Barbados' Mario Harte (#9) in 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying against the host US Virgin Islands on March 26, 2015, in Charlotte Amalie. (Photo: Aisha-Zakiya Boyd)
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- Barbados opened a weekend camp Friday to apply the detailed touches on preparations for a World Cup Qualifying, second-round series that opens June 10 on the road against Aruba.
The team has been put through intense paces in recent weeks under the guidance of Brazilian technical director Marcos Falopa as plans are finalized for the clash at the Complejo Guillermo Prospero Trinidad in Oranjestad.
Assistant coach Kenville Layne said he was pleased with the way the squad has responded in training and stressed they would be leaving the island confident of getting a positive result.
“Our management staff and players have been gelling well together under the guidance of technical director Marcos Falopa,” Layne said. “We’ve been training five times a week and twice a day sometimes. Sometimes we train in the morning with some technical and tactical work and in the evening time we come back and do some classroom work. We then get on the field and do some more tactical stuff, based on what happened in the classroom.”
Barbados advanced to the second round after beating the US Virgin Islands, 4-1 on aggregate, in March. A surprising 1-0 defeat in the first leg at home was followed up with a more composed performance in Charlotte Amalie.
Layne believes Barbados has gradually improved and is now a more organized unit.
“I think they are beginning to adapt to the technical director a lot more than before,” he commented. “Lots of the things he’s been implementing with these guys have been new to them, and now they are beginning to gel a lot more, so you’re seeing a lot more cohesion in the team now more than before.
“The objective is to go out there and do well and get a positive result every time and based on who you are playing against you operate accordingly.”
Barbados FA president, Randy Harris, is also pleased with the side’s development, but cautioned that the vision was a long-term one, especially with the bulk of the current squad consisting of under-23 players.
“The board of the BFA, they have a vision and the vision is to rebuild the team,” Harris expressed. “We don’t expect that results will just fall out of the sky, but we are looking at the long term, the next two, three years.
“We’re building a team and what we expect that over a period of time, we will have a team that will be able to compete with anyone in the Caribbean and beyond.”