National Under-23 (Olympic Team) coach Angus Eve says he will call on overseas-based duo Khaleem Hyland and Kevin Molino for this country’s Caribbean Football Union Olympic Qualifiers next month in Dominica.
Hyland who plays for Belgium club Zulte Waregem and Molino of Orland City Lions in the USA were both coached by Eve during the early stages of their careers at Adams’ Construction San Juan Jabloteh.
The young Soca Warriors will come up against host Dominica, Netherlands Antilles and Grenada from July 20-24 in their Group B qualifiers with the winner advancing to the Concacaf Finals in USA next year towards the qualify for the London 2012 Olympics.
Eve, a former national team captain, took over the responsibility of coach from Zoran Vranes after serving as an assistant coach alongside Clint Marcelle for the past few months.
Now charged with the responsibility of getting the T&T Under-23 squad ready ready for the qualifiers, Eve said he’s welcoming the challenge with open arms as the team continues to train three days per week at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Training Field, Mucurapo.
In addition to Marcelle who played professional in Europe for more than a decade in Portugal and England, Eve has former national defender and Joe Public coach Derek King as his assistants.
With respect to his final squad, Eve said, “More or less we have an idea of what the squad will look like for the competition but we have a couple spaces still opened.
I want the guys to push themselves to the limit and as such we have players still competing against others for particular positions.
“I am also looking at the possibility of including two overseas-based players in Hyland and Molino because I’m taking nothing for granted in this first round.”
Grenada booted T&T out of the last Olympic qualifiers at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya and has also qualified ahead of the Soca Warriors for the ongoing Concacaf Gold Cup as well as defeated T&T in the 2008 Digicel Caribbean Cup.
With regards to Grenada Eve said, “We haven’t particularly dealt well with Grenada at the regional tournaments. They also knocked us out of the last Olympic qualifiers.
I have the experience of being a player both in Olympic and World Cup qualifiers and the most difficult games to play are in the qualifiers because it’s all about getting results in order to qualify.
You find that in the tournament itself, once you’ve qualified, all the teams make a greater attempt to play good, attractive football.
“Right now we have an excellent bunch of players in training and it’s a case of trying to get them to play with the right intensity.
We’ve been looking at how the other teams are playing, especially at the Gold Cup and you realize the difference with the Caribbean teams like Grenada and Guadeloupe compared to rest of Concacaf,” Eve added.
The former Joe Public and Chester City player said he felt privileged to be given the responsibility of preparing the Olympic team. “It’s a great honour being someone who has played for country for such a long time to now step into the coaching ranks.
It’s a massive opportunity for me, especially seeing the way the Federation has gone before with regards to giving foreign coaches the top positions with the national teams.
I feel honoured to lead my country into a qualification campaign for a tournament which we’ve never qualified for. It’s a great opportunity for me and for other local coaches to show our potential,” Eve ended.