The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has replaced Welshman James Thomas with American Constantine Konstin as head coach of the Women’s National Senior Team, on an interim basis.
Thomas, who quit the job last week for the post of Bristol City Women and Girls youth development manager, had never worked as head coach before he came to Trinidad and Tobago. In Konstin’s case, the American has never coached a recognised team in 11-a-side football.
Konstin was head coach of the Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Futsal Team which, earlier this year, lost all four outings with a goal differential of eight scored and 25 conceded. The American described his stint as an ‘amazing’ accomplishment.
He will now get the chance to show what he can do in outdoor football, after an extraordinary decision by the Fifa-appointed normalisation committee.
The normalisation committee has operated throughout without a technical committee, while NC chairman Robert Hadad has not even utilised his ‘ad hoc selection panel’ for recent decisions. Hadad spoke briefly on Konstin’s appointment.
“‘Connie’ [Konstin] has always been committed to T&T football and futsal development and we have been having regular discussions with him on how that may take shape headed into 2022,” Hadad told the TTFA Media. “So when the situation arose with James Thomas’ sudden departure, Connie kindly accepted this caretaker/interim role until November.
“We will continue to evaluate the options available in preparation for the Concacaf W Qualifiers in February and April 2022.”
The normalisation committee’s decision to fly in and house an American with no confirmed coaching experience at outdoor football is particularly perplexing when several local coaches such as Anton Corneal, Richard Hood, Shawn Cooper, Marlon Charles and Jason Spence have led women’s teams with varying degrees of success at Caribbean Football Union (CFU) or Concacaf level.
Hood, who led Trinidad and Tobago to the 2016 Concacaf Women’s Championship semi-finals, confirmed that he had not been offered the job by the normalisation committee. A UEFA A license coach, Hood applied for the head coach and assistant coach position earlier this year. The Police FC coach did not get either job.
Thomas is believed to have earned US$7,500 (TT$51,000) a month as head coach.
Konstin, who is on his second job for the normalisation committee, said he can’t wait to get started.
“I am extremely honoured to have the opportunity to be part of team T&T again as Women’s National Team interim head coach,” he said. “I can’t wait to get back to T&T to be working side-by-side with the players and staff who already have a great foundation in place.”
Konstin will lead the Women Soca Warriors into this month’s friendlies against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 21 and 25 October, as both teams prepare for the Concacaf W Qualifiers, set to take place in February 2022.