The Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team held their first training session under new interim head coach Angus Eve today at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, with 24 players invited from his 60-man Gold Cup provisional squad.
Central FC attacker Sean Bonval and Police FC midfielder Jabari Mitchell were the only players used under former head coach Terry Fenwick who were on the provisional squad but did not make the cut.
Attacker Marcus ‘Lobo’ Joseph, right back Alvin Jones and Defence Force central defender Curtis ‘Boyo’ Gonzales are still in the running for international recalls, though, after being excluded from the Warriors’ short-lived 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Foreign-based professionals Sheldon Bateau, Khaleem Hyland and Levi Garcia, who are all in Trinidad at present, are in their off-seasons and were afforded time to unwind with family and loved ones. They can still be added to the final Gold Cup team depending on their availability.
It is still uncertain whether the Canada-based duo of Akeem ‘Froggy’ Garcia and Justin Rampersad can take part in the Gold Cup playoffs, due to immigration issues. Midfielder Justin Sadoo, who recently joined the Defence Force, is definitely unavailable as he is undergoing army recruit training at present.
Apart from the players in active competition in North and Central America, teenagers Molik Khan and Nathaniel James are understood to be training with teams in the United States and could join the Warriors in Florida, if selected.
Attacker Gary Griffith III did not return to Trinidad with his teammates, following the Warriors’ 2-0 win over St Kitts and Nevis, and it is uncertain whether he is in the country or abroad at present. If he is still in the United States, he can theoretically join the Warriors there.
However, if he is already home, then he also did not make Eve’s latest cut.
The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) also confirmed Eve’s support staff with the former national stand-out appearing to get the coaches he requested. His former national teammates Reynold Carrington and Hutson ‘Barber’ Charles were confirmed this evening as his assistants while 2006 World Cup squad member Clayton Ince was named goalkeeper coach.
Adaryll John, Saron Joseph and Roger Ryan will serve as strength and conditioning coach, performance trainer/massage therapist, and physiotherapist respectively.
The managerial team remains virtually unchanged from under Fenwick with Adrian Romain (team manager), Basil Thompson (logistics manager), Dr Akash Dhanai (team doctor), Michael Williams (equipment manager), and Shaun Fuentes (press officer) still involved, along with national teams director Richard Piper.
Eve credited the ‘enthusiasm’ of his players and the intensity of their session today.
“I just loved being out there with them today because it invigorates me and I know Trinidad and Tobago has enough talent to do well,” Eve told the TTFA Media. “[…] It is a big honour for me to be here, having the opportunity to do this for my country.”
Eve said he was honoured to receive calls from former national stand-outs and coaches Everald ‘Gally’ Cummings, Anton Corneal, Bertille St Clair, Russell Latapy, and Michael Grayson. He is excited about the chance now to ‘bring back some pride’ to the country, after their early exit from Qatar 2022.
He also commended the fitness level of his local-based players.
“I am even pleasantly surprised with the level of fitness that some of them have, seeing that we haven’t been playing football for a while in the country,” said Eve.
Trinidad and Tobago face Montserrat on 2 July in the first of two potential Gold Cup playoff fixtures. They must win both matches to get to the group stage of the confederation’s showcase tournament.
(Eve’s current training squad)
Goalkeepers: Aaron Enill (Defence Force), Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Marvin Phillip (Unattached), Denzil Smith (W Connection);
Defenders: Alvin Jones (Unattached), Jesse Williams (Unattached), Radanfah Abu Bakr (Unattached), Keston George (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Darnell Hospedales (Point Fortin Civic), Justin Garcia (Defence Force), Ross Russell Jr (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers);
Midfielders: Hashim Arcia, Kevon Goddard, Aaron Lester (all Defence Force), Jamal Creighton (Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Judah Garcia (Unattached), Duane Muckette (Unattached), Michel Poon-Angeron (Unattached);
Attackers: Aikim Andrews, Isaiah Lee (both Terminix La Horquetta Rangers), Marcus Joseph (Unattached), Reon Moore (Defence Force), John-Paul Rochford (Unattached).
The players on Trinidad and Tobago’s provisional squad who were not involved today are:
Goalkeepers: Nicklas Frenderup (Ranheim Il—Denmark), Gregory Ranjitsingh (Philadelphia Union—USA),
Defenders: Leland Archer (Charleston Battery—USA), Sheldon Bateau (KV Mechelen—Belgium), Aubrey David (Deportivo Saprissa—Costa Rica), Shannon Gomez (Sacramento Republic FC—USA), Neveal Hackshaw (Indy Eleven—USA), Triston Hodge (Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC—USA), Keston Julien (FC Sheriff Tiraspol—Moldova), Jameel Neptune (Central FC), Jelani Peters (Pittsburgh Riverhounds—USA), Noah Powder (Real Salt Lake—USA), Mekeil Williams (Pittsburgh Riverhounds—USA),
Midfielders: Andre Fortune II (Memphis 901 FC—USA), Khaleem Hyland (Al Batin—Saudi Arabia), Molik Khan (Club Sando FC), Daniel Phillips (Watford FC—England), Andre Rampersad (HFX Wanderers FC—Canada), Justin Sadoo (Point Fortin Civic), Matthew Woo Ling (Miami United FC—USA);
Attackers: Che Benny (Central FC), Sean Bonval (Central FC), Jelani Felix (Defence Force), Attackers: Akeem Garcia (HFX Wanderers FC—Canada), Gary Griffith III (Unattached), Isaiah Hudson (W Connection), Nathaniel James (Unattached), Joevin Jones (InterMiami CF—USA), Shaqkeem Joseph (FC Maia Lidador—Portugal), Dylon King (Defence Force), Jabari Mitchell (Police FC), Kevin Molino (Columbus Crew—USA), Ryan Telfer (Atletico Ottawa—Canada), Adrian Welch (Defence Force), Jomal Williams (CD Luis Angel Firpo—El Salvador), Levi Garcia (AEK Athens FC—Greece).