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Warriors’ therapist and coach get to Argentina two days late

Trinidad and Tobago national football team therapist Dave Isaac and goalkeeping coach Michael Maurice finally landed in Buenos Aires this morning; almost two days after the “Soca Warriors” arrived in Argentina.

Trinidad and Tobago was forced to hold two training sessions without the services of either employee as the Warriors prepare to meet Argentina in friendly battle on Wednesday night. The game will be beamed live from the Estadio Monumental at 6.30 pm (TT time) on GISL Channel Four.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart (centre) makes a point to midfielder Lester Peltier during a training session in Buenos Aires. The "Soca Warriors" were without physiotherapist Dave Isaac and goalkeeping coach Michael Maurice who were initially left behind at the Piarco Airport. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart (centre) makes a point to midfielder Lester Peltier during a training session in Buenos Aires.
The “Soca Warriors” were without physiotherapist Dave Isaac and goalkeeping coach Michael Maurice who were initially left behind at the Piarco Airport.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA Media)

Somehow, the Warriors, who left Trinidad with three team managers, Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee, the Siparia Rhythm Section and celebrity guests like former West Indies cricket legend Brian Lara on board, could not find room on the chartered Caribbean Airlines flight for their goalkeeper coach and physiotherapist.

TTFA general secretary Sheldon Phillips travelled to Argentina a day before everyone else and has been in Buenos Aires since Saturday.

Up until the time of publication, the TTFA had not provided an explanation for the mix-up, which head coach Stephen Hart described as “a bit of a setback.” Wired868 understands that Maurice, a former “Strike Squad” star, and Isaac only found out that they would not be travelling to Argentina this weekend as the team prepared for its Sunday morning exit.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams landed in Buenos Aires without the benefit of his goalkeeper coach Michael Maurice. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams landed in Buenos Aires without the benefit of his goalkeeper coach Michael Maurice.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA)

The change was allegedly engineered by Ministry of Tourism officials who opted to leave two members of the Trinidad and Tobago technical staff behind in Piarco; rather than force two members of its own entourage, which included the Siparia Rhythm Section, to catch a later flight.

Hart, via a press release, said he was relieved to finally have his entire staff together for the toughest international of his tenure so far.

“Obviously it’s a lot better having everyone here now,” Hart told the TTFA Media. “There was a bit of a setback with two of the staff members not being able to get on the flight. But that’s behind us now and we’re placing all our energies towards the game now.”

Hart admitted that there were some nerves from the younger players but said his team had settled in well and hoped to give the host team as tough a game as possible. Thus far, the temperature has wavered between 5 and 11 degrees Celsius although it is expected to climb to a moderately chilly 16 degrees Celsius by kick off.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Kenwyne Jones (left) drives a shot past teammate Kevan George (centre) during a training session in Buenos Aires. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Kenwyne Jones (left) drives a shot past teammate Kevan George (centre) during a training session in Buenos Aires.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA Media)

“We would have had two sessions here in Argentina going into the game and the players all appear to be settled in and ready,” said Hart. “There will always be some nerves especially among the younger ones and then it’s no secret that we are coming up against one of the top sides in the world in their own backyard.

“But these boys live for games like these… We do not expect anything but a strong encounter and we’ll give it our best to stay in the match for as long as possible.”
Argentina selected its final 23-man squad this morning with the major surprise being the exclusion of former Valencia midfielder Ever Banega. Banega, like Juventus forward Carlos Tevez and PSG playmaker Javier Pastore, will all have to watch the 2014 World Cup from home.

However, Argentina is anchored by arguably the greatest player of his generation, Barcelona star Lionel Messi, and is not short of attacking options with Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria all included along with midfield hardman Javier Mascherano and right back Pablo Zabaleta. Zabaleta and Mascherano both played in the Trinidad and Tobago 2001 FIFA World Youth Cup.

Photo: Argentina captain Lionel Messi (left) gets away from Bolivia defender Walter Flores during a 2014 World Cup qualifier at the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires.   (Copyright AFP 2014/Alejandro Pagni)
Photo: Argentina captain Lionel Messi (left) gets away from Bolivia defender Walter Flores during a 2014 World Cup qualifier at the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Alejandro Pagni)

(Teams)

Trinidad and Tobago: Jan-Michael Williams, Marvin Phillip; Justin Hoyte, Curtis Gonzales, Sheldon Bateau, Gavin Hoyte, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Carlyle Mitchell, Yohance Marshall; Khaleem Hyland, Ataullah Guerra, Andre Boucaud, Kevan George, Lester Peltier, Joevin Jones, Densill Theobald, Kevin Molino; Marcus Joseph, Rundell Winchester, Willis Plaza, Trevin Caesar, Kenwyne Jones.

Head coach: Stephen Hart

 

Argentina: Sergio Romero, Mariano Andujar, Agustin Orion; Pablo Zabaleta, Federico Fernandez, Ezequiel Garay, Marcos Rojo, Hugo Campagnaro, Martin Demichelis, Jose Basanta; Javier Mascherano, Fernando Gago, Lucas Biglia, Ricardo Alvarez, Augusto Fernandez, Angel Di Maria, Maxi Rodriguez, Enzo Perez; Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Agüero, Rodrigo Palacio, Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Head coach: Alejandro Sabella

AboutLasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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79 comments

  1. Typical 5th world behaviour!!!!

  2. I have no doubt the guys will make a fist of it….somehow we tend to make the best of confusion, so I’m looking fwd to heartening display.

  3. …an doh fuhget Si Paria All Stars Tassa Grp and de Shiv Shakti Dancers….Ranil Abbots going incognito as Midnight Robbah!

  4. My fervent hope is that we are not publicly humiliated. Forget the imps of discord who created this. We are still Trinis at the end of the day.

  5. I jus wondering now how Machel, Bunji, Bliss a JabJab and 2 Perrot Grenad diddn make de trip??

  6. The selfishness of those in administration is overwhelming.

  7. In troot…Tony from Si Paria – de riddem Sekshun mus geh tru!….Vernal! River Lime Govt in troot…..River Lime country!….Ah have one fuh yuh, ah will credit mih breddren Wendell Reaburn…’Govt by Vaps!’

  8. lol priorities certainly in order

  9. Common.. Is siparia rhythm section.. They need that
    . lol

  10. In America the soccer team has their own plane to travel anywhere in the world yes and even with security to. Them really good yes.

  11. Man, I will catalogue the things this team has been through in the last two years. It is amazing how we treat our true ambassadors.

  12. Typical Gov’t Kirk. They always know better than you what you need.
    Apparently the players need rhythm not a doctor.
    Jan gonna meet Messi, Aguero and Higuain in a few hours… And they decided not to send the goalkeeper coach?
    Someone has a dark sense of humor! Lol

  13. Lasana, my immediate reaction too! 😀

  14. Unless it was decided playing rock, paper, scissors, I can’t imagine how the rhythm section higher up the food chain than the technical staff..

  15. We should get Gerry H tuh buse up deh tail.

  16. Bear in mind the TTFA president went too; he didn’t give up his seat either.

  17. wait! the rhythm section reach and not the physio?! ha haaaaaa

  18. Fete matches require Physio’s and GK Coaches ? Huh…oh shocks, this is a national team…sorry

  19. They think the tourism delegation to a football game is more important than the people involved in the football game at all

  20. Embarrassing. Can’t believe they consciously left two members of coaching staff like that. I heard they didn’t even ask who may or may not be expendable.
    They just scratched off three names. But since molino travelled straight from states to Argentina, one coach got one and only two missed out.

  21. you cant tell me that they could have take off two members and send the physo and coach instead the match is on wednesday, its the same old thing over and over, also one team gone plus 3 managers

  22. Especially if you from Siparia! ENT?

  23. its that time of the year when we get the free plane ride and no one is going to give up his seat, you mad or what