A squad of forty players will resume training at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Monday as this country prepares for a second warm-up encounter on January 19, this time against Scottish Premier League club Dundee.
The Scottish club is scheduled to arrive here on Monday for a one- week stay during their winter-break which will include visits to local underprivileged homes and the game against the T&T President's eleven on January 19.
The game which has been made possible through Pro Sports Caribbean is scheduled for the Hasely Crawford Stadium at a time to be determined. As part of KFC's 30th anniversary, fans will be presented with tickets to the game through purchases at the various restaurants. There will be no admission fee for the match.
Another game is being arranged to be the first of a double header as well as an entertainment segment. With training resuming at 8:30 am on Monday, technical director Hannibal Najjar is also keen on the Dundee encounter as well as a couple other warm-ups which will be announced soon.
"We are working on reducing our numbers to something in the 20s where we can really concentrate our efforts on those who we believe will go through with us to the Gold Cup. We are looking forward to these matches. We are using these games as our preparations for the Gold Cup," Najjar told TTFF Media.
Defender Brent Sancho who in recent times has turned into one of the more reliable defenders in the T&T team, also growing in popularity among the fans, said that the players were in Najjar's corner.
"In terms of the game it wasn't a bad performance and I think we can only build from here. For a team who only just started training against a team that has been training right through, we didn't do too badly. Fatigue played a part in our downfall at the end but all in all I thought it was a creditable performance.
"Definitely he (Najjar) is a players coach. He's set certain things in place and the players are right behind him. He's put trust in his players and he will get the same thing in return from us. A lot of the players will fight for because of how he has instill this trust in us," said Sancho.
Responding to negative comments in the stands following Wednesday's match from some individuals, who have different links with local football, Sancho added "This is something that has been in Trinidad and Tobago's football for a number of years. We are accustomed with these detractors and there are always those people who will want their players to be on the team or play a certain position or even want their people to be in charge of the team, no one will ever be satisfied. One of the reasons we haven't been able to make it to a World Cup is that we can never seem to pool our resources together and work towards one goal. This is what we need to do because if we always have someone pulling us down here and another pulling another way then we will never be able to have that full push that we need to progress," said Sancho.
Meanwhile according to the Dundee website, the first of these matches for Dundee is on Friday the 17th when they play San Juan Jabloteh at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar. Local kickoff time is 6.00 pm. Then two days later they will meet a TnT President's XI at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella. That game kicks off at 4.00pm TT time.
In addition, the players will be attending an evening reception given by the British High Commissioner in Port Of Spain, where the party will be based and the following day there is a coaching clinic for local youngsters at the Hasely Crawford National Stadium. Then it’s back home and back to business on the last Saturday in January for the club.
Selwyn George, Marlon Sylvester, Anton Pierre, Jason Scotland.
Uz Taylor, Ashford Legerton.
Errol McFarlane, Jerrol Forbes, Josh Johnson, Kelvin Jack, Cornell Glenn, Cyd Gray, Aurtis Whitley, Brent Sancho, Ansil Elcock, Nigel Daniel, Travis Mulraine, Gary Glasgow, Kerry Noray, Trent Noel.
Nigel Pierre, Denzil Theobold, Andre Toussaint, Jeremy Delpino, Derek King, Keyeno Thomas, Hollis Brown.
Brian James, Arnold Dwarika, Reynold Carrington, Silvio Spann, Lyndon Andrews, Atiba Charles.
St Anthony's College.
Kenwyne Jones, Steve Sealy.
North East Stars.