I HAVE watched, listened and read with disgust the attack on the president of the TTFA, David John-Williams.
To the United TTFA [coalition], I write these few words in order that all and sundry will have an insight into what is now taking place in the association.
All of you are well aware that for many years [post premier league] the foundation and state of local football have deteriorated.
I can remember that to be called up to the senior national team one had to prove himself in all the leagues, ie, primary, secondary schools, community club, associations (SFL, SFA, POSFL, NAFL and the like), then the zones (South, North, East, Central, etc).
I am not sure why and who was responsible for the change in the footballing structure. All I know is it started around the days of the premier league. I stand to be corrected here.
After that time our national team may have been performing intermittently credibly, something you/we have accepted and seemed not to care for excellence over the years.
Participating in competitions was just for appearances. However, the two prior-mentioned aspects remained. These were quite noticeable in all departments of the association, eg pro, super, college, zonal leagues and refereeing.
I believe this may have started when the association was run mainly by one individual, who answered to no-one and no-one dared challenge and/or question, especially about the association’s finances.
This governance was not a problem for any of you then since you benefitted one way or the other under that leadership. It appeared to me the development of football was not the priority of the association at that time, but one’s personal achievement and financial accomplishment.
You all were there and did nothing to stop the haemorrhaging of football in the land. Why? Simply because of the clout of the person in charge.
I strongly believe for the game to be properly developed here we need to advance, we have to start over, demolish the old house, construct new foundation and rebuild (no patch work).
I must also say that since I played football in the 70s, the TTFA was always in the red financially and no one was capable of finding a solution to this financial burden of the administration.
I sincerely believe DJW’s approach of focusing on the youths (foundation) while simultaneously addressing the financial dilemma of the TTFA is a step in the right direction.
The introduction of the Home of Football is pivotal in this initiative, since our national players can have a proper training facility while utilising a well managed hotel for teams – local and foreign – and other sporting bodies that use the neighbouring facilities (cycling velodrome, aquatic centre) for income generation. A novel idea and foresight which all of you lacked.
I also note that at no time have I heard that DJW is using the association’s finances to enrich himself or colleagues, unlike what has been alleged by personnel from past football administrations.
While I may not approve the alleged dictatorial approach at present, I could see that at times the democratic process hinders the speedy delivery of goods and services that will benefit the majority. This is what I believe is happening.
It seems that the only achievement the last administration made was to incur more debt for the present one.
DJW’s methods of operation and personality might not be welcoming to some. However, it seems to me it is about the love for the game which will benefit us all in the future. So to the main detractor (you know who you are) and others, please stop criticising, complaining and impeding the train that is going somewhere.
As was mentioned in the beginning, it has been about 40 odd years we have been falling. Let us give peace a chance, see what a few years in this new dawning will bring us. I know it is hard to accept change. We cannot keep doing things the same way – as we have done for years – and expect a different result.
To the football coaches and gurus of the day concerning the under-15 invitational tournament last month, don’t blame the coach and administration for the boys’ mediocre performance, for if you were given the opportunity to coach the team the result may not be much different.
I have seen teams that many of you coached and the standard of play was very similar. Stuart Charles-Fevrier has been coaching W Connection for many a years and it was always a highly ranked team. You would not have done much better. We all have failed and it is time for change.
In closing, I am hoping and praying that the detractors – personnel at the United TTFA press conference – who cannot embrace change and progress do not avail themselves for any position should elections be called since it is strongly felt that you all lack innovative ideas, foresight and have failed the football fraternity.
Like the politics of the day, the association needs young, innovative, positive and future-thinking personnel (like DJW) to continue the football odyssey in TT.