Trinidad and Tobago attacking duo of Luke Singh and Nion Lammy are keeping their feet on the ground but has promised to put on a strong showing that they hope will be enough to take this country through to the CONCACAF Final round of qualification for the 2017 FIFA Under 17 World Cup in India.
T&T opens its Caribbean Football Union Final round account against Haiti on Friday from 7:30pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium and a win would be the ideal start for the Russell Latapy-coached team. But the T&T duo understands that they task will be anything but a stroll in the park.
“We know it will be a difficult tournament but coach Latapy has been doing a great job preparing us for the challenges we will face,” Singh told TTFA Media. Sporting a hairstyle similar to that of former Colombian midfielder Carlos Valderrama, Singh made his debut in the Canadian youth program at an identification camp in 2014. He plays for the Vaughan Azzurri Soccer Club in Canada.
“It’s a been a good experience playing with these boys. It’s a different atmosphere here and the players have all been helping me. Everyone’s giving tips and doing their part. I’ve been training with the team for a year but I didn’t get nervous about the final selection when coach Latapy came in. I just continued my game and having coach Latapy work with me has given a boost to my confidence,” Singh added.
Commenting on the matches coming up, Singh expects a rough opening match against a country that traditionally poses a strong challenge.
“The fans can expect a fast pace game and we will be coming out there to give it our best. I think Haiti will also come strongly because every team wants to win on the day but I think we are prepared for it.”
Meantime, Lammy, who scored for the U17s in their 2-1 win over the T&T Under 20s on Monday evening, is aiming to lead the scoring chart.
“I want to finish as the leading scorer. My aim is to make the starting team or at least come off the bench and get among the goals. No game is going to be easy but it is all played on the field on the day. Once we work hard and stay focused then I think we have a great chance of coming away victorious in all of our matches,” added Lammy who plays for Point Fortin Civic Centre and Presentation College, San Fernando.
T&T’s fellow Group A opponents Jamaica are also banking on a good start against Bermuda from 5pm on Friday.
“Our group is Bermuda, Haiti and Trinidad and we play them in that order… the most important thing for me is to prepare for the Bermuda game and get a positive result,” said Jamaica coach Andrew Edwards.
“On paper, Bermuda could be considered a minnow in football in the Caribbean, therefore it is expected that we should get three points from that game,” he added.
“As it relates to the other games, we will be doing thorough scouting of Haiti and Trinidad and prepare for them as we go forward in the tournament.
“The objective is to try and get the first game out of the way successfully and try to optimise the points in the remaining games to secure our place in the CONCACAF round and once we have done that, we take everything after that as a bonus,” Edwards said.
Tickets for the group phase games are priced at $30 (adults), $15 (children) and kids under age 5 are free. Tickets will be available at the game venue on matchdays (and not at Lotto locations as previously mentioned due to technical reasons).