Trinidad and Tobago National Under 17 Men’s Team head coach Russell Latapy has finalised a 22-man squad to contest the upcoming Caribbean Football Union Final Round of World Cup qualifiers which kicks off at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Friday September 16th with a double header.
Hosts T&T will face Haiti from 7:30pm while fellow Group A rivals Jamaica will meet Bermuda in the earlier encounter from 5pm.
Latapy trimmed his squad which will go into a live-in training camp at Cara Suites Hotel in Claxton Bay from Monday where they will be based for the duration of the tournament.
The team will be captained by midfielder John Paul Rockford and includes national under 20 and W Connection midfielder Isaiah Hudson as well as Jonathan Godette of DC United and Canadian Luke Singh, Jodel Brown of Jabloteh and St Ann’s Rangers midfielder Che Benny.
Latapy spoke about the team preparations and selections following a training session at UWI Grounds in St Augustine on Friday night.
“I am happy with the way preparations have been going but like every other coach I would say I would like more time. We have our challenges in local football but putting these challenges away I am working with a group of players that are very talented and committed and hopefully with a lot of hard work and a bit of luck we can advance in the tournament,” Latapy told TTFA Media.
“This is a qualification tournament so first and foremost we need to play football to win games. I have my ideas and my philosophies on how the game should be played and that is with the football on the foot and that is how we are going try to and play. The squad is a talented one and a balanced one where we tried to select players in the different departments that we think can fulfil their roles and responsibilities,” he added.
Touching a bit on the preparations, Latapy said: “One of the other principal areas I have been working on is game awareness and where they play in relation to the ball. At that age group we have in 20 players, we have seven or eight players that are mature beyond their age but then you have another 12 or 13 players who are getting their slowly or surely but tend to chase the ball about a bit, ball watching just keep following the ball and not seeing what is happening with the player they are marking in a defensive role and with the ball. I have been working a lot on this and the tactical side of the game. Their technical ability is well on par for their age group.”
The top two teams in each group will advance to the CFU semi-finals as well as the CONCACAF Final round in Panama next April while the best third placed team from the group phase will also advance as the fifth Caribbean representative at the CONCACAF final phase. From there, four nations will advance to the FIFA Under 17 Men’s World Cup in India.
T&T UNDER-17 SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Emmanuel John (Jabloteh/Trinity East), Elijah Shade (Jabloteh/St Anthony’s)
Defenders: Jessie Williams (St Ann’s Rangers/East Mucurapo), Kerdell Sween (Jabloteh/San Juan North), Brandon Semper (Jabloteh/San Juan N), Tyrique Andrews (W Connection/Naparima), Jerren Jackie (Pt Fortin Civic/Presentation San F’do)
Midfielders: Mark Ramdeen (W Connection/Naparima), John-Paul Rochford (Ma Pau Stars/QRC), Jodel Brown (Jabloteh/St Anthony’s), Andre Raymond (W Connection/Naparima), Keon Boney (Ma Pau Stars/North Eastern), Luke Singh (Vaughn Azzuri/St Edmund Campion (Canada)), Nikel Orr (Jabloteh/Trinity East), Che Benny (St Ann’s Rangers/St Anthony’s), Isaiah Hudson (W Connection/Naparima), Omar Da Naia (Vaughn Azzuri/Bill Brothers Sec (Canada)
Forwards: Jaydon Prowell (Central FC/St Anthony’s), Nion Lammy (Pt Fortin Civic/Presentation San F’do), Jonathan Godette (DC United/Maryland), Keshon Hackshaw (Ma Pau Stars/Trinity East), Tyrese Bailey (Jabloteh/St Anthony’s)
Final Round Schedule
Bermuda vs Jamaica, September 16th, 5pm
T&T vs Haiti, September 16th, 7:30pm
Jamaica vs Haiti, September 18th, 4pm
T&T vs Bermuda, September 18th, 6:30pm
Haiti vs Bermuda, September 20th, 5pm
T&T vs Jamaica, September 20th, 7:30pm
(All matches at Ato Boldon Stadium)
Suriname vs Guadeloupe, September 17th, 4pm
Cuba vs Curacao, September 17th, 6:30pm
Guadeloupe vs Cuba, September 19th, 5pm
Suriname vs Curacao, September 19th, 7:30pm
Curacao vs Guadeloupe, September 21st, 5pm
Cuba vs Suriname, September 21st, 7:30pm
(All Games at Hasely Crawford Stadium)
Group A Winner vs Group B Runner Up, September 23rd, 5pm
Group B Winner vs Group A Runner Up, September 23rd, 7:30pm
Third place – Semi Finals losers meet at 4pm on September 25th
Final – Winners of Semi-Final matches meet at 6:30pm on September 25th.