FORMER MALICK Secondary team coach and FIFA Development Officer Keith Look Loy is calling for changes within the TT men’s football team, on and off the field.
Look Loy made this plea during an interview on Thursday, following TT’s disappointing showing at the Concacaf Gold Cup in the United States.
In Group D, TT finished with one point, after a 1-1 draw with Guyana on Wednesday. They were beaten 2-0 by Panama on June 18 and 6-0 by hosts US four days later.
“I think the squad was poorly selected, the starting teams were poorly selected and (TT coach Dennis) Lawrence is contradicting himself,” said Look Loy, who is the owner/president of FC Santa Rosa. “It’s evident that he’s guessing as he goes along.
“It’s clear that we not only need a new coach but some new players,” Look Loy added. “We need some younger players who are ambitious to try and achieve something, to make a name for themselves. Some of them are in the squad already.
“This is what the Olympic qualifying tournament (this month) would have done. It would have given those younger boys a chance to show why they could have been included in the Nations League in September. That chance is gone. But we need a new coach and we need some new players.”
Commenting on the Guyana encounter, Look Loy said, “The result saved us the total embarrassment of not getting a point (but) it didn’t save us the embarrassment of finishing last in the group.”
Look Loy, an outspoken critic of the TTFA top brass, led by David John-Williams, noted, “The Gold Cup experience under the (David) John-Williams administration was poor. The last time around in 2017, we didn’t qualify and, this time around in 2019, we had this disaster, finishing last in a group behind a country ranked 177th in the world. That’s a national disgrace.”
The TTFA board member continued, “The bigger issue of the suitability of Lawrence. We have now played 23 matches under his hands and we’ve won four. I see the president of the TTFA talking about how he’s satisfied. I find this contemptuous of public opinion. You’re reading the social media. The public is in revolt against this. The public is demanding that both he and Lawrence should leave.
“People are saying that (John-Williams) wasn’t satisfied when (former coach Stephen) Hart lost two games but now you’re satisfied. It is so ludicrous.
“The TTFA would be hard-pressed to dismiss (Lawrence) because they cannot pay him off. I want to call on Lawrence to do the honourable thing to admit that the task is bigger than his abilities and to make way for somebody else to be appointed. If (he) was in a club, in any part of the world, he would have been long gone.”
Before the Gold Cup began, the TTFA announced a deal with kit sponsor Capelli.
According to Look Loy, “(On Wednesday), during the broadcast, the (Fox Sports) commentators are talking about the introduction of Capelli as the new kit sponsor of the TTFA and calling it ‘shirt gate’. The name of TT football and the TTFA is being dragged through the mud by this administration. We’re being disgraced all around.”