Newly appointed national assistant coach of the senior men’s team Kent Hall sees himself as a servant of Barbados’ football and is grateful for the opportunity to help bring out the vision of head coach Russell ‘Little Magician’ Latapy.
Speaking during the final training session last evening before the Tridents depart Barbados tomorrow for the Concacaf National League, Hall said he was happy for the faith entrusted in him to take on this new position.
“I have been around the team since the middle of last year approximately so it is new but not totally new. I am very familiar with the rest of the staff and the head coach. I get an idea of the way he likes to do things and what he is trying to get out of the team, so it helped. And then from the start of the year working as the team manager also gave me a deeper understanding of some of the other elements of it,” Hall explained.
He added: “It is also another way to serve and that is ultimately what we are doing. I am grateful for the opportunity, the endorsement, and faith being put in me to serve in this capacity is also something I am very happy about but ultimately I am just here to serve.”
The 43-year-old is a former Barbados midfielder who represented Paradise Football Club at the local level and represented this country well during his playing days.
Based on his level of expertise and what he can bring to the development of Barbados’ football as a former player and qualified coach, Hall believes that accountability and bringing a different perspective to the game is a step in the right direction.
“In the role of the assistant coach ultimately you got to try to help bring out the vision of the head coach. So, yes, I have some of my own personal experiences that can add to it. We have conversations, I challenge him on what he is trying to do and how he is trying to do it to try and make sure we keep pushing forward and make sure we are not leaving anything out or forgetting anything.
“It is important that we keep each other honest about what we are doing… that is really the most important part of the role and that is what I want to bring to it more than anything else. The relationship with the players is good and some will come and ask questions but ultimately it’s about the coach’s vision and he has to base it on the players he has and it’s always a bit tricky especially since COVID came around,” Hall said.
He added: “The squad is kind of changing so the way we play is kind of evolving as well, so we are all kind of learning the same time in a way and so I am just trying to from my experience in coaching, trying to offer a different perspective to coach Latapy. It has been ultimately healthy and I think it is going to benefit the team.”
Hall credited the players for their effort over the last few weeks during training where the intensity has stepped up a notch. Going into these important fixtures of the Nations League, Hall noted that the 25-member squad are optimistic about their chances but cautiously so.
“The boys are working extremely hard which is always good. It is always a bit challenging, it is nice to have them in camp and even in camp some of the guys still have to go to work. It is one of the biggest challenges we have in the environment because the frequency of training now is not something they are accustomed to, so we have to manage how they physically cope with it.
“Then also it is something new, so mentally it can be a little bit of a challenge but I think the boys have responded well, the morale in the camp is very good. They are not complaining, they would tell you that they are sore but they are not complaining; they are willing to come and put in the work all the time which is great. Experience can be a really critical element, especially at the international level so having a mix of the two is good,” he explained.
“Yes, there are some younger guys who are getting their feet a little bit wet but I think the core players are there and they have had the chance to play together as well at this level and it is really starting to come together in the last few weeks, especially with the guys based at College coming back in, adding a little extra quality as well as the experience to the squad.
“We are cautiously optimistic; we know we got a big task ahead of us. It is going to be challenging with four games in 11 days so we are going to have to call upon people to serve that it may be their first time, so we just do our best to try and prepare them physically and mentally to play their part and after that, we have to leave it all on the field,” he shared.