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The "Soca Warriors" arrive here tonight promising "entertaining football" despite the absence of their head coach and a number of top overseas professionals.

Communications Officer for the Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation, Shaun Fuentes, yesterday scoffed at the idea that the twin-island republic would be showcasing a diluted outfit, describing several players as "capable professionals" either based at home or abroad at some point.

"We're quite confident about this squad. Bermudian fans can look forward to entertaining and exciting football even though we don't have many of the overseas pros with us.

"It's a good chance for the coaches to have a look at some of the guys who will be complemented by the overseas pros in the future," noted Fuentes.

Trinidad & Tobago's 16-member senior squad will engage in two friendly internationals against Bermuda next Tuesday and Thursday at 7.30 p.m. at the National Sports Centre. While the likes of top pros Dwight Yorke and Shaka Hislop could not get away from commitments for their Premiership clubs, one England-based player who will join his compatriots is Stern John.

The Birmingham City striker is due to fly in on Wednesday for the second match on Thursday. Jason Scotland, who represents Dundee United in Scotland, is also expected in for that game.

"These guys obviously are involved with their clubs heavily and the international calendar runs from the 12th to the 18th so it's impossible for them to come before the 12th and play the two games.

"Hence the reason why they as well as the other overseas pros we had originally hoped to have for the tour will not be joining the squad in Bermuda," said Fuentes, explaining why more of the country's elite players were unable to be here.

Among those who will be in action are former Major League Soccer (MLS) players Ancil Elcock and Travis Mulraine. The latter represented DC United while Elcock was a defender for for Columbus Crew in the USA.

Cornell Glenn, one of the top strikers in Trinidad & Tobago's pro league this season, has also been called up. He previously campaigned in Portugal and is scheduled to go on trial at Northampton Town in England soon. Veteran midifielder, Angus Eve, is also making a comeback.

"These upcoming matches are important ones because they are really our first games for the year and I think it is important that we take it seriously. The players going on this trip are all capable of putting on a good display and while it may not look like the full squad on show, it is also a chance for some of the guys to prove themselves.

"The Bermudians are also preparing for World Cup qualifiers and we cannot expect them to come easy at us. Hopefully, when the team settles down there, we can prepare well for the more important games we have coming up.

"I know the head coach will not be in Bermuda with us but I don't think this is going to keep us back from doing our job," said John in a press statement yesterday.

The squad will be accompanied by six staff comprising three coaches (one a specialist goal-keeper coach), a physiotherapist, manager and trainer.

New senior national coach Bertille St. Clair will be missing the tour after a recent health scare in England where he was taken to hospital after complaining of severe stomach pains.

"He is coming in late from London tonight (last night) and we leave early in the morning (today). He will resume duties with the team on our return from Bermuda.

"It's nothing too serious but he's still being very careful and he is going to take it easy for a couple of days," said Fuentes.

St. Clair's deputy, Ron La Forest, will be in charge in the interim and comes with strong credentials.

He has coached one of Trinidad & Tobago's champion clubs, CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh, and has been Technical Director of Joe Public, a club owned by FIFA Vice-President Austin (Jack) Warner.

A former national player, La Forest is no stranger to Bermuda, having coached the Trinidad & Tobago Under-17 team which competed in World Cup qualifiers here in 2002. Kevin Graham, Garvin McKenna, Jamal Hamid, Derek King, Marvin Phillips, Cornell Glenn, Travis Mulraine, Aurtis Whitley, Angus Eve, Trent Noel, Ansil Elock, Cyd Gray, Anton Pierre, Atiba Charles, Stokely Mason and Conrod Smith. Ron La Forest, Michael McComie, Michael Maurice (coaches); Zephyrinus Nicholas (physiotherapist); Ronald Franklin (equipment manager) and Peter Rampersad (team administrator).