Head coach of the men's senior national hockey team, Glenn "Fido" Francis says he was satisfied with the performance of his team at the second round of the World Hockey League in Brazil.
The T&T finished the six-team round-robin tournament in fourth position, one spot lower than Francis was hoping for when they were preparing to go to the South American country back in late February.
" Well I really wanted for us to be in the top three, but beating the world ranked number 10 and number 12, South Africa and Argentina was always going to be difficult," the former national goalkeeper said.
Francis said taking into consideration the team was not at full strength, missing some of their international players like the inspirational Kwandwane Browne, the other focus was on building on cohesion.
"At the end of day, as a coach, I was overall kind of satisfied. Because we beat teams ranked higher than us like the USA , our ranking will go up. Also more of the local-based and younger players gained valuable experience, which expands the pool of players we have to pick from for upcoming tournaments," he said.
Coming out of the Brazil tournament, Francis said the players had to work on their "robusity", that is being stronger on the ball; getting more international level matches; and play the game quicker.
Coach Francis also stated that more work was needed on the mental aspect that is, the players learning to deal with adapting to different game and tournament situations. Right now, Francis said the national players are enjoying a two-week break before they resume training, He also has to host a review with the Trinidad and Tobago Hockey Board (TTHB) to analyse and make recommendations for the national team going forward.
"We are going to try to get some training camps, work on mental fitness, 'robusity' and try to make things easier for the guys, because guys have been sacrificing their jobs and studies to represent the country at much personal expense," he said, adding that making the national players a bit more comfortable and secure was a main point.
Francis said he would also like to influence the TTHB to host international level teams and tournaments so that the players and the sport can develop.
"I want us to show the public the talent that we have by introducing that level of competition to the country so we can get more people interested.
"The tournament we had in October, the public was really supportive....I know we have to work with corporate Trinidad to make more things happen ...but we have to find ways and means to get these things done, " he said, adding that he planned to upgrade his coaching level too to keep pace with the international standards.