New Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team head coach Dennis Lawrence will begin his reign on home soil, after the TTFA announced a change in international sparring partners today.
And, instead of travelling to Paramaribo, the Soca Warriors will now host Barbados on Friday 10 March at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva. Tickets for the friendly match are priced at TT$50 (adults) and TT$20 (children).
The outing will mark Lawrence’s debut as a head coach at any competitive level and he will be joined by assistant coach Sol Campbell, who flies in from England on 9 March. Campbell, who has no coaching experience, is a former England and Arsenal stand-out. The pair will be flanked by Lawrence’s other assistant coaches, Stern John and Stuart Charles-Fevrier.
At present, the Warriors head coach has roughly 30 players in a non-residential training camp. His squad was beefed up with this week with the inclusions of National Under-20 Team goalkeeper Montel Joseph, defender Taryk Sampson and winger Kathon St Hillaire.
Barbados are deputising for Suriname who, according to the TTFA, pulled out of their initial promise to host Trinidad and Tobago on the same day.
Barbados are ranked 156th in the world by FIFA while Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname are 84th and 129th respectively.
The match will serve as a warm-up for the Warriors’ World Cup qualifiers against Panama (ranked 53rd) and Mexico (ranked 17th) on 24 and 28 March respectively.
Central FC midfielder Sean De Silva and W Connection defender Alvin Jones both told the TTFA Media that they have enjoyed the intensity of the sessions under Lawrence so far.
“So far the training sessions have been fantastic,” said De Silva. “The intensity has been really good every day and it’s been good getting to know some of the new faces around the team and working under Dennis. Everything we do right now has been geared towards the two upcoming games.
“Coach Dennis has made it clear that the only thing that should be on our minds right now is that Panama game and then Mexico to follow.”
(Trinidad and Tobago training 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), Montel Joseph (Boreham Wood FC—England);
Defenders: Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Julius James (Central FC), Carlyle Mitchell, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Daniel Cyrus (all unattached), Taryk Sampson (Ma Pau Stars), Jelani Peters, Jesus Perez, Triston Hodge, Alvin Jones (all W Connection);
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), Kathon St Hillaire, Jomoul Francois (both St Ann’s Rangers);
Forwards: Keron Cummings (Central FC), Jamille Boatswain, Hashim Arcia (both Defence Force), Akeem Roach (Club Sando), Jameel Perry (Police FC).