DEREK King, current head coach of recently crowned TT Super League (TTSL) champions, FC Santa Rosa, will join his ex-boss and former national men's football manager, Stephen Hart, as his assistant at HFX Wanderers FC in Canada. The club will begin their inaugural season of the Canadian Premier League next year.
Hart, who is both general manager and head coach of the club, which is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, hand-picked King and another assistant coach, Michael Hunter, to take charge of the developing team. Hunter, who Hart described as "very analytical" is a veteran coach and well known in the province.
The announcement comes less than a week after King led FC Santa Rosa to the TT Super League title as head coach, and one year since he led North East Stars to their second ever TT Pro League title in the same capacity.
However, in an interview with Newsday yesterday, Hart said King's recent successes had little influence in his decision to make him the offer.
"I worked with Derek so I am familiar with his methods, as he is with mine. This is important, especially with a new club.
More importantly, is the working relationship," Hart said.
Hart and King worked together for the first time as the respective head coach and assistant coach of the national men's team between June 2013 and November 2016.
"I only knew him from his playing days. However, [former TT men's team head coach] Hutson Charles spoke highly of Derek and that was good enough for me," Hart said.
Hart said he was confident in their ability to complement one another. "He understands my demands from an individual and team perspective. As I said. I know how he works and I am comfortable with him handling the squad, or part of the squad in whatever are the aims and objectives."
Given the Canadian Premier League will play its inaugural season next year, Hart said, like all the other clubs, he would like to make a good start.
"...Our squad will be young so it is a building process, not only with team play, but identity and culture."
King will remain as FC Santa Rosa's head coach until the end of the year. FC Santa Rosa has a shot at a second title this season with the TTSL League Cup. King and Santa Rosa will face Cunupia FC at the semifinal stage on Sunday.
Hart expressed gratitude to Santa Rosa FC and the club's president Keith Look Loy "for their understanding and support with this move."
Newsday tried unsuccessfully to reach King for comment yesterday. However, he was featured in an article posted on the Canadian Premier League official website.
“Stephen’s coaching philosophy is a good one and I learned a lot from him and now we’re back at it again, so hopefully we will do good things for the Halifax family,” King told canpl.ca. King will join his new club in February.