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Prospective national coaches must wait till Monday for decision; olive branch offered to current staff

Over 500 coaches seeking positions within the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) will have to wait an additional three days to find out whether or not they were successful.

TTFA technical committee chairman and Board member Keith Look Loy confirmed yesterday that Board members have postponed their upcoming meeting from Friday 10 January to Monday 13 January, which was considered a more ‘convenient’ date for all involved.

And it will mean another nerve wracking weekend for hundreds of coaches hoping to get one of roughly two dozen national positions available.

Photo: Naparima College coach Angus Eve (right) makes a point while Presentation College (San Fernando) coach Shawn Cooper looks on during the Big Four final at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 12 December 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

The TTFA is yet to appoint Men’s National Senior Team head coach Terry Fenwick’s backroom staff as well as coaches for the Men’s National Under-20 and Under-17 Teams, Women’s Under-20 and Under-15 Teams and the Men’s National Futsal Team, which all have Concacaf duty in 2020.

The TTFA is likely to wait until mid-year to decide on a Women’s National Senior Team head coach with the appointee likely to have some measure of influence over the youth teams, as is the case with Fenwick in the men’s game.

Coaching staff for the Men’s National Under-15 Team are also expected to be chosen at Monday’s meeting.

Look Loy said the technical committee will still meet at 10am tomorrow as initially scheduled to finalise its own recommendations. For each team, the committee will furnish the Board with suggested coaches and will not draw up a shortlist for each position.

“We are going to make a firm proposal of staff members [for each team],” Look Loy told Wired868. “That will be a manager, coach, two assistants and a goalkeeper coach.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team head coach Terry Fenwick is introduced to the media at the National Cycling Centre, Couva on 6 January 2020.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/TTFA Media)

Look Loy confirmed that he joined president William Wallace, vice-president Clynt Taylor and general secretary Ramesh Ramdhan in meeting with the TTFA’s existing coaching staff yesterday.

Those coaches and technical staff members, who included Stern John, Stuart Charles-Fevrier and Gary St Rose, were informed that the contracts they held—allegedly signed and backdated on the eve of the TTFA election in November—were deemed invalid. The TTFA’s legal position was purportedly based on legal advice by attorney Ravi Rajcoomar.

The only exceptions are former Men’s National Senior Team head coach Dennis Lawrence and, possibly, National Under-15 Team head coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier.

“We explained to them what is happening, which is the contracts that 99 percent of them have are not legitimate contracts,” said Look Loy. “They were issued by [former president David] John-Williams with no authority or discussion from the Board. Those contracts are not going to be honoured—that is the legal position.

“On the other hand, we have the technical position that there are people included among those personnel who we are going to use.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team assistant coach Stern John (foreground) leads the squad in training at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar on 8 March 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Members of the former staff were asked to reapply for coaching positions and some could feasibly be retained. However, Look Loy explained that the current administration intends to revamp the local zonal game and could use some of the coaches at that level.

“We are not on a witch hunt,” he said. “We are going to keep a lot of them—but not necessarily in the position they want like on a national team. We are going to be reorienting the Elite Youth Development Programme away from one team and will be establishing regional centres using that money.

“Most of [the national coaches hired under the previous administration] will find their way in the current technical programme at either a national team or a regional centre. Basically, they accepted that.”

Wallace and his team also held meetings with medical personnel who should form the new medical committee and have been asked to play a role in the establishment of a curriculum for the TTFA Academy, which can be used by trainers, first responders and managers.

The TTFA also intends to outsource its National Youth League and FA Cup and intends to advertise for persons willing to run the respective tournaments.

Photo: Central FC attacker Akim Armstrong (right) pleads with teammate Sean Bonval for a pass during Pro League action against Police FC at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 7 January 2020.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/CA-Images/Wired868)

Another post that will be advertised soon is the head of the TTFA’s refereeing department, which was declared as vacant.

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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