National coach Terry Fenwick is set to receive some much-needed help, at least in the goalkeeping department, from the goalkeeper coach for all the national teams Kelvin Jack soon.
Jack was among a number of coaches who received contracts under the William Wallace-led T&T Football Association but has not worked a day on the job due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which has affected sports action in various ways worldwide.
However, the resumption of play internationally, coupled with permission granted for national teams to resume preparation for international competition by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley in November, has left Fenwick almost semi-paralysed in the preparation of his goalkeepers ahead of the FIFA/CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers which kicks off with an opening match against Guyana on March 25th in the Dominican Republic.
Chairman of the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee Robert Hadad revealed recently that Jack, a member of the T&T team that played in the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany, is set to return home to help out, but he (Hadad) faces a contentious issue with the coach's salary for the time he has not been here.
"He is making his way back to Trinidad and Tobago, he is going to meet up with the team in the Dominican Republic, return home with the team, do the quarantine with them and then he will be back here thereafter," Hadad explained.
Jack has missed more than a year on the job with the team and has been talking to Hadad to sort out a payment plan for him during the time he has been at home in England. According to Hadad: "He and I have already been talking about the fact that he hasn't really been here for 14 months of his contract, so should I pay him for the 14 months, or did you really try to come home?"
He noted further: "So that will be up in the air, that's another contentious issue just like everything else, there are a lot of contentious issues and some of these guys see things through one-way lenses. Legally, legitimately we have to pay him, so I have to reach out to some part of him, the emotional and sympathetic side."
Jack, who has always spoken out on the ills of T&T football, was rightfully given a position as goalkeeper coach on the senior national team, alongside head coach Fenwick, his assistant Derek King who is also Under-20 team coach, then manager Basil Thompson, equipment manager Michael Williams and trainer Oswin Birchwood. Jack will double as goalkeeper coach for the other teams.
The team has been without a goalkeeping coach for the past months and it showed in a 0-7 drubbing by the United States in an international friendly encounter in Orlando Florida, USA on January 31.
The team warmed up for the Guyana match with a convincing 4-1 victory over T&T Pro League campaigners Police FC on Friday at the hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo. T&T win came courtesy of a double strike by Sean Bonval and a goal apiece from Duane Muckette and Brent Sam.
On Monday, Fenwick's men will continue their preparations with a clash with Defence Force.
Jack could also be a welcome asset to the team in dealing with conflict resolution, amidst rumours that some players are opposed to the coaching methods of the coach (Fenwick), among other reported issues.
Thompson, the previous manager of the team is said to have been replaced by Adrian Romain.