March 04, 2024, 10:38:37 PM

Author Topic: Classy display gives Birchall confidence over Trinidad future  (Read 1629 times)

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Classy display gives Birchall confidence over Trinidad future
By Chris Harper (The Sentinel)

Port Vale winger Chris Birchall expects to keep his place in the Trinidad and Tobago side after starring in their World Cup win against Panama. Coventry's Stern John and defender Dennis Lawrence, of Wrexham, scored in the 2-0 victory in Port of Spain, but Birchall played a key role in the centre of midfield.

In a text message to his parents in Stafford, Birchall said: "We were class and I really played well again. The place has gone crazy."

A crowd of 15,000 roared T &T to victory and Birchall, the first white footballer to play in the side for 60 years, earned praise for his performance on the local radio phone in.

His father Phil, who listened to the broadcast via the internet, said: "Chris and Carlos Edwards, of Wrexham, controlled the game in midfield and it was nice to here people boosting them up instead of saying they were out of their depth. We are very proud of Chris."

Next stop for 21-year-old Birchall and the T &T squad is Mexico for another World Cup qualifier on Wednesday before they fly to London for a four-team tournament at Upton Park involving Ghana, Jamaica and Nigeria, whose squad could include Birchall's Vale team-mate George Abbey.

Phil Birchall said: "The Mexico game is the hardest in the group because they are very difficult to beat at home, but if Trinidad and Tobago can get some sort of result they will be on their way, with the finals in Germany in mind next year."

Birchall could be missing from Vale in pre-season as T &T will be involved in the Gold Cup tournament in Miami and also play USA in the World Cup on August 17.

The warriors of Trinidad and Tobago, as they are known, are grouped with Mexico, USA, Panama, Costa Rica and Guatemala and play their rivals home and away.

Birchall, who has had a meteoric rise from Vale sub early last season to the World Cup stage, has qualified through his mother, Jenny, who was born on the Caribbean island, but left in 1975.
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