National senior men’s team head coach Stephen Hart has described the first few days of preparations ahead of the friendly international against Argentina as satisfying.
Hart welcomed European-based duo Khaleem Hyland and Lester Peltier into his training camp on Friday as both players took part in the evening session at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port-of-Spain, before the team returned for dinner at the Radisson Hotel. The squad then witnessed the Digicel Pro Bowl final later that evening.
Hart intends to lift the intensity next week as the June 4 friendly in Buenos Aires approaches.
“It’s been a pretty good week. We still don’t have the full squad because a couple of our players have club commitments but based on what I’ve seen, it has been good. I like the intensity and everyone looks focused but of course we still have work to do and every day is crucial in the lead up to these games,” said Hart.
Millwall’s Carlos Edwards, a veteran of the 2006 World Cup squad, arrived in Port-of-Spain on Friday night and was expected to train on Saturday. Orlando City midfielder Kevin Molino lined up for Orlando City in a 1-0 loss to Italian Serie A club AS Roma on Friday and will join the squad in Argentina, while the likes of Radanfah Abu Bakr, Carlyle Mitchell and Kevan George will join the camp this week.
“Carlos has been one of the longstanding servers to the national team and he has been consistent. He continues to play at a respectable level. He definitely has the experience,” Hart said.
Hart has been monitoring the preparations of the Argentina and Iran teams. Iran drew 0-0 with Belarus last week while Argentina has been in training in Ezeiza.
“We’ve been keeping tabs on them. Obviously these are teams preparing for a World Cup so their preparations will be on point. I expect both to be fully ready by the time these games come around because we are playing mere days before the World Cup begins.”
Hyland, one of T&T’s marquee players in Europe, is expected to sign with another club in Europe shortly. He too expects the matches to be challenging.
“I think the players are all looking forward to the games and will all be focusing and trying to work hard and prepare well. Playing against the likes of Argentina and Iran is massive in every aspect,” Hyland said.