National Olympic team head coach Angus Eve has included four players with senior international experience in his final 20-man squad to contest the Caribbean Football Union final round of Olympic qualifiers in St Kitts/Nevis this coming week.
Following a training camp in Tobago over the past week, Eve announced his team which will be captained by defender Sheldon Bateau.
The four players who have already played for the T&T senior team include influential Orlando City midfielder Kevin Molino who is the team’s vice captain, W Connection defender Joevin Jones, striker Shahdon Winchester, midfielder Sean De Silva and Jamal Gay.
Other players who have been in the senior team training squad include Bateau, Micah Lewis, Mekeil Williams, Jerrel Britto and goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel who is attached to Antiguan club All Saints United.
Among other players included are Trevin Caesar, the Caledonia player who came off the bench to score the equalizing goal in the 1-1 draw with Ecuador at the recent Pan American Games in Guadalajara, hardworking midfielder Jayson Joseph, goalkeeper Andre Marchan, St Ann’s Rangers defender Kareem Moses, Leslie Russell and FC Santa Rosa’s Jean Luc Rochford, another one of the surviving members of the 2009 FIFA Under 20 World Cup squad.
The other members who have youth World Cup experience include Samuel, Williams, Bateau, Molino, De Silva, Marchan and Lewis.
Eve spoke on the composition of his squad, describing it as a well rounded unit.
“It’s a combination of some of the Under 20 players who didn’t qualify for the Pan American Games as well as some of the senior guys who have come through the ranks,” Eve told TTFF Media.
“We also have guys like Russell, Nuru Muhammad and Kareem Moses who have done well in the Pro League but haven’t had much experience on the international level. This gives us a well balanced team that is hungry for success and will go into this tournament eager to continue their promising run from the Pan American Games.”
The team also has Peak Performance coach Trevor James on its staff. James is a former Olympic 200 metres runner and a bronze medalist at the 1971 Pan American Games as well as a two- time All American Track & Field athlete at the University of Tennessee. He also possesses a degree in Family Economics and holds certificates in Advance Studies in Self-Image Psychology and Sports Psychology.
“This is all part of the preparation with the additional pressure on the team now. He was with the team for the first tournament we participated in and we’ve retained him for this tournament,” Eve added.
The team departs for St Kitts on Tuesday and will go into action on Thursday versus Cuba before facing the hosts on Saturday and Suriname two days later. The top two teams will advance to the final CONCACAF qualifying round in the United States in March, 2012 towards the London Olympics.
Andre Marchan (W Connection), Glenroy Samuel (All Saints United/ATG).
Joevin Jones (W Connection), Mekeil Williams (W Connection), Sheldon Bateau (capt) (San Juan Jabloteh), Leslie Russell (San Juan Jabloteh), Kareem Moses (St Ann’s Rangers), Aquil Selby (Caledonia AIA), Nuru Muhammad (Caledonia AIA).
Micah Lewis (Caledonia AIA), Jayson Joseph (W Connection), Jeromie Williams (North East Stars), Jean Luc Rochford (FC Santa Rosa), Sean De Silva (College of Charleston/USA), Kevin Molino (Orlando City/USA), Jomal Williams (W Connection).
Shahdon Winchester (W Connection), Jamal Gay (Caledonia AIA), Trevin Caesar (Caledonia AIA), Jerrel Britto (W Connection).
T&T vs Cuba - 6pm
T&T vs St Kitts - 8pm
T&T vs Suriname - 6pm