A 20-man Trinidad and Tobago National Under 20 team will depart for Caracas Venezuela on Friday morning where they play a series of warm up matches as they continue preparations for the FIFA Under 20 World Championship in Egypt in September, 2009.
Head Coach Zoran Vranes will get the opportunity to have his team come up against the likes of the National Under 20 teams of Brazil, Costa Rica, Paraguay and the hosts in Puerto La Cruz. Egypt will also be taking part in the mini-tournament called the Puerto La Cruz International U-20 Hexagonal but they will not face T&T as both nations will face off in the opening match of the World Championship in Alexandria.
The tournament is being hosted by licensed FIFA Match and Player Agents – World Eleven who also assisted T&T in its build up the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany.
T&T’s Under 20s are slated to play a host of warm up internationals later on as well, with a training camp in England carded for the coming weeks as well as games against Tunisia, Malta and Australia set to come off.
T&T will go straight into action on Saturday against Costa Rica and will then face Brazil on Monday followed by matches against Paraguay on Wednesday and Venezuela on Sunday July 26
The schedule has Vranes excited.
“Well it’s a great chance for us to get some practice matches against very good opposition and this is what we need before we go to Egypt,” Vranes told TTFF Media.
“Every player hopes for games like these and as coach I am also very mindful of how important it is to get these type of games. It is a big boost to our preparations because we need to see at what level we are at. The last tour was a good one and ended well for us with the 2-2 draw with Nigeria so we showed that we can compete. Now we know these games will not be easy but we do our best to compete well and get the best out of the experience as we get ready for the tournament in Egypt,” Vranes added.
Defender Akeem Adams, who made a second half appearance for the T&T Senior Team against St Kitts/Nevis last weekend is in the squad along with striker Trent Lougheed who also traveled and train with Russell Latapy’s team. Back in the team too is striker Stephen Knox and Sheldon Bateau who did not make the last tour to Dubai, Nigeria and South Korea because of injury.
Robert Primus and goalie Jesse Fullerton have also been selected for the trip to Venezuela. Leston Paul, who goes off to University of South Florida in January is also in the mix along with Qian Grosvenor and Sean De Silva who are both also attached to the Joe Public Super League team.