Wednesday 4th October, 2006

 

Now its T&T vs St Vincent in Saturday’s friendly

Nicaragua not coming

 
 
 
 
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Wim Rijsbergen

By Jovan Ravello

T&T senior footballers will play St Vincent and the Grenadines instead of Nicaragua on Saturday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.

The change was announced yesterday by the T&T Football Federation. No reason was given.

The Vincentians are on a high after last Friday’s 2-1 victory over Jamaica in the Digicel Cup first phase.They demolished St Lucia 8-1 earlier.

The team is coach by former T&T head coach Zoran Vranes and includes T&T Pro League professionals Kendall Velox and Wesley John.

The Vincentians lost a nailbiting match 2-1 to T&T in the 2006 World Cup qualifier at the same venue in November 2004.

T&TFF Special Advisor Jack Warner confirmed the change of opponent and stated that it was also acknowledged with understanding by the Nicaraguan football authorities. St Vincent is rated 129 in the World and 15th in Concacaf. Nicaragua ranks 165 and 23rd in the region in the official Fifa/Coca-Cola World Ranking for September.

Next Wednesday’s encounter against Panama remains as scheduled. Both matches start at 6.30.

T&T had its first training session yesterday at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar. The match will be the first for Wim Rijsbergen at home since taking charge of the Soca Warriors.

Speaking following the session from the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Port-of-Spain where the team is camped, Rijsbergen intimated that the mood is relaxed

Starworld Strikers custodian Marvin Phillps joins Jan Michael Williams as the team’s goalkeepers, as Clayton Ince is not available due to injury.

Ince’s Walsall teammate Hector Sam is also injured and it has been indicated that he will not be made available for national duty. CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh’s Trent Noel takes his place in the squad.

Swansea City defender Dennis Lawrence and Dundee United’s Colin Samuel joined the team yesterday, while T&T captain Dwight Yorke was expected to arrive from Sunderland last evening.

“We had all the players here,” Rijsbergen said “Of course it is just the first session and some of these guys had a long flight over, so many had to get used to the weather once more.

“It was nice to see them together again and it should be a good atmosphere to work in.”

“Of course, it’s nice for the people to see some of these guys after such a long time and we, in the team, are looking for a nice mixture for the two matches and for the future.

“We are still in the process of scouting with the Under-23’s, Under-20’s and Under-17’s and hopefully, after these two matches, we will go to the United States to continue our efforts.

“All this is with World Cup 2010 in mind and hopefully we will be good enough to qualify. But in-between there are a lot of things going on.”

Stadium ready

Meanwhile, the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, is ready for play, it was revealed yesterday. Manager Wilfred Stevens said that the stage used for Carifesta has been removed, and there was no damage to the surface.

Stevens said that the team had booked the venue for today’s training session scheduled for 5pm.

 

 

 

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