TTFA secures $8m Partnership with NLCB for National Elite Youth Development Program

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association on Friday evening announced a partnership with the National Lotteries Control Board valued at $8 million over a four-year period as it launched its National Elite Youth Development Program at the Hilton Hotel in Port of Spain.

The announcement was hailed by CONCACAF Director of Development Hugo Salcedo as one of the most significant  youth development program initiatives in the Confederation while FIFA’s Director of Member Associations and Development Veron Mosengo-Omba described it as one  mirroring what FIFA had in mind to be implemented by its members far and wide.

TTFA President David John-Williams disclosed details of the partnership and outlined some parts of the program during his address at the launch which was aired on live television via Wi Sports and on Radio on I95.5FM.

TTFA President David John-Williams addresses the audience at Friday's Gala launch.
TTFA President David John-Williams addresses the audience at Friday’s Gala launch.

“Two months after being elected into office the new TTFA administration approached The National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) with a proposal, seeking their support and partnership for a specifically designed National Elite Youth Football Program, to meet the aforementioned stated objectives. After months of discussion and negotiation the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) today is pleased to announce an historic partnership with the NLCB which will see them support a National Elite Youth Development Program for both male and female to the tune of $8,000,000.00 over a period of four years,” John-Williams stated.

“The TTFA undertakes to pump a further $2,000,000.00 in value which will take the form of both cash and non cash investment, over the same period into this program. Ladies and gentlemen a Grand Total of $10,000,000.00 direct investment in our young football talent, some of whom we are sure will become the stars of tomorrow and possibly national heroes in the not too distant future.”

The aforementioned objectives John-Williams referred to are as follows –

-The well-established model to consistently qualify for FIFA World Cups, at all levels, is based on a proper and sustained National Youth program.”

-The strategic plan further proposed a number of actions to achieve this objective, which amongst them were:

  •   That all football Academies and Football Schools in Trinidad & Tobago, must be registered with the TTFA and be staffed with qualified coaches; and
  •   To introduce a year round national youth team U13 programme (progressing to U14 . the following year),and have those teams play between 4 – 6 friendly matches locally and one internationally per year.

“Such a single large investment in youth football has been unheard of in the history of the TTFA. Two weeks ago when I announced “to stand by for a big announcement”, many may have thought that the TTFA may today be announcing a major sponsorship deal relating to its Men’s National Senior Team and World Cup Qualifying Russia 2018,” he added.

“Whilst getting to Russia is very important to us as a nation, we feel that it is equally important to rebuild the foundation that will ensure that we qualify on a consistent basis to all youth and senior World Cups in the future.

“In broad terms, this National Youth Elite Program will seek to foster the dedication and discipline required to be a successful professional sportsman, and instil a professional approach to football in Trinidad Tobago from a very early age, and at the same time integrating the program into communities, thus creating a national bond that will allow for the rekindling of the national spirit with a home grown team,” John-Williams stated.

Concacaf Director of Development Hugo Salcedo receives a token from TTFA Board Member Sharon O'Brien.
Concacaf Director of Development Hugo Salcedo receives a token from TTFA Board Member Sharon O’Brien.

According to the TTFA President, the TTFA’s  approach to the program will be:

 To scout and select our best U13/14 boys and girls and nurture this special pool of talent so that they form the core of our national teams at the U13/15, U17, U20, U23 and senior levels from 2017 through 2034; and to hone the talent of these young footballers through specialised football and life skills training;

Amongst other things therefore, we propose to develop and implement the following:

 A programme of year-round coaching, training and national team duty inclusive of 2- 4 week periods of being ‘in camp’,

  •   To have a schedule of games to be played that includes one friendly international game every two to three months;
  •   To procure the necessary personal and team performance recording and monitoring equipment to enable scientific performance analysis and assessment;
  •   To implement a Personal Development Program (PDP) for each player, including nutrition education, educational assessment and tutoring for the players
  •   To maintain a players’ ledger on all those involved in the program to ensure accuracy of their playing history and professional career progress.

The FA would also be promoting the formation of a parent and family support unit for the players.

“Very importantly also, as we are doing with all our national teams, care and attention is being paid to the staffing of the program, which will include an overall Program Director, and with each team having a Team Manager and Head Coach, along with the necessary support staff. We will also complement the development of players with tutors and mentors who will facilitate life skills coaching & training as required,” he continued.

“It also our intention to ensure the ongoing development of the specialist staff attached to these teams, which includes but is not limited to having them exposed to FIFA, UEFA & CONCACAF courses.”

Veron Modengo-Omba, FIFA's Director of Member Associations and Development.
Veron Mosengo-Omba, FIFA’s Director of Member Associations and Development.

In return for its large investment the NLCB will be recognised as an official GOLD Sponsor and partner of Trinidad and Tobago Football Association as well as the title sponsor of Trinidad &Tobago National Elite Youth Football program;

They will have rights to a minimum of two field advertising boards at every international game held under the auspices of the TTFA that is played locally for the period of this partnership. They will also be given travel uniform branding for all youth teams from U13 through to U17 (including travel polo, training kits, bags, etc.);

A package of other benefits to NLCB will among other things include:

The opportunity for branding and advertising at all venues where the respective teams train and play; TTFA Website branding with direct link to NLCB webpage, and VIP tickets to all national team home games.

“Ladies and gentlemen, forgive me if I sound like a politician in the next few lines. However I believe it is important to celebrate the achievements and hard work of the TTFA over the past 11 months,” John-Williams said.

The TTFA introduced for the first time an online ticketing system which afforded our patrons all across Trinidad and Tobago easy access to game day tickets. From Toco to Icacos, Port of Spain to Mayaro, and from Crown Point to Charlotteville patrons were able to purchase their tickets from any one of the 900 NLCB lotto outlets.

This administration promised a change in financial management and to improve the finances of the TTFA- we have delivered by producing audited financial statements for the first time since 2008 as well as restoring the FIFA FAP funding.

“We promised “Education in the business of Football” – and we have started by hosting in June this year a workshop on Training and compensation for youth players and the benefits of the Solidarity payment systems related to the transfer of players.

“We promised to have our Men’s senior team play high profile friendlies – and you will recall we secured and played against full strength Peru, Uruguay and China National teams. The association was able to net after all expenses a modest profit from these games without soliciting the support of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. Permit me to add that our Men’s’ U20 team is currently on a 14 day pre-tournament camp in Panama in preparation for the Caribbean Football Union U20 Finals which takes place in Curacao from the 21st to the 30th October- all this was done again without soliciting Government support – As Tony Lee would say “without using your money and my money”

We promised a season ticket program in our manifesto – and we have delivered on this two weeks ago. We promised a National Youth Program. Have we delivered?”

“There are many good examples of sustained youth programs in countries like Belgium, France, Brazil, Mexico and USA. From today Trinidad and Tobago will be able to boast of having implemented such a program. I am also happy to report that the FIFA development officer for our region Howard McIntosh has asked me for permission to use our development model in other countries within the region. We are only too happy to oblige, in the interest of Caribbean football.

NLCB today has led by example in lending its corporate support to youth football in Trinidad and Tobago. I urge other corporate citizens to follow suit.

“NP fueling football in our nation” sounds like a really good slogan

“NGC CNG energizing the football of our nation” also seems and sounds very appropriate. I do also have one for The Unit Trust Corporation – “Placing our trust in the future of Trinidad &Tobago football”

“The TTFA will continue in its quest to improve the game locally. It is our intent in the not too distant future to lend some level of financial support to club football both at the Pro League and Super League levels in the first instance. When this TTFA administration promises it delivers – “so keep looking – and stay wired to the TTFA for the delivery of good news in football – if you want to call the number is 868 – FOR – TTFA”

“In closing on behalf of the Board of Directors, management and staff of the TTFA and on behalf of all the stake holders of football in Trinidad and Tobago I wish to sincerely thank the National Lotteries Control Board for their support of this National Elite Youth Football Program. Words cannot express how overwhelmed I am today to announce this partnership. I am confident that when the history books are written about “Football in T&T” NLCB is sure to find pride and place in it. From today onwards your legacy is assured in football in Trinidad and Tobago,” the TTFA President concluded.

Mosengo-Omba, disclosed during his address that FIFA is prepared to provide funding to the TTFA to the tune of US$1.5 Million for the construction of a National Football headquarters and Training Centre, providing that the local body can secure the required land lease from Government.

TTFA Announces $8Million Partnership with NLCB (Video)

See Veron Mosengo-Omba’s Full Address

See David John-Williams’ Full address

See Address by CONCACAF’s Hugo Salcedo

Latapy impressed with latest initiative by the TTFA

See Full address by NLCB Chairman Marvin Johncilla

Go here for our FaceBook Photo Gallery of the event.