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Jones appointed T&T Women’s head coach; N/C: Konstin had ‘personal commitments and conflicts’

The Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team have their fourth international head coach in just two weeks, after the Fifa-appointed normalisation committee announced former Soca Warriors captain Kenwyne Jones as head coach this evening.

Jones, whose coaching experience thus far comprises two assistant jobs under Stern John at Men’s National Under-17 level and Nigel Grosvenor at QRC, accepted a two-month contract which expires on 30 November 2021.

Photo: QRC assistant coach Kenwyne Jones (right) has a word with playmaker John-Paul Rochford during SSFL action against East Mucurapo on 15 September 2018.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

Crucially, Jones’ stint would see him oversee the Women Soca Warriors for their upcoming friendlies against Panama on Thursday 21 October and Monday 25 October.

“I’m absolutely delighted and honoured for the opportunity to coach the Women’s Team,” Jones told the TTFA Media. “Hopefully we will be able to achieve the goals set out for the team in this immediate period. I’ll be trying to bring some stability to the squad and to help them focus on the task at hand against Panama.”

The Women Warriors face qualifying action for the 2022 Concacaf W Championship next February. 

Jones’ appointment follows a farcical two weeks for the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), as Welsh coach James Thomas quit the Women’s National Senior Team job on 6 October to take up a position as Bristol City Women and Girls youth development manager.

Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team head coach James Thomas.
(via TTFA Media)

The normalisation committee named Thomas’ assistant, Charlie Mitchell, as interim head coach—only for Mitchell, who is a performance analyst with less than a year’s experience as an assistant coach, to decline the promotion.

On 13 October, normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad announced his solution: American Futsal coach Constantine Konstin!

Konstin lasted just one session on Saturday 16 October before the complaints allegedly started from not only players but technical staff members as well. He was a no-show for the team’s practice on Sunday before being replaced today.

“After consultation with Constantine Konstin, concerning the demands of the women’s international window,” stated the TTFA release, “and personal commitments and conflicts that require him to return to the USA at the end of October, he has mutually agreed to step down and offer Jones and the team support over the international window.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Futsal Team head coach Constantine Konstin.
(via TTFA Media)

Hadad has not responded to requests from Wired868 to explain the selection process which led to the appointment of Konstin.

None of the four coaches who held the Women’s National Senior Team head coach position this month has ever worked as head coach at any recognisable level in 11-a-side football before.

Still, Jones might hope to follow the path taken by Men’s National Senior Team head coach Angus Eve, who turned a caretaker role into a permanent position. Eve had a month to prepare his team for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup tournament, Jones has two days before his first game.

The Panama Women’s players are expected to arrive in Trinidad on Wednesday morning and will join the Trinidad and Tobago team in ‘a bio-secure environment’ at the Home of Football. 

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team players train at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Sunday.
Coach Constantine Konstin was a no-show for the session.
(via TTFA Media)

Thomas was Trinidad and Tobago’s seventh national women’s coach in the last five years, after Stephan De Four, Shawn Cooper (interim), Anton Corneal (interim), Jamaal Shabazz, Carolina Morace and Richard Hood.

Then came Konstin’s breathtakingly brief and bizarre stint, which leaves Jones with a low bar to clear as he makes his debut as a head coach.

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