By Neto Baptiste
Technical director for the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), Rolston Williams, denied reports that he was barred from senior national team training sessions during the tenure of US-based German coach, Michel Dinzey.
Williams, who appeared on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show alongside President Everton Gonsalves and General Secretary Rohan Hector, said he was simply asked to take a “hands off” approach where the coaching was concerned.
“After the head coach came in, myself and Pretty Boy [Derrick Edwards] was a part of the set-up and coaching the national team. He [Dinzey] came in with his ideas and I guess he wanted to move in a different direction so he opted for someone else and he offered me to have like a hands off of the team,” he said.
The outspoken Williams however went on to admit that the relationship between himself and Dinzey was not as kosher as it should have been nor was did he play a role in the selection of the coach.
“I had a say in terms of having a coach coming in but in terms of Dinzey, that wasn’t my [decision]. I think a lot of things were said to Mr. Dinzey about me, I did try to reach out to him but he wasn’t receptive, no,” he said.
Gonsalves further attempted to clarify that the role of a technical director does not give autonomy over the senior national team.
“The technical director is a senior member of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association and in fact, the technical director is the architect of our football development and the technical director is the contractor, the builder,” he said.
“The technical director has specific responsibilities which ends just before we get to the national senior team so anything below the senior national team then the technical director is mandated to focus his attention in those and that is why they have a head coach. If you look at the Jamaica system and all of the other systems also, the technical director is not significantly involved in national team’s preparations,” the president added.
Reports had surfaced, during the senior team’s Gold Cup qualifying bid via the CONCACAF Nations League, that Williams and Dinzey were at odds regarding the way forward for the senior team and that Williams was barred from attending training sessions.
It was also reported that Gonsalves had met with both parties in an attempt to bring to bring the “misunderstand” to an end.
Dinzey however announced his retirement to members of the senior national team following their 3-2 victory over Aruba in the CONCACAF Nations League in Curacao in November.