A 19-man Trinidad and Tobago team comprising the majority of players who were part of the just concluded Digicel Caribbean Cup campaign leaves on Monday morning for Panama City to take on that country’s senior team in a friendly international on Wednesday.
The Wim Rijsbergen-coached team will not include Keeron Benito and recent debutant Makan Hislop who both had to report back to their respective US Colleges but the trip will allow young striker Kevon Carter his first chance on the road with the T&T Senior team. Carter scored a hattrick for T&T’s Olympic Team in a 4-3 loss to Costa Rica in a friendly back in October 2003 at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya.
Defence Force midfielder Christian Baptiste as well as Anthony Noreiga are also part of the traveling party. Those are the only changes to the squad which will also face Costa Rica on February 4.
“It’s the same team for these two games. Of course we have Carter back in the team and Noreiga and Christian Baptiste will make the trip. Both Makan and Benito had to go back to their schools. These two games is another chance for us to see how the team plays at that level. If you notice some of the boys will be playing again for the first time against these teams from Central America so it will be a good opportunity for them,” Rijsbergen told TTFF Media.
“We are still trying to find the best mix with the right players and positions. The Gold Cup is the next tournament for the team and we hope that by then we will have a good idea of what the best team will be for the tournament,” he added.
Joe Public topscorer during the Digicel Cup Gary Glasgow, promising former Joe Public defender Osei Telesford, striker Darryl Roberts, Kerwin Jemmot, Leslie Fitzpatrick and Jabloteh duo Nigel Daniel and Kerry Baptiste are all part of the team heading to Panama City.
Costa Rican head coach Hernan Medford named a 21-man squad for the match versus T&T using it as preparations for the upcoming UNCAF championship.
Meantime, while Stern John has been linked to a 250,000 pound move to Dwight Yorke’s Sunderland, he still also has similar rumours associated with a move to former club Birmingham City. But it seems he could well end up being the third T&T international at Sunderland alongside Yorke and Carlos Edwards.
And in related news, defender Atiba Charles called to say that his coach was not happy over reports in the T&T Press on Friday that he had made comments to the Sunday Life that the former W Connection player was struggling to adapt to the cold conditions at Glenavon.
“I spoke to the manager about it and he said it was nothing to that extent. It looks like the reporter may have said some more stuff,” Charles said on Friday, adding that he was expecting to make a move to Bohemians.
Meantime a report in the Belfast Telegraph on the weekend stated “The Trinidad & Tobago international who arrived in the Irish League straight from the World Cup finals in Germany is considering offers of full-time football from Hungary and the Republic of Ireland.
Agent Terry Fenwick - the former England and Queens Park Rangers defender now coaching in the West Indies - has briefed Glenavon boss Colin Malone.
Charles was left out of the Glenavon side for the game against Larne at Inver Park yesterday to complete a trial with Eircom League giants Bohemians.
Malone confirmed: "The offers came as a bit of a surprise, right out of the blue for it looked as if the lad would be staying with us at least until the end of the season.
"But we did promise him that if the chance of a full-time contract came along we would not stand in his way.
"He has been in Dublin training with Bohemians since Thursday so we'll just have to wait and see what if anything happens next. I cannot even begin to try and pronounce the name of the team in Hungary which has declared an interest. I'll leave all that to his agent. Any fee involved in a move will go to Charles' former club W Connections.”