Friday February 24, 2017, is one of the most eagerly anticipated days in the Hindu religious calendar.
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Young Hoyte proud in T&T colours
Former England Under-21 defender Gavin Hoyte says he has absolutely no regrets in deciding to join the national team. Hoyte joined the T&T camp last month after receiving a call up from Stephen Hart for the international friendlies against Argentina and Iran.
He also received the offer of a new contract from English League Two side Dagenham & Redbridge along with teammates, midfielder Bradley Goldberg and forward Zavon Hines.
“I’ve got no regrets on being here. Once the invitation came from the coach I didn’t have to do much thinking. I know Justin was in the team already and he had some good things to say about his experiences and I know the T&T team is working towards becoming better and I felt it would be nice to be part of the whole experience,” Hoyte said.
“I’ve been accepted since I joined the team. They’ve made me feel welcome and the head coach has been quite good. He’s spoken to me and I’ve enjoyed the sessions. I feel pretty good about the whole thing right now.”
Regarding his time with Dagenham & Redbridge, Hoyte, who has also been part of the Arsenal academy, is looking forward to the upcoming season in England.
“I’ve been playing in England some time now and we had a good season last time. I’m enjoying my football and I’m just focusing on staying fit and going after a full season again,” he said.
Iran draw with Angola
World Cup finalist Iran were held to 1-1 draw by Angola in their penultimate warm-up match in Hartberg, Austria last Friday ahead of Sunday’s match against T&T in Sao Paolo.
Iran forward Karim Ansarifard scored a 57th-minute equaliser to prevent his side suffering a defeat before they departed for Brazil.
Iran, who will play in their fourth World Cup and face Argentina, Nigeria and Bosnia in Group F, fell behind three minutes before halftime when Domingos Silvano Cussanda netted for Angola.
Meantime, Iran is optimistic that experienced defender Hashem Beikzadeh will recover from a heel injury before the start of the World Cup and had sent Esteghlal player to Brazil early for more treatment.
The 30-year-old suffered the injury early in Monday’s 0-0 draw with Montenegro in Hartberg, Austria, where they had been preparing for their fourth World Cup appearance. Another Iran player, who is the teammate of Carlyle Mitchell at Vancouver Whitecaps, Steven Beitashour has been named to Iran’s final 23-man roster for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Beitashour, also a defender, has earned six caps with Iran since making his debut in October 2013.
T&T captain Kenwyne Jones is looking forward to the encounter, saying: “We know Iran are in the World Cup so they must be doing something right and they have a pretty decent team. For us, we’ll be looking to give a good account of themselves and give them the best possible challenge on the day. It’s also a good warm up for us as we continue our preparations for us looking down the road for the qualification for Russia 2018.”
Latapy linked to Falkirk job
Gary Holt has left Falkirk without a manager for the second time in just over a year after sealing a return to former club Norwich City and already Russell Latapy has been linked to taking over the coaching job at the club he once played for in Scotland.
Holt joined Falkirk for his first managerial role just last April following Steven Pressley’s departure for Coventry City and came close to steering the Bairns to promotion to the Premiership in his first full season in charge.
However, bowing out by landing the Championship manager of the month award for April, the former Kilmarnock midfielder has opted to return to Carrow Road, where he was a player for four years and was assistant academy manager for three years before moving north last year.
Names already being linked with the Falkirk post include Latapy and sacked Hearts boss Gary Locke.
Latapy was a fans’ favourite at Falkirk where he also served as assistant coach. He is currently the assistant coach at Scottish club Inverness Caledonia Thistle.
Shaun Fuentes is the director of communications for the TTFA. firstname.lastname@example.org