England’s National Team will arrive here on May 29 but before that, Francisco Maturana will meet with members of the National Senior Team in London as he plans ahead for the Centennial Clash at the Hasely Crawford Stadium and the upcoming 2010 World Cup qualifying tie with Bermuda
Maturana, assistant coach Anton Corneal and manager David Muhammad arrived in England on Thursday and will meet with some of the UK-based professionals as well as attend a couple games on the weekend.
This is a similar type trip made by past national coaches including ex-coach Leo Beenhakker with the aim of holding discussions with the players, to sensitize them of the upcoming programs relating to qualification.
Maturana explained: “It’s important for us to meet with our players and talk about certain things ahead of the matches we have coming up. They will come to Trinidad in May to prepare but I think it was necessary to go to them as well and talk about our plans so that when they are here… it will be just about our preparations for the England game and the qualification matches,” Maturana told TTFF Media.
Sunderland midfielder Carlos Edwards welcomed the visit by Maturana and company.
“The season is almost over and as players we’re quite relieved and happy about that. The coach will be coming to meet with us and see a couple games and I think it’s a good idea. Some of us haven’t met with him much and those like myself will meet him for the first time since he took the job. I’m looking forward to it and it’s important that we discuss our ideas and intentions before getting down to the football,” Edwards told TTFF Media.
The team is expected to come together for a training camp on local soil from May 16 leading up to the England game which will be followed by a June 7 friendly against Jamaica in Port of Spain and the June 15 first World Cup qualifier against Bermuda also at home.
Maturana checks his clock alongside Corneal
Before that Maturana will take charge of team comprising players similar to the last two matches against Jamaica and Grenada, for another friendly against Barbados at the Marvin Lee Stadium on Sunday May 11, 2008.
Meantime, England coach Fabio Capello says he is trying to find out why England players do not replicate their club form at international level is his toughest managerial assignment.
The Italian said: "This is the problem my predecessors had. I'm hoping I'll be able to understand why and rectify it.
"Looking at the English teams' success in the Champions League, the Premier League is the best in the world,” the Italian said earlier this week.
Speaking at an event organised by England team sponsors Nationwide Building Society, Capello added: "I can't perform miracles, these are the players we have and I can only call up the players we have.
"Creating new players is a long process, it takes a lot of time and you need talent to begin with. It's not going to be fast. Of course the more English players there are playing for English clubs the better it is for me. But at the same time it's good to see that the good English players tend to play for the good English teams irrespective of the number of foreign players here. The quality comes out."
The Italian revealed that a permanent national captain would be unveiled before the friendly with the Czech Republic at Wembley in August.
Capello added that he also believes David Beckham could play again for his country at the 2010 World Cup.
Capello said the Galaxy midfielder could be called up for the tournament in South Africa, if he maintains his fitness. Beckham would be 35 by then.
"The door is open. He played the last game, and did well against France," Capello said. "It depends. There are players who at 33 or 34 take good care of themselves, they understand that the body is not as it was and they take more care. It depends a lot on that.” (Photos show Maturana capturing his players on film during training. Shaun Fuentes, May 2, 2008)