Trinidad and Tobago Men’s Senior Team head coach Stephen Hart has announced a 23-man squad for the upcoming Copa America Centenario qualifying match against Haiti scheduled for the Rommel Fernandez Stadium in Panama City on January 8th, 2016.
Central FC midfielder Ataullah Guerra has also earned a recall to the squad.
The rest of the team includes several players who have been part of the squad throughout 2015 including goalkeepers Jan Michael Williams and Marvin Phillip, midfielders Andre Boucaud, Keron Cummings, Khaleem Hyland, US-based quartet Joevin Jones, Cordell Cato, Kevan George and Trevin Caesar, forward Jonathan Glenn and Willis Plaza, defenders Radanfah Abu Bakr, Daneil Cyrus, Mekeil Williams, Yohance Marshall, Aubrey David and Justin Hoyte. Former national under 20 captain Neveal Hackshaw is also included.
Hart commented on the selection, also thanking the FA, led by President David John-Williams for its efforts in resolving the issue relating to outstanding match wages.
“We are grateful to the Association for resolving the team issues and now we will begin preparation for the Copa Qualification,” Hart told TTFA Media on Christmas Eve.
“The importance of the game speaks for itself, however, the importance of actually playing in the Copa America cannot be measured. The experience of playing in such a prestigious tournament, against the best teams in South America and the CONCACAF, is not something that can be taught. All aspects of a player’s and team’s footballing ability will tested for over 90 minutes,” Hart continued.
“The game against Haiti is simply a stepping stone. The staff and myself have strived for consistency and the player selection is an indication of this. The challenge now for the players selected, is to perform in camp and compete for their starting positions,” he concluded.
Goalkeeper Williams who has worn the T&T armband in the absence of Jones, said the T&T team will get down to the business of focusing on international football as they head into the training camp at the Metro Hotel in Couva with daily training sessions scheduled for the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella.
“Obviously the entire situation over the past couple weeks would have some kind of effect on the players but when you look at the composition of the squad and quality that’s there along with the mentality we’ve possessed over the past three years, we are definitely going to get ourselves back to focusing on football and we’ll be going there to win the game without question,” Williams told TTFA Media on Thursday.
He stressed on the importance of T&T qualifying for the Copa America Centenario next year in the United States where the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Colombia and other Concacaf opponents will be competing.
“It is extremely important for us to win the match against Haiti and qualify for the Copa. The will be an enormous achievement not just for the national team but for the country at large.
“Our performances have been very good this year and we will be looking to continue that momentum and take it right into the upcoming World Cup qualifiers in March and hopefully the Copa America in June.
“To be able to compete against the likes of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and these teams will be massive for us. But we know that Haiti is no push over. We lost to them in the Gold Cup two years ago and we will have to ensure we are physically and mentally ready for the match,” Williams added.
Trinidad and Tobago 23-man Squad for Copa Centenario Qualifier
Jan-Michael Williams (Central FC), Marvin Phillip (Morvant Caledonia United), Adrian Foncette (Police FC).
Daneil Cyrus (W Connection), Justin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge—England), Carlyle Mitchell (Seoul E-Land—South Korea), Radanfah Abu Bakr (HB Koge—Denmark), Yohance Marshall (Murcielagos FC—Mexico), Mekeil Williams (Antigua GFC—Guatemala), Aubrey David (Shakhter Karagandy—Kazakhstan).
Andre Boucaud (Dagenham & Redbridge—England), Khaleem Hyland (KV Westerlo—Belgium), Kevan George (Unattached), Neveal Hackshaw (North East Stars), Trevin Caesar (Austin Aztex—USA), Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes—USA), Lester Peltier (Slovan Bratislava—Slovakia), Joevin Jones (Chicago Fire—USA), Jomal Williams (W Connection), Keron Cummings (North East Stars), Ataullah Guerra (Central FC).
Willis Plaza (Central FC), Jonathan Glenn (Breioablik—Iceland).
Stephen Hart, Hutson Charles, Derek King, Michael Maurice (goalkeeper coach), David Muhammad (manager), Peter Rampersad (manager), Dr Terrence Babwah (doctor), Dave Isaac (therapist), Tobias Ottley (fitness trainer), Saron Joseph (trainer), Michael Williams (equipment manager), Shaun Fuentes (press officer).