Former T&T Football Association technical director Anton Corneal has lamented on the low turn out of women participants at the T&T Women’s League Football (TTWoLF) hosted inaugural 'C' License Coaching Course which began on Monday at Ato Boldon Stadium in Balmain, Couva.
Corneal, a national youth and senior coach is the Concacaf/FIFA instructor for the five-day workshop and was speaking during the opening of the Coaching Course at the same venue at which only one woman was a participant on Sunday.
Corneal who was assistant coach to Zoran Vranes when T&T participated at the FIFA Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups first noted that this was a wonderful time for the participants because it's where they are merging courses for the first time.
He added, "The T&TFA embraced a very detailed course coming out of Europe which is still done right now and which is being presented for quite a while now.
With regards to his two assistants, Corneal said, "Coaches Rajesh Latchoo and Mark Paul have both done the 'C' and 'B' Licenses and have excelled in our B License which replicates the UEFA B License."
"I have also been fortunate to have not just taught the 'B' License for Concacaf, but also to be part of the design of the 'B' License in a partnership with Europe. So we have had the best people helping Concacaf, and we are now taking it and making it ours."
He added, "This is the first time we are taking the Concacaf C License and running it alongside ours. It's very similar and some areas would be beneficial to us only and we will embrace those areas.
However, Corneal noted that there is only one issue that he has. and that will be the women as I would love to see more women. So I will challenge WoLF to triple the women participants by tomorrow (Tuesday).
"We will find a way, have I done this before yes, In St Kitts, they found seven women one afternoon and we have to do it because women need to run women's football.
"We are seeing it with the administrators and I am happy, but we also need to see it with the coaches. And I am not saying there isn't room for men, as I would also like us to assist, but we must be able to embrace women also to run. We got women playing but they need also to pass on this information.
"It's a lot of information to learn and also know you guys have a lot of information as well, so we can all help each other.
"We are here to guide you and the main word here is communication, because if all of us are here have the same information, how we communicate that information will decide how people grasp it," stated Corneal.
"So we can have the same information, but we must be able to communicate that information properly," ended Corneal.
However, recently elected President of the T&T Football Association (T&TFA), William Wallace expressed his delight with the number of participants wanting to get involved in coaching, especially the number of men.
He said, "It's really good that you all are interested in getting into that area, wanting to be associated or affiliated with women's football and I think that is a big thing for us and you will also see it yourself as participants as we continue to evolve."
"We will see how important this is to a small country like ours as big companies like Nike have been putting a lot into women's football because they see the importance of women's football and we have a long way to go, but will participants like you who are being trained and are willing to get in there and do the groundwork we expect that we will see the results of that in the years to come."
" I thank you all for showing keen interest and I expect you all to benefit as you are in the hands of an excellent instructor in Anton Corneal.
Commenting on the number of women participants involved TTWoLF general secretary, Jamiyla Muhammad said that there was a high number of women who were interested in being part of the Coaching Course.
However, she pointed out that due to school reopening this week, it was very difficult for the intended women participants to make the arrangements and get the time off needed to be in attendance from 1 pm to 6 pm daily.
Muhammad did state that there are plans to conduct another 'C' Coaching Course in March under the instructions of Corneal and it is expected by then that more women will have the time to be involved and get certified with a developmental period of six weeks after the sessions also needing to be completed to attain certification.
Susan Joseph-Warrick, Vice-President of T&TFA and President of WoLF welcomed all the participants and wished them success over the five-day coaching course.