Anton Corneal, Technical Director of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, believes that the test of Jamaica will be a most fitting one less than a week before the “Warriors” face off with Honduras in their do or die encounter at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
T&T clashes with Jamaica on Thursday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium from 8pm with Dennis Lawrence continuing his preparations this week, also expected to name his final squad for the encounter on Tuesday. San Jose Earthquakes winger Cordell Cato joined the provisional squad on the weekend and engaged in his first training session on Monday at the Larry Gomes Stadium.
“I think ideally thus is the right type of game that we need now,” Corneal told TTFA Media.
“Jamaica are coming off a high with their performance at the Gold Cup and they will be coming here intent on maintaining that hype and ensuring that Trinidad and Tobago does not get one over them. Several of their players are home based who also played in the Gold Cup. There is that natural rivalry also and so it is a great opportunity for our team to play a very competitive game ahead of the World Cup qualifier,” Corneal stated.
While the Caribbean derby will be the focus this week, Corneal stressed that real matches of importance would be Honduras on September 1st and Panama four days later.
“Of course it is important to get a result against Honduras as they will be pushing for a result here also which possibly means it will give us a chance to exploit them in areas that may be opened up. It is the first game of the two qualifiers and a result here will give us that chance to keep fighting heading into Panama,” Corneal added.
The Under 15 Boys team is back home from a difficult showing at the CONCACAF U-15 Championship in Florida and Corneal emphasised also that measures would be undertaken by the FA to have a process of continuity to prepare this team going forward.
That is being put in place right now where we will be ensuring that we have a structure, that will be able to follow a young player from the moment he is at the club or academies and schools and ensuring they are properly enrolled into our existing youth programme. We will be able to identify talent and then inserting the player into the elite development programme where the top ones will be involved in a year round programme, coming together to train and play matches. It is evident also that we would need these players to be exposed to playing international games both at home and abroad in order for them to get the necessary exposure way before they head into a tournament,” Corneal stated.
The TTFA wishes to remind fans that once they purchase their T&T versus Honduras World Cup qualifier ticket at NLCB Lotto booths, that same ticket can be used to access the T&T versus Jamaica friendly at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Thursday. Kick off is 8pm.