Wed, Mar

Trinidad and Tobago Men's Head Coach, Angus Eve

He has two qualifying games to prepare his team for in March but his home-based players are not playing football.

National coach Angus Eve is a man with a problem, and he wants more support.

Yesterday, Eve brought out a group of players at the Hasely Crawford Stadium for a training session as he prepares for CONCACAF Nations League B, Group C matches against the Bahamas away and Nicaragua at home in March. The group included Joevin Jones whose last season in Major League Soccer in the United States was hampered by injury.

Speaking with the media, Eve said with no competitive football taking place, “the guys here are a bit disadvantaged with the opportunities to make the team; so what we doing along with the TTFA Normalisation Committee, we carried a plan to them to get these guys fit enough and get a couple of matches in before February month-end, so that they can have an opportunity to address the selectors to be a part of the team come March.”

There has been no Pro League or Super League football in the country since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March, 2020. In November last year, the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee announced plans for a new national competition early in 2023, but to date, no formal announcement or details have been given to stakeholders.

Eve said he has been keeping in touch with the overseas-based players, monitoring their game time and, “just emphasising to them how important those two games are to Trinidad and Tobago’s football, and for the most part the guys are 100 per cent on board and very enthusiastic and just can’t wait to come back and represent the country.”

The national coach is hoping to line up friendly matches against Caribbean opposition ahead of the Bahamas and Nicaragua assignments.

“We got knocked out in the Caribbean phase of the World Cup, so we have to build from the bottom up. And you don’t want to be unfair to these guys by putting them against international teams where they have not been playing competitive football.

Eve admitted that for him, “there is no fluidity in the job. It’s a lot of stop-start.”

He revealed: “There is a lot of administrative things which I’m not going to get involved in that goes on off the field that affects all the stuff we trying to do on the field. Every week different things are happening, different letters are coming by...”

The coach pleaded for a more collective effort in local football.

“I wish that football people could really come together,” he said. “This is our country. If John is coaching the team, support John, support the effort because when we win, it’s not John wins, it’s Trinidad and Tobago wins. I would like to see that we really come together and work together and get football back to where we think it should be.”

Eve stressed that the lack of support was not coming from the Football Association. “I’m talking from the wider standpoint.” And chuckling, he gave an example.

“Just to get this pitch here (at the HC Stadium) was a feat with Carnival and stuff like that,” he said. “This is the culture we have. We tend to get on board when the team is doing well late down...”

And Eve parted to attend to his players with these words: “For these players to reach their true potential we need investors to come on board because people making money.

“If you look at the financial reports of all the major companies, they making money; so come on board and support something positive.”

SOURCE: T&T Express