• Wednesday Nov 14, 2012

    Trinidad hoping magic can continue

    BACOLET, Trinidad & Tobago -- The Dwight Yorke Stadium, situated on the charming island of Tobago, is where host Trinidad will attempt to progress to the Caribbean Cup finals in Antigua and Barbuda. The eight-time Caribbean champion is welcoming Cuba, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Suriname for second round, Group 8 play, which starts on Wednesday.

    The Soca Warriors and their supporters are viewing success in the Caribbean Cup as way of healing some of the national team's recent disappointments. Despite owning the record for the most Caribbean titles, Trinidad has not lifted the trophy since 2001. It has failed to qualify for the last two CONCACAF Gold Cups and did not get past the second round of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

    "We have won this competition numerous times and really this is our last chance to show the region that we are still the toast of football in the region," said former domestic coach Adriene Singh.

    The Warriors, who won their first round group with a perfect 3-0-0 record, resume their quest on Wednesday against St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The top two finishers from the four-team round-robin competition will advance to next month's finals.

    Head coach Hutson Charles, who scored nine international goals playing for Trinidad, believes that his team has the strength to progress despite missing some important roster members.

    "It's not ideal at the moment but this group of players are very hungry to achieve something," Charles, 47, told TTFF Media. "The situation hasn't changed much since the previous round and I think the guys are aware of what is taking place and they know that winning results is possibly the only way out of some of the problems we are facing.

    "We have some experienced players as well as some in form ones here with us and I believe once we execute our plan well on the day then we should be alright."

    The mostly domestic-based roster is led by team captain and goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams of W Connection, who manned the nets in his team's historic 1-1 draw on Sept. 26 against Mexico's Guadalajara in the CONCACAF Champions League.

    "We are as ready as can be," Williams told TTFF Media. "We came out of the last group with full points because we executed well and we carried that belief and desire on the pitch. This time it will be no different. We know that the teams here will pose a stronger challenge but that means that we will have to lift our game to suit this."

    There is concern in the Trinidad camp regarding the fitness of Caledonia AIA forward Jamal Gay, who injured his knee during a recent TT Pro League match. However, key performers Hughton Hector and Kendall Jagedeosingh are back from from their clubs in Asia to lift the Trinidad attack.

    T&T squad: Jan Michael Williams (W Connection ),Marvin Phillip (Central FC), Seon Power (North East Stars), Joevin Jones (W Connection), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Kareem Moses (North East Stars), Carlyle Mitchell (Vancouver Whitecaps/Canada), Kern Cupid (W Connection), Densill Theobald (Caledonia AIA), Clyde Leon (W Connection), Ataullah Guerra (Caledonia AIA), Devorn Jorsling (Defence Force), Richard Roy (Defence Force), Jamal Gay (Caledonia AIA), Hashim Arcia (W Connection), Keyon Edwards (Caledonia AIA), Kevon Carter (Defence Force), Hughtun Hector (Song Lam Nghe/Vietnam), Aubrey David (Caledonia AIA), Kendall Jagdeosingh (Chainfat FC/Thailand)

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