Trinidad and Tobago national football team coach Francisco Maturana expressed concern yesterday with the inactivity of "Soca Warriors" captain Dwight Yorke in the build-up to next month's 2010 World Cup qualifier away to El Salvador.
"(Yorke's lack of playing time at Sunderland) is a concern," said Maturana, "but I always live with a concern... Even without playing, I am confident that (the Europe-based players) are in better shape than the guys locally."
Maturana insisted that his verdict on the condition of the Pro League players held true even in the middle of their season.
Yesterday evening, the national team finished their final session at the Hasely Crawford Stadium before leaving for a camp in Argentina today.
Maturana claimed that ten members of the touring party, which includes assistant coach/player Russell Latapy, will be selected for the El Salvador qualifier. The other eight players will come from the European leagues.
The Colombian declined comment on Latapy's role within the team.
"Mr (Jack) Warner has already explained Russell's role within the team," said the two-time Colombia World Cup coach. "For me, he is a very important player."
One player who has already been ruled out is promising teenaged midfielder Khaleem Hyland, who is on trial in Belgium.
Maturana confirmed that Hyland, who has not played competitively since he left CLICO San Juan Jabloteh in 2007, will not be invited to join the squad next month.
Warriors looking to impress coach.
By: Kern De Freitas (T&T Express).
The competition is stiff for places in the senior Trinidad and Tobago football team ahead of the CONCACAF final round of 2010 World Cup qualifiers, beginning next month away to El Salvador.
Some new faces and more established names will be aiming to impress coach Francisco Maturana during the national squad's camp in Argentina--which begins today--for one of ten spots available to local-based players on the T&T team, with eight foreign-based players to join the final squad.
One such name is Errol McFarlane Jr, who showed good form for T&T at the Digicel Cup, even though the national team embarrassingly fell out of the competition in the group stages.
McFarlane said the trip to Argentina is a huge opportunity for players to show their worth after a poor showing in the regional tournament.
"I think coming off our recent disappointment with the Digicel (Cup), all the guys are eager to show the country that we have what it takes. I think we're gonna go out there, do our best, and try and stamp our authority back on the national team."
He also pointed out that veteran Russell Latapy's presence in the team is also a plus for the players.
"I think there is good vibes in the team. Russell is back and the guys are highly motivated with that. He adds a tremendous lot of intensity and togetherness in the team, so the guys are just geared up for the opposition, geared up for the challenge.
"...I think that we are much closer now that Russell's with us."
McFarlane also has personal motivation for performing well on the big stage, expressing his hopes to attract interest from international clubs.
CLICO San Juan Jabloteh striker Cornell Glen, recovering from a calf strain, is one of the players upbeat about the opportunity the trip to Argentina brings.
"It's an opportunity for the guys to impress the coach and try and get a spot on the team," Glen said. "We've been working hard for the last week and a half and we're only going out there to do our best and represent (T&T).
"Basically it's (the trip) to get fit, get up to international standard. We have a big game on February 11 (versus El Salvador) and we need to win. We need the three points to start the campaign off on a good note."