With no professional or amateur football played in Trinidad and Tobago since March, T&T men’s senior team head coach Terry Fenwick is trying to get potential national players back into training as early as this week but insisted that it will be a tough road ahead for the sport in Trinidad.
The Covid-19 pandemic halted all sporting activities in Trinidad in March and football remains in limbo after the TTFA was suspended by FIFA after the TTFA executive challenged the appointment of FIFA’s Normalisation Committee in the local court in Trinidad.
The TTFA have subsequently withdrawn legal proceedings against FIFA and the TTFA membership met and voted to accept the FIFA appointed Normalisation Committee however FIFA is yet to lift the suspension.
Fenwick said with no one at the helm of the TTFA, he is still awaiting guidance in terms of what is the next step for T&T football but while he waits, he will be trying to jump-start the sport with training sessions for locally based players as early as Wednesday this week after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley gave the green light for national teams to resume training.
“It (the road ahead for T&T football) is obviously going to be difficult,” Fenwick told the Express yesterday.
“I would like to thank the Prime Minister for recognising elite sports and national teams by lifting the ban so we can physically train but we’re still on a FIFA suspension,” he explained.
“As we are talking now, there is no leadership at the top. We’re waiting for FIFA to both lift the suspension and reinstate the normalisation committee so we will have some leadership...those things are out of my hands obviously,” he added.
Asked if he would have to get approval from the TTFA to put a training programme in place, Fenwick said: “That’s the point.
There is nobody in charge. There is nobody in a position to give me any guidance or direction.”
He said he has been in constant contact with locally-based and internationally-based players and that the locally-based players are frustrated at the moment.
“I am in contact with these kids and it’s driving them nuts not being able to train.
They are watching football on the television every time they turn it on but there is no football in Trinidad, no training in Trinidad,” he said.
“So, I am trying to fast-track the best I can to get these kids to recognise that they are not on contract with clubs and If you’re not playing for La Horquetta Rangers or Army, Police, then you’re not on contract,” he continued.
“None of the other clubs have contracted their players, so these kids are not doing anything and this (playing football) is what they are trying to achieve as their career path.
I am trying the best I can and I recognise no one is being paid for months, so I am trying to get people to put up a bit of their time and their energy, expertise and knowledge to come and help me to get these players out and training again and try and shortcut to where we want to get to,” he added.
Realistically, he said he might have to look at internationally based players to make up the core of the national team.
“I am trying for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and then start fresh again from next Monday and just ease them back into it because they haven’t trained for the least three or four months due to the lockdowns in Trinidad,” said Fenwick.
“I think realistically I will have to look at players playing in quality leagues around the world who are in training and playing in tournaments.
I will have to look in that direction for the World Cup qualifiers that come up in March,” he added.
SOURCE: T&T Express