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Eve replaces former boss, Fenwick, as interim Soca Warriors head coach for July Gold Cup

Club Sando FC head coach Angus Eve has replaced Terry Fenwick as head coach of the Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team. Eve’s appointment is, at least initially, on a temporary basis, as the Fifa-appointed normalisation committee confirmed his contract will expire on 31 August 2021.

Eve emerged top of a shortlist by a makeshift technical advisory panel, chaired by normalisation committee member Trevor Nicholas Gomez, which met on Saturday afternoon to discuss a new leader for the Soca Warriors—just hours after the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) confirmed that Fenwick had been sacked, along with assistants Derek King and Kelvin Jack.

Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago head coach Terry Fenwick was sacked after Soca Warriors crashed out of the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign at the first hurdle.
(via TTFA Media)

And, less than 24 hours after that technical meeting, the Robert Hadad-led normalisation committee confirmed that it agreed terms with Eve between Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

“I’m really honoured and privileged to have this opportunity to continue to represent my country,” Eve told the TTFA Media. “I’m committed to [providing] a lift to Trinidad and Tobago, especially in this time where we are battling with so many different adversities at the same time.”

Hadad wished Eve well and commended the outgoing technical staff for their time.

“We thank the previous coaching staff for their commitment and efforts,” said Hadad. “We now look forward to the Gold Cup competition and wish Angus all the best. We will do our very best to support him and the team.”

Trinidad and Tobago face Montserrat on 2 July in Miami, in the first of two potential 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup qualifiers. If they triumph, they will battle the winner between Cuba and French Guiana on 6 July for a place in the Gold Cup group stage alongside: Mexico, El Salvador and Curaçao.

Photo: Naparima College coach Angus Eve will steer the Soca Warriors through their 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup campaign.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Hadad said his ‘advisory panel’ will meet again after the Gold Cup to select a long term appointment for the national football team.

The technical panel that met yesterday comprised of Fifa coaching instructor Anton Corneal, his Strike Squad teammate Richard Chinapoo, 1991 World Youth Cup midfielder Anthony Sherwood, and Gomez.

Chinapoo lives in Miami while Sherwood runs his own academy in Trinidad but has never coached at an elite level in the country or anywhere else. It meant only Corneal had any working knowledge of Trinidad and Tobago’s top coaches.

Only the TTFA Board can appoint or dismiss technical staff members, and, as the normalisation committee replaced the board last October, the decision was ultimately made by the Hadad-led body.

The normalisation committee said it will ‘consult with Eve’ to finalise his coaching staff. However, Reynold Carrington, Hutson Charles, Clayton Ince, and Adarryl John have been rumoured as Eve’s possible support staff, along with Richard Piper as manager.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago players huddle before kick off against St Kitts and Nevis on 8 June in their final 2022 World Cup qualifying fixture.
They won 2-0.
(via TTFA Media)

Ironically, Eve’s first coaching job came as assistant to Fenwick at San Juan Jabloteh—nearly 15 years ago. And his first opportunity as head coach came from the TTFA, as the local football body put him in charge of the National Under-23 Team for the 2011 Pan American Games.

Eve, Trinidad and Tobago’s most capped player with 117 appearances and 34 goals, rewarded the faith of the Keith Look Loy-led technical committee with three successive draws in the Pan Am tournament against Mexico, Ecuador and Uruguay.

His National Under-23 Team, which included current senior team players Sheldon Bateau, Kevin Molino and Joevin Jones, also cruised past St Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname, by a combined aggregate of 16 goals to three over four games in the preliminary stage of the 2014 Olympic Games qualifiers.

They were finally unstuck at the Concacaf round in March 2012, where they lost 7-1 to Mexico and 2-0 to Honduras and drew 1-1 with Panama.

Photo: Then Trinidad and Tobago National Under-23 head coach Angus Eve conducts a session with players (from left) Sean De Silva, Joevin Jones and Sheldon Bateau in 2012.
(via TTFA Media)

It was another eight years before Eve got another international appointment under the William Wallace-led administration, although the Covid-19 pandemic meant his contract expired without his National Under-17 troops ever seeing action.

In between, Eve coached North East Stars, St Ann’s Rangers and Club Sando in the Pro League. He scooped up the 2012 Toyota Classic and 2015 TTFA FA Trophy titles for Stars—both via penalty kicks against Defence Force and W Connection respectively.

At Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) level, his Naparima College team were the most successful outfit of the Premier Division era, which begun in 2014.

Following a nine-year wait, Eve finally returns to competitive international action. He has just under three weeks to prepare the Warriors to face Montserrat in Miami. After the Gold Cup, Trinidad and Tobago will have a 10-month break from competitive football before they line up in the second tier of the Concacaf Nations League from May 2022.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Levi Garcia (right) on the charge during 2022 World Cup qualifying action against St Kitts and Nevis in Santo Domingo on 8 June 2021.
Looking on is teammate Khaleem Hyland and SKN midfielder Raheem Somersall.
(via TTFA Media)

Trinidad and Tobago were relegated from League A under former head coach Dennis Lawrence in 2019 and now find themselves with the likes of the Dominican Republic, Barbados, Belize, and Guatemala for company. Eve will hope to still be in charge by then.

On 2 February 2021, the Club Sando coach criticised Fenwick’s tactics and team selection after Trinidad and Tobago suffered a joint national record 7-0 loss away to the United States in a friendly outing. 

Just four months later, Eve has the chance to prove he can do better.

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief 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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6 comments

  1. Big fat steups….
    On 2 February 2021, the Club Sando coach criticised Fenwick’s tactics and team selection
    A move that was well orchestrated by wired 868, and aimed at undermining Fenwick, the national men’s senior team, and by extension the Republic.
    And these deceitful clowns would argue that they are the ones that care about our football… And you wonder why terrible Terry didn’t want you in his news conferences..
    Big fat watery steups!

    • Lasana Liburd

      Wired868 was trying to undermine Fenwick and, by extension, the Republic? Which Republic?! Hahahahaha…

      • Easy answer: The one that would prefer everyone be a brown-noser and a kowtower so that the embarrassing truth NEVER gets out.

        I remain confident that, with no encouragement from me, you will keep doing you and help to save the Republic that wants to deal in truth.

        And I hope and pray that my brother Talldog will wake up and smell the coffee one of these mornings.

        • May i remind you both, that i presented a view that the well orchestrated attack on terrible Terry after the USA game was a bit too much, too early. It didn’t go down well with some citizens. And it was supported here, with weak irrational analysis by allyuh coach of choice. To support your nefarious behaviour, the debate was switched to one about eve vs Fenwick, when all i was presenting was the national team would get nowhere with your approach as well.
          I don’t need coffee to rescognise a foolish and damned approach.
          Anyways, in this war with blurred battle lines, pick your fights carefully. Today you making fun about my statement that you are undermining your country. When now turns to history, you may be thrown into the same boat with Womantra… The group responsible for the demise of Mr Tim kee.
          And please don’t ever get it wrong, it is assness that irks me, and whether you like it or not, this is also a chapter that reeks of assness on all sides.
          What start bad, could never end good! Press the damn reset button!

      • The nervous laugh of guilt, and amazing bravado whilst displaying startling ignorance… Anyways, all the best to you and Mr eve – I hope you have more than the strength of a wall flower in the face of your tasks ahead.

        • Lasana Liburd

          Talldog, you failed to spot what was actually derision; and not for the first time. Go brave. I’m really not bothered what you think. Take care.