Thu, Dec

Ex Barca player appointed T&T Beach Soccer coach

Former Barcelona and Spanish beach football star Ramiro Amarelle is T&T's new beach football coach.

The 43-year old, is expected to officially take up his appointment later this month, after arriving on local soil last week. Amarelle will begin T&T's preparations for the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship in Alajuela, Costa Rica in May.

He will be joined by assistant coach and analyst Jaime Paz in a few days while Maria Gordo, another assistant and mental coach, is already in T&T undergoing quarantine at the Home of Football in Balmain Couva.

All three coaches will serve for the preparation phase, as well as for the CONCACAF Qualifiers, which run from May 17-23 at the Complejo Deportivo FEDEFUTBOL Plycem, in Alajuela, Costa Rica.

Amarelle, who spoke to the T&T Football Association media upon his arrival said: “It is an honour for me and my assistants to get this opportunity to prepare the national beach soccer team of T&T for the CONCACAF Championship.”

“It is an exciting challenge that will require a total team effort. We are looking forward to working with all the players, the other members of the staff and everyone at the Federation to make this the best possible preparation of the team,” he added.

“Of course the main ambition is to qualify but this will also be a process to improve beach soccer and create a better environment and awareness for beach football in the country. We will aim to improve many different aspects of the game here,” Amarelle noted.

Twelve nations will contest the early stage of the qualifiers, namely Bahamas, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, T&T, Turks and Caicos Islands and the USA.

For the group stage, the 12 participating teams will be divided into three groups of four teams each. After a round-robin play-off between May 17-19, the first and second-place finishers in each group, and the two best third-place finishers will advance to the knockout stage.

The knockout stage will begin with the quarterfinal matches on May 21, followed by the semifinals on May 22.

In addition to qualifying for the competition’s final, the two semifinal winners will earn a spot in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Russia 2021. The final is scheduled for May 23.

T&T reached the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Championship in 2015, 2017 and 2019. Mexico is the defending Champions.

Amarelle is also a FIFA instructor and advisor and holds a UEFA Pro License coaching badge.

The rest of the T&T team’s technical staff comprises Ryan Augustine (Player/Assistant Coach), Dr Jason Pilgrim (Athletic trainer), Dr Oba Gulston (Team Manager) and Yuri Chapman (Assistant Manager/Kitman).