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Sun, Aug

George: Lawrence challenges us to dig deep for country.
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As this country’s Senior Footballers get ready to resume preparations on Ash Wednesday for their upcoming international friendly away to Wales later this month, US-based midfielder Kevan George is backing head coach Dennis Lawrence to continue challenging the squad to bring on their best game for the Red,White and Black in 2019.

George is into his fourth week of preseason training with USL club Charlotte Independence and is eagerly awaiting a confirmation of selection for the Wales encounter as Lawrence enters his third week of preparations with a group of home and overseas-based players who are in off season at the Ato Boldon Stadium.

According to George, Lawrence has been able to challenge the players to dig deeper in an effort to bring their best when representing the country.

“We are just going to keep pushing in the right direction. Dennis Lawrence signing a contract extension, it’s great for him, great for the team. He does a good job of blending in the younger talent with the more experienced guys and keep every one accountable. He’s very good at challenging us,” George told TTFA Media.

“No one is comfortable coming in thinking ‘yea I’m going to start this game’. He’s very good at challenging the players tactically and mentally. He puts us into situations where we have to go against the grain to get points. One of his mantras is if we don’t have a chance to win the game, then we don’t lose the game and that resolve that he’s brought into the camp, everyone has responded positively to that.  It’s fantastic news to hear that he has renewed his contract going into Gold Cup As a team everyone will be gearing up, putting in the extra work in preseason and the start of the season to be ready for selection.

George, a former Columbus Crew player, described the Wales fixture as a “mammoth one to start 2019.”

“The game against Wales will be a fantastic test for us. It will be a great confidence booster for us in terms of preparations, playing against world class talent in a highly ranked team in Wales with very good players and household names, Securing this friendly for us in a huge year like this with the 2019 Gold Cup is a mammoth way to start things off,” George said.

He reflected on the past few international assignments and training camps.

“There’s been gradual growth in the national team set up with the level of games we have been securing recently, playing the likes of Thailand, Iran, those are quality opponents. And now to get Wales. It will be tall order for us but we are up for the challenge. Our coach is behind us and we trust in him. He trusts us as players so we just have to go out and get the job done.

“I do not take any call up or selection to the national team lightly. There is so much talent there in our country both local and foreign. To be in the pool for selection is another good step and I’m just waiting to get the manager’s call. I’m just ready to get 2019 on the road because we expect a lot of ourselves. We really want to put a consistent product on the field that Trinidad and Tobago will be proud of. We want to put out a product that will be attractive with high intensity and energy, something entertaining for the fans but sticking to the principles of Dennis Lawrence,” George continued.

As Charlotte pushes on with their preseason preparations, George spoke about being able to balance both club and country duties.

“Preseason has been a lot of hard work at high, high intensity and high quality levels in the four weeks. We’re just not going through the motions It has been going very good for me. The new coach is pushing us beyond our boundaries in every way.

“I’m learning a lot more in every aspect of my game and pushing myself to be better. As you go through your years in soccer, you find little ways that you can not necessarily change your game, but adapt to adapt to new things and trends of the game. It’s more about being able to adapt to different philosophies and new systems under new coaches and how it would benefit me going into the national team’s philosophy,” George said.