Trinidad and Tobagos Under 17 footballers welcomed English-based goalkeeper Andre Charles on Friday ahead of Saturdays warm-up international against Barbados at the Larry Gomes Stadium from 3pm.
A second warm-up will be played between T&T and Barbados will be played at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Sunday from 3pm. This is in preparations for next month's CFU World Under 17 qualifiers to be played in Bermuda.
The 16-year-old Charles touched down at the Piarco International Airport in the evening moments after newly appointed coach Ron La Forest conducted his first session with the squad at the Dr Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence, Macoya. He has played in England fro the past eight years and was reportedly on trial with Chelsea over the past few weeks.He will sit out Saturdays game but will be in the squad for Sundays encounter. The 47-year-old La Forest took over from Dion La Foucade following the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federations announcements of new appointments a day earlier. Assisting La Forest is former national player Alvin Thomas and Michael McComie as goalkeeper coach. Rudy Roberts is serving as team administrator.
Running against time with back to back friendlies against the Bajans scheduled, La Forest got down to business and indicated that he was impressed with the capabilities shown by the youngsters in their first session under him, which included a training game.
I am very pleased with the appointment because its something that Ive always looked forward to. Being a past national player, I think I have something to give back to the game locally. Its a chance for me to share some knowledge with the younger ones and this is my very first time at the national level, said the former CL Financial Jabloteh and Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive coach. The call was not a shocking one for me because Im into the business and you expect things like this. Its like if you are going to school and expecting exams to come your way, added the current St Anthonys College coach.
I always like challenges and Im going into to these two games with full confidence and I like what I saw in this first session. Expect some magic from these guys, he added.
McComie also added Its an honour to get the opportunity to work wit the youth especially as Im still an active player. I have an idea as to how the players feel. In my view is that Ron La Forest along with Bertille St Clair are the two best coaches in local youth football. Its good to see that he (La Forest) has been hired. We have not had the ideal time frame but I dont think theres anything that coach La Forest cannot do, said the 30-year-old former national youth goalie.
T&T starting eleven for Saturdays game.
Thorne Holder - GK, Matthew Cupid, Shevon Abraham, Machel James, Kitwana Abosi, Kwesi Thomas, Josimar Belgrave, Jerron McKnight, Lemuel Lyons, Akil DeFreitas, Gorian Higley.
Rondell Paul (GK) Devon Drayton, Joel Williams, Jamal Warner, Stephan Granderson, Adisa Conell, Josimar John, Kern Robinson, Jack Weedon.