Goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams, who captained this country’s Senior Men’s team in their recent 2-0 defeat to Canada believes that Trinidad and Tobago can compete for one of the top four spots in the upcoming Caribbean Cup that will take them through to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Ideally he would like to see T&T capture their first Caribbean crown since 2001. T&T has won the title eight times and runners up on three instances with Jamaica taking it home on five occasions. The “Reggae Boyz” captured the last title, beating Guadeloupe on penalty kicks in the 2010 final.
Williams was part of the T&T side that lost 2-1 to Haiti in the 2007 final which was also the last year T&T qualified for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
“I’m excited about the upcoming Caribbean Cup. A lot of the players including myself have a ‘tabanca’ with it. We made it to the final in 2007 and then failed to get beyond the group phase in two competitions after that. I think this time we really want to make up for those disappointments,” Williams told TTFF Media.
T&T heads to St Kitts/Nevis in October to face the hosts, Anguilla and French Guiana in the opening round which will be followed by another stage in Cuba once T&T progresses. The eight-nation finals is set for Antigua/Barbuda in December.
Williams hopes the T&T can receive adequate preparation.
“We need to be well prepared because it’s not like long ago when we had teams who could have just gone to these places and pick up victories. All these so called small nations are doing their home work and their talent pool is expanding also. They want to win just as much as we do,” added the W Connection player.
He hopes to see some better times for the T&T National Team.
“A lot of people have written off the national team because of our exit from the World Cup which is disappointing. I want to see the public come back out when we have games at home and represent the and for the supporters and sponsors to get involved again.
I also want to see the players represent the country with a lot of pride and passion. I saw the passion and fire and love for the game from the players in our last game against Canada which was promising,” Williams said.
While he is optimistic, the former Hungary-based custodian, wary of the negative feelings, concluded by saying : “From here on we only need encouragement and positive signs and positive people around us to try and help the country’s football back to a respectable position.
A lot of people can just stand on the outside and criticize and talk about all the answers but we need the right approach and the people actually working together to improve our state. It’s not going to be an easy road back but if we keep making the road harder by not doing the right things and not supporting the team then we are just defeating ourselves.”