TRINIDAD AND Tobago men’s football team coach Dennis Lawrence has shown his intention to build for the future as he has called up a few members of the national Under-20 squad to join his training squad.
The men’s team resumed training yesterday for a friendly international match against Suriname on March 10, in Paramaribo, which will be followed up by a pair of 2018 FIFA World Cup CONCACAF Zone Final Round qualifiers at home to Panama, on March 24, and Mexico four days later.
The Under-20 players made favourable impressions based on their performances at the current CONCACAF Under-20 Championships in Costa Rica. The national Under-20 team missed out on qualifying for the quarter-finals last weekend, drawing against Bermuda 1-1, losing to Costa Rica 0-1 and beating El Salvador 2-1 in group play. The trio includes St Ann’s Rangers forward Kathon St Hilaire, English-born goalie Montel Joseph and Ma Pau defender Taryk Sampson.
St Hilaire, a St Anthony’s College player, scored the winner in T&T ’s 2-1 victory over El Salvador in their final group game. Lawrence, who was appointed as the men’s team coach in January, began training sessions with a group of 27 players on February 20. Midfielder Darren Mitchell, captain of three-time T&T Pro League champions Central FC, was added to the training squad late last week.
In related news, former England central defender Sol Campbell, who was named by Lawrence as one of his three assistant coaches (alongside ex-national striker Stern John and veteran W Connection tactician Stuart Charles-Fevrier), is expected to join the technical staff in Trinidad this month, after undertaking a brief coaching stint at Queens Park Rangers.
According to a story on Sky Sports yesterday, “Campbell has been spending time coaching the club’s academy and Under-23 players but it has been on an informal basis. “The former Arsenal and Tottenham defender has been out of professional football since 2012 and spent time in politics, including a failed bid to become the Conservative Party candidate for Mayor of London,” the story continued.
“His time at QPR has been partially used to practice the training drills he could be using alongside Lawrence when he takes up the role later this month.
“Campbell (said) that he was thankful to QPR director of football Les Ferdinand and technical director Chris Ramsey for the chance to hone his coaching skills,” the story ended.