Fri, Dec


Captain Sheldon Bateau National Under 23 head coach Angus Eve says the secret behind his team being able to score the required four goals against Dominica in their final first round Olympic qualifier against Dominica was maintaining composure before a packed home crowd at Windsor Park on Saturday night.

T&T went into the break ahead 1-0 on a Cameron Roget, still three goals short of their mark after Curacao had defeated Grenada 2-0 in their earlier encounter.

T&T persisted and were rewarded with goals by Trevin Caesar (71st and 83rd minutes) and Marcus Joseph in the 80th.

As to what happened in the dressing room at half time, Eve told TTFF Media : “I just tried to keep the guys very relaxed.

I told them it’s not like cricket where we can score all four at one time. We had to take our chances but one step at a time.

I used Barcelona as an example because they never change their play for anybody or in any situation even when they are down.

They always maintain their style so I told our guys to keep moving the ball around and the chances would come and they did.”

The Team returned home on Monday night and will be given a break with the players returning to their clubs before resuming preparations for the CFU Final round in November.

“This is still only the first phase we’ve completed and we have a lot of work to put in. We also have a lot of players who were left out and can now make their way into the team.

We will have a no-nonsense approach for the next stage as well. I will be looking at the discipline of the guys both on and off the pitch,” Eve said.

“We came out undefeated and it reflected in our defensively play. We only conceded one goal in three games and a lot of our defenders were only now making their international debut. The team spirit and fitness was excellent and the ball possession was phenomenal.

“This victory augers well for football in Trinidad and Tobago.  A lot of coaches come in and think they need to get all the guys from overseas all the time.

Our two foreign-based players couldn’t make it and we played with a mostly  local players and this augers well for the Pro League,” said the former Joe Public player.

Eve has been in touch with the respective local club coaches, updating them on the performance of their players and also making recommendations for their continuous training programs.

He added that some Cuban officials extended an invitation for T&T to engage in a training camp in Cuba prior to the next round but he was forced to decline due to the fact that T&T will face the Cubans in the next phase.

T&T ended the round with  a plus-5 goal difference to Curacao, which had a plus-4. Grenada finished third with three points, ahead of Dominica which lost all three games by a combined 8-0.

T&T will join Group C winner Cuba and Group D winner St Kitts/Nevis and the winners of Group A in a final group, from which two will qualify for the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying finals next year in the United States.

St Kitts got an 88th minute winner to defeat Haiti  in Basseterre on Monday night to top Group D. Group A with St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Jamaica, Suriname and the Cayman Islands is set to play August 3-7 in Paramaribo, Suriname.

VIDEO: Interview with U-23 forward Cameron Roget.

VIDEO: Interview with Angus Eve - on Olympic team's return from Dominica.

VIDEO: Interview with Olympic Team forward Kaydion Gabriel.

VIDEO: Reactions from Trevin Caesar - on double over Dominica.

VIDEO: Interview with Sean De Silva - on victory in Dominica.

VIDEO: U-23 captain Sheldon Bateau - on return from Dominica.