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Wed, Jun

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Anton Corneal, Technical Director of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) and senior men’s team manager, William Wallace, have extended gratitude to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and some of its other partners for their support during the 2012 calendar.

Wallace walked straight into the position of senior team manager in September after holding a similar position with the Olympic men’s and Under-20 men’s teams earlier in the year and both he and Corneal have been an integral in the ongoing relationship involving the TTFF, the Ministry of Sport and the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago.

“On behalf of the Federation and the senior men’s team, I wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the Ministry of Sport and the Honourable Minster of Sport Anil Roberts as well as the Sportt Company for providing the necessary financial support for our Caribbean Cup campaign,” Wallace said.

“And I want to especially thank the Government for also signalling that they are on board with us in our build up towards the CONCACAF Gold Cup next year.

This has by no means been a smooth period for our national teams and the Government has hung in there with us to ensure that there was some form of progress which eventually led to our second place finish in the Caribbean Cup and our qualification for the Gold Cup. For this we are extremely grateful,” Wallace added. Some of the financial aid provided assisted in training camps, hotel accommodation, airfares and match wages.

Meanwhile, Corneal has overseen the TTFF coach education programme which saw over 400 local coaches participate in the ‘C’ Licence Coaching Course in conjunction with the Dutch Royal Academy and has also watched over the programme for the men’s Under-17 team that has progressed towards the Final Round of qualifiers for the 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

“We have to be realistic when we look back at the state at which our football was in late 2011 when we were eliminated from the 2014 qualifying campaign and the difficulties we’ve faced as a Federation in gathering support for our programmes,” Corneal said as he went on to refer to the continued support of the Government as well as other partners who chipped in along the way such as National Lotteries Control Board, bmobile, Caribbean Airlines, Gatorade and Blue Waters.

“When you look back at the crisis period we were faced with, there is now deep sense of appreciation for the support of the Government and some of our partners along the way. It is our hope that the relationship between all concerned continues to strengthen and that football and sport on a whole can benefit from it,” said the ex-national player.

Some of the programmes benefitting from the assistance provided by the Ministry of Sport/Sportt Company include the senior team’s Caribbean Cup campaign, the Under-17 men’s preparations for the Caribbean leg of qualifying and its training camp in Colombia in November, the Under 20 team’s qualifying tournament in Jamaica in November, the women’s team training camp in Costa Rica in November and the TTFF Coach Education programmes.

TTFF president Raymond Tim Kee has been holding ongoing discussions with Ministry officials and other stakeholders geared towards stabilising relationships and the organisation on a whole and Corneal is optimistic, saying that this has already bearing some fruit.

“The president is on the ball as it relates to strengthening and forging new relationships and as an organisation we are optimistic that there will be further progress and benefits coming out of this as already we have started seeing some progress. We are anticipating greater progress in 2013 which of course means that as a Federation we will also make strides in improving in every aspect of our operations both on and off the playing field,” Corneal concluded.