TTFA puts flood of coaching positions up for grabs, including Men’s U-15 and U-17 jobs

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has put the positions of head coach for the Men’s National Under-17 and Under-15 Teams, goalkeeper coach for all men’s and women’s teams and the technical director portfolio up for tender, as the clean-out continues at the local football body.

And technical committee chairman Keith Look Loy will also push for a review of the National Elite Youth Development programme.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Boys National U-15 head coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier talks to the media after their 5-4 loss against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 17 July 2019.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

It means that national youth coaches Stern John (under-17) and Stuart Charles-Fevrier (under-15) and Soca Warriors goalkeeper coach Ross Russell will have to reapply for their posts or be replaced outright while Elite programme co-ordinator Gary St Rose can also be moved on.

The new William Wallace-led administration has already hired Terry Fenwick and Richard Hood to replace Dennis Lawrence and Stephen De Four at the helm of the Men’s National Senior Team and Women’s National Under-17 Team respectively.

Derek King is earmarked to take up the Men’s National Under-20 head job and be Fenwick’s first named assistant while, in the absence of a Women’s Under-20 head coach, Hood may potentially double up with both squads.

Look Loy suggested that the decision to put some posts up for tender but not others was down to the timeframe involved before the respective teams entered competition.

“The Women’s [Under-20 Team] play in a matter of two months and the [Women’s Under-17 Team] in three months, so because of the pressing concerns we wanted to activate them straight away,” Look Loy told Wired868. “Those are short-term contracts. When those tournaments are done, we are going to have an assessment of the staff and open it up again for the next cycle, which is in two years.

Photo: Then Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team head coach Richard Hood (left) and captain Maylee Attin-Johnson on 11 February 2016 after a 2-1 Olympic qualifying win over Guatemala.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

“We didn’t have time to go through a whole procedure. We have to submit the Under-20 names [for the Concacaf provisional squad] by the 15th of January, so we had to take a decision to proceed in that manner. Those teams are already training.”

In terms of the Men’s National Senior Team, Look Loy also got the board to agree on an early appointment so the new head coach ‘could hit the ground running’ in the New Year.

The senior Soca Warriors have their first international match window in March while they face a Concacaf Gold Cup Play Off against either Guyana or Barbados in June.

Look Loy said his recommendation that the Board appoint King as Men’s National Senior Team assistant coach and National Under-20 Team head coach was in keeping with a request from Fenwick.

“That is who Fenwick wants and I fully expect the board to approve that,” said Look Loy, “and we go down the line [with an application process] for everyone else. The people who applied for a head coach job, we will also consider them for an assistant coach job—we are not going to put out an ad for an assistant coach job.

“[…] If we go to them and they say ‘no’, then they say no.”

Photo: Ex-England 1986 World Cup defender Terry Fenwick (left) and Trinidad and Tobago’s 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finalist Ancil Elcock have a laugh during the 4th annual Wired868 Football Festival at UWI SPEC in January 2016..
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images/Wired868)

Look Loy said he will discuss the remainder of Fenwick’s staff with the Englishman but declined to say which of them would have the final veto.

“It is something that we will work out,” said Look Loy. “A lot of people have a problem with Terry Fenwick, a lot of people have problem with Keith Look Loy; but I talk to him very well and I am sure we will work it out.

“All we are looking for is good professionals with a good CV.”

Look Loy explained why he considered the position of Under-15 coach to be vacant, although Charles-Fevrier held that post for the past three years.

“His contract does not name him as the Under-15 Team coach,” said the technical committee chairman. “It names him only as assistant Senior Team coach.”

Photo: Outgoing Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team coaching staff (from left to right) Ross Russell, Stern John, Stuart Charles-Fevrier and Dennis Lawrence stand for the national anthem before a World Cup qualifier against USA in Denver, Colorado on 8 June 2017.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

In John’s case, the Board agreed to have him head the previous National Under-17 Team on a pro bono basis. And although former president David John-Williams subsequently gave John a contract as National Under-20 Team head coach, Look Loy said the latter deal did not have Board approval and is not considered valid.

“Stern will be considered like everyone else who is there now,” said Look Loy, “and we are inviting applications from people who are not there now. Then we will send our recommendations to the Board.”

Applicants for the position of Under-17 and Under-15 Team head coach must be able to: lead training sessions, provide motivation and advice during gameplay, develop game plans, attend tryouts, schedule team meetings, and should be able to identify the individual abilities of each player and provide one-to-one coaching wherever required.

They should also be able to:

  • Be a member of the Association’s Technical Department;
  • Lead and manage a Men’s National Team, including its player personnel and technical staff;
  • Select the player personnel of said National Team;
  • Develop and implement the training programme of said national Team and submit said programme to the Association’s Technical Director and Technical Committee;
  • Report on the implementation of said programme to the Association’s Technical Director and Technical Committee, including the performance of player personnel and technical staff;
  • Assist in the training of programmes of other National Teams and perform other technical assignments, as directed by the Association’s Technical Committee.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago U-15 captain Jaheim Marshall (centre) celebrates a goal with teammates during TTFA U-15 Invitational action against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 17 July 2019.
Panama won 5-4.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

Applicants for the post of technical director must be able to: provide both technical and administrative support via technical programming, including coach development and education, player evaluations, development and try-outs, team training, academies and camps.

Their duties will also include:

  • Leading and managing the TTFA Technical Department;
  • Preparing the budget for said Department;
  • Supervising the performance of all Technical Staff within said Department;
  • Managing the daily operations of the TTFA Academy;
  • Managing the TTFA development programmes;
  • Reporting directly to the TTFA Technical Committee;
  • Performing other non-coaching technical tasks as directed by the TTFA Technical Committee.
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  1. This is a good sign where the new Board is doing what is has been elected to do by committee and transparency. Will this be ephemeral is left to be seen? I applaud the Fenwick hire as sometime ago I commented that he was a “no brainer” for National Team Head Coach before DL was regretably hired.
    The proof of the pudding is in the eating and records show we got to 2006 WC in Germany with a Foreign Coach. Moreover, whilst the locals possess the requisite attributes to coach the team, we need foreign expertise with local undertanding of the idiosyncrasies of our home grown players. It is a pity the cash-strapped TTFA were so myopic under DJW to let rational decisions guide them. Fenwick fits the current role perfectly and only way for us now is up!

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