Tue, Jan

Merere Gonzales, SSFL president

Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) president Merere Gonzales is praising the T&T Football Association (TTFA) which is being managed by the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee headed by businessman Robert Hadad, for their role in helping with the upgrade of the sport via two seminars labelled 'There is Hope' and 'Everybody In'.

The sessions lasted for some four months and included virtual lectures by officials of some of the world's top football clubs. Technical director Dion La Foucade spearheaded the entire proceedings and was the one to have reached out to the clubs' officials.

For example, the 'Everybody In' programme comprised of John Owens, the Liverpool FC manager who lectured on decision-making and principles of the game; Ben Ashby, the Aston Villa Education Officer who spoke on Developing the player; Dean Whitehouse, the Manchester United academy coach talked about Talent Identification; and Carlos Santamarina, the Athletico Madrid coach lecturing on the Philosophy and Methodology at his club, among many others.

The seminars were given the thumbs up by many of the participating members, including the schools league. There were also several other high-profile instructors such as Peter Augustine, an instructor from the English FA who spoke on - Interpersonal relationship development; Mark Rivers who, as an instructor for the English FA and for English Premiership giants Arsenal, explained the importance of Playing and coaching philosophy development, while Ian Brunskill, who works for both the China football and the English FA, delivered a session on Understanding foreign culture.

Meanwhile, the other part of the seminar called 'There is Hope' was singled out for players from different sporting disciplines and attracted instructors including Karyn Forbes, the T&T women's football captain, sailor Andrew Lewis, batting icon Brian Lara, Kamasha Robertson- Martens, the badminton ace, La Foucade, senior men's football team captain Khaleem Hyland, Carlos Edwards, former T&T midfielder, and Kenwyne Jones, the current T&T Women's football team coach, among many others.

Gonzales in a release said: "I will like to thank the TTFA and the Normalisation Committee for the 'There is Hope' motivational seminars and the 'Everybody In' coaching series conceptualised by the technical director of the TTFA.

"Mr La Foucade made it his business to send all the registration information for all our coaches and players on a consistent basis.

"From the feedback for players and coaches, these seminars were very well received and very informative and motivational because of the level of and quality of presenters. Mr La Foucade even sent the recordings of all the seminars for coaches who could not have attended which is quite commendable."

He noted: "Mr La Foucade has demonstrated very successfully the ability to collaborate and network with local and international presenters for the benefit of our beloved nation while we all are going through a pandemic which is challenging." 

SOURCE: T&T Guardian