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Morrison: Lack of venues hurting vball training
National men’s senior team volleyball coach Sean Morrison is calling on the relevant authorities to come to his team’s aid in getting training facilities made available to his players as they get ready for the start of their 2018 international season.
T&T, the reigning Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (Cazova) champion team (2010, 2014 & 2017) is currently preparing to compete in the six-team Norceca Men Challenge Cup, a continental qualifying event carded for Cuba, from June 3 - 11.
This will be followed by the 23rd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Colombia (July 20 - August 3); 13th Pan American Cup in Mexico (August 12-20) and finally, the defence of their Cazova Men’s Championship in Suriname (August 4 – 11).
Yesterday, a frustrated Morrison, a former national player himself said,
"The national team has been having problems with regards to the use of training facilities since last year. Before the Cazova Championships we hosted last year we were provided with the use of the indoor area of the National Cycling Centre, in Balmain, Couva and back then we were told it was going to be the new home for the sport of volleyball. However, this has not really been the case as after we returned from the Norceca Senior Men Continental Championships in Colorado Springs in October, we have been faced with problems. We have seen other sports like karate, gymnastics, cheer-leading and kickboxing all given use of the facilities ahead of us when we need as much training time as possible."
With just under two weeks before his team departs for Cuba, Morrison noted that the training has been very hectic and when they manage to get venues they make sure and have a full turn out and work hard.
For the tournament in Cuba, Morrison will be without key duo, Portugal-based Marc-Anthony Honore, and Brandon Legall for the matches in the round-robin series against host Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Costa Rica and Guatemala.
Morrison said that Honore is coming off a very tough season with SL Benfica in which they were beaten in the Portugal A-1 Division final by Sporting CP in the best-of-five series, 3-2.
Honore’s SL Benfica captured the Portugal Cup yet again and was quarter-finalist in their European club exploits as well.
“We agreed for Marc (Honore) to get some rest and rejoin the team for the remaining tournaments inclusive of the CAC Games, 13th Pan American Cup in Veracruz, Mexico and Cazova Championship.
With respect to Legall, Morrison explained that it’s understood that with the current spike in crime, Police Officer Legall, who was voted as the ‘Most Valuable Player’ in leading T&T to the regional crown last year will have some difficulty in getting time off at this point in time and should rejoin the team at the end of June.
Looking ahead to Cuba, the T&T coach said he was not too worried about the duo’s absence as he was more focused on the development and giving some of the younger athletes the experience like Nicholas Prescott and Daynte Stewart.
The tournament caters for 14 players per team, but due to lack of funding, we are only taking 12 players to Cuba, so we had to leave behind Clinton Williams and Che Cockburn.
“It would have been nice to give them the exposure for the future when the older players start retiring, but all in all it’s a build-up for CAC and Cazova because we are lacking playing experience right now
The local squad will be led by Glamorgan’s Ryan Stewart who captained the locals to the Caribbean crown last year and will include Kwesi Daniel, Akim Bushe, Marlon Phillip, Daneil Williams, libero Joshua Mohammed, Newton Grant, setter Kameron Daniel and USA-based pair, Adriel Roberts (Charleston University), and Mikheil Hoyte.
All the players named above with the exception of Grant were part of the Cazova 2017 Championship winning team.
‘We also have the experienced middle-blocker Russell Pena, who could have stepped in for Honore out injured, so we have brought in two new players in Nicholas Prescott and Daynte Stewart, who should be no strangers to the group
The team currently trains four days a week at the Jean Pierre Sports Complex, Mucurapo; Thursdays and Fridays (8.30 pm – 11 pm) and Saturdays and Sundays (7.30 pm – 11 pm).
T&T senior men’s Challenge Cup volleyball squad: Nicholas Prescott, Daynte Stewart, Kwesi Daniel, Adriel Roberts (Charleston University), Mikheil Hoyte, Akim Bushe, Marlon Phillip, Daneil Williams, Ryan Stewart (captain), Joshua Mohammed (libero), Newton Grant, Kameron Donald (setter).
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