INTERIM T&T men’s football team coach Angus Eve wants to give the T&T public “a ray of hope” as he takes over the mantle from Terry Fenwick, who was sacked last Friday.
The 49-year-old Eve, who is T&T’s most capped player with 117 international appearances, will serve as the national coach until August 31. However, the former T&T midfielder and captain would like to improve the team’s fortunes, after they were eliminated from the 2022 FIFA World Cup Concacaf Zone qualifiers last week.
Eve was unveiled as the new men’s team coach during a Zoom media conference on Monday, organised by the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee, which runs the affairs of the TT Football Association (TTFA).
“I want to say thank you to the normalisation committee for showing faith in me, for giving me this opportunity at this point in time,” said the former Joe Public, Defence Force and San Juan Jabloteh player. “This is a total honour and privilege for me to have the opportunity to serve my country in a different capacity.
“My total aim is to try to help us to come out of a trying and difficult time in (T&T) football. I want to give people a ray of hope and I embrace that opportunity.”
Eve’s immediate focus will be booking a place at the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup in July, in the United States, with T&T set to face Montserrat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in the Gold Cup qualifiers.
Eve was asked about his view on the use of local-based players, especially in these covid19 times and no local football taking place.
“I was a local player for most of my career,” was his response. “I think that we do have the ability and the talent here in our pool. In the past, I thought they weren’t given a fair chance. That was my opinion at the time. In this scenario, it’s a bit different. We may have to look at the players who, actually, are in form.
“It does not matter whether they are local or foreign,” Eve continued. “Hopefully we’ll have an opportunity to see the local players because the guys have been doing stuff at home. So, we’ll have to look at them once we bring them in, and see if there is an opportunity for anyone to be selected.”
A few European-based players, including central defender Sheldon Bateau and winger Levi Garcia, may be afforded time to rest after their 14-day quarantine period ends next week. The pair were part of the T&T team who drew 0-0 against the Bahamas (June 5) and defeated St Kitts/Nevis 2-0 (June 8.).
Eve said, “I have spoken to some of the European-based players. A lot of them have been going non-stop. Some players will be given a bit of a break and they’ll rejoin the team at a particular time.”
Eve, who had stints as coach of North East Stars, St Ann’s Rangers and Club Sando (Pro League), Naparima (Secondary Schools Football League) and the T&T Under-23 team, acknowledged, “This is an opportunity that I could not walk by. This is an opportunity to serve my country. I had to take the chance. It is a difficult job but, with the proper support, I still believe that we can achieve some level of success.
“I believe that the person who has the jersey has the right to lose the jersey,” he added. “I’m going to give it the best that I can and, hopefully, bring people around me who have that same desire and will to achieve the objectives at hand.”
Concerning the Gold Cup qualifiers, Eve said, “Nothing is impossible. Everybody knows the players that we have. There is always the possibility.”
Due to the State of Emergency and lockdown measures, Eve hinted that he may have to organise a few warm-up matches in Florida.
“The way that we can solve that problem is actually being away from Trinidad so that we can have a couple of practice matches in Fort Lauderdale,” he said.
Watch Press Conference Introducing Angus Eve as Interim T&T SMNT Head Coach