COACH of the national men’s senior football team Terry Fenwick said discussions are being held to play Dominica, Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) later this month to give his players solid preparation ahead of the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers in March.
Despite being in charge of the senior team for one year, Fenwick has not seen his players play a competitive match. The covid19 pandemic and the grappling between FIFA and the United TTFA placed T&T football on the bench in 2020.
Fenwick was aiming to have three friendlies before 2020 came to an end. Those matches did not materialise, but Fenwick is hopeful his players can hit the ground running in January.
Fenwick, in an interview with Newsday, on Sunday, said, “We’ve got Dominica, St Vincent and Grenada that we’ve reached out to, to try and bring them to Trinidad in January for this local squad of players.”
T&T will start its World Cup qualifying campaign on March 25 against Guyana in Group F. The group also features Puerto Rico, Bahamas and St Kitts and Nevis.
T&T are currently the highest-ranked team in the group at 105th in the world. St Kitts and Nevis are ranked 139th, Guyana 166th, Puerto Rico 178th and Bahamas 195th.
“We trying to be proactive, we are trying to get out there, we are trying to make things happen…I am 45 years plus (in experience) with clubs in the UK. I know how it works, how it operates (and) I am trying to move it on.”
Fenwick is trying to put 2020 behind him and wants the players to be the focus of attention.
“I am trying to sidestep the politicking that is going on in the background that is holding things up because at the end of the day for me and my staff it is about the kids…no games in 2020, no matches, no nothing, it is depressing.
“If we can change that around and have a real positive start to the new year that is how we got to lead ourselves into World Cup qualification games.”
Fenwick said the friendly matches can only become a reality with support.
“We of course need the support of the normalisation committee and (normalisation committee chairman) Mr (Robert) Hadad. We want Government’s support because this is the biggest sport on the planet. We’ve got loads of players that are Trinidadian playing around the world and more than anything I want the people of T&T that love their football that support their (English) Premier League teams or whoever they support to come out and support their national teams.”
Fenwick is concerned that T&T are now ranked 105th in the world saying, “We’ve got to fix that.”
He stressed that preparation is crucial. “We need time which we have not got, but we need financing to make sure we give the players the best possible opportunity getting through the qualification games.”
Approximately 15 players were working alongside physical therapist/physical trainer Oswin Birchwood and strength and conditioning coach Gregory Seale at the St James Police Barracks, on Sunday. Seale was accompanied by his team of specialists.
The players were going through a series of tests which allowed the trainers to evaluate strength, balance, flexibility and power.
The players were involved in a yoyo test and an arrow test. An arrow test evaluates the speed and agility of players.
A yoyo test is a maximal aerobic endurance fitness test. It involves running between markers placed 20 metres apart at increasing speeds.