Trinidad and Tobago National Under-15 Team head coach Russell Latapy credited the Cayman Airways Invitational Under 15 Youth Cup for accelerating the development of his young squad, as the young Soca Warriors completed their mini-adventure on Sunday evening in the Grand Cayman.
The Trinidad and Tobago squad played four games in roughly a week with one win, two draws and a loss against club and international opposition.
The Warriors came from behind to hold Manchester City 2-2 in their opener before falling 3-1 to Houston Dynamo. Latapy’s boys managed another late recovery to hold DC United 1-1 before they signed off with an emphatic 6-0 win over the Cayman Islands.
“We [have] found a group of boys who were learning new things each day, finding ways to solve problems on the field,” Latapy told the TTFA Media, “becoming mentally ready for challenges and actually going into game situations and putting things into motion.”
Trinidad and Tobago stormed to a 3-0 lead within the first 10 minutes on Sunday, as Jean-Heim McFee scored twice while Micai Peters, Josiah Edwards and Ezekiel Kesar contributed one item apiece along with an own goal from the Cayman Islands.
“The manner in which the boys went about the game today, in spite of being eliminated from the tournament, was pleasing,” said Latapy, “and it is the kind of attitude and spirit we are continuously working on with them.
“We played four games in less than a week out here and to see that they were motivated to go out there and put out a commanding performance in order to achieve their first win in international football was good to see…
“I think with each game we saw improvements in different areas which is what playing football matches brings, allowing you to correct mistakes and also identify areas that need to be worked on—some more than others.”
Next step for the young Warriors is the 2017 CONCACAF Boys Under-15 Championship which will be staged at the IMG campus in Bradenton, Florida from 13-19 August 13-19. All 40 eligible CONCACAF Member Associations are expected to participate.
“We will return home and continue with our training programme and work towards getting ourselves ready as a team for the Concacaf championship in August,” said Latapy, “which is another assignment that everyone is really anticipating.”
Trinidad and Tobago National Under-15 Team:
Goalkeepers: Jaheim Wickham (St Anthony’s College), Kahlil Oliver (Malabar Secondary),
Defenders: Ephraim Brown (Pleasantville Secondary), Antonio Chee Ting (Trinity College East), Micai Peters (El Dorado West Secondary), Tristan Caesar (Pleasantville Secondary), N’Kosi Corbin (Belmont Boys Secondary), Daniel Lake (Mucurapo West Secondary), Luke Savery (St Mary’s College),
Midfielders: Jarique Williams (St Anthony’s College), Ezekiel Kesar (Naparima College), Jabari Lee (San Fernando East Secondary), Darian Bradshaw (Queen’s Royal College), Zachary Welch (Fatima College),
Attacking midfielders: Matthew De Souza (Trinity College East), Tyrese Pierre (Queen’s Royal College), Josiah Edwards (Brazil High School), Jaiye Sheppard (Scarborough Secondary),
Forwards: Jean-Heim Mc Fee (St James Secondary), Justin Araujo-Wilson (Fatima College).