Trinidad and Tobago’s Men under 20 Footballers will face off with Cuba in their opening match of the Caribbean Football Union Final Round of Under 20 World Cup qualification on October 22nd in Curacao.
T&T, the CFU defending champions, have been grouped with previous runners up Haiti, Cuba and St Lucia in Group B which will be contested at the Ergilio Hato.
Following their opening game with Cuba, T&T then faces St Lucia on October 24th and Haiti on October 26th.
Group A comprises of hosts Curacao, Bermuda, St Kitts/Nevis and Antigua/Barbuda.
The top two teams will advance to the semi finals as well as gain automatic passage to the CONCACAF Final round which will be played in Costa Rica in February. The semi-finals will be played on October 28th and the final and third place match will take place on October 30th. The top five teams from the CFU Final round will advance to the CONCACAF stage.
T&T, which topped its preliminary group last month, resumed training on Wednesday at the Ato Boldon Stadium and head coach Brian Williams will continue to conduct sessions leading into the Final Round.
Williams described the CFU Final round group as an “interesting” one but saw it as one which T&T can advance from.
“It’s an interesting group. We are not in the group with the hosts but you can see that there are three good teams in our group. Cuba has historically been good at this level, Haiti always come good and of course we know St Lucia are no push overs,” Williams told TTFA Media.
“We’ll take each game on its own merit with obviously our first goal being to come out of the group and get into the semi-finals.
“We know this level of our football is very important because after this it’s onto the senior team so we will be doing our best to ensure this team goes as far as possible in the competition and then onto the World Cup before making the transition to senior team football,” he added.
“We have resumed our preparations and I have opened the doors up again for players to have another shot of making the side and we are always looking to boost the team. Jabari Mitchell is off on a two-week trial with Boavista and the North American players are back with their teams but we expect them to rejoin us as we get closer to the first game and Morgan Bruce will also be back with us. Keston Julien is also expected to rejoin us from his trial in Holland while Levi Garcia has expressed interest in joining the team during the qualifiers but we will have to figure out how we will fit him in depending on the schedules,” Williams added.
US-based player Tevin Henry joined the team in training this week.
Willams, an ex- T&T defender, said he will meet with TTFA President David John-Williams and the TTFA technical committee to discuss plans for the upcoming preparations.
“We have had some good discussions already with the President who is very keen to see the team get a good build up before the next phase and I will be sitting with him and the technical director and other officials shortly to finalize plans and discuss our program for the team going forward and to also share some of my intentions for the team ahead of the Curacao leg. I am quite satisfied so far with the way things are looking and I am happy to hear that the TTFA will be trying their best to give the team the best preparation possible,” Williams added.