Tue, Feb

Interim National Team captain Trent Noel said this country’s  players made their minds up to show that they could compete on the international stage despite being an all local-based team against El Salvador on Wednesday night.

Noel and his teammates pulled off a commendable showing, holding the hosts 0-0 at the Cuscatlan Stadium in San Salvador and gaining some ground on the Central Americans who had defeated T&T in the three previous outings between the two teams.

Only Andre Toussaint and Andrei Pacheco were the players of Wednesday’s team attached to overseas clubs  with four players – Devon Jorsling, Kern Cupid, Keston Williams and Jason Marcano making their senior international debuts. There were others like Keyeno Thomas, Kerry Baptiste, Conrad Smith, Clyde Leon, Seon Power and goalie Marvin Phillips who also came up good on the night.

According to Noel, there is a stigma attached to the home-based players and he feels Wednesday’s result was a step towards erasing feelings that the T&T-based professional weren’t up to standard.

“I think we did pretty good and we have moved a step towards showing we could compete. It wasn’t a winning result and we will not get carried away but I think the boys all showed a lot of heart to come away with the draw away from home and this will go a long way towards us reaching to the higher level,” Noel told TTFF Media.

“I told the guys we’re all local and everyone expects that when a local team represent Trinidad, it’s always a poor result… so I told them lets work hard for each other and surprise people which is what we got.”

“It was a short time to get ready but we know each other in the Pro League. When we came to El Salvador we didn’t get proper training facilities but we made the best of it.”

Noel of CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh noted though that the local-based pros still need to do extra to be able to match or overcome the rest of CONCACAF.

“As coach said we really need to some extra work. They (Central Americans) are more quick and nippy and we need to match them.

He is no stranger though to the possibility that regular, more established faces could return to boost the team which could mean increased competition for places.

“My dream right now is to be consistent on the national team from here until we qualify for the next World Cup,” Noel concluded.