Russell's Corner Kick
Welcome to the December issue of Russell's Corner Kick. This month Russell Latapy talks about foriegn coaching and playing in Europe.

Once again special thanks to Wayne Manderville in T&T for making this happen.

Q.    This is a quote from the Express newspaper:

"Speaking in the wake of Jamaica's qualification for the World Cup in France next year, Burrell (the Jamaica Football Federation president) advised the local association that a foreign coach is the way to go. The reason, he submitted, was that Caribbean coaching as a whole lacked the technical expertise to see a team all the way to reach the World Cup Finals."

Could you comment on the statement made by Burrell. Is foreign coaching the way to go for the future?

 A.   Having a foreign coach does not automatically mean that the team will be successful. What a foreign coach may bring is his vast experience to the players. A coach in essence is a facilitator and a strategist, and even with this, plasyers have to go out and play the game and win the game. The major difference between a foreign coach and a local coach is simply experience and exposure. If our local coaches are given the exposure such as Bertile who is a strategist and a student of the game, then
there is no need to import a foreign coach.

Q. How did you get your first break into Europe?

A.  Actually, I was playing in a pick up gsame in Canada and was spoted by a scout for Academica who invited me to Portugal and everything was launched from there.

Q.  What has been the highlight of your European career?

A.  There have been many highlights of my European career thus far, however, the most significant of them all are winning two consecutive championships at Porto, and the Portugese cup with Boavista.
Additionally, playing for Porto in the European champion's cup and getting the international exposure. In these games I played against people like Guilet and Lombardo.

Q.What preparations should a young footballer in T&T make in order to make it on a European club team?
A.   It is important that our young footballers have a sound knowledge and understanding of the game, and how the game is played. The game is 90% mental and armed with the knowledge along with the physical fundamentals and the right attitude are elements for success.

Q. Do you believe that the future development of T&T football lie with getting more players on European teams?

A. It is important that our future players do get exposure to the international game not only in Europe, but in South America where the game is played at a different pace and style. It is important that we learn from as many coaches, and from as many styles as possible so that we can feel comfortable within our own game.

Latas

Last Month's issue.