Home / Volley / Global Football / SOS for Levi! Williams wants AZ winger in U-20 squad but rules out Hudson, Quinn and Pappy

SOS for Levi! Williams wants AZ winger in U-20 squad but rules out Hudson, Quinn and Pappy

The Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Under-20 Team will head to Colombia on Saturday 21 January for a lengthy pre-tournament camp, as they prepare for the CONCACAF Under-20 Championships in Coast Rica next month.

And National Under-20 Team coach Brian Williams hopes to have Netherlands-based winger Levi Garcia in his line-up by the start of the CONCACAF tournament. Garcia, who has nine caps and two goals with the senior Soca Warriors team, plays professionally for AZ Alkmaar in the Eredivisie.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) leaves St Vincent and the Grenadines right back Akeem Williams in his wake during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 29 March 2016. Trinidad and Tobago won 6-0. (Courtesy: Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) leaves St Vincent and the Grenadines right back Akeem Williams in his wake during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 29 March 2016.
Trinidad and Tobago won 6-0.
(Courtesy: Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

“We are still in the process of trying to get Levi,” Williams told Wired868. “We spoke to him and he has showed his interest. We are just trying to finalise with the club [now to see if they will make him available.

“The TTFA has been in discussions with his club through the General Secretary [Justin Latapy-George]. We have until February 8 to declare the final squad for the tournament. So we are hoping to get some information on his availability by February 8.”

Garcia, who represented Trinidad and Tobago at the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, has been an infrequent player this season for AZ while his last league appearance came in November 2016 against Roda JC. However, AZ are not obligated to release the player for national youth duty.

Three players who are definitely out are W Connection attacker Isaiah Hudson and Shiva Boys Hindu College players Tyrel “Pappy” Emmanuel and Quinn Rodney, who were deemed ineligible for selection due to prior infractions.

Emmanuel and Rodney skipped an overseas training camp in Guyana last September for differing personal reasons, which were not accepted by the coach.

Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College maestro Tyrel "Pappy" Emmanuel (right) tries to shake off Presentation College (San Fernando) midfielder Terrell Williams during the South Zone Intercol final at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium on 18 November 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College maestro Tyrel “Pappy” Emmanuel (right) tries to shake off Presentation College (San Fernando) midfielder Terrell Williams during the South Zone Intercol final at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium on 18 November 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

And Hudson, who represented both the National Under-17s and Under-20s in CFU action last year, pulled out of the team in the midst of the CFU final round in Curaçao in October due to a supposed shoulder injury. But Williams subsequently insisted Hudson was not injured.

The former Strike Squad defender said the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) is currently dealing with the three aforementioned players.

“Tyrel Emmanuel and Quinn Rodney’s withdrawal matter is currently before the TTFA,” said Williams. “They were not eligible for selection so they were not selected for this trip. [Hudson’s] withdrawal matter is also being dealt with by the TTFA and as coach I didn’t select him because he has some other things dealing with.”

However, Williams is confident that the pending inclusions of overseas-based players like Andrew Rullow, Morgan Bruce and Noah Powder will sufficiently strengthen his squad, as they prepare to tackle El Salvador, Bermuda and hosts Costa Rica next month.

Trinidad and Tobago finished fourth at the 2016 CFU tournament behind Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda and Bermuda. Williams suggested that Hudson’s actions as well as complacency denied the young Warriors a shot at contesting the final.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 Team midfielder Isaiah Hudson (right) tries to hold off Bermuda captain Zuhri Burgess during 2017 World Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 September 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 Team midfielder Isaiah Hudson (right) tries to hold off Bermuda captain Zuhri Burgess during 2017 World Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 18 September 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

“After we qualified we kinda took our feet off the pedal and again the interference with Isaiah’s withdrawal affected the team,” said Williams. “That incident affected the team but our objective was to qualify. We are trying to ensure that those things don’t happen in the future.

“We are really looking at players who are ready to compete at the international level and who can bring that kinda vibe to the national team. We want players who are ready to represent Trinidad and Tobago.”

Williams declined the chance to name the 26 players supposedly in camp for the National Under-20 Team while, oddly, TTFA media officer Shaun Fuentes also said he did not receive the names and could not forward to the media.

The Under-20 coach did reveal that the overseas-based trio of Jared Dass, Taofik Lucas-Walker and goalkeeper Montell Joseph were members of his training squad while team skipper Jabari Mitchell rejoined his teammates on Saturday after going on trial in Mexico.

Central FC striker Nicholas Dillon is absent due to trials in Belgium but he remains a big part of Williams’ plans.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 forward Nicholas Dillon (left) tries to power past Guadeloupe defender Hanane Nebot (centre) while his teammate Loic Nuiro looks on during Caribbean Under-20 Cup qualifiers at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 15 June 2016. T&T won 1-0. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 forward Nicholas Dillon (left) tries to power past Guadeloupe defender Hanane Nebot (centre) while his teammate Loic Nuiro looks on during Caribbean Under-20 Cup qualifiers at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 15 June 2016.
T&T won 1-0.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Williams said the National Under-20 live-in camp was flexible and allowed players time to represent their Pro League clubs. However, it is uncertain whether they were also allowed to train with their respective clubs and, if so, how may days training they actually put in with the national team.

“We have allowed the players to play with their Pro League clubs as we think it can help them maintain their fitness,” said Williams. “Playing at that level, we think it will be valuable for them to get some experience and exposure at the highest level [in Trinidad and Tobago]. So we think generally it has helped them.”

Up next is a three week camp in Colombia where Williams hopes to get at least seven friendly matches. The coach hopes Dass and utility player Andrew Rullow are cleared by their respective United States colleges to travel to South America with the national side.

The Under-20s will then head to Costa Rica for their opening group game against Bermuda on 19 February.

The Bermudians beat Trinidad and Tobago in the CFU third place playoff last October but Williams and his staff have been working behind the scenes to right those wrongs.

Photo: St Ann's Rangers and Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team midfielder Josh Toussaint (left) executes a Cruyff turn during Pro League action against W Connection at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 17 January 2017. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: St Ann’s Rangers and Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team midfielder Josh Toussaint (left) executes a Cruyff turn during Pro League action against W Connection at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 17 January 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

“[I think] the whole general commitment from all our players needs to be better, [especially] the fitness and concentration,” said Williams. “We have about 26 days in Colombia and we will want to do some work on those aspects and the general game understanding and the right attitude to compete.

“We played against Bermuda in the CFU [tournament]. We have a pretty good idea after seeing some footage of Costa Rica and El Salvador. It will be a challenge but we are aware of how they play and the stuff they like to do.”

The top four teams in the CONCACAF tournament will qualify for the 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Korea.

About R.Walcott

R.Walcott
Roneil Walcott is a Journalism and Public Relations student at COSTAATT and a freelancer at Wired868. Walcott is an avid sports fan and former Harvard Cricket Clinic member and ex-St. Mary’s College cricket player.

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16 comments

  1. I hope is not a case repeating itself where this one indiscipline and that one we have ah problem with and the replacements is committed players of high standards and all that BS and when we start to get licks yuh hearing the staff and association telling the public the ones who they wanted and could have helped the team win didn’t want to play and all kind of ridiculous excuse. We fed up of the politics and the losing culture we want results from youth and senior teams we have been doing poorly at all levels lately and this has to stop.

  2. Why was Levi dropped by saintfiet? I don’t remember him being accused of drinking or going to parties.. I may be wrong but can someone clarify.. Cordell Cato as well

  3. ..LOL. I hear you. THAT is TTFA’s way of dealing with the issue..

  4. I just going with with what the coach said in the article

  5. ..They have dealt with it, I believe The players have been excluded

  6. These infractions happened a while now and the TTFA has not dealt with it yet.

  7. Got to like a coach that stands on principle and for discipline

  8. ..And Brian Williams is meh boy. I wish him all success..

  9. I love anything looking like good preparation. I wish them best of luck!!

  10. ..Good that they will have a three-week camp. Kudos to TTFA for that one. Whether it will see us through the qualifiers, who knows? The group we are in is, in principle, manageable. After that it becomes less navigable..