The country’s next national football coach will be chosen from a shortlist of three, comprising Colombian Francisco Maturana, St Lucian Stuart Charles Fevrier, the W Connection coach and Englishman Terry Fenwick, a former San Juan Jabloteh coach, as the search continues for a replacement for Tom Saintfiet.
Guardian Media Sports was reliably informed that from a process of elimination, both Russell Latapy and Dennis Lawrence were dropped from the previous five-man shortlist by the Technical Committee of the T&T Football Association which is being headed by Dexter Skeene.
The committee will submit its choice for national coach to the Board of TTFA tomorrow for approval.
Latapy has been an assistant coach under the Belgian who said he resigned because of lack of support from the TTFA and its president David John-Williams last week, while Lawrence, an ex-national defender, has had six years experience in the English Premier League and has attained all his coaching badges. Yesterday, however the technical committee made a giant step toward bringing the selection process to an end by narrowing it down to three, and is expected to announce the new coach by tomorrow.
It is believed Maturana, who coached T&T back in 2008-2009 could be the top contender for the job but there are concerns over the huge cost the football association may have to put out to afford him. Like ex coach Stephen Hart, the Colombian enjoyed a good string of results going into the hex, but faltered in the final round of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
His biggest achievements to date have been leading local team Atletico Nacional to their first Colombian to the Copa Libertadores title in 1989, as well as guiding the Colombian national team to their first Copa America title back in 2001.
Meanwhile Fevrier has dominated top flight local football, leading his team to multiple titles of the T&T Pro League, and twice winning the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Club Championships. The 57 year old St Lucian said in an interview recently that he knew what was necessary to turn around the misfortunes of local football.
Fenwick on the otherhand is an ex England international who made his international debut for the full England side in May 1984 as a substitute for Alvin Martin at Wrexham, before going on to make 20 appearances for the national side up until 1988.
He is still best remembered for his inability to stop Argentine great Diego Maradona on his way to the ‘Goal of the Century’ at the FIFA World Cup in 1986.
In coaching Fenwick enjoyed tremendous successes winning the pro league title on four occasions (2002, 2003, 2007, and 2008). After securing a place in the Caribbean Champions League for Central FC, Fenwick signed for CS Visé in the Belgian Second Division.
He has publicly stated that he is the best man for the top job, noting that his close rival Fevrier has been tried and tested before.
TTFA decides today.
By Ian Prescott (Expres).
INTERVIEWS having been made, the recommendation for new head coach of the Trinidad and Tobago national team will today be submitted to the board of directors of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) for consideration.
The board of directors meet from 3p.m. today at the Hasley Crawford stadium, and among their deliberations will be to decide on the recommendation for a new national coach to fill the post vacated by Belgian Tom Saintfiet on Tuesday, January 10.
Reports are that candidates interested in the post were Colombian Francisco Maturana, Englishman Terry Fenwick and St Lucian Stuart Charles-Fevrier, along with former T&T national players Russell Latapy and Dennis Lawrence.
There is also support for the return of former national coach Stephen Hart, whose tenure ended after World Cup qualifying defeats in November. But there is no indication either if he is interested in resuming his former position or is being considered. Hart was replaced by obscure Belgian Saintfiet who suffered three defeats in four matches and lasted just over a month before he quit, citing lack of support by both the TTFA and its president David John-Williams.
Interviews were conducted by a TTFA technical committee, whose recommendations will be passed onto the board of directors. The technical committee is chaired by former national footballer and current professional football league CEO Dexter Skeene and also includes Dr Alvin Henderson (vice-chairman), Errol Lovell (former national goalkeeper), Edgar Vidale (former national men’s coach), Jinelle James (women’s football administrator and ex-national player) and Muhammad Isa (technical director).
The board of directors are responsible for appointing national coaches and technical staff and a source told the Express while it is not certain whether the recommendation will be accepted or agreed on, it is hoped that the process will be completed today so that a new national coach could be quickly appointed.
The TTFA Board of directors currently comprises TTFA president David John-Williams; TTFA vice-presidents Joanne Salazar, Ewing Davis and Allan Warner; Sherwyn Dyer (Eastern Counties Football Union), Karanjabari Williams (Northern FA), Richard Quan Chan (Southern FA), Anthony Moore (Tobago FA), Samuel Saunders (Central FA), Joseph Taylor (Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees Association), Sharon O’Brien (Women’s League Football), Wayne Cunningham (Eastern FA) and Dexter Skeene (TT Pro League).