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‘Warriors’ hold first training in Brazil
T&T football team had its first training session on Brazil soil yesterday evening at the Corinthians Training Stadium. Tomorrow’s match against Iran is schedule for the same venue which is an official World Cup training venue. The national team arrived on Qatar Airlines at the Sao Paolo International Airport just after 2 am on Friday before checking in at the Bristol International Airport Hotel. Following the 3-0 defeat to Argentina in which T&T held its own for long periods, spirits were high in the T&T team but the mood in the camp turned into a somber one just around 10am as news came that the 10 month old son of goalkeeper Marvin Phillip had passed away in Chaguanas. Phillip was scheduled to depart for Trinidad last night, accompanied by assistant manager Peter Rampersad. Team captain Kenwyne Jones was the first one to encounter Phillip as he received the news. “It’s a very difficult time for him and all of his right now,” Jones said. “I am a father as well. There are a lot of fathers in the team and no one wants to go through something like this. Our prayers and thoughts are with Marvin and his family.”
The Cardiff City forward said the T&T team will now regain focus ahead of tomorrow’s encounter with the Asian giants. “We were coming off a good experience in Argentina. I think there has been a bit of a buzz in the camp and everyone was looking forward to Sunday’s (tomorrow) match. We have to get our heads together again and channel our energies onto the football field as continue our preparations for Iran,” Jones said.
T&T will go into the match with one goalkeeper in Jan Michael Williams as Hart will not call a replacement ‘keeper. “We have a couple days here to do as much as we can. The sessions will not be intense because we had a game just a little more than a day ago but we’ll be looking to do everything as right as we possibly can in relation to the match on Sunday. It’s good to be here and again it’s all part of the experience for our players. There is a lot happening football wise right now. We are in the football capital of the world at the moment so there’s a lot to absorb at the same time,” Hart said.
Aside from T&T’s match against Iran on Sunday there are several other international games this weekend, as on Friday the match schedule includes Germany versus Armenia, Colombia vs Jordan, Brazil at home to Serbia, Croatia against Australia, Japan versus while at Costa Rica take on Republic of Ireland,Greece play Bolivia and Mexico face Portugal. Phillip is still coming to terms with the death of his first child’s mother Aldella Gill, who passed away last month due to heart complications. The Point Fortin Civic Centre custodian was the reserve goalkeeper in Wednesday’s friendly international against Argentina. He has been a member of T&T Under-17, U-20 U-23 and senior teams. National head coach Stephen Hart, in a brief statement, expressed condolences to Phillip and his family on behalf of the team and the TTFA. "This is tragic moment in Marvin's life. He has faced some traumatic moments in the last month. Our hearts go out to him and the family. This is such a sad moment, I cannot even begin to understand what he must be going through emotionally. All this really places life into perspective for myself personally and us as a team,” Hart said.