TTFA to kickstart Elite Youth Development Programme in January

The National Elite Youth Development programme of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association sponsored by NLCB will officially get underway in January 2017.

This was the word coming from TTFA head coordinator of Technical Programmes Jamaal Shabazz.

Shabazz said the planning phase will take centre stage  during December during which the FA will engage the various entities and regional associations that will be affiliated with the nationwide programme for boys and girls.

“There have been a lot of rumours that the Elite development programme has been started but it has not been started. I did not come to run around the programme. I came to run the program,” Shabazz told TTFA Media.

“We will start in a proper way and all the zones and the country  at large will know about it. It is not a secret. The sponsors have made a great input. NLCB have demonstrated that they have planted the corn. We want the butcher to send his son, the baker and the candlemaker to send his sons and daughters to to be part of this programme, “Shabazz added.

The TTFA will announce among other things, the schedules of screening sessions and selections in due course.

Speaking about the running of the programme, Shabazz explained “It will take a lot of well placed personnel to coordinating the efforts required for this. We are so thankful that NLCB have stepped forward as the sponsor of such a program. We are talking about engaging people from in the zonal associations across the country and then when we finally get the elite pool, we will need the coaches who will be qualified to coach that pool.

“We will need a large staff mainly of coordinators and coaches.We have already spoken to UEFA about setting up a course to teach coaches how to scout for talent and then we will also have a specific course for youth development in a more specialised way,” Shabazz said.

National youth team players being addressed by Russell Latapy who is carded to play his role in the National Elite Youth Development Programme.
National youth team players being addressed by Russell Latapy who is carded to play his role in the National Elite Youth Development Programme.

The following was outlined at the launch of the Elite Youth Development programme in October.

TTFA’s  approach to the program will include among other things – 

- 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;

The TTFA proposes 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.