A squad of national under 20 players is currently in training under head coach Russell Latapy as this country focuses on the 2018 CONCACAF Under 20 World Cup qualifiers scheduled to take place in November.
The current pool comprises players from the previous under 17 national team as well as other players who have come into the fray over the past few months. Latapy and his staff have been conducting sessions for over six months and currently meet once per week.
The 30-player pool includes names such as Che Benny, Judah Garcia, Tyrel Emmanuel, goalkeepers Denzil Smith and Emmanuel John, John-Paul Rochford, Jordan Riley, Mark Ramdeen, Jayden Prowell, Kishon Hackshaw and Brandon Semper among others
“What we have tried to do as a staff is keep the team together and make sure they stay active. What happened before is that we had a lot of long breaks and stoppages, but what we are doing with this team, is having them train at least once a week. We still have to incorporate some of the overseas based players who we think are good enough to get onto this team,” Latapy told TTFA Media.
“What we are trying to enhance in these players is their game awareness, their tactical awareness and obviously their fitness levels. We have a good bunch of players here that we think we can work with. But in comparison with the teams that we are going to be competing against, we will be coming up against young players who are already playing first team football in top professional leagues. But we have a good bunch of young men who are taking on a lot of information and are willing to work hard and that’s a good place to start,” Latapy added.
Latapy says there are intentions to enter the team into one of the local leagues, to assist with game preparation, considering that international matches may be difficult to come by in good numbers.
“We know that because of the financial constraints of the (TT Football) Association at this point it’s difficult to get these international games. So therefore what we are trying to do is attempting to play in the local league, either the Pro League or the Super League, We are hoping that we will get the support for it,” Latapy stated.