Last update: 07-Dec-2013 3:12 am
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Williams wants Gold Cup positives to continue
T&T goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams believes that the “Soca Warriors” are capable of putting on a good showing at the upcoming OSN Four-Nations Cup in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Central FC custodian said on Monday that the T&T players are eager to continue the run that saw them qualify for the Concacaf Gold Cup quarter finals which ended with a courageous performance against Mexico. Williams is likely to be among the players named in the final squad on Friday by head coach Stephen Hart for the tournament which T&T kicks off on September 5 against United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh. “I think we will hold our own in the tournament. It’s not a long competition but it’s two good matches for us and we are honoured to have been invited to it by the Saudi Arabia association and OSN,” said Williams.
“Clearly it means that we’ve been doing something positive and teams are wanting to play us on the international stage. I’ve always said that we need to continuously be playing good international teams in order to have progress. “Personally I would like to see us making use of these opportunities even if it’s away from home. I know the locals want to see the team play on home soil and I’m pretty sure the association will be working towards that. “We are coming off a decent showing at the Gold Cup and playing in tournaments like this one and against teams like these will be a major factor in our preparations for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers which will be in front of us before we know it,” the former W Connection ‘keeper noted.
Meantime, UAE’s head coach Mahdi Ali has named Al Ahli’s goalkeeper Majid Nasser and Al Wahda striker Mohammed Al Shehhi in his squad to face T&T on September 5. Ali has selected 23 players in preparations for the match. UAE is preparing for the third round of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers in Australia. The team currently lead Group E with six points from two starts ahead of Uzbekistan and Hong Kong. Ali and his squad will gather at the Rotana Hotel, Dubai, on Friday, August 30 and head for Saudi Arabia on Saturday evening from Dubai. Ali, who is also a brand ambassador for Dubai Audi, said he was anticipating a strong showing at the OSN Cup. “It’s a tournament that we will like to win of course. We will get the chance to play against a team like T&T which does not happen often so it’s a good opportunity for us and we’re looking forward to the tournament,” Ali said.
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