Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart kicked off the Senior Team’s latest training camp with a light shift on Sunday morning and followed it up with a complete session in the evening period at the Sawgrass Grand training facility in Fort Lauderdale.
The “Soca Warriors” will be based in Fort Lauderdale until Wednesday as they engage in preparations for their opening 2018 World Cup qualifier away to Guatemala on Friday. The home-based players along with Kazakhstan-based defender Aubrey David and US-based winger Trevin Caesar arrived from Port of Spain on Saturday evening for the camp at the facility which was also used ahead of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. T&T teams have also been based here in the past including the build up to the 2005 World Cup qualifier away to Guatemala and then in 2006 under Leo Beenhakker after the team had already qualified for the World Cup Finals in Germany.
.The other players already arriving in Fort Lauderdale include Chicago Fire duo Daneil Cyrus and Joevin Jones, San Jose Earthquakes forward Cordell Cato, Mexican-based defender Yohance Marshall and forward Jonathan Glenn. They joined goalkeepers Jan Michael Williams and Marvin Phillip, Keron Cummings, Willis Plaza and Neveal Hackshaw who flew in from Port of Spain along with members of the team staff.
Team captain Kenwyne Jones, who netted for Cardiff City in their 2-0 win over Reading on Saturday, is scheduled to arrive on Sunday along with some of other overseas-based players.
Cardiff boss Russell Slade, in his delight while commenting after the win, said he would prefer if Jones did not have to travel for the match.
“I’d rather Kenwyne Jones stay in Cardiff. I expect him to go away for ten days now but if I was to be selfish then I’d rather him stay,” Slade said.
“The fact that he’s so strong in the air means he is a real threat from any delivery coming in from the wide areas. As a centre back, you have got to be on your toes and be resolute if you’re going to keep him out.”
Also based at the Sawgrass Grand is the Panama team which is preparing for their opening World Cup qualifier against Jamaica in Kingston on Friday. The United States team is also in Miami for a training camp ahead of their opening clash with St Vincent/Grenadines in St Louis on Friday followed by their encounter with T&T in Port of Spain on November 17th.
Hart said was keen to get on with the preparations over the next few days.
“Of course it’s vitally important to regroup and get our focus going again ahead of the Guatemala match. We’ll use thee next couple of days to put things into perspective with regards to how we will play the match and just getting everyone into the correct frame of mind and ensuring that we are ready to go for the start of the campaign,” Hart told TTFA Media.
The T&T team is scheduled to arrive in Guatemala City on Wednesday afternoon. Team assistant manager Peter Rampersad will travel to Guatemala City on Monday to oversee all arrangements with the hotel, ground transportation and training facilities prior to the team’s arrival there. Kick off time on November 13th is 7:06 pm (9:06pm TT Time).
Issued by Shaun Fuentes in Fort Lauderdale, November 8th, 2015