The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association launched the start of its Grassroots Festival with a workshop for local coaches in conjunction with CONCACAF and UEFA at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Thursday.
Concacaf Development Manager for the Caribbean,Andre Waugh and CONCACAF lecturer Anton Corneal are the two men conducting the workshop with support from TTFA technical director Muhammad Isa. Waugh was appointed to his current post in March, previously serving as physical trainer for the Jamaican National Teams and technical director for Portmore United and has also served as a CONCACAF coaching instructor in the past.
“What we are doing is a two-phase programme with CONCACAF and UEFA. We are working with the coaches in the six zones and the coordinators to establish a grassroots programme which has been started before but will be a little bit different as it will be supported by CONCACAF and UEFA and a level of consistency,” Corneal told TTFA Media on Thursday.
“This is part of a longterm plan and you will find it continuing throughout the years so that new kids will come through when the current ones move on to clubs at a higher age group. We are age specific when it comes to information because we have to remember we are coaching and focusing on kids here and we have to do things that are best for their development at each stage
Corneal said while emphasis will be on the rural ares during the TTFA Grassroots Festival, local coaching schools and academies as well as Primary Schools from various areas will also benefit.
Isa added that that boys and girls between ages 6-11 in the six regional associations will be involved in the grassroots sessions where they will be guided by TTFA-trained zonal coaches and coordinators.
“It is a very significant programme being run by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association. It will be conducted in the six zones under the TTFA and each zone will be afforded five grassroots programmes or sessions,” Isa said.
“Development and sustainability are the two key elements of this programme. The TTFA wants to ensure that we also give the kids in the rural areas more opportunity to play the game. We want to be sure that when we identify a talent within the age group that we can taken take the player or recommend that player to a more organised club in Trinidad and Tobago,” Isa added.
The first grassroots festival for 2017 starts at 9am at Green Park, Felicity, Chaguanas on Saturday.
Photo at top shows Anton Corneal during a presentation to local coaches on Thursday at Ato Boldon Stadium