|MEN'S YOUTH TEAMS HEAD OFF FOR TRAINING MATCHES|
Trinidad and Tobago’s National Under 20 footballers will depart for Miami for a training camp on Tuesday to step up their preparations for the CONCACAF Under 20 World Cup qualifiers in Guatemala in April.
Initially, the squad was scheduled to travel this weekend. Head coach Zoran Vranes doesn’t expect that the delay will affect his plans for the overseas camp where he will have a chance to look at four North-American based invitees.
“We were supposed to go this weekend but now we will travel on Tuesday because there are a few players who have to get some arrangements in place but I don’t see this as a problem as such. We are going to Miami to get a few days of proper training and some matches which I think will help us in a big way to get ready for the qualifiers in Guatemala,” Vranes told TTFF Media.
Reflecting on his team’s 3-1 loss to the National Under 17s at the Marvin Lee Stadium on Friday, Vranes added: “Well I’m not happy with the result. Okay we were missing some players but I also expect that some of the players who got the chance would step up to the challenge. I’m not worried by it because the greater challenge is later down the road and I believe the players will improve their game. But I still would like to see us finishing our matches better,” Vranes added.
The Serbia-born coach also said the door was not closed on any player including those who were not included in the squad to travel to Miami.
“I have to look at four players from North America and it’s easier for them to meet us in Miami than come to Trinidad. For those players who are not in the squad for Miami, it means they will rejoin us for training when we return. This is not the final team for the tournament and I expect the players will realize this and try their best to earn a spot in the team,” he added.
T&T are carded to meet Canada in two training matches and manager Cheryl Abrams said there was the possibility of another training game against a club but this would be confirmed later on.
Johan Peltier, fresh from capturing the TTFF/S2 Events “One for the Future” award for his performance in Friday’s FA Trophy final where BMobile San Juan Jabloteh defeated DirecTV North East Stars 1-0, said he’s looking ahead to the qualifiers with high anticipation.
“I’m really anxious about the matches we have coming up. Hopefully my performance can speak for itself. We have been working really hard as a team and we have very high hopes of qualifying for another Under 20 World Cup. I know if we continue to work as hard, it will show in our performances on the field and that should help us to finish among the top four teams,” Peltier said.
Meantime, the T&T U-17s left for Barbados on Saturday for a friendly against the “Bajans” on Sunday. Head coach Shawn Cooper left these shores satisfied following the 3-1 win over the U-20s.
“I’m pleased with what I saw in the match itself. I know there had been some concerns raised about our goalscoring department but we showed today that we are capable of creating and finishing. A win like this against an Under 20 team is good in anyone’s books I think and it’s a good boost for the team. We are growing in confidence but will not get carried away. The game against Barbados will be a good opportunity for the boys to get some overseas international experience and hopefully they will take everything on board well,” Cooper said.
T&T U-20 team for Miami
John Thomas, Greg Ranjitsingh, Stefan Berkely, Dinell Lopez, Kevin Raymond, Akil Clarke, Wesley John, Kenaz Williams, Ryan Frederick, Johan Peltier, Jerrel Britto, N’Kosi Mc Cree, Cordell Cato, Ross Russell Jr, Marcus Joseph, Jeron Morris, Ryan Mc Leod and Marvin Manswell.
T&T U-17s for Barbados
Quesi Weston, Tevin Dodds, Damani Richards, Dario Holmes, Tariq Nichols, Nicholas Marcano, Devon Bower, Kiel Pierre, Anthony Charles, Adan Noel, Neil Benjamin, Glen Sutton, Duane Muckette, Jomel Williams, Garvin Samaroo, Shaqullie Henry, Dwight Quintero, Isaiah Noreiga.