Angus Eve today announced his final 18-man squad to contest the Caribbean Football Union first round Olympic qualifiers in Dominica next week.
"Following several weeks of preparation at the Hasely Crawford Stadium training pitch, Eve finalized his team which includes midfielder Kevin Molino as the lone overseas-based professional player with fellow US-based Cameron Roget who trained with the U-17s back in 2007."
Molino, who played for the T&T senior team last year at the Digicel Caribbean Cup and is now attached to USL Pro team Orlando City will join the team in Dominica next week prior to their opening game against Grenada on July 19th. Belgium-based midfielder Khaleem Hyland is unavailable due to club commitments.
T&T faces Netherlands Antilles on July 21st and Dominica two days later. The group winner will advance to a second group phase, from which two will qualify for the eight-team CONCACAF finals next year in the United States towards the 2012 Olympics.
Several past National Under 20 players that went to the 2009 FIFA Under 20 World Cup are in Eve’s squad including midfielder Sean De Silva, Marcus Joseph, goalkeeper Andre Marchan, defender Aubrey David and national under 20 captain Sheldon Bateau. Chike Sullivan was a part of the Under 17 team that participated at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea.
Eve said he was satisfied with the team’s progress over six weeks of preparations since he took over from Zoran Vranes as head coach with Clint Marcelle and Derek King as his assistants and Norris Ferguson – manager.
“I’ve selected a squad comprising players who can play more than one position because of the fact that we are travelling with 18 players and we need to be mindful of possible injuries or suspensions. It’s a short tournament and one injury can change the balance of the team, “Eve told TTFF Media.
“Definitely I think the team has made good progress as I’ve seen their maturity and intensity of their play grown over the six weeks. The team structural play and camaraderie has improved and I’m fairly satisfied with our readiness.”
The former national captain said the fact that his players were in preseason-mode is also a plus. The team also played some warm-ups with some of their recent results including a 1-1 with Police FC on Thursday, while they also defeated Joe Public 2-0, T&TEC 3-0 and West Stars 4-1.
“We are in preseason in the local league. Unfortunately we couldn’t get a proposed tour to Venezuela or Panama but the Pro League teams have been very good to us in that we’ve played them over a period and we’ve done the best under our circumstances.”
Eve noted that his players have been urged to avoid all forms of complacency going into the tournament.
“We will not underestimate any team as a team is as good as you allow them to play. Right now we are not the kings of the Caribbean and I have been instilling this in the players.
We need to work hard and play hard to get back to the top. We have been complacent against the Caribbean teams in the recent past and it’s something we cannot afford to do,” Eve ended.
Andre Marchan, Zane Coker.
Sheldon Bateau, Kareem Moses, Aquil Selby, Aubrey David, Leslie Russell, Mekeil Williams.
Sean De Silva, Jayson Joseph, Marcus Joseph, Kevin Molino, Chike Sullivan, Jeromie Williams.
Trevin Caesar, Phillip Borde, Cameron Roget, Kaydion Gabriel.
Fixtures for Olympic Qualifiers
5:00pm - T&T vs Grenada - July 19th
5:00pm - T&T vs Curaçao - July 21st
7:00pm - T&T vs Dominica - July 23rd