German Otto Pfister is expected to be appointed as coach of the Soca Warriors after he topped a shortlist of candidates interview recently. Over the past few weeks, the T&T Football Federation (TTFF) has been evaluating a handful of coaches for the position. They included former Holland international Irwin Koeman who visited T&T last month to be interviewed by TTFF officials. He was followed by veteran Pfister a few days later and he also underwent the same process which included discussions as well as touring some of the local facilities. It is understood that Dutchman Johan Neeskens was also in the running as well as former Portugal and Real Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz, who later opted out of the race prior to a scheduled trip to meet with local officials last week.
A source close to the situation said, “The T&TFF technical committee has made a decision to go with Pfister and contract negotiations are being finalised. The decision by the TTFF technical committee which is headed by technical advisor Keith Look Loy, has also been submitted to the the local federation executive committee and a final announcement is expected within the next couple of weeks. Pfister is regarded as one of Germany’s most successful coaching exports, voted Africa’s Manager of the Year in 1992. He has been to four African Cup of Nations competitions with Burkina Faso, Zaire, Cameroon and Ghana and reached the African Cup of Nations final twice, with Cameroon and Ghana. Pfister has won the Fifa Under-17 World Cup with Ghana and also coached Togo at the 2006 World Cup Finals.During his visit to last month, Pfister visited witnessed the Toyota Classic quarterfinal match between Caledonia AIA and eventual tournament winner, Ma Pau at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella. Back then, a composed Pfister said he saw a lot of work to be done here.
The 73-year-old Pfister also qualified for 1998 Fifa World Cup with Saudi Arabia added, “I have experiences myself similar to that of T&T as I took Togo to the World Cup in Germany. It’s a big challenge but it is possible with a professional conception,” Pfister added. On the job at 73, and having began coaching as a player coach at age 23 in Switzerland back in 1961, Pfister says working with young players, keeps him fresh and vibrant. Look Loy had also commented that Pfister’s coaching resume was remarkable, having enjoyed success in 15 countries on three continents. “He is well experienced in World Cup qualifying and final tournaments, and has managed some of the international game’s established names. This knowledge could serve us well,” said Look Loy. Meanwhile, officials of the T&TFF are expected to meet with Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, Anil Roberts and Sport Company of T&T (Sportt) chairman, Rhett Chee Ping to discuss the financial support towards to the salary package for Pfister which is expected to be close to US60,000 a month.