RAMIRO Amarelle, coach of the Trinidad and Tobago beach soccer team, is pleased with the growth shown by the squad during their two-week residential training camp in Paraguay.
The T&T team are preparing for the 2021 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship in Costa Rica, scheduled from May 17-23.
T&T were beaten in their three warm-up games against the hosts, at the Estadio Mundialista Los Pynandi, Luque, Gran Asuncion – 7-2 (on May 4), 5-2 (May 6) and 7-4 (Saturday – May 8.). Both T&T and Paraguay are set to play three more practice matches this week, on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
In an interview on the TT Football Association's (TTFA) You Tube page, after Saturday’s fixture, Amarelle said, “We are continuing to improve. We’ve reduced the amount of mistakes a lot, and we also did some good things on the offensive aspect.”
Amarelle, the former Spain captain and ex-China coach, said, “I think our performances (are) improving and growing. We have one week ahead (of the qualifiers) and we’ll try to continue on this way. I’m excited for the next couple of days.”
The 12-team 2021 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championships will take place at the Sports Complex Fedefutbol-Plycem, Alajuela, Costa Rica.
T&T, who were drawn in Group C, will face the hosts on May 17, United States (May 18) and Turks and Caicos Islands (May 19).
The quarter-finals are set for May 21, with the semi-finals on May 22 and the third-place match, and final, on May 23.
The finalists will be guaranteed spots at the 2021 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Russia.
T&T goalkeeper Zane Coker also spoke about the progress the team have been making, ahead of the qualifiers.
“We haven’t played a match for the last 18 months, (since) the end of 2019,” said Coker. “If you want to look at it from that aspect, I think the team is building and coming together. We’ve been training for the past couple of months and we’re progressing dramatically.”
The T&T goalie continued, “It’s amazing to be here. Paraguay is fit, they have a full contingent and they’re not easing us up at all. This is something that I like and prefer with the South American teams. In Concacaf, we’re a little more laid-back. With this experience and exposure, it’s really good for us (ahead of) the World Cup qualifiers.”
Focussing on Saturday’s match, Coker said, “The score-line doesn’t say it all for me. Yes we lost but, here in Paraguay, it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about doing the simple things (correctly) and going to Costa Rica as strong as possible. About the game, I was really impressed.
“I think that the errors that we made are fixable ones,” he added. “The important thing is that we’re getting the opportunities (to score). It’s all about taking the opportunities.
“We’re a little more focused, a little more team-oriented. The brotherhood and cohesiveness within the camp in the last two days (were) amazing. I think we’ll build from strength to strength, going into the qualifiers.”
Watch Amarelle likes the progress in Paraguay
Watch Update from Paraguay - Amarelle and Coker reflect on 7-4 loss