Former national captain and midfield general David Nakhid has been included in a Trinidad and Tobago senior team 18-man squad to contest the upcoming Digicel Caribbean Cup Finals starting on Sunday.
Nakhid was among the players named by head coach Bertille St Clair on Thursday on the eve of the teams departure for Barbados. The Warriors will go after three spots available for the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup. A first prize in the Digicel Finals of US$100,000 is also at stake. The other teams in the group include Jamaica, Cuba and hosts Barbados. T&T kicks off against Jamaica from 6pm at the National Stadium on Sunday while Barbados takes on Cuba two hours later.
Also in the T&T squad for the tournament is Brazilian-born midfielder Jose Luis Seabra while Lyndon Andrews has been recalled following a lengthy absence from the team.
The overseas-based pros include American-based foursome Scott Sealy, Cornell Glen, Leslie Fitzpatrick and Marlon Rojas. Other prominent home-based pros in the team include Anton Pierre, Denzil Theobald, Angus Eve, Keyeno Thomas and Derek King while the two goalkeepers are Daurance Williams and Jan Michael Williams. Defender David Atiba Charles was originally carded to travel with the team but has had to withdraw himself as he travels this week to go on trials in England.
St Clair remained upbeat going into the tournament which will allow his team the chance to get in some more practice for the next 2006 World Cup qualifier against Guatemala on March 26.
Its going to be the first set of games for the team after the defeat to the United States and I believe it has come at a good time for us, St Clair told TTFF Media.
We are without several of our players who are based in the UK because we have not been able to access them because of their schedules, but this gives some of the other players a chance to demonstrate what they are capable of doing. Even Atiba now has to leave us but that is how the modern game is, St Clair added.
Team official Richard Braithwaite expressed anticipation ahead of the Finals, also commenting on Charles sudden call for overseas trials.
The issue of the local versus foreign based players is a dead one because if for example Atiba is successful on his trial, he now becomes a overseas pro and will face the same problems in being a full time member of the team. I dont think we should discard him because of that. Its a bit unfortunate but we are prepared to move on in Warrior like fashion.
"We were informed late this afternoon that Atiba Charles is leaving on Sunday for a trial with an English club so the coach has had to make a last minute adjustment to the squad. It is not an ideal time for us but it is in the interest of his professional career and we wish him well. If he succeeds it means that he will join the ranks of our recent overseas pros like Kenwyne Jones, Silvio Spann and Marlon Rojas. This clearly shows the futility of focusing exclusively on a locally-based squad players because in the morning they could all be based abroad. Football is one of the first truly globalized industries and the reality of the modern game is that many of your players could end up playing overseas. The challenge therefore is to pull together the best players as regularly as possible whether they are in England, the US or Trinidad and Tobago," Braithwaite said on Thursday as he and other members of staff tied up some last minute arrangements prior to the teams departure.
Daurance Williams (San Juan Jabloteh), Jan Michael Williams (W Connection).
Anton Pierre (Defence Force), Cyd Gray (San Juan Jabloteh), Derek King (Joe Public FC), Keyeno Thomas (San Juan Jabloteh), Marlon Rojas (Real Salt Lake).
Angus Eve (San Juan Jabloteh), David Nakhid, Denzil Theobald (Caledonia AIA Fire), Jose Seabra (W Connection), Kerry Baptiste (San Juan Jabloteh), Leslie Fitzpatrick (Atlanta Silverbacks), Lyndon Andrews (W Connection).
Cornell Glen (Dallas FC), Conrad Smith (Caledonia AIA Fire), Nigel Pierre (San Juan Jabloteh), Scott Sealy (Kansas City Wizards).