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Where next for the Warriors
This question must be hanging over the heads of the entire football fraternity and it is a most appropriate one.
Firstly and to the point: the emphasis on winning the final two matches must be still the top priority, regardless of what we believe the chance to qualify is feeble.
Dennis Lawrence and his staff must hold their commitment to success until the end of the road.
The next step following the final result will be to set a variety of targets, all leading up to various tournaments such as U-17, U-19, U23 Olympics and the 2022 World cup.
I have noticed just recently that the ball has begun to roll by the TTFA regarding the start of a youth development program which seems to have set a path from our hosting of the U-17 FIFA WC and spiralled through maybe the most successful progress line in our history of Football as our U-15 won the CFU champions in 2005. These players graduated into the U-17 age group and after a well organised preparatory process which included a series of international friendlies, the CFU qualifying and the Concacaf qualifying matches saw our team reach the U-19 Fifa World Cup finals in Korea in 2007.
The same was the case for the U-20 FIFA WC for which we qualified to play in Egypt in 2009. We may also recall our Olympic qualifying team very nearly made it to London, but failed to shake the strength of Mexico and Honduras.
However, there must be a methodical plan to keep the effort which National teams should engage itself by having a series of regular international matches. A good start for this will be to use the “Russian FIFA” Qualifiers for friendlies, which should start in early
January and get five of them to play against the Warriors. They will need the exposure and so will we, hence the reason for this option.
I am still qualified that there is need for further education for our coaches at the high levels of the game. Grassroots coaching and “C” and “D” licenses are fine for the youngsters between 13 and 15 years.
The game at higher levels seem to always evade the level of our experience and understanding of the game. This has shown itself on numerous occasions, providing us with evidence as to what quality of knowledge must be used.
I strongly recommend that our young local coaches with good potential should be made to attend international matches anywhere around us, with the specific instruction to learn more of what the experts do for success.
Finally, the current coaching staff should meet with the Technical committee who could present the picture which was offered to the team within the last six matches coming directly from the mouths and minds of the staff. This may well be the most essential challenge and could expose some lessons which we may have learnt under the guidance of the current staff.