Trinidad and Tobago head coach Derek King has finalized his 20-man squad that will begin their 2015 FIFA Under 20 World Cup qualifying campaign against Suriname on the opening day of the Caribbean Football Union U-20 Finals at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Friday.
King, who is also an assistant coach with the T&T Senior Team and a former National youth and senior team defender, has been overseeing the team’s preparations for the past couple months along with assistant coach Dale Saunders. The team manager is Douglas Archer
He explained on Monday that his squad is a balanced one which he believes can be strong contenders in the qualifying campaign.
Several members of the team are attached to local Pro League clubs and have had prior international experience at the CONCACAF Under 17 level.
Defender Shannon Gomez, Central FC's Levi Garcia, W Connection forward Akeem Garcia, Martieon Watson, defenders Josiah Trimmingham and Maurice Ford, US-based midfielder Andre Fortune, Aikim Andrews Matthew Wooling and Kishun Seecharan are among those who were members of the previous National Under 17 team that came to within one victory of qualifying for the 2013 FIFA Under 17 World Cup. US-based goalkeeper Johan Welch was the last member to join the team and his first session with goalkeeper coach Michael Maurice and the rest of the team at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Gomez is the team captain and North East Stars midfielder Neveal Hackshaw is the vice captain.
“I think the squad is a balanced one. We had open screening in the early part which allowed the staff to look at the best available players in the country and then we came down to a training squad,” King told TTFA Media.
“We continued to assess the players and then decided on the final squad for the tournament. The players were selected specific to their ability for roles and positions and of course there is some really good talent in there. These players have had international experience from the previous Under 17 World Cup campaign and are very eager to enter the tournament,” King added.
About T&T’s opponents which include Cuba, Suriname and Curacao, King said, “These are all formidable teams. Cuba for one has always given us a difficult time a the youth level and Suriname and Curacao have been improving. We cannot take any of these teams for granted and will prepare for each of them differently but with the same respect,” King said.
T&T will open their campaign on Friday from 7:15 pm against Suriname as the Caribbean Football Union advised the TTFA of a late change to the fixtures on Tuesday. Cuba will take on Curacao from 5pm. Admission is $40 and Kids under 12 are free.
1.Johan Welch (Houston Dynamo Juniors), 21.Javon Sample (Central FC);
13.Josiah Trimmingham (San Juan Jabloteh), 2.Shannon Gomez (W Connection), 3.Martieon Watson (W Connection), 5.Maurice Ford (W Connection), 4.Jesus Perez (North East Stars);
8.Neveal Hackshaw (North East Stars), 7.Akeem Garcia (W Connection), 18.Jabari Mitchell (W Connection), 15.Aikim Andrews (San Juan Jabloteh), 11.Levi Garcia (Central FC), 6.Kevon Goddard (Central FC), 12.Kishun Seecharan (Defence Force), 17.Akeem Humphrey (Club Sando), 10.Andre Fortune (Unattached), 14.Matthew Woo Ling (W Connection), 16.Keon Joseph (North East Stars);
9.Kadeem Corbin (St Ann’s Rangers), 19.Nicholas Dillon (Central FC).
CFU Men’s Under-20 Caribbean Championship
(Fri Sep 12)
Curacao vs Cuba, 5 pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium,
Trinidad and Tobago vs Suriname, 7.15 pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium;
(Sun Sep 14)
Cuba v Suriname, 4 pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium,
Trinidad and Tobago vs Curacao, 6.15 pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium;
(Tue Sep 16)
Curacao v Suriname, 5 pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium,
Trinidad and Tobago v Cuba, 7.15 pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium;
(Sat Sep 13)
Haiti v Dominican Republic, 4 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium,
St Kitts and Nevis v Aruba, 6.15 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;
(Mon Sep 15)
Dominican Republic v St Kitts and Nevis, 5 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium,
Aruba v Haiti, 7.15 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;
(Wed Sep 17)
Dominican Republic v Aruba, 5 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium,
Haiti v St Kitts and Nevis, 7.15 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;
Third Place Play Off
(Fri Sep 19)
Runner-up Group A v Runner-up Group B, 5 pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium;
U-20 Caribbean Championship Final
(Fri Sep 19)
Winner Group A v Winner Group B, 7.30 pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium.