Eve recalls Bateau for T&T friendlies against Guyana on 13 and 15 May

Veteran Belgium-based defender Sheldon Bateau appears set to make his first international appearance since the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup, as Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team head coach Angus Eve today confirmed two international friendlies against Guyana at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 13 and 15 May.

The international matches are part of both teams’ preparation for the Concacaf 2026 World Cup qualifying series. The game will kick off at 7pm with tickets priced at $75 (covered stands) and $50 (uncovered stands).

Trinidad and Tobago international defender Sheldon Bateau (left) tussles with Guatemala attacker Esteban Garcia during international friendly action in Subaru Park, Pennsylvania on 11 June 2023.
(Via TTFA Media)

“We see these games as very important cog in the wheel of our preparations going into the World Cup campaign for 2026,” Eve told TTFA Media. “It is an ongoing programme that we have started since I have come on board where we get some international games to get the locally-based players up to speed, see how they perform against international opposition.

“Guyana is also in the League A of the Nations League, so it’s not slouches we will be playing. It gives the local players a final opportunity to be seen outside of their league against international opposition so that we can pick the final squad.


“That is what these exercises are about.”

Eve said Bateau and fellow Europe-based defender Andre Raymond are both in the country at present and will be part of their squad. He also identified the likes of Josiah Trimmingham, Daniel David, Matthew Woo Ling, Ezekiel Kesar, Tyrese Bailey, Isaiah Lee and Josiah Wilson as local-based players who could feature.

TLH Rangers attacker Isaiah Lee (right) runs at the M’vt Caledonia defence during Pro League action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 21 January 2020.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ CA-Images/ Wired868

The friendly matches fall outside of the Fifa international match window, so clubs are not obliged to release players to be involved. It means both nations will lean primarily on local-based talent.

“We tried a couple players in the window against Jamaica and we will try to give an opportunity to some more players in these games,” said Eve. “[…] It’s very difficult as in most windows we have a competitive game, so these games are a good chance for them.”

Guyana head coach Jamaal Shabazz, a Trinidadian and former Soca Warriors head coach, has similar plans.

Trinidad and Tobago attacker John-Paul Rochford (right) glides past Guyana goalkeeper Akel Clarke in search of a goal during an exhibition match at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 29 March 2022.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

“These two matches are a great opportunity to look at our home-based players fresh out of playing in the KFC Elite League,” he said. “Trinidad and Tobago are formidable opponents and it will provide a stern test for the home-based players vying for a spot in the final squad for our Fifa World Cup qualifiers in June.

“The matches are a huge investment by both the GFF and TTFA because it helps to expose the home-based talent and widen the international team pool.”

The senior friendlies will be Trinidad and Tobago’s first international matches at home under the tenure of new Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president Kieron Edwards.

Eve said his relationship with Edwards is already off to a good start.

Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team head coach Angus Eve (left) has a word with his players during Concacaf Nations League A action against Curacao at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 7 September 2023.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

“I think the three meetings that we have had with the President have been very fruitful,” he said. “The President has been in the media saying how positive they were and we think they were also positive from our end. He and his new board [are] committed to helping us and the country to qualify for another World Cup and so far, we think it has been very positive.”

“[…] Everything that we are doing is geared up towards 2026, every player that we invite it’s an opportunity for them to stake a claim. We continue to go through the process to select the best team for Trinidad and Tobago.”

Shabazz promised that the Golden Jaguars will push the Soca Warriors.

Guyana defender Shemar Fraser (left) and Trinidad and Tobago right back Jesse Williams contest an aerial ball during an exhibition match at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 29 March 2022.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

“Whether it is football, cricket, hockey or rugby when Guyana plays Trinidad and Tobago we want to win,” he said. “So, it’s also going to be a title-fight.”

Trinidad and Tobago start their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign against Grenada on Wednesday 5 June at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, while Guyana begin their adventure away to Panama on 6 June at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez.

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