Thursday 7th April, 2005

 

Don’t expect miracles - coach Beenhakker

 
 
 
 
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Members of the new T&T Warriors football team technical staff are shown after they were presented to the media at the Hasely Crawford Stadium yesterday. From left are ZEPHYRINUS NICHOLAS (team physiotherapist), BRUCE AANENSEN (manager), GEORGE JOSEPH (assistant manager), LEO BEENHAKKER (head coach), LINCOLN PHILLIPS (technical director), JOSEPH “SAM” PHILLIP (assistant manager), IKIN WILLIAMS (equipment manager). Missing are team doctor Terrance Babwah, and assistant coaches Russell Latapy and David Nakhid.

Photo:Anthony Harris.

BY NIGEL SIMON

Newly-appointed national football coach Leo Beenhakker says the job of getting T&T’s Warriors to the World Cup in Germany 2006 is a big one.

Beenhakker, who will officially pick up his position on May 1, gave his views at a media conference at the Hasely Crawford Stadium,in Mucurapo yesterday.

The 62 year-old Dutchman, a former national coach of Holland and Saudi Arabia and club teams Ajax, Real Madrid and Real Zaragoza, said he has seen tapes of the matches against Guatemala and Costa Rica and drew his conclusions based on that.

“I will not discuss what mistakes need to be corrected individually with you (the media) right now, before I speak with the players in the team but I must say that I’m surprised at what happened in the matches, yet we can do it.”

Beenhakker said that one point from three matches is not a good sign but explained that he did not see a big difference in the way T&T played than the way Guatemala and Costa Rica played.

With respect to his next two matches in charge against Panama (June 4) and Mexico (June 8), Beenhakker stated: “We need a very tough and good preparation where the players will be worked on in small groups, concentrating on each aspect of the game, defence, midfield and attack.”

With respect to his assistants, T&T’s David Nakhid and Russell Latapy, the Dutchman said his main problem was on the pitch where he would rather see Nakhid play.

“Latapy on the other hand is still playing in Scotland and will not be here until the middle of May, but we have to start preparing now. So there is a possibility that I may add one or two persons to the staff.”

Beenhakker made it clear that he was up for the test of getting the Warriors to the World Cup in Germany.

“More than ever, I’m prepared for a new challenge, and this time it’s the position of coach of the T&T national team.

So far he has held meetings with key persons in T&T football and said he was impressed with their professionalism and passion.

“From those meetings, I feel confident that I made a very good choice to accept the job.”

Looking ahead to the crucial World Cup matches, Beenhakker aid there were no guarantees. “There are no guarantees in sports and in life. The job is not going to be easy. There are no miracles, but it’s all right for you to dream, you can remain hopeful and work hard towards your goal.”

Beenhakker also said that he was surprised with the revelations of his meetings with the local coaches.

“The meeting with the clubs coaches was a special experience in that they explained to me that it was the closest they had come to knowing what happens with the national team.

“I promised that on my return in April, I will be viewing some of the local league matches to see what changes need to be made to help with the development of the league.

“However my most urgent task is getting the team ready for the World Cup qualifying campaign.”

Admitting his little knowledge of the T&T players, Beenhakker noted that by viewing some of the local club matches, little by little he will be able to recognise the top players.

“In football you work with your eyes wide open, so I will be able to pick a squad of about 24 players prior to the start of May.”

But before selecting his squad, Beenhakker said he will also be seeking some first hand knowledge of T&T’s overseas players.

“Amsterdam is not that far from England and Scotland, so I will be able to see the T&T players and chat with their clubs so I will have more knowledge to work with.

“One thing is certain, we will not be waiting for them, because they have obligations, and our preparations for the two World Cup matches in June will start during the first week of May.”

Plans are also on course for the players to have a live-in camp for two to three days per-week for the four weeks of preparations while some training matches will be included.

 

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