Fri, Oct


Dynamic duo reunite: Trinidad & Tobago head coach Russell Latapy, right, and his new assistant coach Marvellous Marvin Faustin take charge of national team training at the Hasely Crawford Stadium yesterday. (Photo Credit: T&T Express).Soca Warriors coach, Russell Latapy has added former national team-mate Marvin “Marvellous” Faustin as a temporary assistant coach to his senior team technical staff.

This was announced by Latapy, prior to the start of another national team screening session with locally based players at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, yesterday. The 42-year-old Faustin was a former team-mate of Latapy with the 1989 “Strike Squad” and old local powerhouse Trintoc.

Both Latapy and Faustin, who last played professionally in 2000 with Clico San Juan Jabloteh, winning a First Citizens Cup winners medal, also lined-up for the once Secondary Schools Football League giants, San Fernando Technical Institute.

Speaking on the addition of Faustin, who played 43 times for T&T, Latapy said: “Obviously there is a lot of work right now and I needed someone to step in and help. “I have known Marvin for almost all my life and we have gone through a lot of things together. I trusted him as a player a lot and he knows football and thinks along the same lines as me. “We will see how this works out for Marvin, myself and the players in general,” he added.

Asked if his close friend and former national team-mate Dwight Yorke will be returning as an assistant coach, a post he held during the last part of the failed 2010 South Africa World Cup campaign, Latapy said: “I’ve already spoken with Dwight and told him of my desire to work with him again. “He (Yorke) has also expressed his desire to work again with the team also.

But in the world of football I think only clubs like Chelsea and Manchester United, operate without any financial trouble. “The situation with Yorke and any other possible technical staff additions will depend on the kind of support from the local federation and the support they get as well.”

The “Little Magician” who first took over the post on April 8, 2009, after Colombian Francisco Maturana resigned said he was quite satisfied with what he has seen from the local players at the screening sessions.

“The sessions are basically to test the level of fitness and technical ability and it will continue until we are satisfied that we have the best possible group of players in the country on the national team.

He added: “Everyone knows that local players can play and have talent but it’s at the tactical level we must improve if we are to compete with the best teams and that is one of my jobs to get done.” Looking ahead to his first major tournament since being re-appointed earlier this month, Latapy said he intends to use a full local squad for the Digicel Caribbean Cup from which four teams will qualify for the Concacaf Gold Cup.

“We missed out last time on reaching the Gold Cup and we need to build again with players like Theodore Guerra, Hayden Tinto and Keon Daniel.

“Being there before as a player also has shown it’s not always a good thing to bring back a number of international players for Caribbean tournaments. “The overseas players tend to find it difficult to fit into the team during the short space of time and when they get back to their clubs after missing three or four matches, they then find it difficult to break back into their club teams, especially if they are winning matches.”

“I believe we have a good crop of local players who are capable of doing well in these competitions, but obviously as the level of competition rises we will make adjustments.”

Also present at yesterday’s session was former national goalkeeper and technical advisor to the T&T Football Federation Lincoln Phillips, who was appointed as technical assistant to the goalkeepers. The local players will have a closed door session today at the Mucurapo venue from 4.30 pm.

Marvin Faustin to assist Latas.
By: Ian Prescott (T&T Express).

Russell Latapy, head-coach of Trinidad and Tobago’s senior national football team, has gone for an old ally, through the temporary appointment his former teammate ’Marvellous’ Marvin Faustin as his assistant coach.

Latapy, 41, made the disclosure yesterday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, where he continued screening sessions with players vying for a spot on the national team.

Faustin, 42, played alongside Latapy in several teams, including the National Under-16 team and San Fernando Technical Institute where they became national Colleges League and Intercol champions in the 1980s.

They also forged a partnership at local club level with Trintoc and were both a part of the 1989 ’Strike Squad’ that missed out on qualifying for the 1990 World Cup in Italy by a point, after losing their final home qualifier 1-0 to the United States.

Awarded a Chaconia Medal Silver for his role on the ’89 World Cup Squad, Faustin retired from international football with 43 national caps. Regarded as one of the best local players not to have gotten an overseas contract, Faustin also played for local clubs Barataria Ball Players and San Juan Jabloteh (1998 -2002) and finally for National Super League team WASA Clean & White (2003). Since retiring, he has run his own coaching school.

Faustin’s role is to assist Latapy in getting the new recruits up to a technical level good enough to play international football.

’Obviously there is a lot of work to do with the team and we need someone to assist us on the technical staff and I have invited Marvin as a temporary assistant coach. I have known Marvin for a lot of years and gone through a lot of things with Marvin.

’I trust Marvin as an individual and we have played together so long, I have an idea how he sees football as well. So, I have invited him, and he has been willing enough to accept the invitation. So in the meantime, he is a temporary assistant coach and we will see how it goes for Marvin and for myself and the team, and then from there we can make bigger decisions.’

Meanwhile, Latapy also revealed that he is still making efforts to have his pal Dwight Yorke, another of his former teammates, work with him, but he said a lot depended on the funding which the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation has to work with.

’I would very much like to work with Dwight again. That is a situation I am discussing with the Federation, ’ Latapy said. ’I have spoken to Dwight and I would like to meet with him. Dwight has shown a lot of interest in working together again and working for the national team.’

Yesterday Latapy had a look at several young players, most of whom campaign in the local Digicel TT Pro League, such as Kern Cupid (W Connection), Keon Daniel (Caledonia AIA), Ataullah Guerra (San Juan Jabloteh) and Devon Jorsling (Defence Force).

Also among the bunch were USA-based Keedan Crosby, former Germany-based pro Jamal Gay and national youth footballers Shahdon Winchester and Sheldon Bateau. Latapy said he will continue screening sessions until he can look at every player he thinks can contribute to his team.

’I am looking to find the best possible team, so if there are players in Trinidad or with a Trinidadian link who we could get to play for the national team then we will have a look at them. And we want to invite them to see what they can do.

’We already have a core of players that we all know. From the last campaign we have the Ataullah Guerras, the Keon Daniels and the Hayden Tintos. These boys have the type of ages I am looking to build a squad around, but I still believe that there are a lot of talented players out there who deserve to have a chance and we have to give them a look-in.’

Latapy said his first major goal is to prepare a locally-based team for the Digicel Caribbean Cup which is scheduled for Guadeloupe in November. Latapy said he felt very disappointed that T&T did not do well in the last Caribbean Cup, and so subsequently failed to qualify for the 2008 CONCACAF Gold Cup. He will focus on local players because he said experience has taught him that getting the foreign-based professionals to play in the tournament will be difficult.

’I would like very much to carry a team of local players to it,’ Latapy said. ’Being there before, it is always difficult to ask one of the players playing with one of the bigger clubs outside to come down and play in the Caribbean Cup. I think that some of our local players are well capable of doing well in this competition and these are the types of players I will be using to play in the Digicel Cup,’ he said.

’I think we have always been one of the super powers in Caribbean football and not qualifying for the Gold Cup, and not performing well in the last Digicel Cup, it kind of knock that back. So we need to build again and the means to do that is to do well in the Digicel Cup so that Trinidad and Tobago can be one of the super powers in the Caribbean again.’