Belgium-based defender Sheldon Bateau has earned his first call up to the Trinidad and Tobago senior team for the upcoming friendly international against Peru at the Ato Boldon Stadium from 8pm on February 6th.
Bateau will join the rest of the squad which assembles for training on Sunday. He joins the likes of Stoke City striker Kenwyne Jones, Ipswich Town midfielder Carlos Edwards, Racing Genk midfielder Khaleem Hyland and Thailand-based defender Seon Power among the invited overseas players for the encounter.
Iran-based defender Jlloyd Samuel is not available while DC United US-born player Nick De Leon has also indicated that he has opted to decline the invitation for the friendly as he continues to wait on a call up to the US National Team.
Bateau only a couple of weeks ago agreed to a new two-year deal with his Belgium Premier Division club KV Mechelen.
“It’s always an honour to play for your national team. I’ve not made by senior debut as yet but it’s something I’m looking forward to. Now I have secured my contract in Belgium so I can focus fully on my football,” Bateau told TTFF Media.
T&T co-head coach Hutson Charles is eagerly awaiting Wednesday’s contest against the South Americans.
“It’s a very important game for us even though it’s a friendly,” Charles told TTFF Media.
“This is the kind of match that will definitely serve us well in our preparations for the CONCACAF God Cup as you know Peru is a pretty decent outfit and they have some high quality players in the line up. This is going to be a good test for our boys. “
Charles guided a T&T squad comprising mainly of home-based players to the Final Round of the Caribbean Cup before he was joined on the coaching staff by co-head coach Jamaal Shabazz.
The former “Strike Squad” member is now anticipating the opportunity to work with a squad that includes the likes of Jones and Edwards and several of the players who took T&T to second spot at the Caribbean Cup Finals in Antigua/Barbuda last month.
“I’m looking forward to see how the players mesh with each other. We haven’t had Kenwyne or Carlos involved since the last World Cup campaign in 2011 and we had some difficulty in getting access to them last year but it’s important to have our best possible squad and so we have ensured that these players are available to us, particularly on the FIFA dates.
The inclusion of these guys will help us to achieve our goal of putting the best possible national team out there particularly for the Gold Cup in July. We need to get cracking with developing that chemistry,” Charles added.