The Barbados senior men’s national football team has a new coach.
Orlando da Costa has taken up the challenge to chart the course for local football and he has brought along fellow Portuguese national Ricardo Fernandes as his assistant, both on an initial one-year contract.
Their first matches will be the Concacaf Nations League in March next year. Barbados currently sit in fourth position in Group A of League B and will take on Cuba at home on March 23, 2023 before an away match against Antigua three days later.
“We are very happy and proud to represent Barbados Football Association. We are here with our soul and heart to increase the winning mentality and improve the football and try to create a new identity based on our philosophy. It’s very important in the future for our players to believe in themselves and believe they can win anywhere. But to play and win anywhere against any opponent, we must play at the top level, bravely, with a good game model and as a team,” da Cost said in a media release from the Barbados Football Association.
“One of the game principles we like to work on is ball possession. We must play as a team with good intensity and good training, and we will be 100 percent focused. We must play in all training sessions and fight until the last second to win all the games. Our job is that. We will not win all the games, but our job is to create ideas for our players. They must believe in themselves and our ideas.”
da Costa, 45, has about 25 years’ coaching experience, in Portugal and other parts of Europe. He was head coach of Korean outfit Seoul FC when they won the league and league cup in 2010. He was assistant head coach at Guinea-Bissau and Atletico Clube Portugal as well as head coach at Merelinense Futebol Clube and Tirsense F.C. He holds a bachelor’s degree in sports and physical education with a master’s degree in sport psychology.
BFA President Randy Harris said the appointment of the new head coach and his assistant is part of plans to continue developing football in Barbados. He said da Costa and Fernandes were the best candidates for the job after more than 300 applications.
“We took our time in our search for coaches who have a history of development and working with people who play football at our quality and above and have made a big difference after they have left. In these coaches, we think we hit the right spot in getting the right quality of coach that we need in Barbados at this time.”
Trinidad and Tobago national Russell Latapy was the last head coach of the senior men’s team before he tendered his resignation in June 2022. (PR/SAT)