Kaitu Smith And The Lone Star Question
By Omari Jackson
It is a fact that every occupation has its qualifications.
Hence in the sports world, anyone who claims to be a coach
is examined and accorded with the appointment he deserves.
Therefore, it is just natural and healthy for observers to
question the Liberia Football Association on the criteria it
used to “select” Mr. Joseph Kaitu Smith as its candidate to
handle the national soccer team, Lone Star.
Available records indicate (see below) that Mr. Smith has
had a fruitful adventure in amassing credentials that could
convince anyone that he has been serious in acquiring the
wherewithal of a coach. That he has had certificates and
licenses from both FIFA and the United States Soccer
Federation, among others, may be enough to consider him for
the job. But then the question is, while documents are part
of the process, what are the evidences of his successes?
This is because documents alone are not enough that he is
capable for the job, of handling a national team.
Again examination of Mr. Smith’s credentials shows he
coached three first division soccer clubs in Liberia, to wit
Baccus Marines, Fulani FC and LPRC-Oilers, and also one team
in Nigeria, which is Obanta United Football Club.
When he sojourned in the United States, records indicate
that he served as the director of a female team for the
National Fusion Soccer Club, which handles close to 2,000
young boys and girls, according to Technical Director, Moses
Ochiche, in a telephone conversation for this article from
his base in Texas, USA.
He said, “Though Mr. Smith’s title on our website says he is
director for the girls, he also handled the boys, and
therefore it was not that he handled only the girls’ team.”
In another telephone conversation, Coach Tenesio Tarpeh also
in the United States, said, “I trust in the ability of Coach
Smith to handle any assignment, be it a national team or
Mr. Tenesio, one of Liberia’s ambitious coaches, said,
“Liberia should give Coach Smith a chance to prove what he
can do for the country.”
Photo-journalist Mozart Dennis of Minnesota, USA, said, when
he was asked about Coach Smith’s ability to coach the
national soccer team of Liberia, “He is a no-nonsense coach.
No one can push him around, and he has discipline as his
yardstick. Liberians must give him a chance.”
Clearly, reports indicate that Coach Smith’s presence with
Baccus Marines and Fulani Football Club did not bring the
best out of him. He did not, or could not lead the teams to
attain the soccer glories that are normally associated with
soccer achievements, but Coach Tenesio said lack of
successes with those clubs should not be the determined
factor to what he can do right now.
Though he made a significant achievement with LPRC-Oilers
soccer team should add up to his willingness, as a Liberian
to leave the comfort of the United States to help his
country, Mozart Dennis said.
At the time of writing, this writer was making efforts to
interview Coach Smith, and he is therefore encouraged to
call 678-934-1232, hoping that we could get him to address
questions raised about his capability to handle the national
team, Lone Star.
Joseph Kaitu Smith’s Credentials
• USSF "A" License
• Liberia FA "A" License (1989)
• FIFA Coaching Certificates
• CAF Coaching Certificates
• NSCAA Regional Goalkeeping Diploma
• NSCAA State Goalkeeping Diploma
• I.O.C. Itinerant Administration School Certificates
• A.S.E.P. Director of Youth Sports Program Certificate
• Liberia Coach of the Year 1997
• Former Liberia FA Coaching Instructor
• Former Liberia National U17 & U20 Coach Teams
• Former Coach LPRC-Oilers FC Liberia
• Former Coach Baccus Marines FC Liberia
• Former Coach Obanta United. FC Nigeria
• Former Coach Fulani FC Liberia
• Former Coach NPA-Anchors FC Liberia
• Former Coach Great Bame FC Liberia
• Playing Experience (1970 - 1984) in: Nigeria,