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Soca Warriors coach, Lawrence, named as favourite for vacant managerial job at lowly Wrexham

Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team head coach Dennis Lawrence has emerged as favourite for the vacant managerial post at England National League club, Wrexham AFC.

Former Wrexham manager Sam Ricketts left the club yesterday to take up a position at League One outfit, Shrewsbury Town, while the “Dragons” appointed his assistant, Graham Barrow, as caretaker boss.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago coach Dennis Lawrence gives instructions during the 2018 World Cup football qualifier match against Panama in Panama City, on 5 September 2017.
(Copyright AFP 2017/Ed Grimaldo)

Lawrence, a former Wrexham captain and member of the club’s Hall of Fame—alongside compatriot Carlos Edwards—is the bookmaker’s favourite to take up the mantle, with SkyBet slashing odds that the Trinidad and Tobago World Cup 2006 defender would take charge at the Racecourse Ground in Wales from 8/1 to 2/1.

Lawrence’s contract with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) expires in January 2019 and president David John-Williams is not believed to have initiated talks for a renewal, which would still need board approval.

John-Williams has other pressing matters, as he will face a no confidence motion—tabled by Super League club FC Santa Rosa—at Sunday’s reconvened TTFA AGM, along with a stream of ongoing court matters, including a request for transparency on the Home of Football by board member and Santa Rosa owner Keith Look Loy and a claim for unpaid match fees, salaries and per diems by the National Futsal Team.

Lawrence is also believed to be one of multiple national coaches owed salaries by the current TTFA administration.

As National Senior Team head coach, Lawrence—a former assistant coach at England Premier League clubs Wigan Athletic and Everton FC—could not prevent the Soca Warriors from finishing bottom of the Concacaf Hex in the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign. And his record reads: five wins, four draws and 11 defeats with 18 goals scored and 27 conceded from his 20 matches in charge.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Dennis Lawrence (centre) makes a point to midfielder Hashim Arcia (left) during international friendly action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 24 August 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

However, Lawrence can point to home wins over Panama and, more famously, the United States during the Hex as signs of his potential as head coach. And after six games in 2018—five of them outside of Trinidad—the Warriors conceded just three goals with the highlight being a 2-0 win over the United Arab Emirates in a September friendly international in Girona, Spain.

At present, Wrexham are outside of England’s four recognised professional leagues. But, at fourth in the National League, they do occupy a play off spot and can feasibly win one of the two promotion spots to League Two.

Incidentally, Lawrence’s former assistant coach on the National Senior Team, ex-England standout Sol Campbell, took over at League Two table proppers, Macclesfield Town, last week.

Lawrence could not be reached for comment while his agent, Mike Berry, declined comment on the Warriors coach’s immediate job prospects.

Lawrence is believed to be happy in his role with the National Senior Team but has not ruled himself out of a return to Wales.

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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48 comments

  1. Hannibal Najjar

    It was brought to my attention that my recent sharing regarding Coach Lawrence’s possible move to Wrexham might have some negative overtones. Let me categorically say that nothing said had mal or negativity intent. I am generally an outspoken person but I believe that I am correct when I say that, my outspokeness does not get the better of my respect for person and/or the truth. I am so sorry that one might have interpreted what I shared as negative and more so, as, gossip – neither was written with such in mind. If is someone out there who have thought this, I implore you to unquestionably accept that, the mind behind my pen, had no malice or ill-will. I have made previous comments in the past about many coaches, even Dennis, and they were aimed at lifting up and showing support. Dennis, if my words were felt as negative or such other, please sincerely accept my apologies. And I still say, good luck with and and all of your decisions whether about,God, family, work, and others. “Musher” on your troops, lead and urge them on, “go”, “run”, “fight”, “win” and all that could be said to get the most and best of those you have charges over.

  2. He bound to his President for life Them really good yes

  3. Hannibal Najjar

    DL’s purpose here has been served. He will leave and he should take the job…. if he makes the final hurdle. He’d do better there, his “real” home, certainly for this kind of living. He has maxed out here as well…. the “dogs” on his sled have done all they could with him as their “driver” or “musher”. He is not a whipper nor is he the developer that is needed in our TT setting. Go DL, go “musher” Wrexham’s sled!

  4. Buh A A so you know Sam Phillips who is meh uncle Jack Warner right hand man and who told me that he didn’t do anything wrong because he didn’t steal from our sweet country but only from my second sweet country. Them really good yes. Keith Hodge

  5. Country first when your country put you first and allow you to upgrade!! My brother was a national tennis player as a Coast Guard. Talk bout pressure to get promotion! It’s only the “Brown noses” get anywhere. Play man and suffer!! I hope he has the balls to tell them to f.k off. I was a C.G. officer too. Ask me when last and how many times I went back there after I take my benefits and ride out. It’s up to a man to let himself get brainwashed. Ask Sam Phillips and Ewing Davis about Chief Hodge.

  6. Then again never forget that dem soldiers and dem got brainwashed a very long time ago eh Keith Hodge and their motto was and still is ” Country First” so I won’t be surprise that he turns down the better deal from the real professional team abroad and continue coaching our Soca Worries nah and even with promises of being paid the same like the players who still haven’t gotten paid since a long time now Them really good yes

  7. Soo, if I want a better job, my ‘old or present boss’ could blank me?? And to top it off he “owing me?”? Soo, I supposed to humble?? Boy!! WTF I hearing here?? Serious ting but is best I laugh yes!! Dem for f.king real??? Nah man. They woulda really have to send the ‘slave catchers’ for me. I did gone (sic).

  8. Well never forget that.we.also have a Papadock (Haiti ex dictator) R.I.P running the show in the corrupted TTFA eh Trey Hart. Them really really good yes

  9. Who does write these articles on TTFA website I am confused as to how someone whose contract ends in January isn’t allowed to open discussions with future suitors. Earl Mango Pierre as you does say “them really good yes”

  10. Soo if he does decide to leave?
    What they will sue him?
    Steupps look at this point i willing to take Gary or lasana as TTFA president yes, cause this *insert appropriate obscenity here* just continues to exhibit why he should’ve never been elected in the first damn place!!!

  11. How come no statement from DL himself?

  12. I guess the man don’t want the Coach Dennis to leave because which other coach will carry out his agendas eh Them really good yes

  13. I actually don’t think they have the power to do so…do they?

  14. The TTFA wishes to state that it has no intentions of allowing its current employee, Mr Lawrence, to engage in discussions with the club regarding the possibilities of a move and a subsequent step down from his position as Head Coach of the Men’s Senior National Team.
    http://ttfootball.org/2018/12/05/ttfa-statement-on-lawrences-link-to-wrexham-job/

  15. I think the coach should take the management job if iit is offered…
    Staying here with these wana b superstars who have more gallary than football skills is just wasting time..

  16. Get rid of DJW an bring back Hart

  17. Here we go again … back to square ONE…

  18. Take it and go, Dennis. Make it in the professional game then come back and try to help us when you established

  19. Mango I totally respect the passion you have for TT football.

    • Travis Mulraine We need a real professional coach the same like Coach Hart with great stats and a winning record eh, we don’t need any trainees or bootleg coaches for our national teams, youth/senior/women/men and thanks eh Keith Hodge. Them really good yes.

    • Earl Mango Pierre I don’t like football. I love it from small (70yrsold)

    • Well I love it the same and played it from small ( 60 Yrs old) and left our sweet country at the age of 15yrs old to further my education and football knowledge in my second sweetest country and as you know we don’t stick when it comes to playing, coaching, and selecting the right professional coaches for the beautiful game and our national teams eh. Them really good yes Keith Hodge

    • Earl Mango Pierre and Mr Williams??😃😃😃

    • Who my dictator President, well when we honored him and his coaching staff back in the day it was for his accomplishments with his professioanal club W- Connection, but when they voted him in as the president of the corrupted TTFA I knew that wudda be a conflict in interest, so all who voted for him getting what they wanted yes, our football going way backwards instead of forward. Them really good yes. Keith Hodge

    • I remember the Jack Take over in the 70’s. Football flourished and then died!! Big money came and that was that. A mad rush for FIFA ranks and the game itself died. But keep at them. BIG UP

    • Keith Hodge if you only know how drained I am eh, because growing up in my second sweetest country and now returning to our sweet country like a messiah and they not receiving the messgae at all, I feeling that I have returned back in times yes because as you know we have plenty talent in our sweet country, but they needs to be coached in these times, it isn’t like long time ago eh, because these nowadays players different yes and some of these nowadays bootleg coaches, well I trully think that they needs to be coached themselves eh, because the level of our football tells the whole story, but I am not giving up nah I believe we shall rise again with the right people at the head of the TTFA taking us there Them really good yes.

    • Earl Mango Pierre never give up bro

  20. Earl Mango Pierre behave yuh self nah man.

  21. Oh lawd let them hurry up and give him the job nah. I will buy his plane ticket for him Them really good yes

  22. Any idea what the pay for a job like that would be? Just looking to see how it may compare to being a national team coach…plus the pro’s & con’s