TRINIDAD AND Tobago men’s football team coach Angus Eve plans to use the Courts Caribbean Classic as a rebuilding phase for his squad, as they look ahead to the 2022-2023 Concacaf Nations League.
The 2022-2023 Nations League will kick off with the league phase, which is scheduled to run from June 2-14.
The T&T team will be involved in the Courts Caribbean Classic, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo. The T&T team will square off against Barbados on Friday and Guyana next Tuesday. Barbados and Guyana will meet each other on Sunday.
In an interview on Tuesday, before the team’s training session at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, Eve said, “We’re looking to re-establish ourselves in the Caribbean. In the (2022 FIFA) World Cup campaign, we actually lost to Caribbean teams.”
Eve, the former T&T captain and midfielder, continued, “It’s a long time now that we haven’t dominated the Caribbean. I believe that when you’re building, you build from the bottom up.”
Two former T&T coaches, Jamaal Shabazz and Russell Latapy, will be at the helm of Guyana and Barbados respectively.
“Jamaal Shabazz, we know how experienced he is as a coach, somebody I look up to for a long time,” said Eve. “Russell has a wealth of experience as a player and now he’s imparting that experience as a coach. I think it would be two difficult teams, none of the teams are coming here to lose.”
Eve is pleased that the majority of the foreign-based players, involved with the 24-man squad, have some recent games (albeit at club level) under their belt.
“It’s a good feeling to have the majority of the players actually playing football, because we had to play a lot when the guys were out of season, and not even in pre-season,” said Eve. “This time we can see the guys look a lot leaner and fitter, and I’m happy for that. Hopefully, we can go out there and express ourselves.”
Eve, who replaced Terry Fenwick as T&T coach last June, said, “I want to thank Courts for coming on board. We need corporate sponsorship and government sponsorship to get the team back up and running.”
About his squad, he pointed out, “The guys are very enthusiastic, they’re serious, they’re professional and you can only play who is in front of you. We’ll take the games one at a time.”
Watch T&T forward Ryan Telfer looks ahead to Friday's International Friendly vs Barbados
Watch Deportivo Saprissa defender Aubrey David spoke to the Press at training on Tuesday as T&T Senior Men prepare for Friday's Courts Caribbean Classic opener vs Barbados.