Thu, Jan


SAUDI ARABIA-based senior national football team captain Khaleem Hyland believes Englishman Terry Fenwick should be given his chance as men’s head coach, despite the questionable circumstances surrounding his appointment last January.

Hyland comments came in a video interview on Andre Baptiste’s Sportalk show on I95.1 FM. Fenwick’s contract is said to be one of three documents signed by sidelined Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace, but in so doing without final board approval.

“I think the right decision is to keep him as coach and if he fails it is a decision of the TTFA and, if he succeeds, then they can keep him on board,” stated the 31-year-old midfielder.

Hyland, who got his break in local professional football under the transplanted Englishman at San Juan Jabloteh, said Fenwick wanted to be T&T head coach for a long time and he deserves to at least get the opportunity. “I don’t think they should sack him (Fenwick) for whatever reasons that are going on,” Hyland opined. “He is the coach, so they need to give him his opportunity.”

Hyland credited Fenwick for bringing intensity to the team at San Juan Jabloteh when they won the Pro League in 2005. He also credited the Englishman for giving playing opportunities to young players.

“He shows that he knows what he is doing, at least at the club level in Trinidad and Tobago,” Hyland noted. “Hopefully, he can bring that to the national team... but I don’t think he can do it alone.”

Hyland called for all stakeholders to come together and rebuild football in T&T. He also endorsed the approach of T&T scouting players from abroad. He pointed out while there is no shortage of talent in T&T, that discipline and mental strength is often missing in some players.

“I would say maybe we don’t have the discipline and the mental strength to go with the talent,” stated Hyland, adding, “At the highest level of football, talent comes last. You need to have the discipline and will and the bad-mind to take you out of difficult situations.”

He said many Caribbean countries had improved significantly by scouting overseas players, citing Guyana as an example. He said the Guyanese resembled an English Championship Division team at the last CONCACAF Gold Cup.

“If we need to go outside and find other players with parents and grandparents from Trinidad and Tobago to make our football and our country stronger and better, so be it,” Hyland contends.

He is of the view that local players get onto the national team too easily these days, and that scouting foreign-born players increases competition and makes the team stronger. “I think we should, because a lot of other countries do it,” Hyland concluded.

SOURCE: T&T Express