01 Feb 2011
- Written by T&T Newsday
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In preparation for the forthcoming Under-17 World Cup qualifier against Jamaica next month, the Trinidad and Tobago Under-17 squad will face the national Under-20 team on Friday, at Marvin Lee Stadium, Tunapuna, and play Barbados in a friendly two days later.
TT’s Under-17’s will open their World Cup qualifying campaign against Jamaica on February 15 in Montego Bay, Jamaica and play Guatemala two days later. The top four teams from the competition moves on to the 2011 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Mexico.
TT coach Shawn Cooper, was confident in his squad’s ability, but insisted that the warm up matches were necessary for the squad to gain experience and prepare themselves for stiff competition at the World Cup.
Cooper said, “We know the style of the Jamaicans and Guatemala as well. Both teams will be going all out and we must be as best prepared as possible. We’ve structured our preparations in relation to these games and the warm up against Barbados will be a useful one for us, because they are one of the teams that can come out of the next group and end up meeting us later in the competition.”
The TT coach admitted that the qualifiers would be demanding as all participating countries are aiming to qualify.
“We know it’s going to be a tough contest to decide the four qualifying teams, but we’re not going to be intimidated by any of the teams, including the hosts Jamaica” Cooper added.
However, the Jamaican U-17’s have been performing impressively, after they drew 0-0 with the United States in a friendly at Jarrett Park, Jamaica, last Thursday.
Jamaica coach Wendell Downswell, acknowledged his defensive players but reiterated that there was developmental work to be done with the midfield and forwards.
Speaking after the match, Downswell explained, “I think overall it was good exercise for us. Defensively we played well..they did not get behind us too often. I’m still not pleased with the offensive thrust. We still have some players especially in the midfield, that did not give us the quality performance that we were expecting.”
The Jamaican coach was still optimistic since new players would be available for the second game and they would have the opportunity to prove themselves.
American coach Wilmer Cabrera, was satisfied with his team’s execution and made known that the player’s would decide their own future, depending on their performance.
Cabrera noted, “This is their first international, that is the best way to see how they can take this level of performance and possibility to see if they can play in the national team. It’s up to them, this is a test for them. Right now they’re putting themselves up.”