Assistant director of women's football Jamaal Shabazz has stepped down as head coach of the T&T senior women's national team. Shabazz has been head coach of the T&T women's programme since 1998 and was responsible for sending some 25 female players on football scholarships in the United States; along with helping to chart the careers of stand out players Maylee Attin-Johnson, Tasha St Louis, Kennya Cordner (YaYa) and several others. Shabazz stated: "The time is ripe for me to make way for a new coach who can come in with fresh ideas and run another leg of the race. The players who make up the senior team now were under me since 2000 and we have seen them grow from girls into young women.
"From secondary school students, I have seen them graduate from university and ready to take up positions in society. This transition in their lives was of great importance to us, he added. "The time has come for them to hear a new voice on the football field. Life is not about holding on to a position forever, it is also about seeking out new challenges and making room for others to rise and make their contributions." Shabazz who serves in several capacities in the T&T Football Federation (TTFF) including coordinator of the TTFF Coach Education Programme is also head coach of Caledonia AIA of the T&T Pro League. However he will not totally leave the women's game.
"I will help with the Under-20 women's team and the regional centres for development programme that the TTFF has set up. I will also continue to be the biggest fan of the senior women's team because football has made a special connection in our lives. Under Shabazz and his longstanding assistant Marlon Charles, T&T has consistently the dominant women's team in the Caribbean and established themselves as the fourth best team in Concacaf behind USA, Canada and Mexico. Last year Shabazz guided the senior women to a silver medal in the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games and qualified this country's women to the Pan Am Games which gets underway in October. Former assistant coach of the national U-17 team Richard Hood has been acting as head coach of the women's senior team and is soon expected to be confirmed in the position by the TTFF.