COACHES involved in the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) will be embarking on CONCACAF Licence courses, as they prepare for the staging of the 2017 season.
So said William Wallace, recently- installed president of the SSFL, during a telephone interview on Thursday.
The 2017 season is expected to begin in early September and Wallace pointed out that the upgrading of SSFL coaches has been a major priority so far, under his tenure.
“At the moment, the biggest thing for us is that we are doing some coaching courses,” said Wallace, the former Trinidad and Tobago men’s football team manager. “We’re doing three courses, a C Prep course, a C Licence and a B Licence going on at the moment.
“It started (on Wednesday). To note, it is the first time that B Licence is being done in Trinidad and Tobago. Right now we have about 33 coaches doing a B Licence.” The courses will be conducted by ex-national youth team coach Anton Corneal.
Wallace added, “Those are coaches attached to the secondary schools, the majority of them. We took a couple in from the community coaching (programme).” Asked if the coaches will be primarily from the SSFL Premier Division or from various age groups in the SSFL, Wallace replied,
“All through the system of secondary schools. We did not limit it. The schools made their choices. They’re not limited to Premier Division or anything like that.” The Premier Division, which was initiated in 2014, will have 16 teams, and not 15 teams as has been the case, as San Juan North Secondary, who were initially relegated due to a change in the points standings, were reinstated at an extraordinary meeting of the SSFL general council in May.
San Juan North were the 2016 Intercol champions, while Shiva Boys copped the 2016 Premier Division crown.
Regional television sporting network Sportsmax will continue to air matches of the top local schools football tournament.
“Sportsmax will still be on board,” said Wallace. “We met with them earlier in the season.
They’ve signed off a five-year deal with us anyway.” The SSFL boss noted that First Citizens and Coca Cola will remain on board for the 2017 season.
And he added, “We’re yet to meet with Shell, that meeting should be coming off very soon.
And that should be about it.” Concerning the state of the grounds, which will be used during the forthcoming season, Wallace stated, “Once there is an issue with a ground we usually have persons going to the school grounds.
What the zones would do is, if there is a concern with a particular ground, the zone would be asked to send persons in to look at (it).
No main issues came up last season in terms of the quality or state of grounds.”