Mon, Jul

TTFA President sets early targets for 2016.

John-Williams says six points in March will be ideal for ‘Soca Warriors’

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association President David John-Williams is hoping the “Soca Warriors” can acquire a maximum six points in its next two 2018 World Cup Qualifying matches against St Vincent/Grenadines on March 25th and 29th. This he says is his New Year’s Wish.

“The Copa Centenario is history. It’s a big blow. We have to take the punch and right now the immediate goal is the two games against St Vincent/Grenadines. We must target six points. Six points are not guaranteed but we must target. I am hoping we can get six points against St Vincent and the United States gets six points against Guatemala and we can start planning for the Hex. That is my New Year’s wish,” John-Williams said.

The TTFA President has already met with T&T Head Coach Stephen Hart to begin planning the preparation for the two matches which will be held in St Vincent on March 25th and at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on March 29th. Six points in both matches will push T&T to ten points in four matches with two remaining games at home to Guatemala and away to the United States in September. The top two teams from the group will advance to the CONCACAF Final round of six teams from which the top three will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the fourth place team meeting the fifth best placed team from Asia in the intercontinental playoff.

John-Williams said that inspite of the recession period, he was committed to pushing on with the business of Trinidad and Tobago football as he sees it a potential shining light for the country.

“Of course it’s a headache (financial challenges) but you live in hope. You try to do things that are very important, things to change that situation. It was disappointing that we did not get into the Copa Centenario. It would have been a good financial boost for the FA. But we live and we learn.

“We are still on target to complete our financial statements for February so we can probably access funding from FIFA. It is very critical for us to do our financial statements to show corporate Trinidad and Tobago that we are serious about what we do and that they can come back on board,” he said.

“Yes we are in a recessionary time but I think football is a very important year for us. Football can be the thing that gives the nation hope. We all saw what happened in 2006 and I hope that history can repeat itself. I think it’s very important that we get into the ‘Hex” and if we can get into it by March 29th it can mean a lot for us as it will give us at least six to seven months planning going into the Hex and that can be a tremendous boost,” John-Williams stated.

He went on to add that the current TTFA administration which includes three newly elected Vice Presidents in Ewing Davis, Joanne Salazar and Alan Warner as well as a new board of directors, will be fully committed to serving in the best interest of Trinidad and Tobago football.

“I just want to tell the public that we are a new administration I haven’t taken up this job to try and fail or feel sorry for myself. There will be challenges. At the end of the day I am President of all football in Trinidad and Tobago. Not everybody will agree with what this administration does but I can assure them is it will be in the interest of Trinidad and Tobago football.

John Williams also spoke more on the dismissal of Randy Waldrum as T&T women’s head coach. Richard Hood was named as the new coach on Wednesday.

“I did approach Randy because people asked me to talk to him. I told him we were on some tight deadlines and we agreed on certain dates for some proposals that didn’t happen. And we as an administration was under some pressure to deal with it and we dealt with it,” John-Williams said.

He touched on one of the reasons being that Waldrum was not based full-time in the country.

“If I were to tell the current Soca Warriors that Stephen Hart is coaching in Bahrain and is going to come here every twenty days when there is a World Cup qualifier, the public will want to crucify me for it. Why should I do the women the same thing and this is exactly what was happening. You can’t sit in Houston and pick a team for my Trinidad and Tobago. The public needs to understand that.

“While Randy has been doing a tremendous job, I think we want to go in a more positive direction and ensure the women get the attention that they need. Yes he is a very good coach, he has done a tremendous job but I think I want a greater commitment and greater full time responsibility for the national women’s team because we have a good group of women. We have to also take into consideration the finances of the TTFA.”

John-Williams added that Waldrum would not have been available to the team for the two warm-up games against Costa Rica on January 25th and 27th.

The TTFA President is currently in Antigua as the CFU Member Associations gather for a General Meeting in a weekend that opens on Friday with a cocktail reception to be hosted by the Hon. Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne. The general meeting will be held during the day on Saturday. Between Saturday and Monday morning, the CFU delegates will hear from FIFA presidential candidates Jérôme Champagne, HRH Prince Ali Al Hussein, and Gianni Infantino, three of the five candidates who accepted the invitation to present their programs and answer questions posed by CFU Member Associations.

The Draw for the 2016 Men’s Caribbean Cup will also be held on Saturday morning at the Jolly Beach Resort & Spa.