Lawrence named Soca Warriors boss
Dennis Lawrence has been appointed as the head coach of Trinidad and Tobago. The former Swansea City player and Everton first-team development coach was officially unveiled as the country's new head coach at a press conference at Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Former England defender Sol Campbell was also announced as Lawrence's assistant. Campbell has completed his UEFA Pro License coaching badges.
"I'm absolutely honoured and delighted to be chosen by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association as the manager of Trinidad and Tobago to lead this country to, what I have in my head, the vision I have for Trinidad and Tobago football," Lawrence said at the official unveiling.
"I think it's important that everybody understands what we face at the moment. We've got the Russia campaign, which is a very difficult, but not impossible task. What promises I can make to Trinidad and Tobago? I am here as a proud and passionate Trinidad and Tobago citizen. I am a son of the soil, and I promise to give everything to make sure that we prepare our best, not just for today, but for the future."
Lawrence is considered a legend in his country having made 89 appearances as a player for the national team and represented Trinidad and Tobago in their first ever FIFA World Cup™ in 2006, playing every minute of his country's campaign in Germany.
"First and foremost, it's to prepare the players mentally, physically and tactically for the task at hand," Lawrence continued. "The task at hand is the next game, which is Panama. That is the only focus that we can have. I am here to try and unite our country and encourage the fans to support the players, because the players are the most important people who are going to be involved in this whole process.
"I want the players to understand that it is important that we need to enjoy this challenge, because this is going to be the challenge that is going to change Trinidad and Tobago football from here on in," Lawrence said. "I only want to surround myself with the people that are positive and are prepared to work hard to try and gain success to this country because I think as a country we are a nation of beauty and at the moment, we all understand the struggles.
"I'm here prepared to give my all to try and make a positive impact into Trinidad and Tobago as a country."
Lawrence is tasked with getting Trinidad and Tobago back to winning ways in the CONCACAF Hexagonal round of Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying. The Soca Warriors are currently fifth out of the six-team group with losses in their first two matches in the round. Trinidad and Tobago host Panama and Mexico in March's qualifiers, before travelling to USA and Costa Rica in June.