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Head Coach Angus Eve during a training session in Montego Bay, Jamaica on March 10th 2023

Auvray calls for confidence against Reggae Boyz

The opportunity for French-born midfielder Kaile Auvray to wear the red, white and black of his mother's country, T&T, has finally come.

The 18-year-old, who has been on coach Angus Eve's radar for some time now, is expected to be in the line-up at 7 pm (T&T time) on Saturday at the Montego Bay Sports Complex when the teams clash in an international friendly match, designed to be used as preparation for the coming CONCACAF Nations League's final two rounds of matches.

Eve told the media the matches will be critical because the Jamaicans will be coming with a strong team.

"These two games will tell a lot because the Jamaicans have brought a very good team with a lot of foreign-based players in it. We have primarily a locally-based team with a sprinkling of about two senior guys who we haven't seen in a while, so we want to see them in the games to see if they can get in the squad for the Nations League matches later this month. So it will tell us a good bit about where our football is and if they can play against these players," Eve said.

From the matches, Eve, a former national midfielder, also said it will be an opportunity to return to the culture of football they played before.

"So we want to make the team very strong defensively because that's an area I think we lacked in a lot in the past. We always had flair, we always had attacking players but making the team a bit more resolute defensively and a bit more organised and allow the front players to be themselves," Eve explained.

“We want to see how the guys compete. It is well documented that we haven’t had a proper football league for a while. It is no excuse. So to see the guys implement and try to do the right things, the things that we have been teaching are most important,” Eve told The Jamaica Gleaner on Thursday.

The T&T programme is undergoing restructuring on and off the field with FIFA recently extending the term of the normalisation committee currently managing the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association until the end of the month. The committee was put in place three years ago to not only settle its outstanding financial issues but to ensure compliance with FIFA statutes and rules.

On the field, Eve is hoping that a renaissance can be triggered with his team, in how they play for them to be in a position to achieve long-term success.

“We have been trying to change the culture back to what we used to do a long time ago. We want to make the team very strong defensively. That is an area that we lacked in the past and we always had attacking flair,” Eve said.

Following a training session at the Jamaican Football Federation's Technical Centre at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus, Auvray said the key to a successful show will be exhibiting confidence in their game.

"The key for the Trinidad team will be confidence, going up against the big Jamaican team. We need to have confidence in what we do and how we play our football if we go out there and do what we can do, we will pose lots of problems," Auvray said.

It will be Auvray's first taste of the rivalry between the teams, which has existed for many years. Only recently, coach Eve indicated that most people, may think that the Jamaicans have already left us far behind, noting that they (the Jamaicans) will have the advantage in the two encounters because they have a functional local football league going and they will possibly be using a few foreign-based players.

Ironically for Eve's men, it is designed specifically for the locally-based players to get some much-needed match practice against international competition. The teams will square off in another friendly clash on Tuesday.

Auvray said: "It's a very, big opportunity for me. I am very happy to be here with the squad and to be able to live this experience and keep on growing as a player. And to represent Trinidad it's a lot of pride for me and my family.

"I describe myself as a player who likes to take risks, who brings the ball forward and always looking to make a difference, and first and foremost, help the team to victory. I am hoping to help the team to victory, to perform well for myself and to be able to show that Trinidad can play football."

The Soca Warriors are second in Group C of the CONCACAF Nations League on nine points while Nicaragua, who defeated T&T 2-0 in Managua back in June last year, is on top.

The two teams will clash on March 27 at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago, but before that, the Warriors will square off with the Bahamas on March 24 away.


Auvray, Williams eager for Reggae Boyz test
T&T Newsday Reports.

NEWCOMER Kaile Auvray and returning player Jomal Williams are excited to be with the T&T senior football team for two international friendly matches against Jamaica on Saturday and Tuesday.

The first match against Jamaica takes place at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall from 7 pm TT time and the second will be played at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Auvray, speaking to TT Football Association media on Thursday, said, “It is a very big opportunity for me. I am just happy to be here with the squad and to be able to live this experience and keep on growing as a player and obviously, to represent T&T is a lot of pride for me and my family.”

Auvray, 18, was born in France, but spent most of his life in the US. He has a Trinidadian mother and his father is from Guadeloupe.

Auvray said he was ready when he received the call from T&T head coach Angus Eve. “What I do, I stay ready for anything, so when opportunities arise I could seize it and take my chance. I don’t know if I thought this would have come so fast, but I was ready for it.”

Auvray played for St Martin in a friendly against T&T earlier this year. Despite a 2-0 defeat to TT, Auvray was a bright spark for St Martin, showing good individual skill, passing and a thunderous shot which rocked the T&T bar from distance in the second half.

Williams, who has been playing professionally in El Salvador for years, said, “It is a very special feeling to be back with the guys. I have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. As you say, it is almost three years I have not been here, so in this moment I am very thankful and very happy to join the group.”

Williams wants to inspire the inexperienced players. “Now that I am here I see that it is a very young group and I am willing to bring my experience that I have from El Salvador into this group. I want to be an example for some of the younger guys and hopefully I can play my best, do my best and help the team to win these two friendly games.”