Sun, May

Trindad and Tobago head coach Angus Eve reacts after a play in action during a CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage match between Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago on July 10, 2021 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

BRIAN WILLIAMS, a member of the 1989 Strike Squad, has endorsed Angus Eve’s official appointment as Trinidad and Tobago men's and Under-20 coach.

Eve was retained as T&T men's team coach on Thursday with the T&T Football Association (TTFA) in a statement issued on Thursday, indicating that the former national midfielder and captain will serve in this position until March 31, 2023.

“Given the present situation, I have no problem and am very supportive of a decision of such nature. Retaining Angus as head coach, I’m good with that.

“For the last stint where Angus had the team, he did a fairly good job because he brought the players back together to understand the representation of T&T,” said the ex-national right-back.

Eve, who has the most international caps for T&T (117), was appointed interim coach on June 13 after Englishman Terry Fenwick was sacked two days prior, following the nation’s shock exit from 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

Thus far, Eve has been in charge for five senior games and has a record of two wins, two draws and one loss.

During the Gold Cup qualifiers, Eve led T&T to a 6-1 triumph over Montserrat (July 2) and then sealed a nail-biting 8-7 penalty kick win over French Guiana (July 4) to secure a spot in the Gold Cup.

In Group A, T&T had a goalless draw against Mexico (July 10), lost 2-0 to El Salvador (July 14) and were held to a 1-1 draw against Guatemala (July 18).

These results saw T&T finish third in the group with two points, behind Mexico (seven points) and El Salvador (six points). Both Mexico and El Salvador advanced to the knockout stage, while T&T and Guatemala (one point) were eliminated.

After his interim appointment, the 49-year-old Eve selected assistant coaches Reynold Carrington and Hutson Charles, along with goalkeeper coach Clayton Ince to serve as his team staff. He also included Adarryl John as the squad’s strength and conditioning coach.

Williams believes this crop of home-grown coaching talent can provide the spark needed to begin T&T’s rebuilding phase.

“I’m very supportive of Angus and his present staff because they’re knowledgeable about what is taking place locally with the players and T&T football. I feel they can move the football and start to rebuild our foundation.

“They are capable of doing such. That present staff is made up of local people, let us build from here. But the administration is what guides our football, not only the coach,” he added.

Williams said that appointing a full-time coach with Eve’s experience is a good move to chart a way forward but thinks the local football administration, currently run by the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee and chaired by businessman Robert Hadad, must step up their game towards the sport’s development on a national scale.

According to the 59-year-old Williams, the only way T&T can get the best out of Eve, his staff and the players is to have a supportive and transparent administration who share the same objectives, both short and long-term.

The normalisation committee was appointed to run the daily affairs of the TTFA in March 2020 after then-president William Wallace and his executive was removed from their respective posts by FIFA, owing to mounting debt and financial mismanagement.

Since then, Williams said, local football remains stagnant, especially at the domestic and youth levels. While he accepts the pandemic as a major contributor, he thinks there is no real plan in place just yet to help restore the sport locally.

“There are so many other things to do in our football than just selecting a coach," said Williams. "We have no meaningful guidance at this point in time administratively."

“There’s still a concern about putting our house in order administratively for our football to go forward. That’s my key concern. Only then we would see exactly where responsibility lies.

“We’re approaching the two-year tenure of the normalisation committee and I haven’t seen anything substantial in movement in terms of restoring our football governance. We’re still unsure of who’s who,” he said.

Williams wants Eve to have a strong administrative support base to help groom the men's team back to competitive consistency.

He even questioned if the Health Ministry were to immediately lift the restrictions on team sports and, by extension, domestic leagues, if the normalisation committee would be in any position to usher in a smooth resumption.

Williams also queried the state of the TTFA’s departments such as the T&T Pro League, T&T Super League, Women’s League Football and zonal committees, who to date, are still juggling interim and short-term executive positions while some remain non-functional.

“To get the best out of Angus and the current crop of players, there must be a properly functioning administration

Williams continued, “I have no problem with the administration being fixed and Angus as head coach. Currently, our rebuilding stage, with people with big coaching aspirations like Angus is welcome. Let’s see how we can operate from here because we have to start from scratch.

“But we have to move step by step. We are leaving ourselves open to all sorts of questions are we’re looking bad in front of the rest of the world. We are in an area now where we have to put programmes in place for the next five year, our objectives and strategic plans,” he closed.

SOURCE: T&T Newsday