“Songshine was a kind of miracle. I was lucky enough to be part of making it happen.” — Gillian Moor
New T&T football coach Dennis Lawrence yesterday announced a squad of 27 players that will begin training on Monday, ahead of the two World Cup Qualifiers against Panama and Mexico next month at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.
They will be joined by the foreign internationals around March 19-20 when it gets closer to the first match Lawrence told the media at a press conference to announce the team and explain some of his selections at the office of the T&T Football Association (TTFA) at the Stadium. His selection sees the return of Central FC’s Keron Cummings, who has fully recovered from a bullet injury in 2015 and Hughtun Hector, the talented W Connection play-maker who lost his spot in the team under then coach, Stephen Hart.
San Juan Jabloteh striker Nathan Lewis was also credited with a place in the team for his standout performances in the T&T Pro League as well as lanky Police forward James Perry and St Ann’s Rangers’ Jamoul Francois. Lawrence pointed out that the squad chosen is what he will begin working with at the start, saying other players will have an opportunity when the need arises.
Lawrence explained that Cummings plays a position on the pitch that he has an interest in finding particular players for but said the player has shown that he understands the position.
“Obviously there are things in his game that I would like to work with him on to improve. He has the experience of being around international football before, so from that point of view I would like to work with and see if we can improve on some of the things that he is doing at the moment.”
Lawrence and his new staff, which comprises his assistants ex-England International Sol Campbell, Stern John, the former T&T striker, goalkeeper coach Ross Russell and W Connection coach Stuart Charles Fevrier, will attempt to revive the T&T campaign with the Soca Warriors now second from bottom on the six-team standings after losses to Costa Rica and Honduras in the Hex.
He said he is attempting to arrange two international friendly matches that will be geared specifically toward the local players, noting that once he has factual information on it, he will inform the media. Lawrence shared that he has the names of the two countries in mind but will first have to run it by the TTFA, to confirm they can get the matches first.
He admitted that inspite of the difficult task at hand, it is not an impossible one.
“I am trying to be detailed about the way I want to approach this. I am trying to ensure that I prepare the team as best as possible and as I said before as difficult as it might be, it is not impossible. So we are going to prepare as best as we can to make sure that come March 24, we can go out and deliver what we would like to have and it’s a successfull result,” Lawrence said.
GOALKEEPERS: Jan Michael Williams (Central FC), Marvin Phillips (Caledonia AIA), Glenroy Samuel (Ma Pau Stars), Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Andre Marchan (Defence Force)
DEFENDERS: Carlyle Mitchell (Unattached), Julius James (Central FC), Radanfah Abu Bakr (Unattached), Daneil Cyrus (Unattached), Jelani Peters (W Connection), Alvin Jones (W Connection), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Jesus Perez (W Connection), Tristan Hodge (W Connection)
MIDFIELDERS: Leston Paul (Central FC), Sean De Silva (Central FC), Jared London (Club Sando), Hughtun Hector (W Connection), Tyrone Charles (San Juan Jabloteh), Akeem Humphrey (Club Sando), Jamoul Francois (St Ann’s Rangers), Nathan Lewis (San Juan Jabloteh)
FORWARDS: Keron Cummings (Central FC), Hashim Arcia (Defence Force), Akeem Roach (Club Sando), James Perry (Police FC), Jamie Boatswain (Defence Force)