This Country’s National Under 20 Men’s Team has been grouped with St Lucia,Turks and Caicos and Guadeloupe for the opening phase of the Caribbean Football Union leg of 2017 Under 20 World Cup Qualifiers which will be staged in Trinidad and Tobago from June 15th to 19th.
This was determined at the draw held at CFU Office in Kingston on Monday evening. The final fixtures and match venues will be announced in due course.
The winning team of each of the four preliminary qualifying groups will advance to the CFU Finals in Curacao in October along with the third best, second best and best runner up from first round groups.
The top four teams from the Caribbean will then advance to the CONCACAF final round towards The 2017 FIFA Under 20 World Cup which will be played in South Korea. CONCACAF will have four representatives at the World Cup. Twenty-four teams will participate in the U-20 World Cup scheduled for May 20th to June 11th, 2017 across six host cities in South Korea.
Reacting to the draw which was witnessed by TTFA President David John-Williams via a Skype conference call with CFU, T&T U-20 Head Coach Brian Williams said he was positive of this country’s chances of advancing out of the group.
“I think it’s an interesting draw but also a favourable one for Trinidad and Tobago. My first objective is to prepare a strong national team for this qualifying campaign. I do not think we can afford to take any of the three teams in our group for granted because the gap in international football continues to close and either of these teams are capable of springing a surprise on the day,” Williams told TTFA Media.
“The good thing for us is that our first group will played at home so we will be familiar with the conditions. But this doesn’t take away from us needing to be well prepared and having a team that is capable of advancing all the way in these qualifiers,” Williams added.
The former National Team defender met with a squad of invited players for the first time on Monday at the Ato Boldon Stadium and conducted a light session following an introductory meeting. The squad will assemble on Wednesday at the same venue before Williams make his first cut in a few days time.
T&T are the defending Caribbean Football Union U-20 champions after defeating Haiti 3-0 in the Final in September, 2014 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. T&T has qualified on two occasions for the FIFA Under 20 World Cup, first in 1991 under head coach Bertille St Clair and captain Dwight Yorke and in 2009 head coach Zoran Vranes and captain Leston Paul.