Jamaica host Soca Warriors for two friendlies, Eve: “These games are invaluable”

The Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team have confirmed two international friendlies away to Jamaica on 11 and 14 March, which should afford head coach Angus Eve a vital opportunity to assess his home-based players.

The fixtures will be played at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall and at the Kingston National Stadium.

Trinidad and Tobago attacker John-Paul Rochford (left) looks to glide past Saint Martin defender Alain Cordero during international friendly action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 29 January 2023.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

The Reggae Boyz will use the outings as a soft launch for their new two-year Adidas apparel deal, while it will be the home debut of their Iceland-born coach Heimir Halligrimsson.

Halligrimsson accepted the post in September 2022 and was in charge for a 3-0 friendly loss against Argentina in New York as well as a 1-1 draw away to Cameroon.

The impending visit of the Soca Warriors will give the former Iceland international coach the opportunity to show Jamaican supporters a first-hand look at their new team.

The Boyz are top of their group in the Concacaf Nations League A and have already booked their place for the 2023 Gold Cup. However, they need a win away to Mexico on 26 March to qualify for their first ever Nations League finals.

For the Warriors, Eve is seeking promotion from Nations League B and is gearing up for crucial matches away to The Bahamas on 24 March and against Nicaragua on 27 March at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet.

Reggae Boyz head coach Heimir Halligrimsson.
(via JFF)

Successive wins will secure a place for Trinidad and Tobago in the 2023-24 Nations League A as well as in the qualifying phase for the 2023 Gold Cup.

Trinidad and Tobago got its own senior calendar going last month with a 2-0 win over Saint Martin at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) also hosted Trinidad and Tobago’s National Under-17 Team for two friendlies earlier this month, which ended in back-to-back 1-0 defeats.

Both Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago were eliminated in the Round of 16 phase of the Concacaf Under-17 Championship.

Eve said the Jamaica Football Federation reached out the TTFA and he considered the clash as “a good opportunity to give our home-based players some much needed match practice leading into the Nations League matches later in March”.

Trinidad and Tobago flanker Reon Moore (centre) holds off the Bahamas defender Kenaiz Swain during CNL action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 6 June 2022.
Looking on is T&T head coach Angus Eve.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

“The rivalry between us and Jamaica has always been intense,” Eve told the TTFA Media. “I have been a part of a number of those matches and the magnitude of those games have been huge. I thought this would be ideal for our players—who as you know haven’t had sufficient match practice—to get this opportunity against a team such as Jamaica, which is ranked #54 in the world at the moment.

“We are 104 and we are just trying to come back and bring Trinidad and Tobago football to a position where we believe it should be. This is a good step for us because we don’t have competitions such as the Shell Caribbean Cup where we can give our players this level of exposure on consistent basis.

“These games are invaluable. We’ll have a young team similar to what we had against Saint Martin. We’ll use this opportunity to select the final group for the Nations League matches against Bahamas and Nicaragua.”

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