Thu, Feb

T&T's Alvin Jones, team mate Darren Mitchell and Barbados' Arantees Lawrence, during the international Friendly between Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva. Photo: Matthew Lee Kong/CA-images

I like what I saw.

Barbados may have been very much of what the Warriors wanted to test the mettle of the local players and also to observe the early preparations of Dennis Lawrence introduction into international coaching as head coach.

His former national teammate Stern John, who he called in as one of three assistants will have been pleased to see striker Jamille Boatswain display excellent potency in his short stint by scoring two well taken goals that lead T&T to victory.

There was a very interesting start to the game where the locals were able to demonstrate the midfield options of cohesiveness and accurate passing—a feature which our regular players often tend to ignore by their preference to individualism.

The newcomers to this level certainly were motivated to show their worth and although Hughtun Hector, Sean De Silva, and Curtis Gonzales all have previous experience at this level, it was a breath of fresh air to see the solid defensive play of Tristin Hodge, who seem to have the flair for recognising his responsibility, but utilising the task of overlapping to the flank when the need arose.

Alvin Jones, whom we already know, seemed ready to take on the duty of travelling the flank to provide service to the forwards.

Barbados left wing back, Alvin Chapman, allowed him the space to receive passes but kept him at bay each time he rushed the sideline.

It was a pleasure to see the high work rate of the midfield and expose the central defence of the visitors. Their biggest opponent in that regard was the use of boots which deprived them to retain proper footing. Two more goals could have been scored if Hashim Arcia and Dennis Mitchell had not lost their footing at crucial times within the penalty area of the visitors.

Striker Jamille boatswain was brought onto the field in a timely fashion and from his first touch of the ball, his speed, his desire to turn some good passes by De Silva and Hector into goals, two of which he did before half time, that’s after just being on the field four no more than four minutes.

Clearly, the coaching staff decided to get a look at almost every player on the bench, a decision which was certain to restart the previous inter-passing game and swift approaches towards the opponents’ goal.

This immediately allowed the Bajans to improve their tactics, controlled the midfield, and created three chances, all of which could have been goal chances.

They lost superior possession of the ball in the second and did not look the part.

The introduction of Cummings brought a new picture to the Warriors team. His speed, skill, and desire to challenge defenders reminded us all of the wonderful performances in a previous Gold Cup in the USA, when he scored some excellent goals.

Unfortunately, the speed level of the team dropped considerably and their opponent used the opportunity to show their worth if given the chance.

Eventually, no goals were scored in the second half, a factor which gave consolation to the visitors who enjoyed a drawn second half.

Coach Lawrence and his staff will not be able to ignore the efforts of players like Hector, De Silva, Arcia, Hodge and of course Leston Paul and Keron Cummings.

The foreign based players must now take note and show that they are superior, if they really are.

To this point, Coach Dennis Lawrence and his squad can take this step forward as acceptable. Now, the task of paying attention to their next opponents must be viewed seriously from watching video tapes of Panama and Mexico.

We look forward to the new two. weeks. Well done, Warriors.