Sat, Sep


# 8 - Cyd GrayGray says they will have a bit of Bahrain in them.

India’s National Men’s team will arrive at Piarco International at 8:20am on Thursday ahead of Sunday’s friendly international against this country at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

The members of the team led by star striker Sunil Chhetri will be met by Indian High Commissioner Shri Malay Mishra at the VIP Lounge, Piarco.

The Indians were scheduled to face Barbados on Wednesday night but the game was put off on request by Indian head coach Armando Colaco.

Indian team officials in Barbados refused to talk on the subject saying they were having important team meetings and federation sources said the coach felt the team was too tired and did not get enough practice to play the match on Wednesday.

There were also reports that they were not happy with the poor reception handed to the team upon their arrival in Barbados.

Meantime, former national defender Cyd Gray, who played professionally in India with Pune FC says the current squad should not underestimate India, likening their style of play to that of Bahrain which T&T defeated in a playoff to qualify for the 2006 World Cup finals.

The Tobago-born Gray played for three months with Pune in 2008 before a fracture forced him to return home.

“From what I saw and experienced in the League across there I can say that the players try to play good football. They will not be that physical and may be a bit similar to Bahrain,” Gray told TTFF Media on Wednesday.

“The League over there was pretty good. There is a lot of interest in football and of course they were keen on taking the game to a new level in India. I expect them to come here and try to give a good account of themselves,” added the ex-Joe Public player.

He also wished the current team which includes his former teammates Densill Theobald, Anthony Wolfe and Stern John, a good outcome on Sunday.

“I’ll say to them to continue doing what they are accustomed to. Which is to work hard, play and hard and stay focused. I wish them the best in the future.”

Caledonia AIA midfielder Densill Theobald has been named as captain for Sunday’s match by Otto Pfister.

“It’s a responsibility yes but I think all of us on the pitch have to possess leadership qualities,” Theobald said.

“I think if all of us can go about the game with that mindset then things will work in our favour. It’s the same thing for the World Cup qualifiers. We have a good mix of players involved now and we will be trying to mix all the right ingredients on the day.”

Theobald captained T&T at the 2007 Digicel Caribbean Cup and Concacaf Gold Cup

There continues to be a growing interest in football in India and it was reported earlier this month that India is set to jump on a lucrative football bandwagon.

That is the plan of the West Bengal division of the Indian Football Association, which aims to revolutionize domestic football by setting up a money-spinning league for the beautiful game.

The Premier League Soccer (PLS) is inspired by the hugely successful cricket Indian Premier League (IPL), whose Twenty20 tournament has turned Indian cricket into big business since its launch in 2008.

West Bengal’s IFA is setting up the PLS in partnership with India’s Celebrity Management Group and TV rights holders Mahua TV to launch the league in January 2012.

Licenses to set up the League’s initial six teams – or franchises – will be offered for sale this month to companies with a minimum net worth of Rs100m. Teams will be created in an IPL-style auction soon afterwards.

Each team will have a 25-player squad consisting of one “icon” player – the PLS has already spoken to Dutchman Edgar Davids and Japan’s Junichi Inamoto.