Minnesota United FC midfielder Kevin Molino, and Levi Garcia, who plays for Eredivisie club AZ Alkmaar have expressed high hopes ahead of this country’s two international friendly matches against Grenada and Guyana on the 11th and 14th of this month at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
Both players at a training session at the Hasely Crawford Stadium yesterday said they were happy to be part of coach Dennis Lawrence’s team that will attempt to conquer Caribbean football once again before it focuses on the Concacaf and FIFA World Cup.
Apart from their confidence, the players were also anticipating the emergence of young players in the upcoming international friendlies. ‘It’s an opportunity for the young players” Molino said, but Garcia who has just returned to full fitness, said he just wants to be back in the country’s starting eleven, staring with the two coming matches.
Both were joined by Point Fortin Civic FC goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, among other seniors in the squad. “It is a good mood in the camp everyone is jolly and we just want to go out there, work hard and finish the year off on a high,” Phillip said.
The trio also alluded to the match ups being instrumental in the players’ continued growth. The country will usher in a new era of football this week as it looks to re-establishing its long-relinquished claim as the powerhouse of the Caribbean. Beyond that, T&T will look toward qualifying for the Digicel Caribbean Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Phillip’s recall is due to the unavailability of USA based Gregory Ranjitsingh who was originally selected for the encounters but is now excused due to his club’s qualification for the United Soccer League Cup Finals.
In congratulating Ranjitsingh, coach Dennis Lawrence said, “We had this discussion with Greg when he was selected for the friendlies regarding his team’s end of season expectations, so we were prepared to make adjustments. We are all professionals and I am not going to prevent a player from such an opportunity at this stage.”
Shahdon Winchester, the Murcielagos FC striker in Mexico will also be unavailable for the Grenada match due to his club’s crucial clash with Atlante on Saturday. Tickets for the matches went on sale yesterday at all NLCB outlets at $100.00 for covered stands and $50.00 for uncovered. Children under 12 years enter free. Football fans have also been given the option to see both matches with the purchase of one ticket.