Wed, Jun

Williams, Phillip eager to cement T&T spots.

JOMAL WILLIAMS and Marvin Phillip are both eager to regain their spots for the national men’s football team ahead of the friendly international against the United Arab Emirates, on September 6, in Girona, Spain.

The 24-year-old Williams, who has 11 international caps, last played for T&T in the July 26 2017 fixture away to Ecuador.

And the 34-year-old Phillip’s last match for the national team was a 1-0 win away to Guadeloupe on March 23.

Both Williams and Phillip are among the 20-member team announced by coach Dennis Lawrence on Monday for the contest against the UAE.

Williams hopes that this time around, he can get an extended run on the national team.

“Of course. That’s what I’ve been working towards, to (cement) my spot on the national team, and give Dennis a hard time in selecting the team,” said the diminutive winger, moments after a media briefing at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on Monday.

Williams recently returned to W Connection after overseas stints with Murcielagos FC in Mexico and Zika in Azerbaijan.

“It’s always (good) for me to be home, knowing that I came from here,” said Williams. “It’s a great feeling to be back here, showing my experience that I’ve gained abroad.”

Asked how it felt playing club football abroad, Williams responded, “The experience was good. The level was a bit higher. I’m just thankful for the experience that I’ve gained thus far playing outside.

Williams has played a key role in Connection’s perfect start, after five matches, in the 2018 Pro League. And he noted that his form, including two goals, was key to his T&T recall.

“I’ll bring a lot to the team,” he said. “It’s helped me a lot with my selection, playing day-in day-out football.”

Phillip, the lone goalkeeper on the Central FC’s Pro League squad, is willing to battle with the incumbent Adrian Foncette for the role as first-choice keeper in Lawrence’s squad.

“It’s an honour to be called to a national team at any point in time, whether it’s a friendly or in a competition,” said the experienced Phillip. “Foncette and I have a good relationship so, when the training start, we’ll just work hard and put the coach under pressure to see who will be the starting goalkeeper.”

Considering his number of appearances, Phillip can call himself one of the ‘elder statesmen’ on the team. He acknowledged, “It’s a pleasure to be under the coach’s radar. It’s best for me to go there and put out the work, and to lend my experience to the team.”

As far as his club’s form is concerned, Phillip noted, “We started off the Pro League a bit up and down, after winning the (First Citizens) Cup. We just need to refocus on getting that drive, and being consistent in the Pro League.”