T&T Senior Women’s football coach Stephan de Four on Tuesday became the latest casualty of the new William Wallace-led T&T Football Association.
De Four was removed as national coach four days after senior men’s coach Dennis Lawrence was also fired by Wallace’s board.
A letter addressed to De Four from the recently-installed TTFA president said: “The T&TFA met on Saturday and a major part of the discussions centred around your current position as head coach of the Women’s programme. Based on the financial situation that the FA is faced with at this time, we have no choice but to quickly re-organise in many areas. One such area is the technical staff attached to all teams.
“It is with a bit of a heavy heart that I have to inform you that we can no longer retain you as head coach and sincerely thank you for your services rendered so far. Let me also take this opportunity to wish you and your family a happy holiday and to also wish you all the best in your future endeavours. We will arrange to discuss matters pertaining to the existing contract and outstanding payments.”
Guardian Media Sports learnt that the decision to sack De Four was not made by the board during their meeting at which it was agreed Lawrence would be sacked among several other key decisions.
Word within the football fraternity on Tuesday already suggests that Texan Randy Waldrum, a former coach of the team during the Raymond Tim Kee era, is set to return to the helm of the women’s programme with former player Maylee Attin-Johnson as manager.
However, TTFA Technical Committee chairman Keith Look Loy, in an immediate response on Tuesday defended their latest decision, saying, “The board of the TTFA discussed the issue of the unilateral appointment by David John-Williams of a number of technical personnel, including Stephan De Four and a number of other people in the women’s programme. The position is that none of these appointments and contracts were discussed by the then board of the TTFA, neither was any of these persons or contracts approved by the then board. The only appointment that Stephan De Four had that was approved by the board, was a pro bono appointment to work with the women’s under-17 team in Florida. It was limited to the under-17 team and it was pro bono.”
He added, “Now we get into office and find multiple contracts signed by John-Williams that have never been discussed and never been signed by any board, and certainly not this new one. So the board has taken the position that it does not recognise these contracts, and we are going to let the legal people look into it if we have to.”
Look Loy was, of course, alluding to allegations that John-Williams signed off on new contracts for several officials on the eve of the TTFA’s November 24 AGM, where he lost his presidency to Wallace.
On Tuesday, Look Loy assured that they were now vigorously reviewing these contracts.
“Now, what we are doing is that we are looking at each of the persons who John-Williams issued unilateral contracts to and we are going on case-by-case bases if we want to keep them. These contracts extend from coaches and managers, all the way down to equipment people. And I can tell you that Richard Piper, the senior men’s team manager, was offered a contract the night before the elections and he refused to sign it.”
On rumours that former women’s coach Randy Waldrum could return to the fold, Look Loy said, “Randy Waldrum has not been appointed to anything. We have been having discussions with Randy Waldrum about the possibility of reintegrating him into the women’s programme, nothing has been concluded.
“We have appointed a staff to take the under-17 women into their tournament, the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying tournament, which is to be held from the 2oth of March to the 5th of April. The staff is headed by Richard Hood, Police Technical Director. The assistant coach is Chris Bailey and the goalkeeper coach is Glennon Foncette. These are guys who worked with Evan Pellerud when we hosted the 2010 U-17 Women’s World Cup, they know what a World Cup is, they know what u-17 Women’s high-level competition is.”
Hood and company will also take charge of the country’s Under-20 team which will be going into CONCACAF qualifying action in February in an overall combination effort of the two teams.
Meanwhile, contacted on Tuesday, De Four, who was hired in June of this year, said his lawyers are currently looking at his matter and he will only respond when he gets the go-ahead to do so. However, he did say he found the TTFA blaming the matter on finances to be ridiculous.