Trinidad and Tobago
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Last chance for TT Under-20 footballers to impress coach Eve

Sports
Jelani Beckles Coach Angus Eve speaking to the media at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on Monday. - Marvin Hamilton
Coach Angus Eve speaking to the media at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on Monday. - Marvin Hamilton

TRINIDAD AND Tobago men’s Under-20 football coach Angus Eve will cut his 39-member squad to 24 in a few days time as the team continues to prepare for the 2022 Concacaf Men’s Championships in Honduras.

The tournament will be held from June 18-July 3.

TT will compete in Group F alongside Mexico, Haiti and Suriname from June 19. Three teams in each group will advance to the round of 16.

The top four teams will earn a spot at the 2023 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia and the two finalists will qualify for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France.

Eve, speaking to the media on Monday before his players faced Defence Force in a practice match at Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, said, “We have done extensive screening in North America and all over and we recruited guys who have a TT background in different parts of Europe…it has been going really well. The guys have been working very hard, it has been very competitive and also we were able to secure some friendly matches for the team.”

Eve said his squad will be cut in the coming days, “On the 28th (of May the squad will be cut) when we close the camp. We have to cut the group down to 24 and that 24 will go into a living camp abroad…on the 16th (of June) we fly to the tournament which starts on the 19th.”

The TT camp received a major blow as Arsenal youth player Tino Quamina has been ruled out of the tournament because of injury. A few other players have not joined the camp yet including Caleb Borneo of Columbus Crew in the US, Micah Cain of TSV Meerbusch in The Netherlands and Roald Mitchell of Wake Forest University/New York Red Bulls in the US.

The Under-20s will play Guyana men’s team on Thursday at the Ato Boldon Stadium, before leaving for an overseas camp in the build up to the Concacaf Championships.

Eve said the Guyana match will be a “really good run out” in preparation for the tournament.

The Under-20s have played a few teams in the Ascension League in practice matches including Cunupia FC, AC Port of Spain and Terminix La Horquetta Rangers.

TT will tackle other teams at the pre-tournament overseas camp which will include two international teams and a club team. It is unconfirmed where the camp will be held.

Eve believes the foreign-based players and local-based players will form a cohesive unit.

“Football is a unifying thing, (it) don’t matter (where you come from)…it is a common language.”

Asked what style of football people can expect from TT, Eve said, “I want to play the way that we normally play football in Trinidad. I want to be expressive (and) allow the kids to express themselves in the final third, really put the skills and talent that they have (on show) and not put any restrictions on that.”

In terms of defence, Eve said, “In our half we want to play resolute, be very solid defensively so we could give a platform for these players to go forward and express themselves.”