Wed, May

Trinidad and Tobago Boys U-15 team pose for a photo before facing Panama at the TTFA Youth Invitational Tournament at Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on July 17th 2019.

The recent drubbing and humiliation our football team suffered against the US leads me to believe that we continue to be enveloped in wishful thinking as opposed to engaging in hard work and long term goal-setting and planning.

This is reinforced by coach Terry Fenwick saying that he selected players based on video recordings of these players. What utter madness! Thank goodness he is not coaching a South American country.

For as long as I can recall, there have been repeated calls for an effective youth programme, but with little implementation.

Many including Super League president Clayton Morris and NFA president Ross Russell have recently echoed this youth development ideal. It was revealed that the USA team was the result of their U15 and U17 programme started long ago.

Where is our similar planning? We seem to believe in instant and overnight success, not realising the latter does not come “overnight”.

Our current situation will continue unless we introduce and manage a well thought-out plan for our football development.

To this end, I urge the Normalisation Committee now in charge to aim at leaving a legacy of an effective youth programme with the results manifested in years to come. The relatively short period of two years for that committee would, on the surface, be seen as difficult to achieve but with commitment, zeal and the will to do it, we can make it possible for both male and female teams.

The entire Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) must buy into it and coordination must be handled by the national association. I have seen the youth football trophy on display in Ghana at a hotel and was impressed by the enthusiasm of parents and youth players to take pictures with the trophy.

This could be an avenue for revival of community spirit and identification with our youths. Corporate citizens are known to be supportive of positive programmes and may just wish to be identified with such a programme. Their involvement is vital.

With the coming into being of a specialised ministry for youth, we have another likely supporter of such an initiative.

Is the TTFA likely to be seen as fulfilling its corporate social responsibility if this is implemented?

The board of directors must become partners with the Normalisation Committee as we plan, programme and implement. The possibilities and benefits are endless.

SOURCE: T&T Express