National women's football coach Richard Hood left in the dark over future

TT women’s football team head coach Richard Hood.  - Roneil Walcott
TT women’s football team head coach Richard Hood. - Roneil Walcott

A day after the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) posted job vacancies for the head-coaching positions for its women's team, as well as the men's under-20 and under-23 teams, former women's coach Richard Hood said he had received no word from the TTFA on his future with the team.

Hood, once a longstanding coach with Police FC in the TT Pro League, was announced as the Women Soca Warriors coach last July. Hood, who had experience as coach of the women's team prior to his most recent appointment in 2023, said his contract came to an end on June 30.

However, based on lengthy discussions on the future of the women's game with TTFA president Kieron Edwards in mid-June, Hood said he felt things "were heading in the right direction."

On Monday night, though, Hood was caught by surprise when he saw the TTFA release which invited applications for the positions of TT Premier Football League (TTPFL) CEO, TTPFL marketing officer, TTFA courier, along with the aforementioned coaching positions.

"At this time, I'm not certain about anything," Hood told Newsday on Tuesday, when asked about his status with the women's team.

Hood said nothing has been communicated to him by the new TTFA executive and he hasn't been instructed to re-apply for the job. He said he feels blindsided by the vacancy postings.

"Applicants are asked to submit their resume, contact information and a copy of all related documents by email to no later than 6 pm on Monday July 8, 2024 clearly indicating the position being applied for in the email subject," the TTFA release said.

The "minimum qualifications" for the women's team coach were listed as the TTFA B Licence or equivalent, with the TTFA A Licence or equivalent deemed as the "desired qualifications."

The women's team coach will be "responsible for overseeing all aspects of the team's performance, including developing and implementing training programmes, managing game strategies and fostering player development," the release stated.

Over the last year, Hood felt he was making strides in the team's development, and he was looking forward to a fruitful rebuilding future with the group.

"I was very comfortable with how we were going and I felt we were heading in the right direction," Hood said, explaining he took charge of a women's programme which had many players who had become disinterested in representing the red, white and black.

"The team needed to rebuild and we were doing that."

Last year, in the Concacaf women's Gold Cup qualifying campaign, Hood and the TT women got a rude awakening in the first game when they were hammered 6-0 by Mexico in Pachuca. TT then lost 2-1 to Puerto Rico at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo in October. The Women Soca Warriors then played to a goalless draw with Puerto Rico in the return fixture, before ending their campaign with a 1-0 versus the group winners Mexico in Mucurapo in December as they were unable to progress to the Gold Cup preliminary round.

Hood felt the team was showing signs of improvement and he pointed to the "remarkable performances" the team displayed after only three training sessions for the May 28-June 3 Caribbean Queen's invitational friendly tournament in Curacao. The friendly tourney featured Aruba and hosts Curacao, with TT winning their first two games before ending the week-long competition with back-to-back losses.

Newsday asked Hood if he would reapply for the coaching job.

"At the end of the day, I'll have to decide if it makes sense to go through this process again. I don't know if I will re-apply."

Around midday on July 2, Newsday contacted Edwards for comment on the varying TTFA job vacancies posted. At the time, Edwards said he was in a meeting. Up to press time, further calls to the TTFA president went unanswered.


"National women’s football coach Richard Hood left in the dark over future"

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