Last update: 02-Aug-2014 2:51 am
Saturday, August 02, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Lawrence, ‘Latas’ chase European places
T&T duo Dennis Lawrence and Russell Latapy are both heading into exciting finishes with their respective clubs in the English and Scottish top Leagues as they try to secure places in European competition for next season.
Lawrence has been right up there with Everton’s boss Roberto Martinez, as his assistant as their team enjoys a fine run in the English Premier League. Their 2-0 victory over Manchester United on the weekend strengthened their chances of clinching a spot in the Champions’ League next season.
To qualify for the Champions League, Everton in fifth spot with 69 points, needs fourth placed Arsenal (70 points) to drop points. Both teams have three games left.
“Dennis Lawrence is one of Roberto Martinez’s trusted right-hand men. He has worked with the Blues boss since his formative days at Swansea—and Martinez has enormous respect for his work,” a feature in the Liverpool Echo stated.
“I have huge, huge admiration for what Dennis has done so far,” Martinez said. “I know he will carry on being a very influential figure at Everton.”
Meantime, Latapy’s Inverness Caledonia Thistle drew 0-0 with current Scottish Premiership second place team Aberdeen on the weekend. Inverness, pressing for a Europa League spot, are in fifth place with 53 points, one point behind fourth place Dundee United and eight behind third place Motherwell. Latapy is currently the assistant coach at Inverness.
Paul, De Silva happy to be teammates again
They both played in two Fifa youth World Cups for this country and were also teammates at St Mary’s College. At Present Leston Paul and Sean De Silva are once again enjoying being reunited on the professional stage at local club Central FC.
Ex-national youth captain Paul and De Silva both completed their degrees and US College football stints and took up the invitation to return to the local scene. Paul was a member of the Guaya United team that captured the TTFA bMobile Super League last season while De Silva agreed to join the “Sharks” earlier this season.
“It’s good being able to be home and playing again,” said Paul, who was a standout for University of South Florida (USF).
“I would say we have a great team in the making. It’s a long-term project for the club and they have only been in existence for two years but I’m enjoying being here. I want to challenge for things and I know the club has big ambitions,” Paul said while at the Central FC Easter football camp which the TTFA assisted, on one of the days at Presentation College Ground in Chaguanas.
De Silva meantime, is hopeful the team can still press for a Caribbean Football Union (CFU) spot en route to the Concacaf Champions League.
“We didn’t lose a match since I joined the club until last week against North East Stars. That’s been the only disappointment for me really. I’ve been coming off the bench but I’m always ready to make my contribution. Obviously for both me and Leston, the ambition is to work our way back onto the national team,” said De Silva, a past member of College of Charleston and Minnesota United FC.
Paul added that he still thinks of deceased former teammate Akeem Adams.
Central clashes with W Connection in what promises to be a keenly contested Lucozade Cup Final tomorrow at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
First goal delight for Aubrey
National senior defender Aubrey David scored his first goal for Finnish Premier League side FF JAro as his club thumped KUPS 4-1 on the weekend.
David, joining the club from Caledonia AIA a few weeks back, netted in the 52nd minute while fellow Trinidadian, Shahdon Winchester, on loan from W Connection, netted for Jaro in the 16th.
“It was a great feeling to get our first three points. It was a solid performance by the team, and I was very happy to be on the scoresheet as well, I thank God for our first three points an my first goal,” David said.
“I am adapting well to the conditions and being away from home. It’s a simple and basic lifestyle here and I am used to it already. Shahdon being here also makes it a bit more comfortable.”
David was a member of the T&T youth teams at the 2007 and 2009 Fifa Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups. He was also in the T&T’s Gold Cup squad last year.
Iran warms up in South Africa
World Cup-bound Iran continued their preparations for the upcoming Brazil Finals with a 5-0 victory over South African Premiership club Moroka Swallows in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
Scheduled to play T&T in their final World Cup warm up in Sao Paolo on June 8, Iran got their goals from Payam Sadeghian, Reza Norouzi, Mohammad-Reza Khalatbari and Karim Ansarifard (2).
Iran head coach Carlos Queiroz said he was satisfied with his team’s progress as they look ahead to their final leg of their preparations which closes with the match against T&T.
“Our main goal was not to get a good result in this friendly match; we wanted to identify the weak and strong points of the team. We will continue the fitness training to get players to a good level,” Queiroz said after the match.
“If everyone supports us I believe Iran will have a good performance in 2014 World Cup in Brazil. We have the games to come later on (against T&T, Belarus, and Mozambique among others) and we will work in relation to that.”
Iran has been drawn in Group F of the 2014 World Cup along with Argentina, Nigeria, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Asian heavyweights will leave Iran on May 12 to hold a training camp in Austria where they will face Belarus, Montenegro and Angola in the camp. Iran will play Nigeria in Curitiba on June 16 in its first group match. Prior to the Iran match, T&T will also meet Argentina in La Plata on June 4.
Shaun Fuentes is the director of communications for the TTFA. [email protected]