A WEEK before the Trinidad and Tobago men’s senior football team kick off their 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup qualification tournament campaign head coach Angus Eve made a plea for all stakeholders to join forces and support local football as it will take a collaborative effort.
TT held their final training session at Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella on Thursday ahead of their international friendly against Guatemala on Sunday in Pennsylvania, US. TT are using the match in preparation for the Gold Cup qualification tournament which starts on June 16 in Ft Lauderdale, Florida, US.
A 22-man squad was named on Thursday for the Guatemala match. After that match, a team will be chosen for the Gold Cup qualifiers.
Speaking to the media before training, Eve said, “For this phase, we talking all about commitment. We want the guys (players), not just the guys but the staff, the FA (TT Football Association), the press, TT. We keep talking about we want to qualify for World Cup, but are we really preparing? (We need support) from the Ministry of Sports, Sports Company. It is a challenge just for us to get a pitch to train on. It is a lot of things that have to be in (place to succeed).”
The TT coach reminded people of the joy sport gives a country.
“It is not just the technical staff or the TTFA to qualify for the World Cup. This is a country thing because when you see people driving down the bus route and all over the place celebrating the country feels good about it and we need everybody on board.”
Eve also called on corporate TT to get behind TT football more. “As a nation, if we say we want to qualify for a World Cup we need corporate citizens, we need everyone on board.”
Eve also highlighted the situation in which Nicaragua possibly fielded an ineligible player in a Concacaf Nations League match last year. In June 2022, Uruguay-born Richard Rodriguez played for Nicaragua against TT in Managua, Nicaragua.
If FIFA rules in favour of TT in the incident the Soca Warriors will have enough points to get promoted to Concacaf Nations League A and qualify for the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup.
Discussing the incident, Eve said, “I know in the press also they are talking about the Nicaragua player. We don’t have the final say on that, that is Concacaf.”
He said when a situation like this arises, the local football community must also be present. “What has been lacking is the total support from the other fractions of football. Not just the TTFA to make representation, but the South zone, the East zone (etcetera) and the people who have been vocal when it is time to call an election. We need those people to support that some wrong might have happened…and we need that support from them also not only when you want to complain or point fingers.”
Goalkeepers: Marvin Phillip (AC Port of Spain), Denzil Smith (W Connection).
Defenders: Sheldon Bateau (SK Beveren, Belgium), Alvin Jones (Club Sando), Ross Russell Jnr (La Horquetta Rangers), Josiah Trimmingham (Club Sando), Andre Raymond (Dumiense FC, Portugal), Justin Garcia (Defence Force), Jameel Neptune (AC Port of Spain), Samory Powder (Hudson Valley Hammers, US), Stephon Marcano (Ventura Fusion, US).
Midfielders: Daniel Phillips (St Johnstone, Scotland), Duane Muckette (AC Port of Spain), Kaile Auvray (Sporting Kansas, US), Real Gill (Club Sando), Justin Sadoo (Defence Force), Michel Poon Angeron (AC Port of Spain), Kaihim Thomas (Defence Force), Che Benny (AC Port of Spain), Kristian Lee Him (IFK Eskilstuna, Sweden).
Forwards: Nathaniel James (Club Sando), Kadeem Corbin (La Horquetta Rangers).