Dutchman Leo Beenhakker, who qualified Trinidad and Tobago for the 2006 FIFA Men’s World Cup, will take up a two-month assignment with the senior national football team for the 2006 CONCACAF Gold Cup, which takes place from July 8-28 in the United States.
The Soca Warriors have qualified for the region’s premier football competition for the first time in six years.
Beenhakker will be in charge for a two-month stint as head coach for the Gold Cup, and will work alongside current coaches Jamaal Shabazz and Hutson Charles. The local coaches are said to favour the move.
The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) approved Beenhakker’s return last night at a meeting of its Executive Council.
Preliminary discussion began with the former Real Madrid coach when TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee met Beenhakker at a FIFA Congress in Mauritius recently. Casual discussions were held, after which Beenhakker was invited to view T&T’s friendly international against Romania, which the Europeans won 4-0.
Beenhakker apparently saw basic flaws in team structure, and, while making no commitment, agreed to further telephone discussions with TTFA general secretary Sheldon Phillips.
Tim Kee said the decision to re-hire Beenhakker was made to give the current staff the benefit of Beenhakker’s tactical and technical expertise, and so, ensure a good Gold Cup showing.
“Mr Beenhakker’s return is imminent, but he has put out certain conditions which we have agreed to,” Tim Kee said last night.
“Tomorrow (today) we will meet with certain sponsors to get the kind of assistance we will need for such a venture.”
The T&T team will go into camp today, and will have the services of all the overseas-based players. “It had been 10 matches now, and we have not done much winning or scoring goals,” said Tim Kee. “We needed to up the ante for the Gold Cup.”