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Sat, Jul

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U-20 men's team play in Biche.Trinidad and Tobago’s National Under 20 training squad travelled to Biche for a training session and practice match at the Biche Recreation ground on Saturday afternoon.

Currently preparing for the Caribbean Football Union leg of the Under 20 World Cup qualifiers, head coach Michael McComie took a squad of twenty-five players to the venue for a 60-minute session prior to the training game against Biche United which is preparing for their first season in the TTFF National Super League.

The game ended 5-1 in favour of the T&T U-20s through goals by Kyle West, a well taken header in the 19th minute, Shaquille Nesbit (38’ and 64’), Adan Noel in the 78th and an own goal in the final minute. Biche pulled a goal back in the 58th minute.

The exercise was part of efforts by the TTFF to take the national teams to communities within the twin-island. Both the Under 20s and Under 17 teams will travel to Tobago this coming weekend for a training camp.

McComie welcomed the chance for his players to venture into a rural community and face the Super League newcomers.

“This is exactly what we wanted to do with the team which was to bring them out in communities where national teams don’t frequent for an opportunity to also  get the people familiar with the team,” McComie told TTFF Media.

“It was a good outing for the boys. It was a training game so we also like the habit of training before games like  these. We have to play three games in like six days so it’s going to be a tough tournament and we have to be physically ready for it.”

McComie has four North American-based players in his current training squad which has Duane Muckette as its current captain. (Further details on the overseas-based players will be disclosed later this week when team visits Tobago).

“It’s good, keen competition for places in the team right now. The boys have trained with us a couple times already and are fitting in well. We will not close the door on any player at this point and even those who do not make it into the final team for the tournament will be monitored and kept as part of the overall pool of players.”

Assistant coach Anthony Rougier said it was important that the fans in the local communities get the chance to have up close experiences with the various national teams.

“I think it’s excellent for us to be here in Biche. The important thing was getting the boys out here in order for them to get a feel of playing in some of these communities.

Having the nucleus of Trinidad and Tobago get to know their teams as well and to know this is their national team is also one of the objectives. Most times the fans only see them on television and they are made to believe that they have to travel to the national stadium to see the national team play,” Rougier said.

“It’s about learning to play in different environments also. They have to experience the comments being made on the sidelines and other factors that will hopefully help them grow as players. The ground was not in the best condition and yet still the boys are mentally ready for the challenge which is really good for us,” added the former Reading player.

T&T will enter the Caribbean leg of qualification from July 23-31 in a group hosted by St Vincent/Grenadines along with Suriname and Guyana. The winner of the four preliminary groups and the best second placed team will advance to the final CFU round in Jamaica from November 3-11, 2012.

The CONCACAF final round takes place in Puebla, Mexico from February 18-March 2, 2013.  The Caribbean will have five berths in the final 12-nation round from which four will qualify for the FIFA Under 20 World Cup in Turkey. Mexico, Canada and USA are automatic qualifiers to the CONCACAF final round.