Action from the FIFA World Cup qualifier between Turks & Caicos Islands (white jersey) and host St. Kitts & Nevis on March 23, 2015, in Bassaterre. (Photo: SKNVibes.com)
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands -- Turks & Caicos Islands Football Association technical director Craig Harrington is disappointed, but not downbeat, about the fact that the men’s national team didn’t get past the first round of CONCACAF qualifying for 2018 FIFA World Cup.
After falling to St. Kitts & Nevis 12-4 on aggregate, losing both legs by the same 6-2 scoreline, he believes the side is heading in the right direction with an exciting group of young players.
“The entire experience was a good learning curve for this promising group of young players,” Harrington told CONCACAF.com. “The importance of coping with the emotions created by playing so well going forward and then giving up 12 goals over the two games, as well as showing the staff and players the difficulty of trying to get to the next round of the World Cup qualifiers.”
While all the players made their respective contributions against St. Kitts, Harrington singled out forward Billy Forbes as Turks & Caicos’ standout player. The 24-year-old plays with the San Antonio Scorpions, the current North American Soccer League champion.
No time will be wasted in the continued building of the game and next on the radar for Harrington is the 2016 Caribbean Cup.
“With the competitions we now have happening every year, it just will help us to become more consistent, and more demanding on the players,” said the former LA Galaxy youth academy coach. “We need to get critical in certain moments, making them aware that if they had defended better we would be in the next round.
“They need that sense of accountability, that sense of criticism, and of the people around them that care about it. Players need to be pushed harder and individuals need to work on their defending.”
Harrington also complimented his technical staff and the TCIFA executive for all their efforts, noting that it was a first-time experience for a lot of his players.
“I think they all made a big effort and we now look forward to getting better,” he finished.