Wednesday 18th January, 2006


Beenhakker gets down to work

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Leo Beenhakker, right, and Wim Rijsbergen react following T&T’s 1-0 win over Bahrain on November 16. Photo courtesy TTFF

Coach Leo Beenhakker yesterday met with members of his management team at the T&T/Germany 2006 Administration Centre, in Arouca, to discuss training camps and preparations for the February 28 friendly against Iceland in London.

The national coach and his assistant Wim Rijsbergen returned to the country on Monday and met with managers Bruce Aanensen and George Joseph as well as local assistant coach Anton Corneal.

Beenhakker will meet with home-based players tomorrow at the Hasely Crawford Stadium while the management team will meet with the home-based and US-based players who were part of the qualifying campaign to reveal further to them about their bonus payments.

Beenhakker was visiting the newly renovated Kantac Plaza offices where he will be based along with Aanensen, Joseph and other TT/Germany 2006 team staff, including chief operational officer Horace Reid.

Prior to their return, the Dutch duo was in the United Kingdom and Holland looking at some of this country’s overseas-based players in action as well as others eligible players. They also, along with international relations consultant Mike Berry visited training camp sites in England and Austria.

Meantime, West Ham United goalie Shaka Hislop and other members of the Senior Players Committee were delighted to hear of Beenhakker’s return as they look ahead to reassembling as a team for the first time since the victory over Bahrain. They are expected to gather in London next month for the friendly versus Iceland.

Hislop said it would be a special reunion.

“It definitely will be a special one because a lot of people are saying that it’s unfortunate that we won’t be home for Carnival but as seasoned professional footballers you get accustomed to that. But when we meet again it will be the first time since the match in Bahrain and I think everyone is really excited,” Hislop stated.

Hislop said it could prove to be a different kind of meeting because the players would be meeting as a World Cup team for the first time. “That’s a huge step and one to which I think we will all rise.”

He also shared his thoughts on the inclusion of Fulham goalie Anthony Warner, saying: “He’s a player who will come into the team and hopefully add value to it. It’s not something that we are going to be bitter about. At the end of the day the competition will just help to bring out the best in the other keepers like myself, Clayton (Ince) and Kelvin (Jack). I think he will be a decent addition to the set up.”

Aware that Beenhakker will begin working with the locally-based players and that players who were part of the campaign will receive their bonus payments, Hislop praised the bosses for ensuring things went smoothly.

“From the moment Mr Warner and the other officials came up to London to meet with us, we always knew that there would be something good coming out of it. The players like myself, Dwight and the others have always kept in touch and seeing that Warner and the others saw it important to come and meet with us meant a lot.

“We were happy that it was a speedy process which makes it a lot more easier for us to concentrate on the football now. As he rightly said, we are footballers and we have nothing to do with politics, so at the same time it would be easy on us if the government could also see it fit to work together with us like the Federation.

“We are pretty sure they will have good intentions but we also want to have less things taking away from our time to be used preparing for the World Cup,” Hislop said.





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