Lawrence names local training squad for World Cup qualifiers
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Newly appointed Trinidad and Tobago head coach Dennis Lawrence has named a 27-man training squad to begin preparation for the crucial World Cup qualifiers against Panama and Mexico next month.
The squad, which comprises entirely of locally-based players, will begin training next Monday, immediately following the conclusion of the domestic season.
Foreign-based players will be available to Lawrence just days prior to the first World Cup qualifier against Panama on March 24.
"I wouldn’t have access to the foreign-based players until the 19th, 20th of March, which is closer to the game," Lawrence told a media conference here.
"What I think is important is to work with the local players now. The league is going to be completed come Sunday, so what I’ve done is selected the local players; to work with the local players and start building on something so these players would be able to push for a position in the team come March 24."
Included are midfielders Keron Cummins and Hughtun Hector, along with fellow forwards Nathan Lewis, James Perry and Jamoul Francois.
Cummins has recovered from a gunshot wound sustained in December 2015, while Hector has returned to the fold after losing favour in recent times.
Lawrence said he was hoping to have the squad’s preparation boosted by two international friendlies and would confirm the opponents in the near future.
T&T are facing an uphill battle to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Russia after losing their opening two games to Costa Rica and Honduras. They sit one from bottom of the standings without a point.
Lawrence said, despite the odds, he remained hopeful T&T could still revive their campaign.
"I am trying to be detailed about the way I want to approach this. I am trying to ensure that I prepare the team as best as possible and, as I said before, as difficult as it might be, it is not impossible," the former national defender said.
"So we are going to prepare as best as we can to make sure that come March 24, we can go out and deliver what we would like to have and it’s a successful result."
SQUAD — Jan-Michael Williams, Marvin Phillip, Glenroy Samuel, Adrian Foncette, Andre Marchan, Carlyle Mitchell, Curtis Gonzales, Julius James, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Daniel Cyrus, Jelani Peters, Jesus Perez, Triston Hodge, Alvin Jones, Keron Cummings, Leston Paul, Sean De Silva, Akeem Humphrey, Jared London, Hughtun Hector, Tyrone Charles, Nathan Lewis, Jomoul Francois, Jamille Boatswain, Hashim Arcia, Akeem Roach, Jameel Perry.