I write in response to an article published in the newspapers on Tuesday where it was stated that Randy Waldrum will be retained as the Soca Princesses’ coach.
I am really amazed at this decision by the T&T Football Association to retain Waldrum’s services. My question is what is the yardstick they use to measure success?
It is important to first jog our memory by going back to a few years ago during Waldrum’s first stint with our women’s national under-17 team. Under his stewardship, our Soca Princesses were defeated by 9 goals to 0 by the US in a Concacaf qualifying game.
What was more memorable was Waldrum’s refusal to leave the comfort of this bench to attempt to instil advice or motivation to his players in a situation that seemed beyond their technical competencies. This was recorded as the largest defeat ever experienced by a Trinidad team to the US. It was unanimous that Waldrum must ride out of Dodge. Hopefully never to be seen again in these parts of the woods.
Many people in T&T may have seen the current women’s senior team for the first time as they attempted to qualify in the Concacaf tournament. It is important to note this very talented team had been making inroads with high-level performances on the international scene many months before Waldrum’s arrival on the Concacaf scene a few weeks before its commencement.
In 2013, this very team toured the UK and posted victories against Queens Park Rangers 6-1, Reading 4-0, Tottenham Hotspurs 3-0. I believe Anton Corneal handled the team on that tour, as Marlon Charles, their substantive coach, took the under-17 team to a tournament taking place at the same time.
Two months before the Concacaf tournament there was a return to Dodge by Waldrum and with him the previously dismissed technical director, Lincoln Phillips. These two, I understand, have had a long friendship; I say no more on that matter!
Waldrum could not have asked for an easier passage to a World Cup finals; topping his group would have qualified the team to the WC finals. As we know, that was not the case. He missed the first bite. He also missed the second bite when he lost to Mexico in an attempt to finish as the third qualifier of the tournament. Nevertheless all was not lost, or so we thought, as we had only to secure a win in the home-and-away playoff with Ecuador.
With a full house at the Hasely Crawford Stadium wanting a victory over a very mediocre team, we could not do it under Waldrum.
Where are we going with decisions like these? Is this a decision made by the TTFA’s technical committee or one made by the general secretary, Phillips? Are we going to watch a national coach sit on the bench and not get involved to provide needed instructions when the team needs it most; as he did during that ill-fated game in the stadium? Poor Minister Sancho another mouth to feed!
Please president Tim Kee, take a hold of your organisation and these nonsensical decisions. While some foreign coaches may be good, this one certainly is not, and the evidence is right before us.