Thu, Jul

theobald7.jpgEnglish-born midfielder Chris Birchall will have his first training session (Sunday) at the Larry Gomes Stadium since his recall to the national team last week for Wednesday’s friendly international against Panama at the Marvin Lee Stadium.
Birchall will join the squad while Miami FC defender Avery John is scheduled to arrive on Monday as Francisco Maturana looks ahead to another warm up leading up to the August 20 World Cup qualifier away to Cuba. Among some of the recalls the Colombian now has in his team is ex-captain Densill Theobald who appeared in the 2-0 win over Netherlands Antilles earlier this month.

Theobald took time out after Friday’s training session to give his feelings since returning to the team after being out since February. According to the former Falkirk midfielder, it’s not too late for the team to regain the camaraderie it had during the 2006 campaign.

“I think what is important is for us to get back that togetherness we had under Leo Beenhakker in 2006. What happened to the team during the final round was really responsible for our success and that was the way the players came together as a team and the coach at the time played a big part in that. Right now I believe we have a great chance to get that again. Time is still on our side because we are now entering the semi-final round and we are working towards getting some of the players involved again and regaining that team spirit. We need to win, lose or draw as a team ” Theobald told TTFF Media.

“So far I am still adjusting to Maturana’s philosophy as a coach and how he prepares his team. It would maybe take a few more sessions but I’m enjoying it. His method is good and I think he knows what the job requires to get us to the World Cup. Time will tell of course but so far it looks good.

Commenting on the additions of John and Birchall to the team, he said : “It’s a great chance for them to be back in the mix and to show that they have what it takes to make a contribution again. I’m sure they are very excited about the recall and I expect they will show that on the field. Personally I’ happy for any player who’s getting a chance to be involved and willing to give one hundred percent. As players while we also want to do well for ourselves and our families… we want to do well for the 1.3 million people and hopefully this is what the people will witness for the rest of the campaign.”

The Caledonia AIA man admitted though that he wants to see more in the attacking front.

“I would definitely like to see us put away the chances when they come. I think we should have had more in the bag against Netherlands Antilles and if we could convert the chances then it would make things better all round for the team’s play. When the tougher matches come around we definitely need to capitalize on the chances. I think the tour we have before going to Cuba will be important for us to bond more as a team. The more sessions we have together along with the couple matches will end up being a boost for the team,” Theobald added.

The Panama team arrives on Monday for Wednesday’s encounter. Following this match, T&T will journey to Port-Au-Prince to face Haiti on August 10 and then face El Salvador in Washington in another friendly on August 13 before journeying to Havana for its opening semi-final round fixture.