Mon, May


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