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Photo shows Warner presenting Latapy with a bMobile Blackberry phone on Monday (Photo by - Shaun Fuentes))TTFF Special Advisor Jack Warner is once again insisting that he will “leave no stone unturned” in his efforts to assist this country in its attempt to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Warner made comments to this effect as he sowed up the new deal with local football darling Russell Latapy to join the T&T Senior Team Technical Staff and the Federation as Assistant Coach.

As he looked ahead to 2009, Warner emphasized the importance of T&T’s qualification for South Africa.

“I will leave no stone unturned. The biggest hurdle I will face is a lack of funding and I have to bear that burden. But I promise you that even that I will have to overcome,” Warner told TTFF Media.

“I think that we have to prove to the world that our qualifying in 2006 was not by accident.  Secondly we in a sense have a historical right to be in South Africa. In a real sense we have some historical roots in that continent and it’s only fair that if this is the first World Cup there in a hundred years and who knows when else there will be a World Cup there… then we should be there.”

“Russell is capable of doing excellent work at this level. He knows he will be judged at what he does. I told him once he performs well then we can see him as a future role for him head coach of Trinidad and Tobago and he was very happy about that.  This must be looked as a stepping stone … a kind of apprenticeship for the ultimate which is the head coach position. We have had Beenhakker, Maturana and  Rijsbergen and if the time is coming soon when we will have one of our own… then so be it and I am very happy about this,” Warner added.

“Football is his life and therefore if he sees the need to assist other national teams from time to time then I am quite sure he will.”

“I think what has been revealed is the fact that Latas’ objective and mine were in sync. He had a strong desire to come on board as quickly as possible and  I had a similar desire in terms of what Mr (Oliver) Camps had asked me to do to get this thing settled. I want to say that because our objectives were in sync and our desires were the same it didn’t take too long for us to close the gap on our differences wherever they existed.

“We spoke at length on the team and I saw a very mature Latapy… a different Latapy. I saw a technician at work. He was able to identify some of the problems that are still bedeviling the team which he will addressed. He was given every belief that his role would not be cosmetic …that he will have a very authoritative role in the team and that all levels there will be consultations and collaborations. Therefore having been given that assurance he left very happy and in fact so did I,” Warner concluded.

Warner revealed some of the plans for the Team’s preparations.

“The national team will be leaving in two weeks for Argentina where they will have an extensive training camp where they will also play against a couple top rated clubs before heading to El Salvador. We are also in the discussions stage for matches against Nigeria and Portugal. We are not yet settled on them but we are in discussions and I am hopeful that it will come through,” Warner said.

Latapy: I will play if I have to.

Russell Latapy says he’s committed to doing whatever is necessary to take Trinidad and Tobago to a recognized level in world football even if it means having to wear the number 10 shirt on the pitch to get to South Africa.

Latapy was speaking as he completed final discussions with the TTFF on Monday prior to his flight back to Scotland. He is expected back in Trinidad in early January to take up his duties as Assistant Coach.

“If it means I have to play too along with my role as the assistant coach… then I will do it and whatever is necessary to help the team attain the success we are all trying to achieve,” Latapy  told TTFF Media.

“My honest opinion is that we have underachieved. I think we have a lot of talent there and we can obviously do a lot better than the results have shown lately. I think it’s not difficult things that we need to do to get an improvement. It’s the understanding of  the game, players understanding their roles and organization. I believe if we can get these things right it will take our performance up a level.

So I’m actually looking forward to working with some of these young players. Watching them having come back for the last three games it’s hard to correct some of their mistakes in a short space of time. But  correcting these mistakes is getting them to understand why they are making these mistakes. I think if I work with them from a day to day basis then I can help them understand that which will improve them as players and all together the performance of the team,” Latapy added.

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