National Football Team Head Coach Leo Beenhakker, on Monday, joined the three-man T&T delegation in Rotenberg as the inspection of venues, training sites and hotels for the Soca Warriors’ 2006 World Cup participation concluded in slightly warmer conditions.
After all, manager Bruce Aanensen and George Joseph along with the team’s designated liaison officer for the World Cup Mark Bos and TTFF Media had to battle it out in temperatures ranging between -3 and -7 degrees since Friday’s draw as they toured the various sites.
On Monday, not only did Beenhakker’s arrival from Austria bring natural warm company but it also appeared to affect the conditions as the T&T home-based team then seemed able to walk around without the use of warm gloves, coats and scarves. And on the penultimate day of the tour visit, several living here said they were confident it would reach a high of 25 degrees celcius by the time the team returns in June.
Beenhakker jetted out to Austria on Saturday to view another site for a training camp which he said will likely be used from the middle of May before the team arrives in Rotenberg to take up a team base at the hotel Wachtelhof which from a first look from the outside appears like some fairy tale-like cottage in the middle of the woods but then on entering, the look is transferred to one of elegance, luxury and friendly feeling unlike the usual buzz of so many big hotels the team may have been accustomed to staying at before.
It’s the perfect setting for the permanent base which the team will take up on arrival in Germany, even as they travel to the designated hotels for their three Group B matches. Situated in the reserved town of Rotenberg, it will take the team approximately one hour by plane, all chartered for business class, to get to Dortmund to face Sweden, Nuremburg for England and then to Manheim where the team will stay at the Dorint Kongress Hotel which requires a one-hr bus drive to the Fritz-Walter- Stadium in Kaiserslautern for the match against Paraguay on June 20. T&T will stay at the Hilton Hotels in Nuremburg and Dormund for their other two games against England and Sweden. Neither of these hotels can compare with the Wachtelhof where Bayern Munich also camped in 1999 and 2002.
“That’s what we wanted, a really nice and comfortable place for the players,” Beenhakker said.
Hotel director Heiko Kehrstephan assured that his hotel staff would go all out to make T&T’s stay a most comfortable one.
“We are delighted to have the Trinidad and Tobago team here with us for the World Cup and we will ensure that all the needs of the team will me met by our staff. They will definitely have a great stay to look forward to and I can tell you too that the town is also very anxious for them to be here. People are asking for flags and shirts and we know too that you recently signed with Adidas, so those here are very excited about that. We also have some local steel drum groups who want to play when you get here and we intend to make it a comfortable partnership between the German people from here and others who may be around us for the World Cup,” Kehrstephan told TTFF Media.
Aanensen stated that the entire hotel of 38 rooms will taken for use by the T&T team.
Beenhakker also revealed on Monday that he would be traveling to England on Friday to view matches this weekend involving a couple of players eligible of representing T&T and he will continue to monitor others who can play for the “Soca Warriors”.
He hinted that an invitation has come from the Czech Republic Football Federation to play that country in early June leading up to the World Cup. He is also going ahead with plans for a training camp in England at a venue he should have better idea of after this weekend’s trip there which will be followed by another training camp in Austria where a couple more internationals may be lined up before going to Czech Republic. The Austria venue has hosted several teams including the German National Team in the past. Beenhakker’s men will then take up base at the Wachtelhof from around June 4.
Beenhakker also visited the training ground which the players, according to the Dutchman, will use bikes to ride to for their sessions, located a short distance from the hotel. It comprises of two excellent training fields along with dressing rooms, spas and treatment rooms.
“This definitely has to be the right thing for the players and I can assure you as a team we will make the very best of it,” said the T&T boss.