A 26-man Trinidad and Tobago Under 20 Men’s Squad entered a residential training camp that will run for ten days at the Metro Hotel in Couva on Monday as they continue preparations for the CONCACAF Final Round of Under 20 qualification in Costa Rica next month.
Head Coach Brian Williams and his technical staff began proceedings with a double session at the Ato Boldon Stadium today and will utilise the upcoming days to work on various aspects of the team’s shape and readiness ahead of another overseas training camp in South America within the next few weeks.
“We started the training camp today and I am indeed happy that we’ve been able to come together for this period to start the year off but more importantly have the opportunity to continue the team bonding process and also pay closer attention to some specifics and evaluate the players before we come down to our final selection for the competition,” Williams told TTFA Media.
T&T faces Bermuda in its opening CONCACAF qualifier at the Ricardo Saprissa Stadium on February 19th, before taking on hosts Costa Rica at the National Stadium on February 22nd and El Salvador at the same venue on February 25th.
“We are nearing the competition dates which is why we targeted the early part of this month to come together and really get the boys focusing on the challenge ahead. So far I am pleased with the progress we’ve made but it will be important for us to get in a couple good training matches before we head into the tournament in Costa Rica.
“It is important for us to do well in this competition and hopefully qualify for a third under 20 World Cup because the experience and the exposure for the players is crucial for our football programme ahead, especially leading into the national senior team. We have been emphasising this to the players and I think they have it in their minds that this period coming up is one where they must make the necessary sacrifices and put their best foot forward for the country and for themselves,” Williams added.
The National Stadium and Estadio Ricardo Saprissa will both be used for the tournament, to be played in a new format consisting of a group stage, a classification phase, and the grand final.
Under the new format, designed to increase the number of meaningful, competitive matches, the top two teams from Groups A, B, and C will advance to the Classification Stage, where the Confederation’s four tickets to the World Cup at this level will be determined in round robin play among two groups of three teams each. The top two teams of each of the two Classification Stage groups will qualify as CONCACAF representatives to the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017.