Trinidad and Tobago Football Association President David John-Williams on Friday introduced former national captain and ex-Senior Team head coach Russell Latapy as the new head coach of the Men’s National Under 17 Team ahead of the upcoming Caribbean Football Union Final round of qualification for the 2017 FIFA Under 17 World Cup.
John-Williams made the disclosure at a Press Conference hosted by the TTFA at the Ato Boldon Stadium as he spoke of other developments taking place within the TTFA including the appointed members of staff for the Under 17 team. Those include Reynold Carrington as assistant coach and the decision to retain the services of two previous assistant coaches with the team, Kyle Small and Duane Richardson. The goalkeeper coach is Nigel Neverson, the team physio is Otis Hislop, Devin Elcock is the equipment manager and Alexandrine Elliot-Procupe has been retained as the team manager.
John Williams noted that Latapy’s appointment came following as assessment of a number of applications for the post followed by an interview conducted by the TTFA technical committee.
Latapy has agreed to a two-year contract with the option of an extension and he will also serve as a staff coach for the other national youth teams. Part of his services will include conducting coaching courses. Latapy is the holder of a UEFA Pro License.
“Russell, despite all you have been through with the TTFA, our discussions have been fruitful. I want to thank you again, not only for applying… you came out on top in the interview… you did accept the offer,” John Williams stated.
“The tournament is about a month away, I want to go on the public record to thank the staff that had been working with the team voluntarily for about a year now. And it’s indeed an honour for me to thank you for the support you have given to the national programme,” John-Williams added during which he also praised the efforts of Stephen Hart and the Senior Men’s Team for their current sitting at the top of the semi-final round World Cup qualifying group.
Latapy also addressed the gathering, expressing his delight on the opportunity to serve local football again.
“I had an opportunity to look at the players and it stresses the feeling that I have that we’ve always had very talented young players in this country. One of the problems we’ve had in the past is these young players are not getting guidance from an early age,” Latapy stated.
“I am here with the Association to try and provide the guidance and opportunity for some of these young players to move forward in football and have a career in football.”
“This is a perfect opportunity for the Association and myself in working with the younger players and passing on some of the tricks of the trade in professional football and international football that I’ve gained over the years,” the ex-Porto player added.
T&T will go into action in its opening Group A match against Haiti on September 16th at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. They then face Bermuda on September 16th and Jamaica on September 20th. Group B comprises Suriname, Curacao, Guadeloupe and Cuba and matches in this group will take place at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
The two group winners will advance to the semi-finals. Those four semi-finalists will also automatically advance to the CONCACAF Final Round scheduled to take place in Panama in April. The best third placed team will also complete the five Caribbean qualifiers for the CONCACAF Final stage.
Four teams from CONCACAF will advance to the FIFA Under 17 World Cup in India.