Former Vancouver Whitecaps defender Carlyle Mitchell is giving the TTFA Home of Football Athletes Accommodation hotel a thumbs up as this country’s senior team heads into day four of its training camp ahead of the upcoming international friendly against Wales on March 20th.
Mitchell is currently in the provisional squad preparing under Dennis Lawrence. He was among the players who were given a first-time tour of the facility on Thursday by TTFA President David John-Wiliiams, accompanied by Lawrence and the other members of the Senior Team technical staff.
“I think its good for the future. There are a lot of things surrounding the football now but this is definitely good for the future and the youths because they are going to benefit from it. It’s a top class, five-star facility and very professional. The players will not have to study anything, just come and play the football. Everything will be there for them,” Mitchell told TTFA Media.
Teammate Jomal Williams, a former Mexican-based midfielder had similar sentiments about the facility which is carded to be opened for use in April.
“It’s mind-blowing knowing that the level is high and the facility is very good. I think it’s going to be good for Trinidad and Tobago football. It’s something for players to look forward to especially the younger players. To be there and to be able to get the chance to sleep in one of those rooms means you have to be on the national team. It’s a dream come through to see something like this back home,” Williams said.
John-Williams in a brief conversation with the players at the hotel, said “We’re giving you a sneak preview of what your future home will look like. The good news is you will have a home. The bad news is it will make life a little easier for the coach to train you harder. Generally it’s a 72-room facility and we hope to have it up and running by the end of April. It includes rooms, suites, medical rooms, dining rooms and more. We have three training pitches completed so you will be walking and driving to your training pitches. We finally have something that we can call home. All I will say is that this is best practice in world football.
“We are up against the world. We have the talent but we have to work differently to compete with the world. No disrespect but our competition is not Jamaica and Antigua but our competition is Jamaica, Antigua, Brazil, Germany.. it’s the world. When here is completed treat it as your own home because this is the chance of a lifetime for many of you. You all will come into a generation that finally has something to call home,” John-Williams told the players. The facility will accommodate Men and Women teams and also has additional dormitory facilities for youth teams. There are executive suites on the third level for officials and generally the hotel will be accessible by athletes and individuals of other sporting disciplines and professions.
Meantime, on the on-field preparations so far, Mitchell said, “Things have been going quite good preparing for the Wales game. We have a bit of senior men with some youths and there’s incredible talent now on the national team and I’m surprised. It’s great to see Dennis is contracted again to work with the national team. Honestly it’s a good opportunity for the youths as the next World Cup is for the youths. We will be building the team around them,” Mitchell added.
“Of course I am looking to push for a spot on the Gold Cup even though it will be very difficult. I had a a difficult time with my going injury in 2017 ahead of the Mexico and Panama games. I was out for a year. Right now I am so happy to be injury free and pushing for a spot on the national team,” said the former South-Korean-based player.
Looking ahead to Wales, Mitchell continued, “We have to put the work in now. Gareth Bale and they are in season right now and we have players in preseason. We have to concentrate and be physically and mentally ready for this game. There will be no room for excuses.