DAVID JOHN-WILLIAMS, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TT FA), is eager to see an upward shift in the domestic football involving clubs throughout the twin-island republic.
With emphasis on player and coaching development and now overall club expansion, John-Williams has began identifying development programmes which he and the TT FA believe can aid local club football.
Among the many courses which are geared towards bringing benefits to local coaches and administrators is a FIFA Compensation Workshop which is scheduled for this weekend at Naparima College.
John-Williams said, “CONCACAF has introduced a club licensing programme which will carry club football to a different level in terms of administration.
“The CONCACAF Champions League is a good benchmark for the Trinidad and Tobago clubs to gauge where they are at administratively and of course on the pitch. CONCACAF level demands a certain level of administration in terms of fields, in terms of lighting and all the stuff that is required at the Champions League level and this of course gives the Trinidad and Tobago clubs an opportunity to continue to aspire to play at that level and, at the same time, lift the level of club football administratively and on the field.” Two TT clubs - Central FC and DirecTV W Connection - will be participating at the 2016- /2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, Central FC and DirecTV W Connection.
The forthcoming National Super League is expected to be another action-packed one with the National Youth League providing a stage for the up-andcoming talent.
The TT FA boss is hopeful that local players and coaches can learn a lot from the progress of the TT teams at the Champions League level.
“It’s an interesting matchup for both Central FC and W Connection.
It’s good preparation for the local players who are representing the national team. Champions League starts in early August, we have World Cup qualifiers in early September so I think they should get their games under the belts, the local players who are in coach (Stephen) Hart’s plans.
It’s always good for the Trinidad and Tobago teams to play on the highest level of club football in the region which is the CONCACAF Champions League,” he said.
“It means a lot to the development of those players playing in the Champions League. They are exposed to a higher level of football, a serious environment and different crowds so it’s good for Trinidad and Tobago football in general,” John-Williams added.
The Club Licensing Programme, which TT clubs will be exposed to, is aimed at clarifying the outlines of the club football structure at national level and presenting a way forward towards greater professionalism in the entire CONCACAF region by using club licensing as a development tool, regardless of the participating country’s size and current development status.
It also extended the consultation process currently being carried out by FIFA with the confederations on reviewing the FIFA Club Licensing Regulations in order to create a club licensing system that is global in nature.
The system respects different club football structures that exist in each region and is realistic and flexible enough to be adapted region to region and includes, as well as promotes, women’s football.