Barbados (blue jersey) will play its first friendly in nearly a year, when it hosts Guyana on February 1, 2015. (Photo: Yonel Louis)
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Barbados Football Association (BFA) is using the national team’s upcoming international friendly as a gauge ahead of qualifying campaigns for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Football Tournament.
Barbados clashes with visiting Guyana on Sunday at the National Stadium, its first game since being eliminated from the 2014 Caribbean Cup in October.
BFA president Randy Harris believes it is important that new technical director, Brazilian Marcos Falopa, has a chance to assess the side before it enters into the fray of competitive fixtures.
“We decided to have a friendly to give our team, which had started training late last year, a practice game,” Harris said. “Also, it would afford the BFA to really start the year on a high by playing an international. We have not had the opportunity to play many internationals over the past four years or so, so we’re using this opportunity really to give our team a practice game. It has come in well with the draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.”
“Obviously, it will give the technical director an opportunity to see what level the Barbados team is at going forward for the World Cup and the Olympic Qualifiers. That is the main purpose.”
A 31-member squad, comprising the bulk of the Under-23 unit, is currently in training. The list is headed by midfielder Romario Harewood, as well as forwards Jabari Chandler and Mario Harte, all of whom featured for Barbados last year. Harte was the Barbadians’ top scorer in Caribbean Cup play with three goals.
Although Barbados will be gunning for a positive result, Harris asserted that measuring the team’s development is the primary focus.
“[The result of] every national game is of major importance to the FA,” he finished, “but basically the main reason really would be to show our technical director what stage and what level the Barbados team is at and show him the quality of players that he has at his disposal for the future.”
NOTES: In their last meeting on October 7, 2011, Guyana posted a 2-0 victory over Barbados, also at the National Stadium.
BARBADOS TRAINING CAMP ROSTER
Ronaldo Bailey, Akeene Browne, Rommell Bynoe, Shaquille Bynoe, Jabari Chandler, Shane Codrington, Eric Fields, Sean Fields, Kayle Gibson, Keon Harding, Romario Harewood, Jomo Harris, Mario Harte, Keemar Headley, Tre Hinds, Najee Holder, Raymond Hope, Sebastian Hunte, Rakim Lashley, Tshane Lorde, Akeem Maloney, Ramon Manning, Amal Mayers, Ricardo Morris, Shane Mottley, Jabarry Nicholls, Raheim Sargeant, Shaquille Stewart, Dario Weir, Torian Went, Hadan Williams