Dr Terrence Babwah, the former Soca Warriors doctor who re-signed after revealing that his advice was being ignored by former national coach Stephen Hart, is among persons being strongly considered for the medical positions on the T&T football technical staff team, as new coach Tom Saintfiet prepares to select his team ahead of two international friendly matches this month, the Concacaf Gold Cup qualifiers in January and the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in March.
Yesterday, Saintfiet said he was not ruling out people who served on the staff before as he wants the best team of professionals to move ahead with the task at hand.
The T&T team will be attempting to rebound from two disappointing starts at the hexagonal stage, going down to Costa Rica 2-1 at home and later Honduras 3-1 in San Pedro Sula, which has left them second from bottom on the six-nation standing with no points.
The Trinidad Guardian understands from a source close to the latest development that Dr Babwah is the leading contender for the position as team doctor, while medic Dave Isaac who also re-signed along with Dr Babwah back in November for similar reasons, will also be considered by the Belgian coach. They pair along with Dr Mario John and Dr Israel Dowlat, both of whom served on different national teams during the past six years are also in the same conversation.
Forty-three year-old Saintfiet got the nod for the T&T coaching job, following the sacking of Hart and was expected to select his staff, which includes both technical and medical, by Tuesday.
He said he will be looking at locals who are qualified and can make a contribution to the team, including Hutson Charles and Derek King, who both resigned in the wake of Hart’s sacking, as well as other professionals in the football fraternity, to fill the positions of assistant coaches.
Last night Saintfiet was scheduled to meet with Central FC manager Brent Sancho and W Connection coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier and said he will meet with other club coaches, managers and owners over the coming week as he attempts to put together a staff and team for two international friendly matches between 21-27 this month at the stadium.
“I prefer to have local people on the staff as they will be aware of the culture and will know the players better than I do. I cannot look at all the players in such a short space of time. When they are chosen I will have a look at them and decide who is picked on the national team” Saintfiet said.
According to Saintfiet: “Based on what I have seen about T&T football, the players are very skillful and quick which will be an asset to use in formulating a strategy when they next play.” He added: “It is not always what you do right on the field, but sometimes the minor slip-ups that teams can punish you for and win matches.”
Saintfiet believes that T&T needs to get back to winning ways to regain its confidence, saying he will find ways to improve team performance and get results. He dismissed concerns of feeling pressured from his two-game mandate, saying he performs better under pressure.
T&T Football Association president David John-Williams is currently in Miami attempting to finalize matches with either Jamaica, Cuba or Nicaragua.