After last having a dedicated Head Coach in 2017, the Barbados senior national team will once again have full-time support in that position. With Barbados Football Association Technical Director Ahmed Mohamed filling in for just over a year and a half, Russell Latapy will be stepping in to head the Bajan Tridents.
Latapy, a Trinidadian national has a career that spans over 20 years and will be bringing his expertise in a bid to take Barbados to the next level. During a media conference held yesterday at the Barbados Football Association's Wildey office, President Randy Harris called it a 'very special day in the history of the BFA' as talks from over the past two years were finally bearing fruit.
Calling Latapy a Trinidadian football wizard to which he credited a 5-0 result at Kensington Oval which made him cry a few years ago, Harris said that he expected good things from the midfield magician. “Mr. Latapy and I have been talking for the last two years or so about the possibility of him working in Barbados. It is not just a situation of Russell looking for a job. He has been very, very interested in our team and its development. He is happy with the talent that we have in Barbados and he believes that he can take it to the next level and I think that he has convinced me early o'clock that he would play a very significant role in the successes of a Barbados team now and in the future.” Harris said.
Going on to thank Mohamed for working as coach in the interim, Harris sang his praises as he has begun to reshape the face of local football. “He has been here doing some great work for us with our your development programme which is now called the Future Tridents Development Programme and I would really like to thank him for the year and a half that he has worked with the team. We can see some difference in the team and hopefully, Mr. Latapy will be able to take it further and everybody in Barbados will be happy with the kind of standard that we exhibit in the near future.”
Latapy, who would be best known in the region for representing the Soca Warriors in the 2006 World Cup, began his playing career when called up for the national Under-16 before going on to play in Portugal and Scotland for the better part of 20 years. Speaking during the conference, he said that he was thankful for opportunity and would be working toward improving football in Barbados. “I have seen the team play on numerous occasions and I know that it is a talented bunch of players. I have spoken to the Technical Director and I watched the game they played a few weeks ago and I'm happy to say that we have a bunch of players who are talented. Most importantly, not only talented, but they are prepared to work very hard. And I think for any coach, if you have a team that is willing to work hard, that is half of the battle done.” Latapy said.
With his coaching career getting off the ground in Scotland after picking up his education there, Latapy stated that he was ready to give the best of him and was determined to have his two-year contract, which begins on April 1st, extended. “I will do my best to improve the level of the team and whatever I can do to assist in the improvement of Barbadian football. And that would improve football in the region in general and I think everybody sitting here, that is one of our main goals – to help improve football in this region. That would give the young players the opportunity, not only to play professionally, but to improve their standard of life. Because this is what football has done for me and I would like to pass on some of this experience and give some of these younger players the opportunity to do the same.”
Mohamed, who took over the reins after Colin Harewood served in the position for a short time, said that he was thankful for the additional manpower and was willing and ready to help integrate and support Latapy in his new post.