The official appearance of the Soca Warriors newly-appointed head coach Dennis Lawrence and his assistant, Englishman Sol Campbell, now hold the reins of authority over the national Football team.
After the poor start to the Concacaf Hex tournament, the country has been faced with many confusing states of which coach will be able to bring the team back on victory road and raise our hopes of qualifying for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Support for Dennis, a hometown boy, whose goal against Bahrain in 2005 took us to a historic appearance at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, will contribute to the team’s overall success, and I am calling on all of T&T to support.
This memorable achievement brought many of our players into the professional arena, mainly in the United Kingdom, and Dennis grabbed the chance to join Wrexham to start a career which carved his path towards the ranks of professionalism as player and assistant coach up to this day.
Even if he had not set the world afire in the Premier League in England, his performances in the championship division brought him respect from the coaches who guided his destiny.
He has ventured into a very new experience as a head coach of our national team, a challenge which is vastly different from club activity and certainly as the head honcho, where every decision is graced by his final word in terms of team selection, player’s behaviour, management responsibilities. He will also have to administer the sideshows which are part of every national team.
It is my sincere hope that his contract is clearly defined in terms of reference which covers areas like salaries, length of contract, picture clear understanding among team manager, medical staff, and stakeholders who may be attached in some indirect way.
His first major meeting with the technical committee is vital, if only because he can make his path perfectly clear as to his training programme, the organisation of friendlies leading up to the official matches, written commitment regarding the overseas based players and their clubs with respect to availability, and most of all his request for complete control over his players, and definitely no interference from non-related personnel.
Dennis’ request for Sol Campbell must have come from their relationship during both his playing career while in England. The former England Central defender, whose partnership with Rio Ferdinand stood out during the FIFA South Korea World Cup final, will be a great asset to the team and to the players having achieved at the highest level internationally. He may well inform our people as to his inexperience as a coach, in probably the same way that his inspirational strength when dealing with players will have brought to his fellow players.
Now we must await their duties as the coaching staff of our national senior team.
I will admit that the invitation to have at least one local assistant will have been ideal, if only for the information which could be shared about the local players.
Here is a good luck wish for Dennis Lawrence and our national team.