Isa to focus on grassroots and Women’s football

Recently installed Technical Director of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association Muhammad Isa says that among some of his immediate emphasis will be placed on grassroots and Women’s football development.

Speaking on Monday while at the TTFA Offices, Hasely Crawford Stadium, Isa, a former Police FC and Joe Public head coach, said he was using the first few weeks of his tenure to grasp the ins and outs of his new portfolio.

“The first couple weeks have gone very well. We are putting some plans in place in terms of development programs such as the youth development program with grassroots programs for kids between 6-13 years age, starting with the preschools for kids 3-5 year olds. Then once that is completed we are looking to have an elite development program for kids coming into the 14-19 year old bracket. We are looking to launch this in September,” Isa told TTFA Media.

He touched on the current preparations of the Under 20 Men’s Team which is gearing towards the CFU qualifiers starting at the Ato Boldon Stadium on June 15th.

“The preparations have gone very well. Brian Williams has done well in the short space of time. They screened close to 90 players to come down to the final selection and they are eager to get on the field and begin the qualifiers.

“And for the Under 15 Women’s team there are 45 players in training now under Marlon Charles and his staff who have been doing a tremendous job.”

As to his feelings on the recent three-match tour by the Senior Men’s Team, Isa preferred to focus on the positives.

“People might be saying that we lost all three games but the emphasis is not always to win practice games but it is to expose our players to a higher level of football.”

A scene from one of the TTFA Grassroots clinics which Isa served as a coach last year at the Nelson Mandela Park, Port of Spain.
A scene from one of the TTFA Grassroots clinics which Isa served as a coach last year at the Nelson Mandela Park, Port of Spain.

Looking ahead to the rest of the calendar year, Isa is anticipating a hectic period for T&T football.

“The aim is to  continue the development program as we go forward. We will be placing more emphasis on women’s development. I don’t think we have paid enough attention to women’s football that is required to take them to the next level.

“We will also look to continue the coaching development programs. Trinidad and Tobago for the last couple of years was given the opportunity to go the Dutch way. I have spoken to some of the instructors who are willing to come back and continue the coach education program,” he said.

And the responsibility of being a technical director is something Isa is embracing fully.

“It’s a very important opportunity for me. It is something that I was doing before. Now I am totally responsible for it. I am liaising with my technical committee and the other coaches around the region to put the best plan in place for the development of our football,” he said

Things to Know

  • Muhammad Isa was a member of the coaching staff of the Trinidad and Tobago team that captured the  1992 Shell Caribbean Cup. The team  included the likes of Russell Latapy, Clint Marcelle, Dwight Yorke, Leonson Lewis and Hutson Charles to a 3-1 victory over Jamaica in the Final on June 27th, 1992 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
  • He was also part of the team for the  opening 1994 World Cup Qualifying leg against Barbados which T&T won 5-1 on aggregate.  Brazilian Clovis D’Oliviera took the reigns as head coach and T&T went on to lose 3-2 on aggregate to Jamaica in the next stage of qualification.
  • Isa is a former St Benedict’s College Head Coach. He has also served as head coach of Police FC and Joe Public and technical director of Club Sando.
  • He was appointed as a member of the TTFA Technical Committee in January, 2016, having previously served as a technical advisor and as one of the TTFA coaching instructors and grassroots coaches.