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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wired868 has provided readers with solid, independent journalism since 2012. If you appreciate our work, please contribute to our efforts.
Support Independent Journalism