HEAD Coach Merron Gordon says Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) should provide what he describes as an interesting test for his Under-17 Reggae Boyz.
Jamaica face the young Soca Warriors in the first of two practice games at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex Kingston today, then at the STETHS Sports Complex in Santa Cruz on Tuesday. Kick-off time for both matches is 4:00 pm. Spectators will be charged $1,000 for entry.
These games are to prepare for the Concacaf Under-17 Championship in Guatemala later this month in a bid to qualify for the FIFA Under-17 Men’s World Cup in Peru in November.
The Under-17 Boyz have been in a training camp since late December and have also played against the seniors of Jamaica Premier League clubs and collegiate teams. Gordon says this was to make them battle-hardened for rival teams comprising players already in professional set-ups when they play in Guatemala.
“We played against adults; some 15- and 16-year-olds playing against adults,” he said. “That really extended the boys. We saw some really really good things. We also got some things shown to us that we need to work on, and little by little we are fixing them,” he said.
Gordon says that while there were positives, there were also aspects of the team’s play that were found wanting. But he is glad these weaknesses were exposed then, rather than in Guatemala.
“We got some good results from some of the [games against] the adults; we got some not-so-favourable results in terms of goals for and goals against but the team is growing day by day and, hopefully, we can see them against their age group this weekend.
“This will be a real test for us because when boys play against men, sometimes men are stronger and faster, sometimes [we may] think the game [is] a little bit faster than us, but I think the boys really really did well against the Premier League teams and the collegiate teams so this weekend will be a very good test for us against Trinidad,” he noted.
T&T arrived on the island on Friday morning.
Jamaica get their Concacaf campaign started on February 12 when they meet Cuba in Group C. They then face Guadeloupe two days later, then Costa Rica on February 16. T&T will meet the United States of America, Canada, and Barbados in Group F.
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