Belgium-based defender Sheldon Bateau received plaudits from national senior football coach Stephen Hart for his work rate and efforts in this country’s 1-0 defeat to Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on Friday.

Bateau spearheaded the T&T defence which was received a stern test from a strong Panamanian attacking force.

“He was quite good tonight (Friday). I was pleased with his work rate and the effort he put in all game,” Hart said.

Bateau is playing in the top flight of Belgium football with KV Mechelen and later encouraged his local-based teammates to put in more work if they want to maintain their stay at the senior international level.

“You’ve got to do more than you usually do on and off the field,” he said. 

“When I got on to the national team, my life changed and when I got into Europe, it changed again. It’s a totally different level you have to do things differently if you want to stay here and keep improving.

Train more, listen more and focus on becoming better in each session and every game. You will have rough patches but that’s all part of it.

Now that some of the new players have gotten their chance with the national team, it’s time to raise their levels and keep on striving."