Ex-captains aim to restore past glory of Trinidad and Tobago football teams

Trinidad and Tobago senior men's football team head coach Angus Eve  - TTFA Media
Trinidad and Tobago senior men's football team head coach Angus Eve - TTFA Media

FORMER Trinidad and Tobago men’s team captains Angus Eve and Kenwyne Jones will be aiming to restore past glory, after they were entrusted with the roles of coaches for the respective national men’s and women’s squads in 2021.

The men’s team endured a mixed 2021 while the women’s team had an overall decent outing during the past year.

The TT men’s team, led then by Terry Fenwick, sunk to their lowest depth in recent memory when they failed to advance, past the first hurdle, in Concacaf World Cup qualifying.

In March, TT defeated Guyana 3-0 in their first Group F game, at the Dominican Republic, but were held to a 1-1 draw by hosts Puerto Rico.

Only the group winners would advance to the next stage, and TT needed to defeat the Bahamas on June 5 to keep pace with leaders St Kitts/Nevis.

However, to the shock and dismay of the TT football-loving public, the Bahamas drew goalless with a disjoined TT squad, a result which meant that St Kitts/Nevis were assured of a place in the second round.

TT defeated St Kitts/Nevis 2-0 on June 8, but the die had already been cast, and Fenwick lost his job on June 11, as well as his assistants Derek King and Kelvin Jack.

Eve was handed the reins as TT coach for the Gold Cup qualifiers, and he got the team to shake off their World Cup disappointment to advance to the group stages of the Gold Cup, by virtue of a 6-1 win over Montserrat and an 8-7 win, courtesy of kicks from the penalty spot, over French Guiana after the scores were locked at 1-1 at the end of regulation time.

During the Gold Cup, TT showed excellent resolve as they held Mexico to a goalless draw, even though the game was marred by a couple stoppages due to racist and homophobic chants by the Mexican supporters.

Trinidad and Tobago women football team coach Kenwyne Jones - TTFA Media

TT fell to a 2-0 loss to El Salvador and finished their Group A campaign with a 1-1 draw against Guatemala.

Eve was appointed full-time men’s coach in September but the team never featured in an international, or even a competitive match, since due to covid19 restrictions and the unavailability of quality opponents.

Like Eve, Jones was also a former TT international and skipper who was given the mantle of team coach in 2021.

The ex-national defender-turned-striker was a surprise choice for the role as women’s coach in October, after James Thomas from Wales and US’ Constantine Konstin resigned within the space of two weeks.

Thomas was named coach in April, and his mandate was to prepare the team for the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers, which were pushed back from November 2021 to February 2022.

However, Thomas resigned in September to take up a club coaching job in Britain, with Konstin, who was the TT futsal coach earlier in the year, named as replacement.

Bizarrely, Konstin’s spell as TT women’s coach lasted only a week as he left the role, due to alleged disagreements with the technical staff and players.

The baton was passed to Jones to guide the team for two friendly internationals in October, at home to Panama. The first game finished goalless and the second game ended in a 1-1 draw.

The women’s team travelled to the Dominican Republic to play a pair of friendly internationals in November. The hosts won the first encounter 2-1 while the second game finished with the scores locked at 1-1.

The TT futsal team, with Konstin as coach, as well as the beach soccer squad, guided by Spain’s Ramiro Amarelle, both failed to progress from their group stages, in their respective Concacaf Championships.

The FIFA-appointed normalisation committee, which comprises chairman Robert Hadad, deputy chairperson Judy Daniel, Nigel Romano and Nicholas Gomez, were given a one-year extension from the game’s governing body on Christmas Eve. The committee’s term of office will now end on March 31, 2023.

The decision was made due to an array of legal problems, following the TT Football Association (TTFA) board of directors’ disagreement with the committee’s appointment in March 2020, as well as challenges arising from the covid19 pandemic.

The normalisation committee was given a mandate by FIFA to run the TTFA’s daily affairs, to establish a debt repayment plan that is implementable by the TTFA administration, to review and amend the TTFA Statutes (and other regulations where necessary), and ensure their compliance with the FIFA Statutes and requirements before duly submitting them for approval to the TTFA Congress, and to organise and conduct elections of a new TTFA executive committee for a four-year mandate.


"Ex-captains aim to restore past glory of Trinidad and Tobago football teams"

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