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Belize to join T&T at Gold Cup
Underdogs Belize secured their biggest ever football achievement last week when they qualified for the 2013 Concacaf Gold Cup.
Belize hosted T&T in a friendly in 2010 and the Russell Latapy-coached team was heavily criticised after being held to a 0-0 draw. However, the Central Americans have been improving and qualified for the semifinals of the Central American tournament in Costa Rica. They were narrowly beaten 1-0 by El Salvador in the third place playoff last Sunday.
Belize, along with Central American champions Costa Rica, runners-up Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico will join T&T at July’s Gold Cup in the USA alongside the host nation, Canada, Haiti, Cuba and Martinique.
T&T co-head coaches Hutson Charles and Jamaal Shabazz were in Costa Rica last week to view games involving T&T’s possible Gold Cup opponents.
“We had the opportunity to see some of the teams we may be coming up against and it proved to be a worthwhile trip,” Shabazz said.
“We were able to see styles of play. We’ve met these teams before, but it’s good to stay abreast of what they are doing. They will also be looking at what we do before the Gold Cup,” Shabazz said.
The Gold Cup will be played from July 7-28.
Edwards wants collective effort
Ipswich Town captain Carlos Edwards has stressed on the need for a bigger collective effort to take this country’s football forward.
He said he was hopeful that the 2006 World Cup bonus issue involving 13 players and the T&T Football Federation would come to an end soon without football having to suffer.
“All hands have got to be on deck for us to resolve the issues at the moment. The current players need to concentrate on their job, which is playing football. At the same time, they have to be rewarded for their efforts, win lose or draw but mostly so when they win,” said Edwards. Edwards said he wants to see the players’ bonus issue resolved. “I think it should be resolved soon and not be prolonged for such a long time. It’s just pulling us down more than it...Some have to be looking at each other and pointing fingers and that’s the last thing we want. We want to be united as a team and country and maybe pick up from where we were in 2006. It’s never too late to do that because it would be mean we are progressing,” Edwards ended.
Bentick bent on success
Defender Uriah Bentick is hoping his early exploits with the Philadelphia Union will secure a deal with the American Major League Soccer club.
Bentick, a former T&T Under-17 and Under-20 player, was drafted by the club last month after an impressive run in the US College League.
“My ambitions are to get signed and play my role to help the team accomplish its goals. Then I want to focus on making the T&T senior team,” Bentick said.
Hopefully, Bentick will secure a deal and join T&T’s Keon Daniel and Damani Richards as full members of the Union team.
Kenwyne battles on at Stoke City
Kenwyne Jones is prepared to fight it out at Stoke City and compete strongly for the number-one forward place in Tony Pulis’ start team. “It’s been topsy-turvy. I’ve been out and out and just in for a minute and then out again. It’s about taking your chance when you’re in there and I think I’ve done that. Hopefully, there can be a brighter end to the season for me,” Jones said on Tuesday.
The former Sunderland player believes that he can continue to stake a claim in the Premiership.
“I’m still giving it everything, working hard and trying to help the team when the chance is presented for me.”
Shaun Fuentes is the media officer for the TTFF/Soca Warriors–Follow him on Twitter @ ProLook2006
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