Morace unveiled as TTFA steps up Women’s development programme

A little more than a month after being announced as the new Head coach of the Trinidad and Tobago Women’s Senior Team, Carolina Morace was officially unveiled before the media at a Press Conference held at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

Morace began work on the field of play with a training camp with the Women’s Senior Team on Monday at the Ato Boldon Stadium and was today presented to the public by TTFA President David John-Williams who relayed several plans for women’s football development in this country. Among the items included a proposed retainer contract arrangement for Senior Women’s players and a series of training camps and international friendlies ahead of the team’s 2018 Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign. There will also be ongoing training programmes for the Under 20, Under 17 and Under 15 teams with Morace to also be involved in grassroots and coach education initiatives.

Carolina Morace (centre) stands next to TTFA President David John-Williams, Vice President Ewing Davis (left of Morace), Vice President Joanne Salazar (second from right), Assistant Coach Elizabetta Bavagnoli (far right), TTFA Technical Director Muhammad Isa (far left) and Assistant coach Nicola Williams (second from left) following Wednesday's Press Conference at the Ato Boldon Stadium Press Conference Room. Photo by Sean Morrison.
Carolina Morace (centre) stands next to TTFA President David John-Williams, Vice President Ewing Davis (third from left), Vice President Joanne Salazar (second from right), Assistant Coach Elisabetta Bavagnoli (far right), TTFA Technical Director Muhammad Isa (far left) and Assistant coach Nicola Williams (second from left) following Wednesday’s Press Conference at the Ato Boldon Stadium Press Conference Room. Photo by Sean Morrison.

Morace introduced her staff which includes English-born Nicola Williams who will be her number one assistant with the Senior Team and the head coach of the Women’s Under 20 Team while Italian Elisabetta Bavagnoli will also serve as an assistant coach along with other members who will provide support as members of the backroom staff. Manuela Tesse will serve as head coach of the Under 17 Women’s Team. Former national player Jinelle James will serve as the Senior Team Manager.

“All the teams will be related. It does not mean that all the teams have to play the same system which for us is wrong, but it will help the younger players be ready when they reach the senior team,” Morace stated.

She noted that the TTFA President was able to convince her to take up the new position to lead Women’s Football in T&T.

“He presented a good project, he showed me that he wants to develop the women’s programme and he believe in the women’s programme.We’ve started our first camp. The process was, first of all, to select (the) players,” she said

“We started with a physical test because we want to see where the players are at this moment. From that, we want to start our physical programme.

“In this country there is a lot of potential.There are many who are fit and that’s really important in football. We finished the test for the senior team. We are surprised because some of them are already at a very good level so they can just improve on where they are,” Morace added.

“This year we would not have any official competition so it will force us to get experience, to organise a lot of friendly matches, and to participate in some tournaments.”

Morace, 52, holds a UEFA Pro License and is a FIFA Legend Ambassador. She also holds a  law degree and coached both Italy and Canada’s Women’s Teams. She scored an astounding 105 goals in 15o appearances for Italy.  She became the first woman to be inducted into the Italian Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

The 34-year-old Williams is a former midfielder and ex-assistant coach for Australia’s National Women youth teams.  She holds an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and Football Federation Australia (FFA) “A” Coaching Licence accreditation

Williams met Morace at the 2012 Women’s U-20 World Cup in Japan, where she was invited to an Elite Coaches Workshop . The pair began working together from then and following time at Juventus Academy Roma they established Perth’s only Female Football Academy.

Bavagnoli is a  former Italy defender/ midfielder who also worked with Morace with the Italy and Canada teams. She made 80 appearances for Italy. She managed Lazio’s Women’s team and was also assistant coach for Italy’s U-19 Women’s team. She was Morace’s assistant when Canada won the 2010 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Bavagnoli acquired her UEFA Pro License badge in 2013.

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Carolina Morace at a training session with the Senior Women’s team on Monday.

John-Williams said there have been discussions for an international friendly against Ecuador in Port of Spain in March.

“I spoke to Carolina about it and she said we have enough time to prepare the team. Our initial thoughts was to play Ecuador on the same day as we play Mexico or Panama,” John-Williams said

“As I said, FIFA does not allow a curtain-raiser… we still have to get permission to see if we could play a double-header at that game. If we do get the permission from FIFA, it could be a bumper March,” the TTFA President added.

On the idea of the retainer contracts for players, he stated ““Carolina is evaluating the players right now and she’ll shortlist (some) players. As soon as we get that shortlist, we’ll put things in motion for that.”

Some of the senior team players involved in the current training camp include Colombian-based goalkeeper Kimika Forbes, Maylee Attin-Johnson, Kennya Cordner, Karyn Forbes, Arin King, Liana Hinds, Lauryn Hutchinson and Tasha St Louis among others.

More to follow

Photo at top shows Carolina Morace and members of her staff  at a training session at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Wednesday.