T&T tabs Saintfiet as head coach

Tom Saintfiet (pictured) was named head coach of Trinidad & Tobago on December 7, 2016. (Photo courtesy of Trinidad & Tobago Football Association)

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago -- The Trinidad & Tobago Football Association (TTFA) announced Wednesday the appointment of Tom Saintfiet as head coach of the men’s national team, replacing Stephen Hart who left the position on November 24.

Saintfiet, a 43-year-old Belgian, has held numerous managerial positions across the globe. He is the former head coach of Finnish top-flight side RoPS Rovaniemi (2008) and occupied national-team posts with Namibia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Yemen, Malawi, Togo and, most recently, Bangladesh. He was also a former technical director of the Nigerian Football Association.

In 2004, Saintfiet guided Qatar to third place in the AFC Asian U-17 Championship and a place in the 2005 FIFA Under 17 World Cup.

Saintfiet’s first order of business will be to navigate T&T through a three-team Caribbean playoff next month for the right to face Central America’s fifth-place side for a berth in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

He will also be tasked with getting the Soca Warriors back to winning ways in CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. T&T currently sits fifth in the six-team CONCACAF Hexagonal with an 0W-0D-2L record, leading the last-place United States only on goal difference (-4 to -5).

The TTFA also inked former Guyana head coach Jamaal Shabazz to a three-year contract as coordinator of technical programs.