NORMALISATION committee chairman Robert Hadad expressed displeasure with Wednesday’s sudden resignation of national women’s team coach James Thomas.
He, however, called on the in-training bunch of national players to try to remain focused ahead of next month’s Concacaf women’s qualifiers as the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) explores its options to appoint another head coach.
Thomas resigned after just five months in charge. A statement issued by TTFA on Wednesday said Thomas resigned to take up a role at a club in the professional women’s league in the UK.He was appointed T&T women’s coach in April and took up official duty when he arrived in June. Thomas signed an initial one-year contract with an option to extend for a further year.National women’s team assistant coach Charlie Mitchell now spearheads the team’s training sessions while the TTFA searches for Thomas’ replacement.
Haded called on the national team to stick together amidst the challenges.
“It’s really disappointing to see James go but we will re-group. The plan and campaign for the senior women’s team remains in place and we really optimistic about the potential of the team and the staff. It’s just a matter of re-focusing now and continuing to work,” Hadad said.
The TTFA statement added that Thomas’ move will be formally confirmed by the club later this week, and will see him accept a multi-year contract.It added, “Thomas turned down multiple approaches from the UK based club over the last few weeks; however their latest offer proved too good for the Welsh native to turn down” The former Wales assistant coach and performance analyst holds a UEFA A License and a UEFA Elite Youth A License.The TTFA also quoted the now ex-coach on his decision to jump ship for greener pastures.Thomas said, “This has been an incredibly tough decision to make. It’s disappointing because you have a fantastic group of players here.“This is an opportunity that came up for the third time and it was too difficult to turn down again.”The coach said he believes T&T’s women will go on to be successful and wished the normalisation committee, the TTFA staff, team staff and the players the best. TTFA expressed disappointment with the coach’s untimely departure but still thanked him for the work done with the senior women’s programme.The association plans to “build on that foundation into our Concacaf women’s qualifying campaign which begins in November 2021.”
The women’s team plays their opening Concacaf qualifiers versus Nicaragua on November 25 and Dominica on November 28.
The TTFA also confirmed the women’s team will play two friendly international matches in the October 2021 window, at the Ato Boldon Stadium, in Couva, after receiving permission from the Ministry of Health to stage the matches. These friendlies will provide welcomed match preparation for the team in the build-up to the November qualifiers.