Trinidad and Tobago’s National Beach Soccer team will journey to Bridgetown, Barbados on Thursday to contest the Barbados International Beach Soccer Showcase as part of their build up to the CONCACAF Beach Soccer World Cup qualifiers in the Bahamas later this month.
The team, under head coach Benny Astorga concluded an eight-day training camp at Turtle Beach, Tobago on Monday with assistance from some players from Barcelona FC’s Beach Soccer team including Spanish captain Ramiro Amarelle.
T&T will face Guyana in their opening game from 7pm on Friday and will then come up against Barbados on Saturday before closing against England’s Beach Soccer team on Sunday.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to get some warm-up matches in Barbados before we head off to Bahamas for the tournament,” Astorga told TTFA Media.
“We’ve had a wonderful training camp in Tobago over the past few days. It was very intense and the guys learnt a lot and are now looking forward to the matches ahead after finalising the 15-man squad,” he added.
Astorga said the experience of training with Amarelle and his Barcelona teammates was hugely beneficial to his players.
“It was great for our guys to be able to engage in such lengthy training sessions with those players from Europe. It showed them the level they need to be at in order to perform on a world level and with the best teams and players in the world. These guys showed us what it takes with the intensity and hard work .Where we are at right now is good for the Caribbean level but it needs to be better for us to compete on a higher level and we got a taste of that in this camp,”Astorga added.
The former USA National Beach Soccer team player said he was optimistic about T&T’s chances of advancing to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup which takes place in Bahamas from April 27th to May 7th.
“We have what it takes to beat the teams in the Concacaf championship. We will be carrying the fire that we had in the previous tournament into this one in the Bahamas. The experience now is greater than before. We have learned from our mistakes and we will focus on not allowing that to happen again in order to give us that edge which we need to get past the opponents this time around,” Astorga said.
From Barbados, the team will also visit Guadeloupe for another training camp before heading to Bahamas.
For the Concacaf championship, T&T are in Group C with the United States, Antigua and Barbuda and US Virgin Islands. T&T faces Antigua/Barbuda in its opening match on February 20th.
By virtue of hosting the tournament, the Bahamas has been given the top seed in Group A. The champion and the runner-up will join Bahamas as the three CONCACAF representatives in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2017 that will be held in Nassau from April 27 to May 7.
Tournament host Bahamas, who was seeded into Group A will face Jamaica, Belize and Guyana. In Group B, defending CONCACAF Beach Soccer champion Mexico was joined by Guatemala, Canada and Guadeloupe. El Salvador will be in Group D with Costa Rica, Panama and Turks & Caicos Islands.
The Malcolm Beach Soccer Facility will host all group, quarter-final, semifinal, third place and final matches.
T&T 15-man squad for Barbados, Guadeloupe and Bahamas.
Zane Coker, Victor Thomas
Ryan Augustine (c), Shallun Bobb, Lemuel Lyons, Jesse Bailey
Chad Appoo, Hakeem King, Shane Hospedales, Kerwin Stafford, Kelvon Charles
Kevon Woodley, David McDougall, Makan Hislop, Jared Bennett
CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship Bahamas 2017 Groups
Trinidad & Tobago
Antigua & Barbuda
US Virgin Islands
Turks & Caicos Islands
CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship Bahamas 2017 Schedule
*Kick Off times TBC
Monday, February 20, 2017
Guatemala v Canada
Mexico v Guadeloupe
Trinidad & Tobago v Antigua & Barbuda
United States v US Virgin Islands
Jamaica v Belize
Bahamas v Guyana
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Costa Rica v Panama
El Salvador v Turks & Caicos Islands
Guadeloupe v Guatemala
Canada v Mexico
Guyana v Jamaica
Belize v Bahamas
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
US Virgin Islands v Trinidad & Tobago
Antigua & Barbuda v United States
Turks & Caicos Islands v Costa Rica
Panama v El Salvador
Belize v Guyana
Bahamas v Jamaica
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Canada v Guadeloupe
Mexico v Guatemala
Antigua & Barbuda v US Virgin Islands
United States v Trinidad & Tobago
Panama v Turks & Caicos Islands
El Salvador v Costa Rica
Friday, February 24, 2017
4B v 4D
4A v 4C
3B v 3D
3A v 3C
*TBC v TBC – Quarter-Final #1
*TBC v TBC – Quarter-Final #2
*TBC v TBC – Quarter-Final #3
*TBC v TBC – Quarter-Final #4
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Loser Match 25 v Loser Match 26
Winner Match 25 v Winner Match 26
Loser Match 27 v Loser Match 28
Winner Match 27 v Winner Match 28
Loser Match 29 v Loser Match 30
Loser Match 31 v Loser Match 32
Winner Match 29 v Winner Match 30 – Semifinal
Winner Match 31 v Winner Match 32 – Semifinal
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Loser Match 33 v Loser Match 34 – 15th Place Match
Winner Match 33 v Winner Match 34 – 13th Place Match
Loser Match 35 v Loser Match 36 – 11th Place Match
Winner Match 35 v Winner Match 36 – 9th Place Match
Loser Match 37 v Loser Match 38 – 7th Place Match
Winner Match 37 v Winner Match 38 – 5th Place Match
Loser Match 39 v Loser Match 40 – 3rd Place Match
Winner Match 39 v Winner Match 40 – Final
*The top two teams from each Group will advance to the knock-out phase. The quarter-final match ups will be decided by a draw. Group winners will be matched up randomly with the second place teams.
*CONCACAF reserves the right to change the time and order of matches