. But I’m not exactly sure what his strength as a manager is yet.
      For instance, I asked Alex McLeish about Russell Latapy’s managerial ambitions once. And McLeish said Latapy would make a very good assistant coach because of his charisma and his ability to command respect from players. But he did not think Latapy had it in him to be the boss.
      A great assistant isn’t always a great boss. I don’t want to sell Dennis short though because I have no idea whether this applies to him at all.

      • I give you that, at Wigan I recall his duties being with the development squad but I lost track after that. Also we have no idea of his style nor philosophy as a manager to determine compatibility with our players.

        Kelvin Jack sensitive comments and DL willingness to say “I am out” gives some inclination to character which normally correlates with style. My sense is that though he may not have a psychology degree he will deal with the players better than Tom Cat in Bag… I could not resist as I kind of miss Saintfiet..lol

        btw.. thanks for spotlight on TD and TC…hahahaha

    • I can’t help but agree with Sean, Dennis may not have had senior manager experience, but the difference in quality of work experience should count for something, for all people making a case for SCF, I feel Concacaf CL competitiveness should be a marker for evaluating him and on that alone he would loose a lot of points…….can’t honestly recall fenwick’s record at CL.

  17. Another issue is in 2006 we had top class and experienced players like russell latapy who made a big difference on his return. No disrespect but none of our present players are at that level yet but with time they will be. Yes the committee should feel slighted but I think this happened for a reason.

  18. Yes applause due my concern is we should not expect a quick fix. Mr lawrence has no experience as a head coach unlike leo who came when we were in a similar mess. So he needs time to develop and implement his philosophy and system of play.

  19. The TTFA Exec Board is not, nor should it ever be, a rubber stamp for the Technical Committee.
    In this instance the Technical Committee reviewed the applicants and members made their recommendations in terms of their first, second and third choices.
    There was no unanymous decision regarding first choice. But there was unanimity in their second choice – Dennis Lawrence, according to inside sources.
    It appears the Exec would have taken the Tech Committee ‘s report/recommendations into consideration and factored in other non-technical issues relating to candidates’ proposals, personality, conflict of interest, international networks and support mechanism, players’ acceptance etc in making a determination.
    And, mind you, the decision did not seem to have been driven by anyone’s personal agenda but what was collectively in the best interest of developing TT football.
    I understand Dennis will return to TT on Wednesday when he will host a media conference alongside his attorney to elaborate on his mandate as well as his immediate and longer term plans as the new Head Coach.

  20. The DL appointment was nothing but a TTFA public distraction to move the public’s focus from an incompetent and malfactioning board.
    The TTFA’S selection criteria took several bizarre changes from first stating international managerial experience post Sainfait it changed to local experience and knowledge of the players now it’s no managerial experience whatsoever and no knowledge of the players . We have now ended up with an unemployed assistant coach and partime Belgian scout . Let’s talk about cost, the mismanagement of the board and president have incurred mutiple costs which include considerable agents fees, outside assistant coaches, travel and accommodation and bonuses with no knowledge of Trinidad and Tobago footballers and a ball hasn’t been kicked as yet!

    DL turned the initial contract down due to unreasonable clauses that his agent never experienced before. Now the TTFA has had to fastrack a contract that is heavily in favour of DL and his agent in their attempt to comfort the Trinidad.

    So Sheldon I think it’s reckless to suggest that this board and by extension the TTFA should be commended . It’s not an advertising company, building his brand should be at his expense.
    I need a tall drink!!

  21. Regardless… This was the best choice.
    SCF or Fenwick’s record in CONCACAF champions league is what?
    What has Fervier done to merit it? Plus with the obvious bent for DJW interfering.

    Who would give our coaches a chance if not us? Yorke begging for a chance in Europe and nothing was given. No surprise… John Barnes sucking salt and he an English legend.

    So why not Lawrence? He was a defender which is a major issue. He’s worked at the highest level. He’s qualified. He’s a national hero. Let him build his portfolio…. Let him do what he can… WITHOUT DJW interfering (wishfully thinking).

    What merits would Fervier have brought that Lawrence couldn’t? Or Fenwick’s?

    • Terry Fenwick record in concacaf champion league may be flat but apart from Joe public I have never seen a ttproleague team played so well as his jabloteh team did with players of Peltier ,Primus ,Oliver and others. What beat the team wasn’t by lack of skills on the field but by a few lack of concentration and believe in beating a fellow concacaf club . And that’s a problem with all of our ttproleague clubs

    • So imagine what he might be able to do with a full national squad which most of players he himself have developed. But apart from that I give Mr Lawrence my full support

  22. If that is what happened….Then what’s the point of having a selection committee clearly they did

  23. The board should be commended for their selection and the manner in which they acted. Firstly, under Article 36, section j of the TTFA constitution, the board is clearly constitutionally responsible for the appointment of technical personnel. Article 47 of the TTFA constitution establishes that the Technical Committee’s primary function as one to “analyse the basic aspects of football training and technical development.” The technical committee is merely an advisory group and their advise can be considered but does not have to be followed by the board. Aside from fulfilling their constitutional duties, the board also showed they are capable of fulfilling their role as a check on the president. After the Saintfiet debacle, the deference the board gave to the technical committee and the president was understandably lessened. The board selection of Lawrence was the most prudent and wise choice based on the circumstances; 1) need to get back into the public’s good graces, 2) showcases a former national player who, by all accounts, has approached his coaching career in an earnest and progressive manner, and 3) provides a link to the highest achievement reached by T&T senior national team. I hope he does well. I also believe Stephen Hart and Terry Fenwick have a significant role to play in our national team set up and to discard them would be a waste.

    • Utter nonsense! Are you saying the board sacrificed our WC chances to get back in the public’s good grace? If the board selected Dennis based on the three things you cited then we’re up the creek. Is that how you and Tim Kee made your decisions. Or are you just spreading propaganda?

    • I get all the technicalities but the reasons are poor. As an administrator you are responsible for making sound decisions not necessarily popular ones. Getting into the good graces of the public, while creating goodwill is no way to run your operation. Why are we concerned about showcasing a former national player? What does that have to do with anything? We are in a results business not building an ex player’s brand….

    • A constitution and its articlesare not “technicalities” and yes good policy makers always consider public acceptance as A factor when looking to fulfill a position like a national team coach. In our case, the public for the most part, was not aware of Stephen Hart so it really was not a factor. We were in a much different circumstance than the present administration. But, there was some attempt to cast Hart as an outsider and the need to have a press conference and give him a platform to speak was vital in lessening the effects of a brewing local vs foreign propaganda. When Hart spoke a few reporters were clearly surprised he didnt sound Canadian and in fact sounded like he never left the country. So yes, public buy in could be very important and certainly so under the present circumstances.

    • I don’t disagree that it shouldn’t be a factor per se but it can’t be one of your primary factors. As I said it gains you goodwill but hiring a top candidate with the right KSAs and track record will do that regardless….

    • Yup. Absolutely Brent. All the public want is a competent coach who could give us a fighting chance to qualify for Russia.

    • By the way Sheldon Phillips, Carlos Lee and I like DL, we just don’t believe he is the right fit “at this time” with us being in the Hex.

    • DL, Latas, Angus, etc. are our future. Let them develop and nurture their coaching skills through the youth ranks. And when the time is right give them an opportunity with the senior team. It’s about developing our pipeline of future coaches. Let’s do it the right way.

    • I agree and that is why in sharing the factors that went into Hart’s selection, public acceptance was not a key factor. It really depends on the circumstance. If Hart returning was not an option and money was not an object, the best selection would have been Carlos Quieroz who recently resigned from Iraq, knows concacaf, is known for his well organized defences, and a great identifier of young talent. But the Lawrence selection was shrewd.

  24. Don’t they always overstep their mark? Just asking..

  25. I see the Board stuck between a rock and a hard place. SCF was first choice and TWF was second choice by the TC. When that went to the Board, they wouldn’t choose SCF as that would be seen as following the Prez’s bidding and they don’t want Terry cause they can’t manipulate him, so they’re now going to destroy another int’l career (I’m hoping not eh)

    • Latas was put in the same situation a few years ago. Looks like we didn’t learn from that. Now he’s doing it right – developing his coaching career through the youth ranks. In the near future he’ll make a great senior team coach. Dennis should be doing the same, but no one wants to crawl before they walk. We’re generating a set of force rip coaches.

  26. For me the process is flawed, and I do not agree with Lawrence’s selection. Not that I have anything against him, and I will support him, it’s just that I don’t think this is the right time for his appointment. It just doesn’t make sense. You fire a man saying the results are not good enough, and basically you are looking for someone to rescue the World Cup Qualifying campaign. With that being the case, why would you then go and hire someone with zero experience in leading a team? What kind of expectations can you realistically have? Unless you’re hoping for a change in fortunes just by freshening up a bit. Why would you put that kind of pressure on a newbie? And to make it worse, the administration is less than ideal. Can it work out in the end? Sure, but it definitely is not a calculated risk.

    • Nigel – my sentiments exactly. I’m astonish that the public is all excited by this selection. We’re sending a “boy” to do a man’s job. Wrong tool for the current job. I was expecting my buddy Lasana to be all over this poor choice of coach. And did you see the coaching staff he’s requesting? Stern John, etc. I mean seriously? It’s not a minor league side. It’s our national senior team. Wdf.

    • Carlos, I agree with what Nigel is saying. But I do have a sliver of hope based on his top flight experience as a player and alongside Martinez.
      It wouldn’t be my first or second choice. But there is still a chance it might work out.
      Like you Carlos, I’d prefer at least some experience alongside him on the bench.

    • Lasana – no compromise here. If we were out of the Hex I would say yes, Dennis is a decent choice. Give him a chance to build a team ahead of Qatar 2020. But we’re still in it bro. The brother has no experience bro. And to make things worst he now has to manage players he recently played with. That’s tough bro. Those players will constantly challenge his authority. There’ll now be major cliques in the squad. The “old” heads bs the young ones. Add Stern and Barber to the mix and it only gets worst.

    • Lawrence retired seven years ago though eh. But I hear you. You make some solid points as well.

    • Listen to Carlos Lee

      All his points are very valid.

      This a poor choice

    • Jobs for d boys. TTFA, WASA,PETROTRIN,TSTT…jobs for the MF boys.

  27. Agreed. Just that their advice is taken sometimes and sometimes it isn’t. Now, if we were in a data driven paradigm, then we could analyze how often their advice was taken and how many times it was rejected and then that could help us decide if there were deeper issues

  28. Lasana Liburd you just don’t stop. LoL.

  29. It is not fair to the Board to simply accept whatever the TC puts forward because no one sees the TC in isolation.

  30. I don’t think recommendations in any sector by any advisory group are always accepted by decision makers. That doesn’t mean the advice wasn’t important or recommendation was worthless…

  31. I say the TC should be headed by the TD, and the TD should be held accountable for decisions related to technical staff. In his annual or biannual evaluation, the national coaches performance should be a measurable target for the TD.
    Shouldn’t it ?
    After all that’s his title, TD…

  32. good thing it have men with a little balls to stand up to dictator DJW

  33. The entire thing doesn’t make sense.

    A committee is selected by due process through the TTFA to execute a function.

    If the TC gets it wrong and the board simply accepts the suggestion the entire TTFA looks bad, as with the Saint.

    So it’s a case of dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t.

  34. Is it possible to publish the bylaws? What is the role and function of the technical committee?

    • This is the sum total of what the constitution says on that subject:
      “Article 47 Technical and Development Committee

      The Technical and Development Committee shall primarily analyse the basic aspects of football training and technical development.”

      “Article 36 Powers of the Board of Directors

      The Board of Directors:

      a) shall pass decisions on all cases that do not come within the sphere of responsibility of the General Meeting or are not reserved for other bodies by law or under this Constitution;

      b) shall prepare and convene the Annual and Extraordinary General Meeting;

      c) shall appoint the chairmen, deputy chairmen and members of the standing committees;

      d) shall propose the members of the judicial bodies and the Audit and Compliance Committee to the General Meeting;

      d) may decide to set up ad-hoc committees if necessary at any time;

      e) shall compile the regulations for the organisation of standing committees and ad-hoc committees;

      f) shall appoint or dismiss the General Secretary on the proposal of the President.;

      g) shall propose the independent external auditors to the General Meeting;

      h) shall appoint replacements for vacancies for the positions of President and Vice-President of the Board of Directors as well as vacancies in the judicial bodies, Electoral Committee or the Audit and Compliance Committee until the next General Meeting;

      i) shall issue regulations governing the conditions of participation in and the staging of competitions organised by TTFA;

      j) shall appoint the coaches for the representative teams and other technical staff;

      k) shall issue regulations stipulating how TTFA shall be organised internally, such as the Internal Organisation Regulations;

      l) shall ensure that the Constitution is applied and adopt the Executive arrangements required for its application;

      m) may dismiss a person or body or suspend a Member provisionally until the next General Meeting;

      n) may delegate tasks arising out of its area of authority to other bodies of TTFA or third parties;

      o) may appoint observers who may take part in the General Meeting without the right to debate or to vote.

      p) shall have the power to mortgage, pledge or otherwise create a security over any property of the TTFA, provided that

      – the security has been concluded in order to satisfy an urgent contractual obligation of the TTFA;

      – the security does not surpass the amount of $1,000,000 (TTD)”

    • So the board and not the TC has responsibility for appointing national team coaches. Unless the scope of the TC has been expanded they really have no role in the coach selection process.

    • So why did the TC set out to recommend coaches in the first instance? Is it just that the TC only recommends and based on the recommendations the Board must appoint from those recommendations? It seems that even if the TC recommends . The board can ignore. So then what’s the purpose of the TC?

    • Yes Carlos, it’s to avoid direct interference or favouritism from the board, but it doesn’t directly do that.

    • Precisely right Reyna. The TC recommends. But that’s all it can do.

    • So then the TC could very well recommend, Pele and Maradona ( no offence Terry) to the Board. The TC serves no purpose. Usually a committee recommends and the Board subject to questions is guided by the committee. It is assumed on committees they have the expertise to do their jobs. That’s why they have committees in the first place! It cuts down the work of Boards.

    • Committees are established by the Board and given parameters in which to operate. The Board is the final decision making body of any organization. The committee could not make decisions on its own.

    • In other words it makes little sense having a technical committee. I’ve seen that board and if they’re the ones who hire and fire coaches.. god help us.. some of them are dodos

    • That’s what they were elected to do.

    • I agree with you to an extent Brian. But committees are put together based in their expertise and competence, eg. A legal committee to a board is appointed to make recommendations based on their legal competence and expertise and it then goes to the board is either approved or rejected or ratifies but reasons must be given.

      Therefore, in this case a TC based on their experience and expertise does the same. The Board acts WITH the committee giving full atonomy to one is dangerous.

    • Correct. The problem is that you have dead wood electing dead wood and expecting non-dead wood results. Not happening. It’s not the process, it’s the people.

  35. In my humble opinion the TC should be allowed to deal with all screening process of managers for all levels of our national team both male and female and the board not being able to strong arm them into who the board wants otherwise disband the TC and let the board run it on its own

  36. There is definitely distrust with the tech committee and the board. The Saintfeit appointment was ultimately the straw that broke the camel’s back. Having said that the process was adhered to by the tech committee in submitting their name for the post however the board hires and the board fires so they did their job too. I do think that the tech committee should resign only because they are not allowed or so it seems to do their job without interfence from DJW.

    • Lasana Liburd

      I think the selection of Saintfiet was tainted since only DJW spoke to the candidates and then declared who was available and affordable and who wasn’t. The only person who knows whether DJW’s report back was honest or not is the president himself.
      The process seemed to go the right way this time. So even though Stuart Charles-Fevrier was selected, there is no proof of interference.

    • Because you liked the final choice? Is it a flawed process that happened to get the right result then?

    • Right result? Absolutely not.

    • It was a flawed process and as expected it generated the least qualified candidate.

    • Lol. As far as Brian is concerned at least Carlos.

    • How was it flawed in your opinion Carlos?

    • When will we ever get things right? Too many hidden agendas. Too many incompetent committees and boards. Reminds me of the gymnastic fiasco.

    • I hear where you’re coming from and I agree. The problem is our football community is so small that it will always be hard to escape from somebody voting for someone they played with or coached with or lime with.

    • Lasana – Let’s start with the initial shortlist. We needed an experienced coach to give us a fighting chance to make it through the Hex. We needed a Benhakker type coach. Someone credible, well respected, no nonsense type coach. Obviously he would come with a price, but it would have been an investment worth making. The potential rewards suggest we should have taken the risk. Then there is the TC’s shortlist. To me their job is to identify the best possible candidate to the board, without regards to affordability. By any standard Francisco should have been their top choice, from the 5, with Stewart and Terry coming a close second. The list should have ended there, with the other candidates not even being considered. The board should have selected someone from the above list and if they felt none on the list was good enough for the task at hand they should have asked the TC to re-open the process.

  37. I do believe that they got it right this time…but we MUST show patience to achieve long term consistent results. A new coach must be given time to implement his system of play!!!

    • So you’re happy with the process and the way the final choice was made?

    • Living in San Francisco Bay Area, we do not get complete details however, I did not like Saintfiet throwing players under the bus so quickly! I supported soca warriors during all Gold Cup games in US with Coach Bertile St Claire and also went to Germany. What I have seen with Dennis Lawrence as a player, I Absolutely respect….also given that he took time to learn and grow as a coach….I certainly respect. I am hoping he can unify players and country while bringing that extra level of commitment needed in our soccer/football. But he is NOT a miracle worker, he will need time…

      • The idea of conflict of interest is a serious and concerning one. Why should the board approve it without reviewing, analyzing with an option to deny the request? Is the board just a rubber-stamping body? I hope not. hey should be held accountable by their decision to approve of disapprove. Also, no coach gets head-coaching experience without being appointed at some time. Dennis Lawrence has done all that is necessary to prepare himself for the job. Now let’s give him our full supprot and create an environment for him to succeed. Go Warriors

    • I agree with you fully! We need to allow him time to work with the team and not judge him and come to premature decisions which would only set us back further.

  38. The board of directors ultimate responsibility is to ensure that the direction of the national team is the best charted course possible. They felt that the proposed candidate was not in the best interest of facilitating a successful national team and thus overruled the technical committee.

  39. The Board isn’t a rubber stamp. The technical committee does the due diligence and heavy lifting and reports to the board so that it can make an informed decision. No problem here.

    • Well said – in fact I would go even further to say that the TC should be responsible for identifying, screening, and proposing their their two candidates, unranked to the board. The board should then be responsible for doing the final interviews, selection, and contract negotiations. Ideally the president should handle the contract negotiations once the board has agreed on the best candidate. I’ll add that the current process was quite flawed, as it did not unearth the best available candidate. By no means should Dennis be the candidate to lead us through the Hex. I could see him as the coach if we had no chances of qualifying and wanted to rebuild the program. However, since we have a solid chance of qualifying we should have gone for an experienced coach. None of the final 5 fit the bill, but if we had to choose a local coach from the 5 I would have gone for Terry or Charles.

    • Agreed. however as far as I understand only 3 candidates were considered by the technical committee – Stuart, Terry and Maturana (I stand to be corrected). If that was the case , who did the due diligence on DL and provided the information to the board on him in order for them to make an informed decision ?

    • But Carlos, the committee didn’t recomend Dennis. I don’t mind a standing committee doing the interviews and so on personally. I actually think that is best.

    • Dominic, the technical committee did due diligence on Dennis too. He just wasn’t their first or second choice.

    • So the board obviously doesn’t have confidence in the technical committee in which case they should step down no (the TC that is)

    • It’s an interesting dilemma. Perhaps the board might be satisfied with the interviewing process and the information presented by the technical committee, even though they just disagreed with the TC’s final picks.

    • Lasana – Good point. I forgot the TC didn’t have Dennis on their list, which makes sense based on the the fact we needed an experienced coach. If the TC were forced to select from the 5, then from my perspective they were on target with their selections. And since Dennis wasn’t even on their shortlist the entire TC should resign in protest. The board had no right to consider someone outside of the shortlist provided by the TC. If they were unhappy about the list for technical or other reasons, they should have met with the TC to discuss and ask that they re-open the search process.

    • Dominic – Or the board members have their own agenda.

    • No. The TC had Dennis Lawrence on their shortlist Carlos. But he came in behind Stuart Charles-Fevrier and Terry Fenwick.
      There were only five applicants. Russell Latapy was disregarded for some reason. And it doesn’t seem like Francisco Maturana was given the same opportunity. I’ve heard a lot of conflicting information as to why Maturana did not rank higher.
      Lawrence was third or fourth in the rankings. Personally, I think if Lawrence is considered then I’m not sure why Latapy was not since Lawrence is not more experienced than Latapy.

    • Lasana – Can you clarify the list that was submitted to the board? Did they submit their top three in rank order or top 5 in rank order?

    • The TC took Latapy off the shortlist altogether. And then each member selected the coaches in order from one to four.
      Four members had Stuart Charles-Fevrier as first pick, two members had Terry Fenwick as first pick and all six members had Dennis Lawrence as second pick.

    • I must say for the first time I totally agree with Carlos. Well said. Totally flawed process. I wish I could say more but it would be a conflict of interest. Great article Lasana

    • Reyna – what? we agreeing on stuff? Wow? Like you work up on the right side of the bed today:-)

    • Hahaha. Let me stay far from this one!

    • Lol or maybe you finally did! ??

    • Reyna – I’m consistent my dear. Only call it like I see it

    • Lasana Liburd describe the due diligence done.

    • Lasana Liburd hmmm. Based on what? What’s the due diligence? What were the criteria for ranking?

    • They checked CVs and asked questions Brian. I suppose we would find out more about the interview process sooner or later.

    • Ok but a cv is nit a reliable assessment

    • I agree. Unlike Saintfiet, at least they knew what the teams of the respective coaches played like. I can’t say what they learnt of Lawrence’s work per se. Because he obviously was never a head coach before.

    • Lasana Liburd but there are ways to assess a senior executive – and football is no different! Why do we make football out to be so special.

    • What would you suggest if you were to give a tip Brian? What should be the key?

    • Lasana Liburd when assessing and selecting senior executives the bias is toward competency assessment and deep referencing. No more tips since my bills are paid this way. That’s the way CEOs of bug companies and organizations are selected. The resumes are only a chronological record but not a record of accomplishments. Lasana there is a BIG science and industry built around this. Other countries are getting onboard – why can’t we? Are we so special

    • Good point Brian. Committees serve a purpose. There role is important and it is an advisory one. So they come with recommendations. This would make the work of the board easier as the board can have a spring board to work from. And if the recommendations are justifiable or makes real sense you go right ahead. If not you reject. So the TC should remain, this would be a lesson to them to do the right thing and think about many factors when selecting a coach such as: skills, expertise, conflict of interest when making appointments etc.

  40. I think, that given what transpired to get us to this point, their intervention was necessary. For them to just rubber stamp any continued proposals from the committee would be irresponsible in light of the 1. Firing of Stephen Hart with no succession plan and 2. The hiring of Tom Saintfiet with cost seeming to be the main driver in his selection.

    • Are you satisfied that, with the board proven to have a mind of its own, the process is working then? Or should the technical committee feel slighted or even resign?

    • Lasana.. we know it’s a shambles.. that’s a given..but the technical committee in a FUNCTIONING AND CAPABLE football body are the ones to select the manager.. not the board of directors. The board just rubber stamps it.. that is they discus how the organisation could afford the selected manager.. but it’s TTFA so all manner of madness happens..

    • I feel that the technical committee has shown itself to lack the competency to carry out even the most basic of responsibilities in a professional manner. As such some accountability need to occur.

    • So Kelvin, you say the board was wrong? And Ian, you say the technical committee have lost the faith of the board?

    • In technical terms the board was wrong.. the technical committee evaluates the candidates. The should be analysing whether the potential manager fits the philosophy of football of the said country.. the board just says yes we can afford it or no.. But in Trinidad and Tobago football all sorts happens.. if I was a technical committee member and I felt my choice was just thrown out by the board I would consider my position. Lasana it’s shambolic and the wrong ppl are there anyway.. but in a technical sense that’s how it SHOULD work

    • So who sets the parameters for the technical committee? Especially since the technical committee took it upon themselves to assume that cost was a main driver for selection?

    • Ian, I believe the TTFA president gave the technical committee an idea of how much they could spend and how long the contract could be.

    • So if the president set those parameters, and the board saw fit to overrule the committee proposal, doesn’t that suggest that the board not only questions the judgement of the committee, but also that of the president? I believe that in the case of Tom Saintfiet the board assumed that the committee knew what it was doing and as such rubber stamped the hiring. In the aftermath, goodwill had been eroded, causing the board to question the competency of the committee and or the President.

  41. No he’s not the safest pair of hands, considering hart and maturana are more qualified … but is he a better choice than Stuart, hell yes, corruption got us SANTHIEF … so it’s safe to say, going against the grain is beneficial… however, was it fair to fire hart and not give him his full staff as he wanted but now give tallest all that he is asking for ?

    • Well, I’m not sure what staff Hart wanted then. But his appointment came under a different TTFA president and board.

    • So our belief in the TTFA board is strengthened?

    • Lasana Liburd hart didn’t get what he requested, as the dictator cited money issues, the same money issues which magically have disappeared, so Hart was not given the full team he needed…

    • Lasana Liburd it’s not strengthened my friend… you need to trust the board in order to say that… right now it is a wait and see policy, observing what they do now, obstruction and sabotage is not far from the dictators mind as it was 10 months ago..

    • Brother Lasana Liburd we are also not self sufficient, the ttfa now relies on external forces to pay our coaches, resorting to a glorified hand out that determines the caliber of coach we get for our nation, while our current government stays silent in how much was actually allocated to the ttfa, so strengthened is not the word I associate or the word to describe the relationship that the football loving people of Trinidad and Tobago have with the ttfa … on this premise it leads me to believe that we are weakened and they will continue to deceive..

  42. No applause due to them. They just did the right thing THIS TIME!

  43. The reason why the board over ruled the tech committee and submitted Lawrence’s name as their choice is because they were bamboozled and hoodwinked by the tech committee with the Saintfeit appointment. The tech committee sold them on Saintfeit and with an urgency to get a coach installed the board blindly agreed. It was not until the next day when they read all the reports on Saintfeit they realized they made a huge mistake. So they weren’t going to be taken for a ride again with Charles Fevrier knowing from the get go of DJW’s appointment he wanted CF as the coach. I guess the end justifies the means.

    • Lasana Liburd

      If so, do you think the TTFA board distrusts the technical committee? Should the technical committee members resign then?

    • Lasana Liburd

      Or would you say the technical committee did its job to offer names and the board did its job to select the one it wanted and that the process is fine as it is?