Following a meeting of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association Board of Directors at the FA’s headquarters in Couva on Wednesday evening, the TTFA is pleased to announce a series of appointments that were confirmed for its various national teams and technical department.
Other appointments for the Men’s Senior Team under head coach Terry Fenwick and Assistant coach Derek King are as follows –
Kelvin Jack – Assistant Coach/Goalkeeper Coach
Oswin Birchwood – Trainer/Physio
Michael Williams – Equipment Manager
Captain Basil Thompson – Team Manager
Men’s Under 20 Team
Derek King – Head Coach
Angus Eve – Assistant Coach
Stern John – Assistant Coach
Ross Russell – Goalkeeper Coach
Trey Hart – Trainer
Aaron Pollard – Team Manager
Men’s Under 17 Team
Wesley Webb – Team Manager
(Other positions to be filled)
Boys Under 15 Team
Keith Jeffrey – Head Coach
Clayton Morris – Assistant Coach
Wayne Sheppard – Assistant Coach
Jefferson George – Goalkeeper Coach
Dexter Demas – Team Manager
Women’s Under 17
Nadia James – Manager
Richard Hood – Head Coach (previously announced)
Women’s Under 15
Jason Spence – Head Coach
Dernelle Mascall – Assistant Coach
Joel Warrick – Assistant Coach
Trevor Nottingham – Goalkeeper Coach
Simone Edwards – Team Manager
National Teams Director – Richard Piper
Women’s Football Director – Jinelle James
Club Licensing and Compliance Director – Norris Ferguson
Head of Goalkeeping – Kelvin Jack
Technical Director – Dion La Foucade
TTFA President William Wallace expressed satisfaction with the process that preceded the various appointments.
“It was a very long process. It was a very democratic process. The Technical Committee would have brought forward their recommendations to the board and the board is now deciding whether we go with those recommendations or not,” Wallace told TTFA Media during a break in the meeting on Wednesday night.
“Generally everyone sitting in that room is more or less involved in that process. Their concern of course is for us to do better on the field of play so at the end of the day when we leave that room I hope we will have the best persons on board to be able to take us forward in terms of our football.”
“There have been appointments formalised so far. It’s a matter of re-organising, For instance earlier today I met with one of the assistant coaches of the men’s senior team. He understood clearly that as a new coach coming in that this coach will want to bring persons in who he is comfortable working with. We sat and had a very good conversation. Of course he has a contract and we have to be able to work that out going forward.
“In some other instances there are also some contractual arrangements with persons at the lower levels. Those too will have to be dealt with going forward. But in many of the cases were able to retain some of those persons and based on the plans we have going forward in terms of our technical approach where we want to have the zones involved we are hoping we can absorb some of those persons there,” Wallace continued.
Keith Look Loy, chairman of the TTFA’s Technical Committee echoed similar sentiments and expanded on the developments.
“We are in the middle of getting it done. We have approved an entire technical staff for the men’s senior team and some of our men and women youth teams. We have approved a Director for each of the national teams department, we have approved a director for the women’s teams department which is Jinelle James, Richard Piper for the men’s national teams department and Norris Ferguson as club licensing director as well as Dion La Foucade as the Technical Director.
“Well we have always said on coming into office that we are not on a witch-hunt… that it is not a natural cause of action that some who served under the David John Williams administration would not find a place under the umbrella of the new administration. So we have kept Stern John as one of the assistant coaches of the Men’s Under 20 team along with Angus Eve to head coach Derek King, and Wesley Webb as the manager of the Men’s Under 17 team. As I said, we are looking at each person on an individual basis trying to properly judge their merits and what they can contribute to the programs and we are making decisions on that basis,” Look Loy stated.
“The decision of the board which is a wise one and it is a proposal of the technical committee is that we give short-term contracts. What I mean by that is we give people a contract for the period of preparations to the end of their tournaments. For example, the under 15 boys and girls team play in August… the contract for the staff is until the end of August. The Women under 20 and 17 teams play in February and March respectively and the contracts are to the end of those tournaments. Then at the end we sit with the staffs, we sit as a committee, we sit as a board and we assess and make decisions. Do we go forward with this staff or with this coach or do we replace anyone at all ? That’s the way we will proceed. If we do look to renew people then we will usefully discuss renewing them for a full cycle which in terms of youth football is two years.
“Project 2026 was unanimously approved. The idea here is to give a level of international experience to the young men who were in the last Under 20 team. They are now going to be 21 and the current under 20 team, they are now 19.. so an age band of 19 to 21-year olds and heading into 2026 to form from that core group a new national team. The year 2026 is going to be the first 48-team FIFA World Cup in Canada, USA and Mexico, Concacaf is going to have six places and we think it judicious to begin preparing a hard core now. We want to groom them. They have weigh stations along the way. We have the CAC Games of 2021 the 2022 Pan American Games, we have the Olympic Games to come beyond 2024.
“When we blood them like this yes in 2026 we may have the outstanding 18-year-old, we may have the outstanding 32-year-old but the core of that 2026 World Cup team is going to be those boys who are now 19 to 21-years old. We are going to form a team under that age band. We are going to put them under the supervision under Terry Fenwick and his senior men’s national team staff and we are going to go forward with that.
Kelvin Jack appointed head of goalkeeping
“Kelvin Jack is going to be returning these shore and he is going to be performing a three-fold role. He is going to be an assistant coach in the men’s senior team, he holds a UEFA B license. He is going to be the goalkeeper coach, he holds a UEFA A goalkeeping license. And he is also going to be head of goalkeeping. We are going to introduce a goalkeeping programme that deals with goalkeeping, goalkeeper coaching and goalkeeper coach instruction from grassroots level right up to the tip of the triangle which is the senior men’s team,” Look Loy explained.
International Friendlies to be finalised for March window
“We have had several offers from Asian, Europe and from South and Central America. We are looking at the quality of the opponents and quite frankly we are also looking at the match fees that we can get because the TTFA needs to make money and the senior men’s national team is the flagship and it could generate finance for the TTFA. It can pay for the player fees and so on. We do not want to duplicate the experience of players past administrations where they played, match fees were paid and the players were not paid. We want to be careful with that and ensure that the first persons to be paid from match fees are players and staff.
“We are close to finalising a couple matches. These are going to be respectable opponents. We have to do well against them and then in the third window then look for higher level opponents that will bring a bigger match fee. The second window of course is dedicated to the CONCACAF 2021 Gold Cup playoffs,” Look Loy said.
Eve, Jack, Jeffrey and La Foucade are in, but no room for Cooper as TTFA appoints coaches.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).
The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) made over two dozen technical appointments in a marathon meeting last night with Dion La Foucade, Angus Eve and Kelvin Jack among the new inclusions into the national pool.
However, technical committee chairman Keith Look Loy did not have things all his way, as board members successfully reversed the committee’s choice for the position of Boys National Under-15 head coach.
The committee recommended Presentation College (San Fernando) and QPCC head coach Shawn Cooper to lead the staff for that age group. Instead, the board opted for San Juan Jabloteh technical director Keith Jeffrey.
TTFA president William Wallace described the meeting, which lasted over six hours, as ‘very democratic’.
The board members present last night were: Wallace (president), Clynt Taylor, Sam Phillip (vice-presidents), Rayshawn Mars (Northern FA), Richard Quan Chan (Southern FA), Joseph Taylor (Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees Association), Jamilya Mohammed (Women’s League Football), Brent Sancho (TT Pro League), Dwayne Thomas (Central Football Association), Look Loy (TTSL), Keon Edwards (Eastern FA), Phillip Fraser (SSFL) and Desmond Alfred (Tobago).
TTFA vice-president Susan Joseph-Warrick was absent, while the Eastern Counties Football Union and Veteran Footballers Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago are yet to make proper representation to the board.
Alfred became the TTFA’s 14th board member after the Tobago Football Association (TFA) held its elections earlier this month. Former National Senior Team defender Makan Hislop, who represents Bethel United in the Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) competition, is the new TFA president.
Men’s National Senior Team head coach Terry Fenwick was finally provided with his staff, which now includes assistant coaches Derek King and Kelvin Jack along with manager Captain Basil Thompson, equipment manager Michael Williams and trainer Oswin Birchwood. Jack will double as goalkeeper coach.
King was also confirmed as National Under-20 head coach with Angus Eve and Stern John as his assistants and Ross Russell as goalkeeper coach, Trey Hart as trainer and Aaron Pollard as manager.
Jeffrey heads the National Under-15 programme assisted by Clayton ‘JB’ Morris and Wayne Sheppard with Jefferson George as goalkeeper coach and Dexter Demas as team manager.
Look Loy presented the technical committee’s wish-list for the various coaching positions yesterday evening, only to immediately face pushback from his board colleagues, who demanded a shortlist for all positions so they could ‘be better informed’ before making any appointments.
So the Board members perused the applications for the technical director position, which had La Foucade and Serb Zoran Vranes at the top of the pile. La Foucade, who was the nominee from the technical committee, was appointed unanimously.
Wallace, who chaired the meeting, urged members to appreciate the work done by the committee in making its choice and pointed out that it would be too time-consuming to dissect over 500 CVs. The point was accepted by the board.
But, when it came to the National Under-15 Team staff, one member, TTFRA president Taylor, had a suggestion: why not Jeffrey?
Cooper, the only Trinidad and Tobago coach to defeat Costa Rica in a competitive affair, took the National Under-17 Team to the Concacaf quarterfinal round in 2011 and 2013 and led Presentation College (San Fernando) to the National Intercol title just last month.
But the board felt Jeffrey—whose Jabloteh team often dominate the Youth Pro League (YPL) competition—deserved a shot, and he won a split vote for the job.
On the last occasion that the board overruled the technical committee, Dennis Lawrence was appointed head coach; and Look Loy’s predecessor, Dexter Skeene, promptly resigned along with half of the committee. But Look Loy said there would be no such fall-out.
“That is the prerogative of the board,” said Look Loy. “The technical committee is an advisory committee and only makes recommendations … So the board exercised its right under the constitution and we move ahead with that.”
The aftershocks of the National Under-15 adjustment meant that a final decision could not be taken on the Under-17 staff last night. The technical committee proposed Eve as head coach with Cooper and Clyde Leon as his assistants. However, Jeffrey’s appointment meant that to fit into the new format of linkages between teams, he was automatically selected as one of Eve’s two assistants.
The board, by way of compromise, suggested that Cooper remain as Eve’s second assistant ahead of Leon. Eve was said to be happy with the retention of Leon for the sake of continuity. However, the Naparima College head coach does not have an issue with working alongside his Presentation rival.
Look Loy is expected to finalise the Under-17 positions shortly.
John, Russell, Williams and Pollard were all retained from the previous administration, although John—Trinidad and Tobago’s record goalscorer—went from Under-17 head coach to Under-20 assistant.
“We have always said on coming into office that we are not on a witch hunt,” Look Loy told the TTFA Media. “[…] So we have kept Stern John as one of the assistant coaches of the Men’s Under-20 team […] and Wesley Webb as the manager of the Men’s Under-17 Team.
“As I said, we are looking at each person on an individual basis, trying to properly judge their merits and what they can contribute to the programs. And we are making decisions on that basis.”
There was no room though for former Men’s National Senior Team assistant coach and Under-15 head coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier, who must now be paid off for his contract. Wallace hinted that Fenwick did not feel Charles-Fevrier would be compatible with his staff.
“Earlier today, I met with one of the assistant coaches of the Men’s Senior Team,” said Wallace. “He understood clearly that as a new coach coming in, that this coach will want to bring persons in who he is comfortable working with. We sat and had a very good conversation.
“Of course he has a contract and we have to be able to work that out going forward. In some other instances, there are also some contractual arrangements with persons at the lower levels. Those, too, will have to be dealt with going forward.”
On the women’s side, Jason Spence was appointed Women’s National Under-15 Team head coach with Dernelle Mascall and Joel Warrick as his assistants, Simone Edwards as team manager and Trevor Nottingham as goalkeeper coach. Warrick is the husband of TTFA vice-president and Women’s League of Football (WoLF) president Susan Joseph-Warrick.
Nadia James was appointed Women’s National Under-17 Team manager and joins a staff already appointed and headed by Police FC coach Richard Hood.
The Women’s National Senior Team coaching staff is expected to be named in mid-year.
Look Loy said last night’s appointments were the first step in reviving the TTFA’s fortunes.
“These appointments reflect long and serious consideration by the technical committee and the board of the TTFA,” he said, “to send all of our national teams on the path of not only improvement but qualification for the championships we have to play for.
“Beyond that, we are looking seriously at the personnel we have appointed, with a long term perspective towards the revival of our football fortunes.”
Look Loy reiterated that the youth coaching jobs were all short term and the various positions would be reassessed at the end of their respective tournaments this year.
“If we do look to renew people, then we will usefully discuss renewing them for a full cycle, which in terms of youth football is two years,” said Look Loy.
Other appointments made last night were: Richard Piper (national teams director), Jinelle James (women’s football director), Norris Ferguson (club licensing and compliance director) and Jack (head of goalkeeping). Piper, James and Ferguson are all members of the TTFA’s technical committee along with Michael Grayson.
Look Loy made special mention of La Foucade and Jack as technical director and head of goalkeeping respectively.
“There are two positions in particular that hold inordinate importance, and those are the technical director and head of goalkeeping,” he said. “The technical director position has never been properly implemented in Trinidad and Tobago. Now we have the opportunity to reboot and make it an effective position.
“It is not that we didn’t have people who knew what to do but that the technical committee was never properly organised and there was no consistent application of technical policy and no technical department. Development requires consistent action […] but the support and circumstances to create that never occurred.
“And head of goalkeeping is a new position. We have never had that and we desperately need a programme to develop the next crop of top goalkeepers. It has been hit and miss in that area and we now we want to make it an assembly line.
“The decisions last night, I believe, reflect a watershed moment.”
The TTFA Board also unanimously agreed to Look Loy’s proposed ‘Project 2026’, which will see a cadre of under-21 players groomed to become the core of Men’s National Senior Team for the 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign.
“The year 2026 is going to the first 48-team Fifa World Cup in Canada, USA and Mexico,” said Look Loy. “Concacaf is going to have six places and we think it judicious to begin preparing a hard core now… In 2026, we may have the outstanding 18-year-old, we may have the outstanding 32-year-old but the the core of that team is going to be those boys who are now 19 to 21 years old.
“We are going to form a team under that age band. We are going to put them under the supervision of Terry Fenwick and the Men’s National Senior Team staff and we are going to go forward with that.”