Wed, Aug

Roberts impressed with quality of U-15 football.

CON­CA­CAF'S Di­rec­tor of De­vel­op­ment Ja­son Roberts has said he was left im­pressed with the lev­el dis­played by the four com­pet­ing teams at the just con­clud­ed T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion Youth In­vi­ta­tion­al Tour­na­ment.

Roberts, ac­com­pa­nied by FI­FA De­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer for the Caribbean Mar­lon Glean, wit­nessed the last four match­es in the Un­der 15 boys com­pe­ti­tion, in­clud­ing the clos­ing dou­ble­head­er and the Awards Cer­e­mo­ny at the Ato Boldon Sta­di­um in Cou­va, on Sun­day last.

The tour­na­ment was a dress re­hearsal for the teams- Mex­i­co, Pana­ma and T&T ahead of the CON­CA­CAF U-15 Cham­pi­onship in Flori­da, USA next month, Roberts, an ex-Black­burn Rovers and Grena­da for­ward said on Tues­day.

“The TTFA youth in­vi­ta­tion­al was a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­ni­ty to see some of the top tal­ents in the re­gion put to­geth­er by the TTFA in prepa­ra­tion for the CON­CA­CAF U-15 tour­na­ment. This was a won­der­ful chance to see well-drilled teams per­form­ing at an ex­treme­ly high lev­el, some re­al tal­ent across all of the sides, and I have to com­mend the TTFA for see­ing that prepa­ra­tion and bring­ing the teams to­geth­er. It is a unique op­por­tu­ni­ty to en­sure these play­ers are well pre­pared, get­ting used to elite tour­na­ments and used to the at­mos­phere of hav­ing a big crowd," Roberts said.

He added, “In­di­vid­u­al­ly I thought there were some stand­out per­for­mances. The T&T num­ber 8 (Mo­lik Khan) who was ex­treme­ly tal­ent­ed with the num­ber 10 (Nathaniel James) as well. You look across for the num­ber 10 strik­er for Pana­ma- Rey­mun­do Arauz, Venezuela num­ber 7 (Klins­mann Gomez and the strik­er Je­sus Anuel), were al­so good. Mex­i­co, as ex­pect­ed, al­so played at a very high lev­el for young play­ers."

“I would like to say how ex­cit­ing it was to see foot­ball in our re­gion at such a high lev­el in prepa­ra­tion for the CON­CA­CAF U-15, where I would be spend­ing a lot of time view­ing games of sim­i­lar qual­i­ty,” Roberts added.

Mean­while, Car­los Subero's 59th-minute strike earned Venezuela a 1-0 vic­to­ry over T&T on Tues­day at the Ato Boldon Sta­di­um in an­oth­er prac­tice match be­tween the teams.