UEFA Contingent advises TTFA on Home of Football operations

A contingent of UEFA officials arrived in Trinidad and Tobago on Monday to hold a series of consultations with Trinidad and Tobago Football Association officials during which they intend to guide the local body on its football operations as well as the running of the Home of Football facilities.

UEFA marketing consultant Kenny MacLeod was led on a tour of the Athletes Accommodation Hotel and the Restaurant and Entertainment Centre on Tuesday by TTFA President David John-Williams as the week of activities commenced in Couva. Accompanying them was Chris Milnes, UEFA’s international relations project specialist.

MacLeod who is a former commercial and marketing director for the Scottish FA and past commercial manager for Celtic FC,  later gave a glowing review of the facilities which are nearing completion prior to an official opening later this year.

“It has been continuous progress on this project since we started supporting TTFA on this fantastic infrastructure project,” MacLeod told TTFA Media.

“We were most recently here last October and there’s been significant progress on the building in both facilities, here and the most social element. We continue to be impressed with the speed and the development of this project,” he added.

MacLeod has experienced the operations and feel of several Training Centres in Europe and other parts of the globe and pointed out one of the differences with the Home of Football which can give it an edge.

“I think that the difference with this project is the opportunity for it to be multifaceted not only to support the TTFA but also to be a project for all sports in the region and locally. And then there is the social aspect will really change the ability for the people of Trinidad and Tobago to socialise, be it through weddings and functions all the way to sporting activities.

TTFA President David John-Williams at right discusses the facilities with UEFA’s Kenny MacLeod (left) and Chris Milnes (International relations project speciaist) on Tuesday during a site visit at the Home of Football in Couva. Photo/TTFA Media

“It is really being considered not just as a focus on the first team of the national team or the youth teams but the opportunity for all sports within the region to really take advantaged of such qualities facilities that will be in place here,” he said.

The Scotsman elaborated on the other areas of focus during the sessions which will take place at the National Cycling Velodrome until Friday.

“We have three main focuses for this week during which I will be joined by a number of other colleagues coming from UEFA to support this project. Firstly we will focus on the commercialisation of this project and really the understanding of how to put the planning and structure in place for the opening and long- term sustainability of this project. We can obviously see the quality of the construction but we want to make sure it is benchmarked with what we do as the professionalisation of the sales process, the look and feel of what will be sold as part of this project.

“The second area will be the TTFA themselves. They are coming to an area and time where it’s really time to push on with a lot of the projects that they have. There will be a start of an operational review which will allow them to put together a new five-year plan to really see them through the next five years in opportunities they have to develop the sport in the country.

“Finally we will have a couple days back with the League (TT Pro League). The league has been our main focus here over the past couple of projects and times we have been here in T&T. We will look to see what progress has been made over the past four or five months to the point where we can also look towards putting a five-year plan in place for them to develop as well,” MacLeod added.