Former National Senior Team midfielder Reynold Carrington has been given the job to prepare and coach this country’s National Under 15 team for the upcoming Caribbean Football Union Youth Cup.
The 37-year-old Carrington, who has represented T&T at the World Cup qualifying level and also captained the team at one time, has been focusing heavily on his coaching since retiring from playing. He was recently among the top performers at the coaching symposium with the Dutch Royal Academy which allowed him the chance to undergo further courses in Holland.
Current National Under 17 team head coach Anton Corneal, also youth development officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation, said the decision was taken by the TTFF to hand the role to Carrington as he would gain the right exposure working with the youth and he also carried the right attributes for the position.
“This is really the first stage of the preparations for 2009 Under 17 World Championship and is one similar to what we went through two years ago,” Corneal told TTFF Media.
“This gives us a chance to start competing at an early age.. it’s where we start weaning players. This tournament is a good start for any Caribbean team,” he added.
“All the players may not go through the final stages in 2009 but once this type of early preparation is done properly you will get a nucleus that will stay together for two years similar to what we are now experiencing with the current team that has qualified for the World Championship in Korea,” Corneal continued.
Muhammad Isa has been the coordinator for the screening sessions which begun earlier this month at the Ato Boldon Stadium with some 120 players coming from four regional associations. He said that the response has been overwhelming thus far with 38 players being selected. Those players have undergone three training sessions under Carrington and assistant coach Terrence Marcelle at the Marvin Lee Stadium.
“We have seen a very eager bunch of players since the process started. The players have all shown keen interest and the response has been very nice from the different zones. We expect this to continue as the team itself continues preparations going into the tournament,” Isa said.
There will be another screening session at the Dwight Yorke Stadium on Wednesday from 10am for Tobago players and then one at the Mayaro Resource Learning Centre on Friday morning for the Eastern Counties Association. The current squad of 30 players will train this week as well at the Marvin Lee Stadium.
T&T will host the third edition of the Caribbean Football Union’s Caribbean Under 15 Youth Cup from August 18-30, 2007. T&T opens the tournament against Aruba on August 18.
This year’s tournament will not serve as qualifiers for the CONCACAF Final qualifying round and subsequent World Championship unlike the 2006 edition which was an Under 16 level competition with the top Caribbean teams moving on to the final qualifying round towards the FIFA Under 17 World Championship. And only Central Americans El Salvador will be the guest nation participating this year.
Meantime, Corneal will continue to conduct training sessions with the current National Under 17 team at the Ato Boldon Stadium as they prepare for Korea.