Trinidad and Tobago’s National Senior Team under the guidance of head coach Russell Latapy will face Jamaica’s Senior National Team in a friendly international on August 11 in Port of Spain.
This game was firmed up following recent discussions between the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation and the Jamaican Federation.
Captain Horace Burrell had supported the idea last month, saying it would be a timely encounter, also using the occasion to “kick crime” as he made reference to the escalating crime situation in both countries.
Latapy is keen on the two encounters with a return leg scheduled for October 10 in Kingston.
“On paper, the final of the Digicel Caribbean Championship should be between Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica and this is an opportunity now for the both countries to have a look at each other at this stage of the preparations and I’m certain both teams will be for it,” Latapy told TTFF Media on Friday.
Meantime Burrell was also eager to witness the two former World Cup finalists in action.
“It would definitely be a wonderful opportunity for both countries to come together to engage in the fight against crime and what better way than through a football match which always brings a positive focus and take’s the shift away from crime,” Burrell told TTFF Media.
There will be a return match in Kingston on October 10 and both teams will use the encounters as a warm-up for the upcoming Digicel Caribbean Championships.
T&T team manager David Muhammad said the clashes with the “Reggae Boyz” would be welcome by Latapy’s team.
“We are definitely looking forward to the two games because at this point we need good friendlies in our preparation for the Digicel Caribbean Championship. We expect that Jamaica will present us with a strong challenge.
We last played against Chile prior to the World Cup and we expect that the team will continue its momentum from what was a positive showing against the South Americans but of course at this time, only matches against quality oppositions such as Jamaica will give us an idea as to where we are at in terms of our readiness for the regional tournament later this year,” Muhammad said.
The Seniors defeated T&T’s Under 23 team 3-0 in a training game on Tuesday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium through goals by Kevon Carter (3rd), Jason Marcano (12th) and Devon Jorsling (40th).
Over the past three weeks overseas pros such as Kenwyne Jones, Carlos Edwards, Cornell Glen, Darryl Roberts and Khaleem Hyland have also been part of the sessions but are all unlikely to be available for selection for the August 11 game due to club commitments.
Meantime Turkish-based forward Juma Clarence also lined up for the U23s on Tuesday.
The Jamaicans are likely to have in their squad, US-based professionals Shavor Thomas, Dane Richards, Ryan Johnson and Omar Cummings as well as Norway-based pros Eric Vernan, Demar Phillips and Rodolph Austin
Burrell told the observer: “Both countries intend to field their strongest available teams and as everyone knows, when both countries meet they engage in tough contests and these games will be no different in that regard."