Sun, Jun

Trinidad and Tobago Head Coach Angus Eve shouts instructions during a training session on Sunday, May 12th 2024.

HEAD coach of the Trinidad and Tobago men's senior football team Angus Eve is keeping his fingers crossed that his players will remain fit ahead of the first Fifa World Cup qualifier against Grenada with players lining up for their clubs just days before the qualifier.

T&T will play Grenada at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo on June 5 at 7.30 pm. On June 8, T&T will then play The Bahamas away from home.

A 39-member provisional squad was named on Friday.

Speaking to the T&T Football Association media, Eve said, "These 39 (players) are the ones we think...can give us the best chance to start off on a positive head and try to win these two matches and start off with six points in the qualifiers, one game at a time."

Eve is hoping to start a camp between Saturday and June 3. He said it is difficult to start before as players will be unavailable because of club football.

The head coach is hoping none of his players get injured. Many of the foreign-based players are active, while many of the locally-based players will play in the First Citizens Cup Knockout final between AC Port of Spain and Defence Force on Wednesday at Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo at 8 pm.

Eve said, "Players' safety (is a concern) and all these kinds of things. It is terrible that the window starts on the 3rd (of June) and we have to play on the 5th, so players have to travel on the 3rd, most of the players. On the 1st and 2nd we still have players playing matches outside. We have the locally-based players playing in a final this coming week, a couple days before the game. We still have to look and see who will come through those games unscathed."

A few players have received first-time call-ups including Tyrese Spicer, Dantaye Gilbert and Steffen Yeates.

"Young Spicer has been doing tremendously well for Toronto FC," Eve said. He wanted Spicer and another upcoming player Wayne Fredericks II, who was not named on the squad, to play earlier this year. "We did try to get him and Fredericks for the two Jamaica friendlies (in early March)...but he (Spicer) had an injury at that point in time and also Fredericks had an injury in that time, so we never got them. It is a delight for us to actually have the opportunity to call him (Spicer) up. He has been doing very well for his club."

Speaking about Canadian-based Yeates, Eve said, "We have been behind Steffen Yeates since last October. There were some administrative issues...but we think we are very close (to sorting out his documents), so we wanted to put him in the training squad, so just in case that his documents come through he will be already in the squad. We have really been having good conversations with him."

Eve did not want to call up Netherlands-based Gilbert right away. "We have been following Dantaye...the tricky thing about these things is that when a young player goes to Europe you want him to settle in at his club first before you drag him out of his club. If he stays over there for three, four months and get in the system and get in the training that they have out there...if they could do that quality training in that high-intensity environment then he is going to be better for us when he comes back to the national team."

SOURCE: T&T Newsday