NATIONAL men’s football team coach Terry Fenwick says the TT players currently in training are showing commitment despite several obstacles such as not being paid, the covid19 pandemic and the distractions of the court battle between the TT Football Association (TTFA) and Fifa.
Fenwick spoke to the media after a training session at the Police Barracks ground in St James on Friday.
More than 35 players are part of a training squad building chemistry. It is uncertain when the team will play in a competitive match again because of the pandemic, but the team is getting ready for when that opportunity is available.
“Recognise, guys, that we have just come through covid virus, into the sahara dust and in between all of that we don’t know who our leadership is at this time until we got a court case which I believe is (July 29) which is still a long way away for us, ” Fenwick said.
The TTFA is in a court battle against Fifa after the world football body took over the running of the TTFA in March and appointed a normalisation committee to run local football.
The TT coach commended his staff and players for showing their commitment despite being faced with less than ideal circumstances.
“There are no finances, nobody is getting paid.
"But we are here, we are training. We’ve got rules and regulations, players are turning up on time. Already within this first month there is lovely passion around the squad that we’ve got. There is a nice feeling, everybody is getting on well…there is no disjointed pockets of people. We are doing this together because this is TT, we’ve got to deliver better for the footballing public for the people that are actually out there behind us.”
There is a focus on the young players during the camp, as more than 15 players on the squad are aged 22 or younger.
On the current group in training, “They are good and I keep on telling them, for you to be here, for you to be selected (you are fortunate)."
Fenwick also said, “There are lots of players out there who are in their mid-20s to early 30s that have not been selected, that are not involved in this squad, and they are asking why. I have said to most of them, ‘Listen, fellas – and I apologise in advance – if you are 26, 27 upwards and you are still playing in the leagues here in TT, I know I got better players playing at a higher standard of football somewhere else in the world, and we’ve got to get back winning’.”
Fenwick said players based overseas are interested in playing for TT.
“The response I have had locally and internationally from players around the world that want to play for TT – it has been remarkable.
“The ones that are overseas, we are looking through videos…and looking at the levels of football they are playing. These guys are reaching out to me, they want to come and play. It is fantastic the feedback that I’ve had.”
Fenwick said Tobago players would be involved in the training soon, as he has plans for the Trinidad players to travel to Tobago to play the best from the island. The TT coach said it would also give him a chance to interact with Tobago coaches.
TT TRAINING SQUAD – Adrian Foncette, Jabari Mitchell (Police FC); Andre Marchan, Aaron Enil, Curtis Gonzales, Justin Garcia, Adrian Welch, Hashim Arcia, Reon Moore, Brent Sam, Dwight Quintero (Defence Force); Christopher Biggette, Brandon Semper, Kadeem Hutchinson, Justin Araujo-Wilson, Tyrese Bailey (San Juan Jabloteh); Kadeem Riley (Unattached); Isaiah Garcia, Molik Khan (W Connection); Jelani Peters (Toronto FC); Jesse Williams, Jameel Neptune, Kevon Goddard, Che Benny, Sean Bonval (Central FC); Xavier Rajpaul (Cunupia FC); Justin Sadoo (Point Fortin); Rivaldo Coryat, Matthew Wooling, John Paul Rochford (AC Port of Spain); Keron Cornwall, Shaqkeem Joseph (Club Sando FC); Keron Cummings (La Horquetta Rangers); Judah Garcia (Point Fortin FC); Nicholas Dillon (Patro Eisden Maas); Kai Phillip (St Anthony’s College); Tyrese Spicer (St Augustine Secondary); Michael Poon-Angeron, Akeem Roach, Jaheim McFee.