Sat, Jun

US-based T&T defender Josiah Trimmingham, right, attempts to control the ball while being closely watched by striker Brent Sam, as preparation for the T&T team heightens ahead of the World Cup Qualifiers in March, continued on Tuesday at the Police Grounds in St James. Trimmingham plays for USL League One club Madison FC. - ANTHONY HARRIS

Former national men’s football team captain and Futsal team coach Clayton “JB” Morris says this country faces a difficult task to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

T&T under the guidance of new head coach, former England World Cup player, Terry Fenwick will begin its revised Concacaf qualifiers on March 25 at home to neighbours Guyana in Group F of the preliminary round.

The 2006 Germany World Cup qualifiers, T&T will also face St Kitts & Nevis, Puerto Rico, and The Bahamas from which only the group winners will advance to the next phase of qualification where a possible clash with El Salvador awaits for a spot in the ten-team.

In addition to El Salvador, the other teams in Pool A are Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Montserrat and US Virgin Islands.

Each team in the six preliminary groups will play every other team in their group once, playing a total of four matches; two home and two away.

These games will be played in the FIFA match windows of March 2021 and the first FIFA match Window of June 2021.

At the end of the First Round, the six group winners will progress to the Second Round, with the winner of A meeting the winner of F in a home and away direct elimination format, from which the winner progresses to the Final Round where Concacaf’s top five nations, Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Honduras respectively, all advance based on their world rankings.

Looking ahead of the National Team World Cup qualifying campaign, Morris the new T&T Super League president and cooach of the University of T&T (UTT) painted a difficult picture for coach Fenwick, who previously led local clubs San Juan Jabloteh and Central FC to domestic league and regional cup triumphs.

Morris told Guardian Media Sports that, “To be honest putting myself in the national senior team coach position, I really don’t envy him because it's really a challenging time you know as the covid-19 brought about a change in that we have to get accustom to the new norm and football is a team sport and looking at it, the players who are training now I really not sure if those players will make up the bulk of the team going into the first World Cup game because the level as we know in football, you could train how much you train but if you are not playing then you won't really know where you are and how far you have to go."

He added, "So I think it's going to be a really uphill battle for us to say we can really qualify, but again at the same time, I think the other teams will be in a similar position. The only advantage I think that the coaches in those other teams may have is training because as I said I don’t feel the players in the squad now will make up the bulk of the team, so then we will be going with players who may be training outside but football is a team sport and chemistry and without practicing and playing games together that is a challenge."