Trinidad and Tobago’s 22-man squad will depart for Buenos Aires on Sunday morning with all intentions of producing a spirited performance in next Wednesday’s Friendly International against South American giants Argentina at the Estadio Monumental.
Head Coach Stephen Hart conducted his last two sessions on home soil at the Larry Gomes Stadium on Saturday and will be hoping to see his squad members give everything in the highly anticipated encounter at the home venue for top Argentina club River Plate.
Team captain Kenwyne Jones says his teammates will not be bothered by who Argentina head coach Alejandro Sabella includes in his starting eleven for the 4:30pm kick off (3:30pm T&T Time).
“We are happy to be going to play the game and we are going to put our best foot forward. We’re focused and we intend to take that into the match. We’re not too bothered about who their coach is going to select in his starting team,” Jones told TTFA Media.
“We’ve been in camp since the 20th and preparation have been coming along quite well. We had a nice blow out in the final scrimmage and the team and everyone seems in pretty good condition as we head into Argentina.
“Of course it’s a big test to play Argentina. It’s no different to us going to play Guatemala or Honduras in Honduras. I think it’s going to be the same kind of atmosphere. Of course they are preparing for a World Cup and they have some of the world’s best players but we are going to go there to try and improve on the things we have done in the past and also work on some new stuff. For us it’s all about moving forward with our preparation for the next World Cup campaign,” the Cardiff City forward stated.
DirecTV W Connection midfielder Joevin Jones is also keen on taking the field against the two-time World Cup winners.
“I’ve been in some big games before but this has to be the biggest of my career. I’m just concentrating on my task. I’d like to play my part in trying to help the team give a strong showing. I’ll be thinking about everything that I have to do on matchday over the next few days,” Jones said.
Hart’s squad does not include Carlos Edwards who was excused due to personal matters. Hart made it clear that the Millwall player was not omitted as the original plan was to in fact carry a 23-man squad with Edwards included, even with Columbus Crew eventually deciding to allow Kevan George to join the T&T squad.
“I’m a bit disappointed because I had all intentions of traveling with the team. Unfortunately a matter came up which has forced me to sit out this one. I’m rooting for the boys and I’ll be definitely cheering them on from home on Wednesday,” said Edwards who after holding discussions with Hart over the decision to sit out the trip, still managed to be part of the training match on Thursday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Meantime, the team, along with the local supporters will now depart on a Caribbean Airlines charter at 9:30am on Sunday, instead of the previously scheduled 1:00am departure.
Match to be seen live in 92 Countries.
The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association wishes to advise the public that Wednesday’s Friendly International between this country and Argentina will be broadcasted live on local Government Information Services Limited Channel 4 from 3:30pm.
GISL have purchased the television rights for the match. Any other local network wishing to broadcast any type of live coverage of the match can contact Andy Johnson at GISL.
The match will also be shown live on international sports network BeIN Sports, Sport TV LIVE, SuperSport HD2 Africa, SuperSport 5 Africa, TV2 Sport Premium and Fox Sports among others.
The match will be broadcasted live in some 92 countries including Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Bahrain, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia, Botswana, Brazil, Burkino Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Congo DR, Croatia, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Libya, Lebanon, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Montenegro, Nigeria, Norway, Qatar, Paraguay, Peru, South Africa, Spain, USA, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Uruguay, Yemen and Zambia among others.
“This is something close to what we experienced during the 2006 World Cup in terms of where our country’s national flag will be seen and where the name Trinidad and Tobago will be announced for 90 plus minutes of football action,” TTFA President Raymond Tim Kee told TTFA Media on Saturday.
“That alone is a something very significant. My hopes are that we can produce a creditable showing regardless of the final result. I believe that it is not beyond us and I am taking the opportunity now to wish the entire squad the very best in Wednesday’s match. The World will be watching and Trinidad and Tobago will be centre stage,” he added.
The Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Sport and Sportt Company are supporters of the National Team for this match. The Ministry of Tourism will oversee all branding activities to promote Trinidad and Tobago during the team's stay in Buenos Aires and at the match at the Estadio Monumental.