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Wed, Jul

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T&T Se­nior Women’s foot­ball coach Stephan DeFour on Tues­day be­came the lat­est ca­su­al­ty of the new William Wal­lace-led T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion.

DeFour was re­moved as na­tion­al coach four days af­ter se­nior men’s coach Den­nis Lawrence was al­so fired by Wal­lace’s board.

A let­ter ad­dressed to De Four from the re­cent­ly-in­stalled TTFA pres­i­dent said: “The T&TFA met on Sat­ur­day and a ma­jor part of the dis­cus­sions cen­tred around your cur­rent po­si­tion as head coach of the Women’s pro­gramme. Based on the fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion that the FA is faced with at this time, we have no choice but to quick­ly re-or­gan­ise in many ar­eas. One such area is the tech­ni­cal staff at­tached to all teams.

“It is with a bit of a heavy heart that I have to in­form you that we can no longer re­tain you as head coach and sin­cere­ly thank you for your ser­vices ren­dered so far. Let me al­so take this op­por­tu­ni­ty to wish you and your fam­i­ly a hap­py hol­i­day and to al­so wish you all the best in your fu­ture en­deav­ours. We will arrange to dis­cuss mat­ters per­tain­ing to the ex­ist­ing con­tract and out­stand­ing pay­ments.”

Guardian Me­dia Sports learnt that the de­ci­sion to sack DeFour was not made by the board dur­ing their meet­ing at which it was agreed Lawrence would be sacked among sev­er­al oth­er key de­ci­sions.

Word with­in the foot­ball fra­ter­ni­ty on Tues­day al­ready sug­gests that Tex­an Randy Wal­drum, a for­mer coach of the team dur­ing the Ray­mond Tim Kee era, is set to re­turn to the helm of the women’s pro­gramme with for­mer play­er Maylee At­tin-John­son as man­ag­er.

How­ev­er, TTFA Tech­ni­cal Com­mit­tee chair­man Kei­th Look Loy, in an im­me­di­ate re­sponse on Tues­day de­fend­ed their lat­est de­ci­sion, say­ing, “The board of the TTFA dis­cussed the is­sue of the uni­lat­er­al ap­point­ment by David John-Williams of a num­ber of tech­ni­cal per­son­nel, in­clud­ing Stephan De Four and a num­ber of oth­er peo­ple in the women’s pro­gramme. The po­si­tion is that none of these ap­point­ments and con­tracts were dis­cussed by the then board of the TTFA, nei­ther was any of these per­sons or con­tracts ap­proved by the then board. The on­ly ap­point­ment that Stephan De Four had that was ap­proved by the board, was a pro bono ap­point­ment to work with the women’s un­der-17 team in Flori­da. It was lim­it­ed to the un­der-17 team and it was pro bono.”

He added, “Now we get in­to of­fice and find mul­ti­ple con­tracts signed by John-Williams that have nev­er been dis­cussed and nev­er been signed by any board, and cer­tain­ly not this new one. So the board has tak­en the po­si­tion that it does not recog­nise these con­tracts, and we are go­ing to let the le­gal peo­ple look in­to it if we have to.”

Look Loy was, of course, al­lud­ing to al­le­ga­tions that John-Williams signed off on new con­tracts for sev­er­al of­fi­cials on the eve of the TTFA’s No­vem­ber 24 AGM, where he lost his pres­i­den­cy to Wal­lace.

On Tues­day, Look Loy as­sured that they were now vig­or­ous­ly re­view­ing these con­tracts.

“Now, what we are do­ing is that we are look­ing at each of the per­sons who John-Williams is­sued uni­lat­er­al con­tracts to and we are go­ing on case-by-case bases if we want to keep them. These con­tracts ex­tend from coach­es and man­agers, all the way down to equip­ment peo­ple. And I can tell you that Richard Piper, the se­nior men’s team man­ag­er, was of­fered a con­tract the night be­fore the elec­tions and he re­fused to sign it.”

On ru­mours that for­mer women’s coach Randy Wal­drum could re­turn to the fold, Look Loy said, “Randy Wal­drum has not been ap­point­ed to any­thing. We have been hav­ing dis­cus­sions with Randy Wal­drum about the pos­si­bil­i­ty of rein­te­grat­ing him in­to the women’s pro­gramme, noth­ing has been con­clud­ed.

“We have ap­point­ed a staff to take the un­der-17 women in­to their tour­na­ment, the CON­CA­CAF World Cup Qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment, which is to be held from the 20th of March to the 5th of April. The staff is head­ed by Richard Hood, Po­lice Tech­ni­cal Di­rec­tor. The as­sis­tant coach is Chris Bai­ley and the goal­keep­er coach is Glen­non Fon­cette. These are guys who worked with Evan Pellerud when we host­ed the 2010 U-17 Women’s World Cup, they know what a World Cup is, they know what u-17 Women’s high-lev­el com­pe­ti­tion is.”

Hood and com­pa­ny will al­so take charge of the coun­try’s Un­der-20 team which will be go­ing in­to CON­CA­CAF qual­i­fy­ing ac­tion in Feb­ru­ary in an over­all com­bi­na­tion ef­fort of the two teams.

Mean­while, con­tact­ed on Tues­day, DeFour, who was hired in June of this year, said his lawyers are cur­rent­ly look­ing at his mat­ter and he will on­ly re­spond when he gets the go-ahead to do so. How­ev­er, he did say he found the TTFA blam­ing the mat­ter on fi­nances to be ridicu­lous.


SOURCE: T&T Guardian