Trinidad and Tobago Football Association technical committee chairman Keith Look Loy is promising a replacement for sacked national football coach Dennis Lawrence by Friday.
And whoever gets the job will have a mandate to take the country to the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup via the June 2020 CONCACAF playoff against the winner between Barbados and Guyana, who play in March.
Lawrence, whose dismal record at the helm of the Soca Warriors during World Cup qualifiers, CONCACAF Gold Cup and other international friendly matches for the past three years, led to the TTFA board of directors opting to terminate his services at a meeting on Saturday.
Guardian Media Sports understands that Lawrence has since expressed his displeasure with how his firing took place.
Yesterday, however, Look Loy said the TTFA has already been swamped by applications from men seeking to fill the vacancy.
“The association has since been bombarded with interests from coaches from Europe, South America and right here locally to pick up coaching duties with the country’s junior and senior teams. The committee is currently in the process of looking at them before a choice can be made, given the association’s financial limitations, but also the quality of the candidates,” Look Loy told Guardian Media Sports.
But Look Loy gave the assurance that the selection will not be based purely on qualifications.
He said there were the issues of finances and immediacy of filling the vacancy, which means that the selected coach must be willing to come here at a moment’s notice and lay down his programme. However, he made it clear that although there is an issue of finances, he has always been firm in the view that the country should get the best coach they can afford.
He said he believes for the first 2020 FIFA window in March, the new coach must have laid plans down which should include at least two international friendly matches. He said the TTFA has already been approached by several international match agents with offers for 2020 engagements.
Meanwhile, Central FC owner and managing director Brent Sancho, who played with Lawrence on the 2006 team that qualified for the World Cup in Germany, has supported the decision to replace Lawrence, saying while the former coach faced numerous challenges, it was difficult to defend the string of 14 winless matches by the Soca Warriors in the latter part of his tenure.
“The country has never really gotten the opportunity to experience Lawrence’s true talent because the playing field was not levelled. For instance, he faced challenges of an ageing talent pool, players returning for matches a day before key matches, etcetera. I think it is unfortunate for Lawrence, but that’s the nature of the sport,” Sancho said.
Sancho said he is hoping the new coach will be someone with extensive international experience and qualifications who will understand the situation he is entering