RAYMOND TIM KEE, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), says that the local governing body is not ignoring the national women’s football team, but they are stretching their financial resources to deal with various national teams (both men and women), in all age groups.
Tim Kee made this disclosure in a telephone interview yesterday, a couple days after national women’s team captain Maylee Attin-Johnson took to social network site Facebook to highlight the perceived neglect towards the squad, dubbed the “Women Soca Warriors”, by the TTFA, since their failure to qualify for the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada.
Trinidad and Tobago lost a home-and-away playoff to Ecuador 1-0 (after the first leg in Ecuador in November and the return leg at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo on December 2) for the 24th and final World Cup spot.
The TTFA boss said, “right now, we are preparing a document for release, because we also have other women’s teams, like the Under-17s who are preparing for a (CONCACAF) tournament in a few weeks.
“It’s ten national teams we have,” Tim Kee continued. “And because of our limited resources, we have to be distributing the monies in the best possible way. The only (other) option we have that could present a different picture is if we pull out about five different age-group teams from activities. And we don’t want to do that because, in the development process, we’ll need the younger ones coming up.”
He emphasised, “we have not ignored the senior team. We’re bringing Randy (Waldrum, the American-born women’s coach) and all those things are very costly. I know the Ministry of Sport has been doing some supporting but it’s not as easy as people may think because we have the men’s team to prepare too. “We still have a huge amount of debts that have been incurred in the last two years,” Tim Kee added. “So we have to be playing a balancing act. All I can say is that the administration wants to do the best they can.”
Tim Kee referred to the use of funds towards the TT Beach Soccer team, who are currently involved in the CONCACAF Championships in El Salvador, and the Futsal team, with screening sessions underway for potential national players.
About the women’s team itself, Tim Kee noted, “(we) have to do things in harmony with the coach and his technical staff. They would know where their plans are and they’ll come to us with their plans, in terms of training and preparation.
He added, “Randy sent me an e-mail on Friday making recommendations of how we should proceed with our fitness exercises and so on. What we are trying to do is put the training for three teams together — the women’s team, the men’s team and the (women’s) Under- 17s.
“We’re trying to get them under the same training regimen instead of having three different sets of people or facilitators.”