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Andre going after good fortune
Andre Fortune scored what might have been the goal of the Concacaf Under-17 World Cup qualifying tournament in Panama but the T&T midfielder is not counting out more big performances for the “Red, White and Black.”
Since making his debut for T&T at the Caribbean leg qualifiers last July, Fortune has grown physically and his level of play has also improved along with the other members of the T&T U-17 team that came to within one victory of qualifying for the 2013 Fifa U-17 World Cup. T&T secured a 2-0 win over Costa Rica, their first win over the Costa Ricans in World Cup qualifying competition. Fortune had two great strikes, the first against Costa Rica and the second in the 4-2 loss to Panama which surely was a contender for goal of the competition.
“It’s been great for me to get the two goals but there is more to come from this team. We are disappointed of course with not securing qualification but we have a lot that we can take out of this tournament and hopefully move into the under-20 qualifiers and get a more positive outcome,” Fortune said.
“My teammates and I surely want to keep striving to help take T&T football to higher heights and a level of respectability in the Concacaf. We will continue to work towards achieving that,” he added.
TD Corneal encouraged after Panama experience
Technical director Anton Corneal says he’s encouraged by the upcoming group of national players as he recounted the performance by the national U-17 team during the recent Concacaf World Cup qualifying tournament in Panama.
Corneal worked with the team’s technical staff as T&T advanced to the semifinals where they lost 4-2 to hosts Panama after grabbing a 1-0 lead. The loss followed a 2-0 win over Costa Rica and a 2-0 defeat to Canada in a game which T&T should have walked away with three points.
“There is much to look forward to with this group of players. They were impressive and they demonstrated a desire to compete and to try and take it to another level. It was really an encouraging sight for anyone working in our football and anyone who wants to see progress,” Corneal said.
“The important thing is for us to maintain a program with these young men and to try and ensure that there are similar programs for all our national teams and at every possible level. When you look at the budgets, the financial provisions for teams like Mexico who have an abundance of talent and continue to do well, teams like USA and now Panama, you really have to sit back and say that we haven’t done too badly but if we want to be successful and actually qualify for world cups then we have got to invest more and give ourselves a fair chance when we meet with these countries,” added Corneal, who also thanked the Ministry of Sport for their assistance during the campaign.
Yorke holds on to record for fastest hat-trick
Robin van Persie may have joined the list of legends to score one of the fastest hat-tricks in Premier League history but he was still off the mark held by T&T’s Dwight Yorke. The former Aston Villa marksman still maintains the record for quickest hat-trick when he netted a treble in 22 minutes against Arsenal in 2001.
Michael Owen is in the top ten twice and is level with van Persie on 33 minutes, as well as notching a memorable hat-trick in 32 minutes for Liverpool at Newcastle in 1998. Jermaine Pennant is second behind Yorke with a hat-trick in 36 minutes for Arsenal versus Southampton in 2003.
Yorke, meantime, was delighted with United’s League title success, saying: “Sir Alex always used to say: ‘Remember who you represent. We are the champions. Everybody is after you. Play with purpose and confidence.’”
Muckette joins USF
Former national U-20 and U-17 captain Duane Muckette has joined the University of South Florida on a football scholarship.
Muckette is one of four new additions to the USF line-up. Coach George Kiefer said the early arrivals made the most of spring workouts to help prepare them for making a major impact this year.
Kiefer said he was excited by Muckette, comparing him to past team member Leston Paul, who is also a former T&T U-20 and U-17 captain. Both players have captained two T&T youth teams and have progressed to college between the 18-21-year-old time span where youth captains of most other countries of a high level would most probably have such players already playing in a professional league. However, it is likely that the T&T duo will end up in a win-win situation as both are committed to fulfilling their education commitments as well as pursuing a professional football career with ambitions of representing T&T on the senior international level.
Four T&T officials on Concacaf committees
Four officials from this country including T&T Football Federation president Raymond Tim Kee, general secretary Richard Groden, Alvin Corneal and Dr Terence Babwah have been appointed to committees composed of representatives from across Concacaf’s member associations, assuring a wide and diverse representation from the region.
“The decisions made regarding Concacaf should always include the participation of our member associations,” Concacaf president Jeffrey Webb said. “We are delighted to have received full acceptance from experts in the different disciplines within our region that come from both inside and outside the football family. Together, we look forward to continuing to set the foundations for football development in our region.”
These appointments, in addition to the previously announced committees (Audit and Compliance, Finance, Gold Cup, and Integrity), round out 25 working groups contributing to all decisions made regarding all functional areas of the confederation.
Tim Kee has been appointed to the Associated Competitions (Olympics) Committee shall organise the Associated Competitions and Olympic Football Tournaments in compliance with the provisions of the regulations applicable to these tournaments.
Groden is on the Club Championships Committee, Babwah is on the Sports Medicine Committee and Corneal, who is also on the Fifa Technical Study Committee has been appointed to the Concacaf Committee.
Shaun Fuentes is the media officer for the TTFF/Soca Warriors – follow him on Twitter @ProLook2006
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