An Exclusive Interview from Inshan "Flex" Mohammed with former TnT Technical Director, Professor Rene Simoes.
fleX. Do you think you will ever return to Trinidad and Tobago, even on Vacation?
Rene Simoes. I certainly hope so, especially because I’v really enjoyed living and working in TnT.
fleX. What part of Trinidad and Tobago did you like the most?
Rene Simoes. There wasn't a specific part. I enjoyed the peace I felt while I was there.
fleX. If for some strange reason you where offered back a position in TnT, would you consider and if you do, what would be your expectations?
Rene Simoes. Not at the moment because I am expected to sign a new contract with a team on July 20th. If the opportunity arises at a different time for me to return to TnT I will certainly consider it.
fleX. If you where the owner/technical director of a famous club in Brazil, for instance Flamingo, and you had a choice of choosing any T&T player(s) to tryout or sign with your club who would you choose and why?
Rene Simoes. The first player would be Arnold Dawrika. The second would be Jabloteh's goalkeeper Kelvin Jack. The third would be Collin Samuel from San Juan Jabloteh. I also could not forget striker Andre Toussaint who plays for Joe Public.
fleX. Do you think TnT has a chance to qualify for the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany? Please explain.
Rene Simoes. In my opinion, the basic step for a team that wishes to qualify for a World Cup is to hire a Technical Director that will put a serious project in place that will plan for the needs of the present and the future. If the TTFF chooses a good Technical Director then the chances are very good.
fleX. Can you see our Professional Football League surviving in the next 5 years?
Rene Simoes. If the current situation among the TTFF, Mr. Warner and the government is solved, then I have no doubts that the PFL will do well.
fleX. How can we better the Pro League?
Rene Simoes. A great factor behind the success of club teams around the world is that different communities are associated with them. That creates loyalty, nurtures a healthy competitiveness, and increases the number of spectators at games. For example, students from a certain high school will support their team because they feel that the team is somehow representing them, there is a sense of belonging and connection. This is what needs to happen with clubs at the PFL and communities.
fleX. Do you think TnT has any chance of qualifying for any tournaments, such as U-17, U-20 & U-23 Olympic games and Youth Championships?
Rene Simoes. With the program that is currently in place it is almost impossible to qualify. The players need to gain more international exposure and learn what it is like to compete at the international level against countries with different football styles in order to appropriately prepare for qualifying rounds.
fleX. Do you think our players are mentality strong?
Rene Simoes. Being mentally strong in a game is not something that comes completely naturally. It needs to be trained. If the teams are able to travel more and play against other countries the players will certainly become mentally strong.
fleX. What is your favorite TnT PFL team?
Rene Simoes. I like W Connection and Caledonia AIA because they play the football that I like. They focus on maintaining ball possession as the fundamental point of the game plan, but at the same time these teams give players the freedom to use their creativity and individual styles.
fleX. Have you ever visited the Soca Warriors Online website ( http://www.socawarriors.net )? If yes, was it worth your time?
Rene Simoes. Yes! I am constantly checking the internet to know what is going on in my beloved TnT.
fleX. How can we as fans give proper support to the TnT teams?
Rene Simoes. By buying the products from the company that sponsor the TTFF and by being in the games cheering for the country and showing the opponents whose house it is!
fleX. Do you think our Football Federation should be re-shuffled, ie: get rid of the weak links?
Rene Simoes. I think that the different political parties must sit together and put aside their differences for the benefit of the sport. This would be enough take football to the next step.
fleX. What do you think of our New Stadiums, and how can we utilized them properly?
Rene Simoes. I was impressed by them and they are more than what TnT needs. To make full use of them a sports tourism program should be put into place, allowing clubs and national teams to use the facilities for their preparation.
fleX. Seeing that you have worked with several local coaches, who would you consider a good local coach to take over the TnT team right now, in terms of fairness of squad selection, scouting players, building players mentality and physically and also keeping forcus on project 2006?
Rene Simoes. As I told you before the most important point is to choose the Technical Director. The coach will be decided under the game system chosen by the Technical Director.
fleX. Whats was your best moment in T&T?
Rene Simoes. I have many of them, but I think the ovation the under 17 received after the game against Australia and the win against Honduras are the best two. Also the solidarity I received from the people on the streets after I announced my resignation.
fleX. Do you still plan to keep in touch with the players in T&T?
Rene Simoes. Certainly, I will follow the TnT players and football.
fleX. Does TnT have the discipline to follow the coach's instructions, a game plan, good defense and good offense not just dribbling but good one two passing with good finishing at this point in time?
Rene Simoes. As I mentioned, everything is matter of training. The raw talent is there, so if the players are trained right then nothing is impossible.
fleX. Did you ever play football for Brazil in the World Cup or for a professional club?
Rene Simoes. No I did not. I played for a professional team in Rio called Bonsucesso until I was accepted into a university.
Rene Simoes. Thank you Trinidad and Tobago.
Note: From the Soca Warriors Online we would like to say: Thankyou Mr. Rene Simoes for doing this interview for us.