Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 23 footballers will get to test themselves against Finland’s senior team when both teams face each other at the Dwight Yorke Stadium from 6pm on Wednesday.
The Angus Eve-coached team has commenced a training camp in the sister-isle and will be keen on suiting up against the Scandanavians who are coming off a hardfought 3-2 win over T&T’s Senior team on Sunday in Port of Spain.
Eve is expecting the Finns to finish strongly by going for a win but is more interested in the match up benefitting his team’s build up for the CONCACAF Olympic final round in March.
“This is all part of our build up for the final round of qualification. I think it’s an excellent opportunity to have our players match themselves against an organized Finnish outfit,” Eve told TTFF Media. “They have demonstrated that they are here on business and so too are we as this group of Under 23 players are very eager to work hard and achieve good results.”
The likes of Curtis Gonzales, Aquil Selby, Sean De Silva, Mekeil Williams, Leslie Russell, Jean Luc Rochford and goalscorer Kevin Molino all got the opportunity to face the Finns on Sunday and will be keen on trying to reverse a result in T&T’s favour. Tobago-born midfielder Jeromie Williams will also be hoping to put on a good show in front of his home fans.
De Silva in particular will be hoping to force his way into Eve’s starting line up after coming off the bench on Sunday.
“All the boys are really looking forward to this match. And for guys like myself who had the chance to play against Finland on Sunday, it means a world of good for us because as a player you always want to play for your national senior team and now that we’ve done that I think we’re very eager to do better on Wednesday,” he said.
“Overall as a team I think things will be in our favour because we’ve been together for a longer period than the senior team that was used on Sunday. We have a better understanding of each other, we know each other’s strengths and weak areas and generally we will be looking to capitalize on that in Wednesday’s game,” De Silva added.
North American-based players Stephen Berkeley, Bradley Welch, Michael Roopchansingh and former under 20 striker Qian Grosvenor have been added to the T&T squad for Wednesday’s encounter. Tickets are priced at $60 (anywhere) and will be available at the match venue on Wednesday.
Finland head coach Mixu Paatelainen mentioned that his team will be going out to produce another winning performance before heading over to Austria for another friendly international.
“Definitely we’ll be up for this game as well. We’ve noticed how athletic and strong the Trinidad players are and we expect that the Under 23 team will be hoping to do well on Wednesday. Our guys are ready to push on and put on another good showing and hopefully get another result that goes in our favour,” said the ex-Kilmarnock manager.
T&T U-23 squad
Adam’s Construction San Juan Jabloteh
Nuru Abdullah Mohammad
St Ann’s Rangers
DirecTV North East Stars
Sean De Silva