Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) Technical Adviser Mr. Keith Look Loy today gave SWO a sneak-peak of what should be expected of Trinidad and Tobago football in the near future.
He also outlined that the TTFF will have to become more innovative, self staining and ambitious in its approach if they are to move forward. Look Loy also touched on other important issues surrounding T&T football including the status of the current U-23 team preparing for the 2012 Olympic Games, among other things.
When asked if Mr. Jack Warner has resign from the TTFF and CFU as well- after his resignation from FIFA and, if we will see some new blood within the TTFF administration Look Loy replied, "Flex, I cannot answer these questions now as I do not know if Jack Warner has exited Trinidad and Tobago football, and if so, how the Executive Committee of the TTFF intends to move the Federation forward."
Since the TTFF has been relying heavily on Jack Warner in the past and assuming that he is out of T&T football Mr. Look Loy was asked if we will see him and longstanding president Oliver Camps take up a more direct role as TTFF heads to try and implement a proper marketing strategy and address other important issues to help push T&T up from here on.
Look Loy said: "I have my own thoughts, but I am not a member of the Executive Committee. The assumption that Oliver Camps and I will "run things" is incorrect. As I have always attempted to make clear, I merely have responsibility for technical matters."
"Whatever the implications of Jack Warner's resignation from FIFA, the government of Trinidad and Tobago has given a public commitment to finance the Brazil 2014 qualifying campaign and they are expected to stand by this commitment."
"That said, indeed, the TTFF has relied heavily on Jack Warner in the past. This is clearly no longer possible and that is an excellent development in my view. It is not a crisis. It is an opportunity."
"The federation DOES have existing income streams from local partners and FIFA, but now it is necessary to fully develop a TTFF marketing and partnership strategy, to secure meaningful sponsorship and merchandising income, and to independently stand on one’s own (financial) legs. To date, this has not really been a priority."
I would also say “Yes”, the TTFF needs “new blood” particularly in the regional associations and at central level. One of our main problems is the lack of participation of clubs in the life and management of their regional associations, which frankly, need to seriously improve their operations."
"Moreover, it is from these bodies that TTFF General Council and Executive Committee representatives arise. At the central level, we need to modernize and professionalize the federation’s operations – to create a technical department, and dedicated departments for national teams, competitions, youth, women’s and grassroots football, etc. - and this by definition implies recruitment of new talent. Of course, it also demands increased funding."
Look Loy further stated that: "The men's senior team is training (twice weekly, to cater for club preseason training) and I am working hard to secure a Central American opponent for 10 August. One European team - Armenia - had offered to play on that date, and then withdrew in favour of an opponent closer to home."
“I am now awaiting the response of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Jamaica is willing to play on a date other than 10 August as they are already committed to another match.”
“Since any other date is not a "FIFA date", an alternative date to 10 August does not suit us as we would not have our full team, including Europe-based and MLS-based players, available.”
“Meantime, three English-born players - Jake Thompson, Jlloyd Samuel, Andre Boucaud, were supposed to join the team in training this week but the three asked to be excused due to contract negotiations or personal issues.”
“We hope to bring them in prior to 10 August for the coach to have a firsthand look at them. We are also speaking with Justin Hoyte and Tony Warner. There are a few other players that have asked not be mentioned until and unless they agree to participate in our programme."
After being asked about what has happened to the TTFF official website Look Loy added , "The TTFF's official website is functional. It may be accessed at: http://www.ttffonline.com/home/ “
He then closed off the SWO interview on a different note, giving us an update on the Under 23 men’s national team.
"The men's Under 23 team is currently in training (three times weekly) ahead of CFU qualifying for the London 2012 Olympic Games, which will take place in Dominica on 19, 21 and 23 July."
"Our opponents are Curacao, Grenada and the host country. One team will qualify for the CONCACAF final tournament now scheduled for March 2012 in the USA."
"The coach has stated his intention to include Kevin Molino and Khaleem Hyland in his Dominica squad. Meantime, the request for funding for a pre-tournament trip to Panama from 4 to 10 July has been forwarded to the Federation."
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