Wed, May


Trinidad and Tobago’s Saudi Arabia-based defender Daneil Cyrus is taking up the challenge from teammate Sheldon Bateau and has pledged to be in tiptop shape for the upcoming international friendly against Wales on March 20th at the Racecourse in Wrexham.

With Gareth Bale likely to be leading the Welsh attach as they prepare for a Euro 202o qualifier against Slovakia, Cyrus will have to be in prime condition as he squares off against one of the leading forwards in the game today.

“The game is against Wales is a big test for most of the players especially some of the younger guys in the group. Right now I am anxious and just trying to keep fit and focused for this one,” Cyrus told TTFA Media on Sunday,

“To face Bale is a massive test for me as a centreback and a defender because we all know Bale is a world class player. It’s a great opportunity for us to go out and show that we can compete. We will go into the game without any fear although we will show them respect. We respect Wales and some of their players but we will not allow ourselves to be intimidated,” Cyrus added.

“Football is on the day and we are working towards going out and giving a good show. It’s just for us to enjoy the game and enjoy the moment knowing that we will be coming up against world class players. I’m really excited for the match especially knowing we will be playing at a venue where former players like Carlos Edwards, the current coach (Dennis) Lawrence and others have graced during their careers,” Cyrus said.

Meantime, Wales head coach Ryan Giggs revealed on the weekend that he had a debrief with some players in London ahead of their preparations for the Euro qualifier in March which includes the warm up against T&T.

Last September, in his first home game, Wales produced a vibrant display of the attacking football Giggs epitomised as a player. They swaggered past the Republic of Ireland, winning 4-1 in an exhilarating and clinical performance. Yet, in their most recent match, Wales lost to Albania, 42 places below them in the world rankings. Unlike a club manager Giggs has had to reflect on that loss for nearly three months.

“It is difficult having such a long break. That’s the tough part about international football. But I keep in contact with the players and yesterday I got the lads together for a little debrief in London and to make sure we’re looking forward to the [Euro 2020]qualifiers in March,” Giggs told the Irish Times on Monday. “When it’s September, October, November, you’re on a roll. But this gap between games is big. You can see why some managers miss that day-to-day contact. The difference is that I was never a [permanent]club manager. I’ve gone straight into international football.

Wales’ clash with Slovakia is their opening match in a qualifying group that includes the World Cup finalists Croatia as well as Hungary, Belarus and Azerbaijan. “We need a good start against our main rivals because, after Croatia, I would say it could be between us and Slovakia. They have a new manager but they’ve got talented players. Marek Hamsik stands out. He just broke the goalscoring record for Napoli, overtaking Diego Maradona. So this first game against Slovakia is a big one,” Giggs added.