Fifteen members of the National Beach Soccer team underwent medical surveillance including a full range of medical tests before the upcoming CONCACAF Beach Soccer World Cup qualifiers in Bahamas.
The players were screened at the Healthnet facility in San Fernando on Thursday as part of the arrangement between the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association and Healthnet Caribbean and Lab Medica Group. All players passed the various tests.
Through the three-year partnership, the national teams are afforded the medical examinations during the course of the calendar year and prior to international tournaments as deemed necessary.
The tests carried out on the players of the team included : ECG, lung function test, full blood and urine work up for liver function, kidney function and diabetes evaluation; Cancer evaluation and A Full doctor’s physical examination including Vision and Hearing screening. Through the Healtnhet My Card Sport programme, players can also receive medical treatment throughout the year at the Healthnet facilities.
The T&T team heads to Barbados today at 9pm for a four-nation tournament which sees T&T kicking off against Guyana tomorrow. They also play England on Sunday.
Team head coach Benny Astorga said his troops were leaving these shores in the best possible shape for the qualifiers. They will stay three additional days in Barbados following the tournament and head straight to Bahamas.
“The Mood in the camp is exciting and excellent. This is an extended camp for us. The players are very eager to get out there and test their readiness. It is a great opportunity for us to get some practice games. We ended the last camp in Tobago on a good note and we are united heading out to Barbados and Bahamas,” Astorga told TTFA Media.
“The experience of training with the Barcelona players was also a major plus. We have to make the final 12 cut still so players are still going hard in training,” he added.
Looking ahead to facing England on Sunday, he said, “We haven’t found out a lot about England but the players are excited and of course we know there is a strong rivalry between Trinidad and Tobago in cricket and also in football because of the history.”
Astorga said he was happy that his players were able to undergo the medical tests and that every player was passed fit.
“It’s a great thing for the players to be afforded this kind of treatment and it’s something that is necessary throughout the year. I am also very happy that every player passed their tests and were declared medically fit to play. I’d like to thank the TTFA for having this in place for our players and also to Healthnet for accommodating us today before we head off to Barbados.
Healthnet CEO Richard Ramrekha commented “We are very pleased to ensure that our national footballers on the Beach Soccer team are able to undergo these tests before they head off for the competition. This is part our existing partnership with the TTFA and our commitment towards ensuring our players are medically fit and in top physical condition for their matches.”
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 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
Benny Astorga (Head Coach), Anthony Creece (Assistant Coach), Dr Jason Pilgrim (Athletic Trainer), Yuri Chapman (Equipment manager), Oba Gulston (Manager) and Kyle Lequay (Head of Delegation).