With teammate Keron Cummings maintaining a presence in their prayers and thoughts, Trinidad and Tobago’s Senior footballers kept pace with their preparations for the 2016 Copa America Centenario with a double session at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella on Tuesday.
Head Coach Stephen Hart and his staff have been keeping a close eye on proceedings and ensuring that the players keep their eye on the prize which is qualification for the historic Copa America Centenario.
Defender Yohance Marshall assured that the “Warriors” have not lost focus on the task at hand.
“We are building every day. The first day was used to get everyone back in order because some players have been off season. We have been taking up the intensity each day,” Marshall told TTFA Media.
“It’s been mixed emotions. We know the job at hand but we also have our brother Keron on our minds. We are going to work hard for him but we also know we have a hard task at hand. I am confident in the team because we have a couple players coming in and a couple players missing but we do have the cored of the squad together.”
Marshall who plays professionally in Mexico for Murcielagos FC, said the unity within the team will be key factor: “The vibes within the team will be the key. We spoke about it today. We have had that camaraderie all of this year and it is one of the key factors in our squad.”
One of the newcomers Marshall referred to is DirecTV W Connection’s Jomal Williams who is in the squad for just the second time under Stephen Hart after making his senior debut in an international friendly with Panama in March at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
Williams was joined by fellow Connection teammate Shahdon Winchester in training on Monday, coming in as a replacement for Cummings. Forward Rundell Winchester also joined training on Monday, in for Willis Plaza who sustained a dislocated shoulder earlier this month.
The 21-year-old Williams described his first couple days in camp as an insightful and exciting.
“It’s been something I’ve been working hard and waiting for, working hard in training with my squad and performing, hoping that coach (Hart) would see me and give me a call to the squad,” Williams said. “It wasn’t really surprising because I’ve been in good form in the league so it’s just a case of continuing to work hard now.”
The former National Under 23 and Under 20 player spoke about the first couple days of the camp, expressing his feelings ahead of the match versus Haiti.
“The sessions have been good for me. It’s a bit intensive. It’s a great feeling to be here and to be looked at by the coach. It’s something a player also wants in his career. Getting the right attitude is the key for any player. The game against Haiti is a major one for the country and for us as players individually. I am really looking forward to it,” Williams said.
The T&T team will continue preparations with a morning session at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium and then at 6pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Wednesday.
Haiti squad prepares at IMG in Tampa
Meantime, Haiti is also continuing its preparations at the IMG Academy in Tampa. Their preparations are being overseen by technical director Wilner Etienne prior to the arrival of newly appointed head coach Patrice Neveu.
The Haitians have a fairly strong squad available for the match with (Steward Ceus (Atlanta Silverbacks, Sébastien Thuriere (Charleston Battery, USA), Sony Norde (Mumbai FC, India), Jean Marc Alexandre (Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia), Wedson Anselme (Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi – Bangladesh) and Kervins Fils Belfort (Trabzon 1461, Turkey) all involved along with Judlin Avesca (Ind. Argentina), Max Hilaire (FC Cholet, France), Kevin Lafrance (FK Viktoria Zizkov/Rep. Czech), Frantz Bertin (Indian League ISL) and Jean Eudes Maurice (PSG/France).
Missing from their squad is Jeff Louis (Stade Malherbe Caen, France), Wild D. Guerrier (Wisla Krakow, Pologne) and Jean Sony Alcenat (Steaua Bucarest, Romania) who are all injured while Réginal Goreux (Stantard de Liège D1 Belge) has not been released by his club.