The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has announced the hiring of Englishman Terry Fenwick as the new senior men’s national team coach, replacing the recently sacked Dennis Lawrence.
Issuing a media release yesterday, the TTFA said: “The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association is pleased to announce the appointment of former England international Terry Fenwick to the position of head coach of the Trinidad and Tobago Senior Men’s national team.”
Fenwick has been appointed for two years, beginning January 1, 2020. His first major task will be to guide Trinidad and Tobago through the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2021 playoff against either Barbados or Guyana in June of next year.
Fenwick, who lives in Trinidad and Tobago, made 20 appearances for England and over 400 in England’s top division for three London clubs - Tottenham Hotspur, Queens Park Rangers and Crystal Palace. However, his coaching record is a mixed one. In the Trinidad and Tobago professional league, he has won four titles with San Juan Jabloteh FC and Central FC. However in England, Fenwick coached Championship team Portsmouth for three seasons, departing with the club bottom of the table. He also coached third tier Northampton Town in 2003 but lasted only seven games. Fenwick also coached C.S. Vise in the Belgium second division in 2014. They were relegated at the end of the season.
According to TTFA technical committee chairman Keith Look Loy, affordability was a factor in Fenwick’s appointment.
“Immediately available, affordable, well established in our football. We thought that was a combination that was inescapable,” he said.
Look Loy mentioned another candidate Englishman Peter Taylor but stated that Fenwick, “has proven that he can coach our players, Trinidad and Tobago players.”
And asked about Fenwick’s record outside of the Pro League, Look Loy replied: “I am not getting into a debate. I am telling you the Board approved this person.”
He added: “When you hire a coach, you taking a chance. It doesn’t always work out.”
Asked if Fenwick was a step up on Lawrence, who had been part of Everton’s coaching programme before taking the job, Fenwick answered: “Absolutely. Dennis Lawrence never won anything.”
Asked if he was prepared to accept responsibility if Fenwick did not succeed, Look Loy responded: “Fair enough. If that is what you want to hear, go ahead and write it, go ahead and write it.”
In an immediate response to the appointment, Fenwick told TTFA Media: “After 20 years working across Trinidad and Tobago football, I am honoured to have been given this opportunity to improve the fortunes of the senior men’s national team.”
TTFA president William Wallace said: “We received strong representation from a number of candidates for the position of head coach, but Terry’s knowledge of our football, coupled with his international experience made him the obvious choice.”
Fenwick has not coached a Pro League team for five years and currently runs a children’s academy.
The Englishman is now the fourth national coach since 2016 when Stephen Hart was fired. Hart was replaced by Belgian Tom Saintfiet, who lasted 35 days, before Lawrence came in in 2017. At the time, the new David John-Williams administration also removed women’s coach Randy Waldrum.
In 2019, John-Williams’ successor William Wallace has already also overseen the removal of two coaches - Lawrence and women’s coach Stephan De Four.