Naparima College and Tiger Tanks Club Sando coach Angus Eve was confirmed as Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Under-17 Team head coach this evening with Keith Jeffrey and Clyde Leon as his assistants, Clayton Ince as goalkeeper coach, Adarryl John as trainer and Wesley Webb as team manager.
The technical committee will decide on a team physio and equipment manager at a later date.
Eve, 47, is the most successful coach in the Premier Division era of the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) and a former National Under-23 head coach. As a player, he started in all three outings for Trinidad and Tobago at the 1991 World Youth Cup in Portugal, which was the nation’s first appearance at a Fifa tournament, and he retired as Trinidad and Tobago’s most capped outfield player with 117 appearances and 37 goals in the red, black and white strip.
Ince, 47, played alongside Eve at the Portugal tournament and was a member of the Soca Warriors team that participated at the Germany 2006 World Cup. Leon, 36, also has extensive international experience with 47 full international appearances and one goal for the Warriors.
The National Under-17 coaching selections rounded off the appointments in the men’s game for the short term future with all four of the national teams facing vital qualifying affairs in 2020. It also meant that Presentation College (San Fernando) head coach Shawn Cooper was the only technical committee nominee who ended up without a portfolio.
Cooper was suggested as National Under-15 Team head coach, only for board member and Referees Association president Joseph Taylor to recommend San Juan Jabloteh technical director Keith Jeffrey instead. And, in the end, Jeffrey got more support from the 13 members who were present.
Look Loy said he sympathised with Cooper but accepted the decision of the board.
“[Cooper] was the choice of the technical committee, he has a proven record in youth football and he has experience in international football,” said Look Loy, “but we live with the decision of the board and we will wait for the opportunity to reintegrate him into a national staff.
“In a small country like ours, you cannot ignore someone of the calibre of a Shawn Cooper. But in this situation, we bow to the authority of the board.”
Despite the flurry of appointments in the men’s game, the senior Women Soca Warriors are still without a coaching staff. Look Loy explained that the technical committee prioritised the teams which are competing over the next six months.
“The Senior Women’s Team had one official engagement this year, which was the Olympics—and they were already eliminated,” he said. “They have no official engagement for all of 2020; so we are focusing on the teams who have competitions. Similarly for Beach Soccer which has no activity in 2020.
“[…] It is not that they are being forgotten. There are priorities and these [other teams] are more immediate.”
Look Loy also tried to explain the TTFA’s new practice of having the technical committee select entire coaching staffs rather than just naming head coaches and allowing them to pick their own supporting casts.
“We want to bring the best possible people in,” he said. “The immediate past experience was that all kinds of people came into technical staffs via unofficial channels. So we wanted to bring what we felt was the cream of our coaching talent into our mainstream.
“[…] But we are not blind for the need of chemistry, so I was the one to call around and ask coaches if they are prepared to work with this one and if they are prepared to work with that one.”
The TTFA technical committee members at present are: Look Loy, Richard Piper, Norris Ferguson, Jinelle James, Ken Elie and Michael Grayson.