Newly appointed Trinidad and Tobago Senior Team head coach Stephen Hart was unveiled to the media at a Press Conference hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association at the Hasely Crawford Stadium VIP Lounge on Monday
Hart, a former T&T midfielder and Canadian national team technical director and coach, said he is elated to return to the country of his birth, but told supporters not to expect miracles.
“Now, hopefully, that I have once again been given the opportunity, I can seize the opportunity,” said Hart, flanked by the T&T Football Association’s (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee, assistant coaches Hutson Charles and Derek King, as well as manager David Muhammad.
“I know very much what goes on. And, one of the things that I've told myself coming into the situation here is that I am not a miracle worker,” said the 53-year-old.
When the opportunity presented itself, Hart said he took it and reminded thought: “Don’t let the magnitude of the challenge take you away from the incumbent steps that will be necessary to affect change.”
“One of the lessons I have learnt in the game, and I will try to bring that to the players is, I want the players to concentrate on what will produce results rather than on the result itself, the process rather than the prize. If we can do that, then I think we will be on our way to achieve what potentially we have as players and staff.”
“If I didn’t think it was challenging and something I would like to do, I would not have come here. It’s a tight time period, but to be honest, its what international football is… It’s not a club. The time period is always tight.”
Hart said he had been in contact with new TTFA director of football, Leo Beenhakker, mostly speaking in detail of the latter’s vision for the future of football in T&T.
“He understands that, of course, I have my way as well and he has said that I can draw upon him or off of him (at) any time. But, to be honest, I’d rather sit down with Mr Beenhakker, we look eye to eye and we see about the business of developing out national team programme.”
When asked if he had an idea of who he wished to see on the squad, with less than two weeks until the start of the Gold Cup, Hart responded: “Yes and no. I say that because there are some players that I like, what they do and what they can bring to the team. But, if they physically, are not ready, then (potentially) we cannot pick them. So, to be honest, I cannot answer that question with a lot of certainty.”
Hart, during his two spell 40-month tenure as Canada’s head coach, which ended last November, saw him produce a record of 20 wins, 15 losses and ten draws. Incidentally, Hart while at Canada’s helm secured wins over Honduras, Haiti and El Salvador, the three teams which T&T is pitted against in the Gold Cup’s group B.
Hart got his first glimpse at the current available crop of players, yesterday, when he held a training session at the same venue.
No contract has yet been drawn up for Hart or Beenhakker but according to Tim Kee, who spoke extensively at yesterday’s media conference, the unofficial term of Hart’s appointment is for two years while Beenhakker’s deal is for six months.