Wednesday 19th April, 2006


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Bizarre times for Birchall

English-born midfielder Chris Birchall is still trying to come to terms with realising a World Cup dream in less than 12 months away.

When the 21-year-old Port Vale player joined the T&T squad last May, he was aware that the team was trying to get to a World Cup but never did he think back then that by November of the same year, he would be celebrating a World Cup qualification and subsequently being named in the squad which will travel to Germany in June.

“It still feels bizarre but I can’t wait,” Birchall told BBC Sport.

He also let the listeners and readers know that he has all the confidence in Leo Beenhakker and he is also keeping fingers crossed that none of his teammates will get injured before the big tournament.

“It’s a massive five weeks but the coach Leo Beenhakker knows what he’s doing as he has managed some of the top teams in the world and he will get us ready and in the right frame of mind.”

“We all get on well. I keep in contact with Ian Cox and Brent Sancho—they’re good pals who are doing well at the moment at Gillingham,” he said.

“Also, Stern John is scoring goals at Coventry, Kenwyne Jones has come on at Southampton and we’re all getting games.

“Touch wood, none of us will get injured before the end of the season. It was a relief for those of us who play in England when the squad was named, as it hasn’t really changed—he hasn’t brought in any new players, apart from Tony Rougier who used to play here at Vale.”

Glen ready to rip

Cornell Glen is beaming with confidence after scoring a double to lead LA Galaxy to a 3-2 win over Chivas USA in his first match for his new club on the weekend in the MLS.

A couple days before his debut performance which earned him MLS “Player of the Week” honours, Glen was also smiling over the news that he had been named in T&T’s World Cup squad.

“He has that something extra that you need in your team sometimes and he has shown his ability as a player,” Leo Beenhakker said as he referred to Glen’s extra speed.

Glen couldn’t even continue his rest when he got the news that Beenhakker had selected him.

“After hearing that kind of news, I don’t think I could have gone back to sleep,” Glen said. “It’s a really big boost for me and I’m hopefully going to be keeping my game up and getting the goals once the chances come by.”

He certainly took his chances well after being set up by American captain Landon Donovon on the weekend. “I made up for a couple misses earlier in the match but we kept playing well and thankfully I was able to convert the other chances. I hope we can keep this up and I am anxiously waiting the new set of games with the national team,” Glen added.

Sydney will take bargain on Yorke

A few days after Dwight Yorke’s agent Simon Bayliff confirmed that the national team captain would be returning to Sydney FC to complete his two-year contract after the World Cup, the club’s management has indicated that they would grab at the opportunity to make a profit by selling the former Manchester United star.

Sydney FC chief executive Tim Parker said that his club made crucial decisions such as keeping Yorke before last month’s A-League final but he couldn’t guarantee whether they would keep Yorke if in fact an offer came from another wealthy club.

“We’re playing a global game that has a global value on it,” Parker said.

“If Dwight was to star at the World Cup in a way that suddenly made him a very very valuable proposition for somebody else and another team was to come to us then we would have to review it. The economics say you would simply be daft from a business perspective not to look at a serious offer.”

Yorke has in fact spoken of his interest in returning to English football and time will tell where he ends up after leading the “Soca Warriors” on the world’s biggest football stage.

Coventry boss backs Stern to net on England

Coventry City manager Micky Adams is delighted with Stern John’s recent run of form as he netted twice in two matches as his club defeated Luton Town and Leicester City

“Stern wants to finish the season on a high for us and he’s keen on scoring goals and getting ready for the World Cup, “Adams said. “We wish him well. I don’t mind him scoring two against England providing we win 6-2,” Adams added.

John, who netted the equalizer against Leicester on Monday,is quite eager to carry his form onwards to the World Cup.

“I have worked my butt off over the last few weeks and to be fair, I think it’s the reason my performances have been good with the goals coming too. I know it’s going to be hard coming off the long season and then going straight into training for the World Cup but I want to ensure I’m feeling good and that my form is also in place for our matches starting off against Peru,” John said. Coventry are 11th on the Championship Division table.

Luton excuses Carlos for World Cup

Luton Town midfielder Carlos Edwards has been told by club management that he’s free to concentrate on his outing with this country for the 2006 World Cup.

It is understood that Luton manager Mike Newell has told Edwards that he won’t have to sweat it too much for the club as the season nears end.

However, Newell gave a different picture as he told the English Press that he wasn’t satisfied with Edwards’ showing in the 2-1 loss to Coventry City on Saturday. “I asked Carlos if he is thinking of the World Cup because, if he is, he might as well have the next three weeks off and get himself ready for it because he is no use to us like that,” Newell said.

T&T teammate Stern John added that the Luton fans didn’t like it when Edwards was taken off and booed the decision by Newell even though he made it look as though the fans were unhappy with Edwards.

While Edwards is eying his return home for the Peru match, he continues to attract interest from Norwich City in time for next season.

“It’s all good at the moment. The team has been selected and I think everyone is beginning to focus entirely on the World Cup because we are all excited over it. I don’t think it’s affecting our performances with the clubs though because obviously everyone wants to be on good shape as well,” Edwards said.

Luton is ninth on the Championship Division table.

2006 Republic Cup Youth Football Camp

Hyacenth: Work hard, play hard

“Work hard, play hard,” this was the advice given by facilitator Joel Hyacenth at the opening of the Republic Cup Youth Football Camp at Republic Bank Staff Sports Club, 8th Avenue Extension, Barataria yesterday.

Hyacenth, a director of the Skeene/Hyacenth Football Institute, referred to the camp and its 67 participants as the foundation of T&T football and complimented Republic Bank on its vision.

He asked the youngsters to be disciplined through the course of the five day programme as this was a key factor in the development of their potential and the fine tuning of their ability.

Lincoln Phillips, Technical Director, T&T Football Federation (T&TFF), had a few wise words for the coaches and campers.

“Now that we have gone to a World Cup, the expectations of coaches and players have changed,” he said.

A former national goalkeeper, Phillips, who spearheads the T&TFF’s Goal 2014 development programme, said “the T&TFF is committed to development of the national youth teams,” and highlighted the importance of such undertakings to the national game.

Phillips ended by commending Republic on the work that they are doing with the youth.

In his address Derwin Howell, Republic Bank General Manager, Commercial and Retail Banking, said; “I must applaud the youngsters here today.

“You have chosen to spend a chunk of your Easter vacation, improving your football skills - this shows dedication; commitment to excellence and above all, an unquenchable passion for football.”

“These traits are the very same ones that our Soca Warriors have in spades; and will no doubt display for the entire world come June 10”, he added.

He finished his address by urging the participants to make the most of the Camp and to enjoy themselves.

Before they began their first day at camp Catherine Ashby, Project Officer, Group Corporate Communications, left the young players with the words Chinese scholar Lao Tzu “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”

In its sixth year the camp has attracted 62 boys and five girls from all over T&T and as far as Palo Seco and comes to an end on Saturday.

Shaun Fuentes is the media officer for CFU/TTFF. [email protected]




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