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Beenhakker says T&T football on the move.Football Association director Leo Beenhakker returned to Port-of-Spain on Sunday with the national contingent and is expected to hold meetings with local football personnel this week as he prepares to assist with the development of the local game.

The Dutch mastermind who guided T&T to the 2006 World Cup in Germany, spent the past few weeks with T&T head coach Stephen Hart and the squad in the United States during the Concacaf Gold Cup. Beenhakker said he was partly satisfied with the progress made but there was room for development and improvement.

“I have to say it was difficult at the start but you can see in general they were growing in the tournament but they were doing better and better,” Beenhakker said.

Beenhakker, a past technical director with Dutch giants AFC Ajax, will continue to hold meetings with TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee, general secretary Sheldon Phillips as well as other technical personnel including technical director Anton Corneal among others.

“The main thing is what we, the responsible people of the football of T&T, the management and coaches, are doing with them (players). Football is on the move. If you compare it with the last ten years you can see every year is much quicker with less time. If you want to play a certain role in international football then you have to develop the younger players in that way.

The former Real Madrid and Holland boss said the promising and improved showing of the National Team at the Gold Cup was essential in the way forward.

“It’s very important because that the whole nation gets back the confidence and the face of the national team . They deserve it because they are representing your beautiful country. We have to look for international success.

The only way to get that to go back to the training pitch almost everyday, prepare yourself, not only in technical way but also in mental and physical preparation and I assure you the talent is there but we have to work a lot more especially with the younger generation and the ultimate goal again is to be present in the World Cup 2018.”

Beenhakker's prospective - Football's on the move.
By Shaun Fuentes (TTFA).


Trinidad and Tobago Football Association Director of Football Leo Beenhakker arrived back in Port of Spain on Sunday night with the rest of the National team contingent and is expected to hold meetings with local football personnel this week as he sets about on assisting with the development of the local game.

The Dutch mastermind who guided Trinidad and Tobago to the 2006 World Cup in Germany, spent the past few weeks with T&T head coach Stephen Hart and the squad in the United States during the Concacaf Gold Cup. Beenhakker said he was partly satisfied with the progress made by the senior team but there is obvious room for further development and improvements.

“I have to say it was difficult at the start but you can see in general they were growing in the tournament but they were doing better and better,” Beenhakker told TTFA Media.

“It’s more or less the same history, especially with the younger guys and I had the same experience in 2005/2006. Younger guys like Joevin Jones and Kevin Molino and others in this category, you can see they all have a lot of talent but they make still too many mistakes and I think they can be much better. They have the quality and potential so I am very interested in returning to Trinidad in that way and having a bit more knowledge of how they work with these  young guys. Everywhere in the world , the talent is there, of course you are a smaller country but the quality is there . In general they can do much better,” Beenhakker stated.

Beenhakker, a past technical director with Dutch giants AFC Ajax, will continue to hold meetings with TTFA President Raymond Tim Kee, General Secretary Sheldon Phillips as well as other technical personnel including Technical Director Anton Corneal among others.

“The main thing is what we, the responsible people of the football of T&T, the management and coaches, are doing with them (players). Football is on the move. If you compare it with the last ten years you can see every year is much quicker with less time. If you want to play a certain role in international football then you have to develop the younger players in that way.

“I am always looking for a situation in tennis for instance, they have statistics where you see the unforced errors and forced errors. In forced errors you have to give the credits to the opponent. But also in the football way, you have unforced errors in controlling the ball, in passing the ball, in taking up the good position. In general they all can play football but football more than ever in actual time a team effort. It has to have a balance, the left hand has to know what the right had has to do and in the opposite way. I think we can do things a lot better in that way.”

The former Real Madrid and Holland boss said the promising and improved showing of the National Team at the Gold Cup was essential in the way forward for football in this country.

“It’s very important because that the whole nation gets back the confidence and the face of the national team. They deserve it because they are representing  your beautiful country. We have to look for international success. The only way to get that to go back to the training pitch almost everyday, prepare yourself, not only in technical way but also in mental and physical preparation and I assure you the talent is there but we have to work a lot more especially with the younger generation and the ultimate goal again is to be present in the World Cup 2018.”

Beenhakker stressed that the qualification campaign for Russia 2018 is not as far away as some may feel.

“I’m sure some of the people think well that’s five years and it’s a long time but in life five years is a long time but in football five years is  nothing.  So if you want to have this goal of going to the World Cup then you have to start now with the development of youth teams to bring them to a higher level,” he concluded.

In a long and illustrious managerial career, Beenhakker was coach of Feyenoord, Ajax, Real Zaragoza, Real Madrid CF, Grasshopper-Club, Istanbulspor AS, and SBV Vitesse as well as América and fellow Mexican side CD Guadalajara. He was also coach of the Dutch national side in 1985, 1986 and 1990 and took charge of the Saudi Arabian national side between 1993 and 1994 and T&T in 2005/2006.

“We give credit to the veteran coach for his work at the Amsterdam Arena. Ajax are well organised now and that is why we regret Beenhakker's early departure, because he played a major role in the reconstruction of Ajax," said general manager Arie van Eijden at the time of Beenhakker’s departure from the club in 2003.