English-based midfielder Andre Boucaud has never played for Trinidad and Tobago in a Caribbean tournament but intends to make up for loss time when he dons the national shirt in the semi-final phase of the regional tournament next week in Trinidad.
Boucaud was a member of the T&T team at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, has made appearances in World Cup qualification and also scored T&T’s third goal in the 3-1 win over Saudi Arabia in the OSN Cup last year.
The 29-year-old who started his career in the youth system at Queen’s Park Rangers, is anticipating a strong showing when T&T opens its account against Dominican Republic from 8:15pm on Wednesday at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
“For me it’s very important that we get off to the right start because these are the qualifiers for the Caribbean Cup finals and then the Gold Cup which are two tournaments we definitely want to be in,” he told TTFA Media.
“I’ve never played in this Caribbean Cup before but I’ve heard a lot about it and I know there is a lot of history in it with players like Dennis Lawrence, Dwight Yorke, Russell Latapy and Stern John having all played in it in the earlier years.
I know Kenwyne and Jan and these guys have also been there so I’d definitely like to get a couple games under my belt and hopefully we can go all the way this year,” added the former Luton Town man who is now with Dagenham and Redbridge.
Boucaud is expected to be part of Stephen Hart’s midfield set up and is keen to help push T&T through in these qualifying rounds.
“I’ve seen the team coach Hart has come up with and it’s a pretty decent selection. All these boys are very capable and I think it’s going to be interesting to see what happens when we come together on the pitch.
The Russia 2018 World Cup is coming closer and we’ve got to start focusing again and bringing everything together. I think these three matches will play a significant part in helping us put some of the puzzle together leading up to the tournaments later on like the Caribbean Cup finals and the Gold Cup.”
Dominican Republic are scheduled to arrive on Sunday. In nine outings with T&T, they have lost all nine and conceded 40 goals but their most recent outing as closely contested with Kevin Molino having to grab a winner coming off the bench in the 201 victory at the Antigua Recreation Ground in the 2012 Caribbean Cup Finals.
They lost a friendly away to El Salvador 2-0 in August and also lost 2-1 and 1-0 to Antigua and St Lucia respective in the previous Caribbean Cup round. Their biggest win of the qualifiers was a 10-0 whipping of Anguilla.
T&T were scheduled to train at the Larry Gomes Stadium last evening (Sunday) and will continue its sessions on Monday and Tuesday before Wednesday’s opener against Dominican Republic.