Experienced English-based midfielder Carlos Edwards believes that the current batch of players making up the Trinidad and Tobago squad will provide Otto Pfister with the necessary ingredients to turn his team into formidable opponents for the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.
That may sound easier said than done but the Ipswich Town midfielder, now a veteran with T&T, is looking ahead to Friday’s opener versus Bermuda at the Hasely Crawford Stadium and is promising a full hundred percent performance from the “Soca Warriors.”
“It’s always a privilege representing your country at any level especially for me as I haven’t played in a while for the national team,” Edwards said on his recall.
“I would think the players are all committed. Talking from my experience and looking at the few training sessions we’ve had and speaking to some of the local boys… you can see their enthusiasm to work on their game and progress towards a better future. They will try to understand his philosophy and what he (Pfister) wants to achieve with us,” Edwards told TTFF Media.
Some of the players Edwards referred to from the home-based contingent include Densill Theobald, Anthony Wolfe, Hayden Tinto, Seon Power, Andre Toussaint, Akini Adams, Andrei Pacheco, Hughtun Hector, Carlyle Mitchell, Stern John, Darryl Roberts, Juma Clarence, Akeem Adams and Marvin Phillip who have all been training under Pfister every week for the past four months.
The final two overseas-based players Keon Daniel and Andre Boucaud arrived on Tuesday and trained with the rest of the squad on Wednesday morning.
Edwards also took the opportunity to clear up a report published in Ipswich over comments he made about the past national team technical staff. The report stated that Edwards considered retiring from the national team and referred to ex-head coach Russell Latapy as a “local guy”.
“A lot of people have their own opinions on how they read things or put them out. I was referring to things behind the scenes but I was not pointing fingers anyone. I did not refer to the coach in that
context. It goes beyond the coach or the management staff. At the time because of that situation I thought about hanging up my boots and say I have had enough. But luckily I haven’t done that and I'm here to play again.
“I’m prepared to go to the distance. I’m fully committed and once I’m given the opportunity then I will go out and give my all for the country,” added the ex-Defence Force stand out.
The members of the 2006 World Cup squad have been invited as guests by the TTFF for Friday’s encounter and ex-defender Brent Sancho appreciated the gesture, saying “It’s a good and welcomed gesture and I’m looking forward to meeting up with some of the guys and also to watch our comrades both new and old kick off another World Cup campaign, hopefully another successful one for the country.”
Some of the former members currently in Trinidad include Jason Scotland, Cyd Gray, Aurtis Whitley, Evans Wise, Clayton Ince and Sancho.
Meantime the match itself has a lot of hype surrounding it being T&T’s first game for the campaign and the recent history between the two teams.
And Soca Warriors.net statistician Nigel Myers also provided some trivia around the match. The records show that Kenwyne Jones' first goal for T&T was against Bermuda; Darryl Roberts' last goal in a World Cup qualifier was against Bermuda;
Stern John's last goal was in a World Cup qualifier against Bermuda and the latter has also scored six times against Bermuda.
The Bermudans arrive at Piarco on Wednesday night. They played a 60-minute practice match on Tuesday against the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers on their practice field. Bermuda took the lead after about 25 minutes with a Reggie Lambe goal but they then conceded for a 1-1 scoreline in the 53rd.
The Bermuda FA stated “The Bermuda team standouts were Nahki Wells and Taurean Manders who did look sharp and made good decisions with and without the ball in possession.”
Tickets for Friday’s match will be available for purchase at All Sports Promotions, Circular Road, St James from 10-5pm on Wednesday and Thursday and at the match venue from 2pm on Friday.