Kenwyne Jones 'fully committed' to Women Warriors

Newly-appointed interim coach of the TT women’s Kenwyne Jones  -
Newly-appointed interim coach of the TT women’s Kenwyne Jones -

FRESHLY appointed senior women’s football team interim head coach Kenwyne Jones held his second training session with the group at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on Tuesday and believes the mixture of experience and youthful talent serves as a good recipe for positive performances ahead.

Jones, former national men’s captain and striker, made these remarks in his first public appearance as coach in a virtual press conference held by the TT Football Association (TTFA), on Tuesday.

He was appointed coach on Monday after being contacted by the TTFA’s normalisation committee. Strangely enough, Jones replaced now ex-women’s coach Constantine Konstin, who took up the role last Wednesday and “stepped down” for personal reasons four days later.

Konstin though was appointed following the surprise exit of another recent ex-women’s senior team coach, James Thomas, who resigned on October 6 for greener pastures in the United Kingdom professional women’s league after just five months in charge.

Jones, however, will serve at the helm of the team until November 30 while the process for the appointment of the long term head coach begins early next month.

Moving forward, Jones said, “The biggest strength of this team, because of the mixture right now, we have some experienced players we have some young players and some up and coming players in the team.

“The biggest strength for me is that after looking at them going through this period, as any player would know, every team needs a story. He added that there are a couple of returning players on the team who would have had past training and competitive experiences over the years. Jones wants the more senior players to use these experiences as fuel to nurture the younger players for the future of TT women’s football.

“We have players that would have past experiences at different times in their careers. But now you have them at the point where they’re a lot more mature and being able to turn those experiences and stories into a masterpiece to pass on to the people who are going to be in their positions in a few years or so,” he added.

The 37-year-old said he may even consider throwing his hat into the ring for the permanent position if all goes well after his six-week stint as coach.

However, he does not wish to distract himself with any long term plans with the team and wants to focus on working with them ahead of next week’s two international friendlies (Thursday and Monday) against Panama, at the Couva stadium.

These two matches will serve as warm-ups ahead of the February 2022 Concacaf women’s qualifiers.

“(I have) no concerns about (this) post in the long term. I can only focus on what I have in front of me. I have to concentrate on the task at hand and when that is said and done, if all things being well, I personally have no problem in throwing my hat in the ring (for head coach).

“What I can say is that during this period I am fully committed to the work that has to be done with the team and the stability that has to be brought to the team,” he said.

Having lost two coaches in the past two weeks, and gaining another on Monday, Jones confirmed there has been an improvement in the players’ mood since his arrival. He said they had been through a lot over the past couple weeks and are ready to return to full training ahead of next week’s friendlies.

“Everyone is at peace at this present time. The trauma of the former head coach (Thomas) leaving so abruptly. Also the fact of the other former coach (Konstin) being here for such a short period, I think it traumatised the team at the start.

“But the good thing about it is a decision was made pretty swiftly in order to bring stability to the set-up,” he added.

Jones said he had been in communication with Thomas and his staff during his five-month reign and was in and around the team observing their work. He is familiar with several players and staff and believes they have already struck common ground moving forward with the national team.

Jones also believes as a former pro player, he has what it takes to understand the mentality of players and can directly relate to most, if not all, of their challenges and goals set out.

“If it’s the beginning of this stage of my career for me, then so be it. I’m happy with it. I don’t have any sort of different point of view on coaching women or men.

“What makes it better is that I’m home and being able to give back of my experience and also learn along with the group that is presently here,” he said.

Panama will arrive in Trinidad on Wednesday morning and joins the TT team in a bio-secure environment at the Home of Football in Couva. The matches kick off from 3.30pm on both days.

He closed, “I understand what you need to do in the position of being a coach. You have tough decisions to make. I know some of the players that are in the squad and what their abilities are.

“Being able to get them to produce that on the field is my responsibility and the staff’s. At the end of the day, it does not matter when you achieve qualifications to become a coach, you never stop learning on the job.”


"Kenwyne Jones 'fully committed' to Women Warriors"

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