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Fri, Sep

U-15s face Costa Rica in Concacaf opener.
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Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 15 Boys Team will begin their campaign at the CONCACAF Under 15 Championship against Costa Rica at 11am on Sunday at the IMG Academy in Florida.

T&T will begin their assault on Group B in the 39-nation development tournament with United States and Canada lined up as their other group phase opponents next week.

The team has been at IMG for a one-week training camp prior to their opening fixture and have played one game so far, managing a 1-1 draw with Tampa Bay United’s under 17 team last week.

This is the team’s first official tournament since coming together under head coach Russell Latapy in February. Their only previous overseas assignment was at the Cayman Airways International tournament in May which was won by Cuba.

Latapy expects the Costa Ricans to be handful but is not writing off a positive start from his young troops.

“We know it’s going to be three tough matches starting with the first one against Costa Rica. We are looking forward to the tournament. It is a learning process and we are really looking forward to this entire experience,” Latapy told TTFA Media.

“I am extremely happy for these matches because the faster these players can gain invaluable experience at  this level, it will be better for them in the long run and better for Trinidad and Tobago football on a whole. It’s a difficult group but in saying that,  what we can do is try to play the way we want to play which is with the football and work as hard as we can.

“As long as we play to our standard then I would be happy. It is a process. The players are starting to understand how we move the ball about, how we move the opponents about, the type of organisation we need in and out of possession and in dead ball situations. We are getting to a good point at this time,” Latapy added.

Left winger Jaiye Sheppard from Roxborough, said he was upbeat ahead of the tournament and not overawed by the  opposition.

“We have prepared well and we will be aiming to show this by playing a good game of football and putting out our best effort on the day for our country. It’s all about representing the red. white and black,” Sheppard said while tapping the left side of his chest.

“Coach Latapy has worked with us for months now and everyone understands their role and functions. It is a big opportunity for us and I’d like to thank everyone for the support so far. We will take the game on its own and try to play to the plan and hopefully we can do well and come away with a positive performance and result,” Sheppard added.