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Lawrence gives Soca Warriors Carnival off; Mitchell drafted into squad

The Soca Warriors were given Carnival Sunday to Tuesday off, as Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team coach Dennis Lawrence said it was important to understand local culture.

The National Senior Team began training last Monday in preparation for next month’s Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Panama and Mexico on 24 and 28 March respectively. The Warriors also play away to Suriname in a friendly international on 10 March.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Hashim Arcia (right) tries to sidestep a Surinamese tackle while teammate Akeem Roach (left) tries to make a run during 2017 Gold Cup playoff action at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 4 January 2017. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Hashim Arcia (right) tries to sidestep a Surinamese tackle while teammate Akeem Roach (left) tries to make a run during 2017 Gold Cup playoff action at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 4 January 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

However, Lawrence, a former World Cup 2006 defender, was pleased to give his charges three days off for the Carnival season.

“They are going to be back on Ash Wednesday,” Lawrence told the TTFA Media. “I understand as well that Carnival is part of our culture and I think it was necessary to allow the players some time with their family and Ash Wednesday we will be back on the training ground working hard again.”

The rookie national senior team coach did offer players the option of extra training over the Carnival period if they chose and, Wired868 understands, six Warriors took up the offer. The six were: Daneil Cyrus, Carlyle Mitchell, Nathan Lewis, Tyrone Charles, Leston Paul and Jomoul Francois.

Lawrence set up a special session to accommodate them.

The Warriors coach also added Central FC captain and midfielder Darren Mitchell to his initial 27-man squad last week. Versatile W Connection defender Alvin Jones is also back after a trial with MLS club Minnesota United.

The lanky former Everton FC and Wigan Athletic assistant coach said he was pleased with his players’ efforts so far.

Photo: Central FC captain Darren Mitchell (centre) tussles with San Juan Jabloteh players Nathan Lewis (right) and Akeem Benjamin during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 5 February 2017. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC captain Darren Mitchell (centre) tussles with San Juan Jabloteh players Nathan Lewis (right) and Akeem Benjamin during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 5 February 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

“The players have applied themselves in the right way,” said Lawrence. “I think this week was important for us getting together as a group for the players to understand the way myself and the staff wants to work. I think they have showed a fantastic attitude towards the work and hopefully it’s been beneficial towards the players with regards to fitness first and foremost.

“Technically we have to improve on things but in general the players have showed a good attitude. I am pleased with the progress but there’s still a long way to go.”

Lawrence, a former assistant coach at Everton FC, also introduced the Global Positioning System (GPS) system to the senior team programme for the first time.

Former Warriors head coach Stephen Hart previously pleaded unsuccessfully with former TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee and his successor and incumbent David John-Williams for the GPRS software, which is designed to analyse players’ physical condition in detail.

However, Lawrence was able to get the software, which was acquired on a two-month loan basis by John-Williams. The implementation of the GPRS is being overseen by Stephen Bradley, who is a member of Lawrence’s coaching staff.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (right) makes a ceremonial gesture to his new Men's National Senior Team head coach Dennis Lawrence at the TTFA headquarters on 30 January 2017. (Copyright Allan V Crane/TTFA)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams (right) makes a ceremonial gesture to his new Men’s National Senior Team head coach Dennis Lawrence at the TTFA headquarters on 30 January 2017.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/TTFA)

The players must wear a jacket with a tiny radio that transmits data of the player’s physical condition to the computer—operated by Bradley—during training sessions. This information is supposed to clarify everything from the player’s pulse rate, blood pressure, blood circulation, the condition of important bones in his body and his endurance capacity.

“I think it’s been fantastic,” said Lawrence. “We allowed the players to feel themselves into it. We did a full presentation on it and the players are fully clear on what the GPRS does and I am hoping to see a reaction to that.”

The GPRS should allow Lawrence to monitor any changes in his players’ physical condition over the Carnival.

“I think it is important to work in trust in any organisation,” said Lawrence. “I have given the players trust. They all understand and they know exactly what I expect of them over the next three days. We have worked hard over the past six days.”

(Trinidad and Tobago 28-man squad)

Goalkeepers: Jan-Michael Williams (Central FC), Marvin Phillip (Morvant Caledonia United), Glenroy Samuel (Ma Pau Stars), Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Andre Marchan (Defence Force);

Defenders: Carlyle Mitchell (Unattached), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Julius James (Central FC), Radanfah Abu Bakr (Unattached), Daniel Cyrus (Unattached), Jelani Peters, Jesus Perez, Triston Hodge, Alvin Jones (all W Connection);

Photo: Central FC midfielder Leston Paul (left) flies into a tackle against W Connection defender Daneil Cyrus during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 12 December 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC midfielder Leston Paul (left) flies into a tackle against W Connection defender Daneil Cyrus during Pro League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 12 December 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Midfielders: Leston Paul, Sean De Silva, Darren Mitchell (all Central FC), Akeem Humphrey, Jared London (both Club Sando), Hughtun Hector (W Connection), Tyrone Charles, Nathan Lewis (both San Juan Jabloteh), Jomoul Francois (St Ann’s Rangers);

Forwards: Keron Cummings (Central FC), Jamille Boatswain, Hashim Arcia (both Defence Force), Akeem Roach (Club Sando), Jameel Perry (Police FC).

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83 comments

  1. WCQ under the bus…. who cares? Enjoy your carnival seems to be the message… smh

  2. I hope that ain’t the team to play and we get back all the outside players ?

  3. This is call respect!!!! Dey have family to .this side will play there hearts out for him.watch and you all will see.remember i toll you all that!!!!!;well done sir!!!!!

  4. Congrats Darren Chucky Mitchell proud of u

  5. Nice of the coach to show some sensitivity and flexibility.

  6. So let me get this right, Messi, Ronaldo, Pogba, Ibrahimovic, Neymar and Suarez all make huge commitments for their clubs and countries but T&T culture is more important to National footballers…. hahahahaha

  7. When we cleaning house we ought to be mindful what we changing out and for what. Imagine we no wishing we had Mr Warner and Mr Tim Kee back.What a thing!The cloth is the same…different shades of grey

  8. It is inexcusable that Carnival is given off.. absolute hogwash. Maybe I’m a different breed but there is no this culture crap convinces me. Carnival? Give me a damn break..

  9. The advanced TTFA coaching equipment illegibly comes with GPS, Breathalyzer kit, handcuffs and a sniffer dog!

  10. Quite frankly we were and are miles behind in technology for the players in T&T. Technology for scouting reports, video editing, portals to send information directly to the players via iPads, or mobile phones. All this technology is being used around the world, and we are still drawing diagrams on paper. Nutrition, wellness, sports psychology, all are components missing as well. The GPS system alone doesn’t win football games, and in theory that may be true. But the cutting edge of technology is the way our young players learn today! And in the long term, knowing how to correctly put a periodization plan in place using GPS, wellness, sleep, nutrition, etc does become very important in winning games in the end.

    • Marginal gains. Every achiever understands this, no matter the industry.

    • Randy was thrown under the bus like hart.. and people wonder why players hesitate to play for our nation, with guys like the dictator in charge, 2 months gps tech means leaps and bounds to him lol

    • Interesting conversations about all of this. At any rate, I love your country and I love the players that played for me at T&T. I wish them all the best and I’ll always be here for them. They became my family. The fans and supporters were unbelievable to me, and I’ll always be appreciative of their support as well! I’ll be the biggest supporter in their quest to qualify for the WWC!

  11. It’s good technology but ultimately it doesn’t win football matches..

    • Is it referred to as GPRS or GPS Kelvin Jack?

    • It’s GPS..it tracks you during a game.. how many sprints you do, how far you run, the work load on your body etc. It can help in terms of organising specific fitness sessions. But hey.. in modern football everyone is supremely fit and I mean supremely fit. Even non league level guys are ridiculously fit. It still comes down to who can concentrate better, who defends better and who can score goals.. GPS may be able to guide the sports scientist in terms of which player may be fatigued.. try telling that to Zlatan or Messi or Cristiano or Neymar who want to play every single game.. it’s good but it’s not decisive in terms of a teams ability to win football matches..

    • It’s a means of recording the state of a team’s fitness…… its not created to win matches it’s simply a tool to assist with understanding where we’re at fitness wise and help us achieve optimum levels. Most top teams in the world use it….and our national team’s fitness level is poor so I can definitely see the benefit of it to us.

    • I wouldn’t say our National teams fitness is poor.. they’re all fit.. of course it can improve.. we are behind on mostly good plain old ability and tactical awareness..

  12. All d best bro ..now iz yuh time?

  13. Because the ttfa are here to sabotage and keep down our football, that’s the agenda, when you have house negroes and Indians running the football and cricket of our nation, they are there to keep down the sports …. TT being on top of concacaf can’t happen, Mexico was too much of a scare for them..

    Hart was sabotaged because he was on the verge of starting our wc campaign with two wins and qualifying the team, that had to be stopped, now it hangs in the balance with a FIFA paid coach under the auspices of the dictator

  14. I asked for this two years ago for the women’s team as we were trying to prepare for the WWC.

  15. Well Done Coach…..Who have Eyes to see will see Darren Chucky Mitchell…

  16. I was also goin to ask dat same question when Hart asked for it an it wasnt given

  17. This is nothing new, October fest for example the entire bayern munich team were allowed to enjoy the festivities during the season. Keeping professionalism in mind players are people too. Good man management.

  18. Ah boy, good to see the technology finally being implemented. I’ll play the devil’s advocate role and ask why Hart wasn’t able to have this equipment integrated into his program.

  19. u know how long Chucky suppose to be on that side…all the best

  20. All the other players should have also taken up the offer the same ,especially the goal keepers and just imagine not even 1 goalkeeper. Steeuuppss. Them really good yes.

  21. Dog yuh making it real far boy school mate Chucky

  22. Just told that Carlyle Mitchell, Daneil Cyrus, Nathan Lewis, Tyrone Charles, Leston Paul and Jomoul Francois took Dennis Lawrence up on his offer to get extra training over the Carnival period.
    Lawrence set up special sessions for them.

  23. So you going to give the players time off when the match begins too? .. this is why football goes nowhere .. training taken much too lightly

    • Just told that Carlyle Mitchell, Daneil Cyrus, Nathan Lewis, Tyrone Charles, Leston Paul and Jomoul Francois took Dennis Lawrence up on his offer to get extra training over the Carnival period.
      Lawrence set up special sessions for them.

  24. Still believe Rodell Elcock should’ve gotten a look into

  25. Nice to see Chucky finally in de mix. Hopefully he takes this chance to stake a claim for selection.

  26. Buh A A I also now realized that my police stricker Perry also got a call up on the national team………BOOM.

  27. I guess either his conscience really bothered him (Coach Dennis) or his right hand man Stern John really convinced him, but I am really happy for “Chucky” he really deserved his chance to prove himself on the national team……….BOOM.