Trinidad and Tobago topped Group C in the Caribbean Football Union Under 14 Boys Challenge Series with a 2-0 victory over hosts Curacao at the Ergilio Hato Stadium in Willemstad on Sunday evening. The win was T&T’s fourth successive in the competition and left them on twelve points, three ahead of runners up Curacao.
Controlling the the majority of the match, T&T took charge with two goals in quick succession in the first half. Following a breakdown in Curacao’s attach, T&T got its opening goal in the 15th minute when a ball came over from the left of the penalty box for Abdul-Quddoos Hypolite to slot home into an open net. And shortly after the restart, Dantaye Gilbert nailed one in from close range to put T&T 2-0 ahead on 16 minutes.
Head coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier later credited his players for their unbeaten showing over the four matches,
“For us personally as a staff I would say we were quite pleased with the performance of the boys in the competition,” he told TTFA Media. “This competition was an opportunity for us to see them against foreign opposition and of course playing away from home for the first time. I must say they were consistent in terms of the performances in the games. It still has room for improvement in terms of our overall play.”
Looking back at the final game against Curacao, Fevrier added, “In the game against Curacao, our boys went up to another level in terms of their organization because Curacao never really got a goalscoring opportunity, We were very organised in defence and offensively we created at least six or seven chances in the game.
“All in all i was quite pleased wit the attitude of the boys in the game. Their intensity was much more improved from the other games because it was a final and a game we needed to win. We were very pleased with the outcome of the game and the outcome of the tournament.”
Fevrier said the four victories against Bonaire (11-1), Aruba 3-1), Guyana (8-0) and Curacao was providing evidence that the TTFA/NLCB Elite programme was proving to be essential in the progress of the team.
“For sure, it’s working in the sense that the boys have showed tremendous improvement from the time we started the programme eight months ago to now, you can see those of us who have been around the programme can see the improvement the boys have made,” Fevrier said.
“Also we have a squad preparing for immediate competition in their age group but also the future of Trinidad and Tobago football and that’s also important. We still have an open door policy in terms of scouting to try and get more quality as much as we can. I must say this group is a good group and should be taken seriously for the future of Trinidad and Tobago football,” he added.
The T&T Senior Team assistant coach is hoping to see the team gradually progress to a level that will enable them to compete against tougher opposition in the region.
“Well now it’s about continuing the programme. We have a training programme and this is why we have done that well thus far. We have sessions with a nutritionist that works with the Ministry of Sport, a psychologist, we have video sessions, classroom sessions and field sessions. We are trying our best to educate the boys not just about football but also about life and it has paid dividends because you are seeing it on the training pitch.
“In terms of the football itself, we now have to try and move up a notch in terms of the quality of opposition because this being their first time playing together away from home, it was good that they played those teams but now we need to go a step further until we can get to the highest level. So I would like to see us now play the top teams in the region like Haiti, Jamaica, Panama and teams of that nature before we can then go to Central America, South America and Europe,” he said
“I will say to the players to keep their feet on the ground and that winning this tournament should encourage them to take their training seriously, managing themselves away from the game and apply the things they are learning from the professionals working with them and try to be the best they can now,” Fevrier concluded
The CFU Boys’ U14 Challenge Series was played across seven (7) venues, including Warner Park Sporting Complex in St. Kitts-Nevis; Estadio Pan Americano de San Cristobal in the Dominican Republic; Ergilio Hato Stadium in Curacao; Ed Bush Playing Field in the Cayman Islands; Stade Pierre Aliker in Martinique; UWI JFF Captain Horace Burrell Center of Excellence and the Anthony Spaulding Sporting Complex in Jamaica.