Local lads to do battle with Trinidad
August 13, 2004

Local lads to do battle with Trinidad

The count down is on! It is five days to the Second Round football encounter against Trinidad and Tobago.
The football temperature that had been building over the past two months will hit fever pitch next Wednesday at the Arnos Vale Playing Field.{{more}}
Dubbed ‘Vincy Heat,’ Team SVG begin their quest for a final spot from 4pm.
A half-holiday, granted by government and endorsed by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, and with high expectations from locals, a large crowd is anticipated to throng the venue. Trinidad and Tobago will not be outdone, as a contingent of supporters is expected from the twin-island republic.
It will be the first time that both teams are meeting at the World Cup level.
The USA nipped Trinidad and Tobago in 1989, when seemingly destined for the 1990 Finals in Italy. On the other hand, SVG has been mauled in semi-final outings in 1992,1996 and 2000.
Both teams have prepared for this juncture. The visitors toured Asia in the past month. T & T engaged Guatemala in a friendly match last Wednesday.
The Vincentians are fresh from a sojourn in Brazil, a tour which Head Coach Adrian Shaw described as “worthwhile and productive.”
While in Brazil Team SVG played three matches, which were “basically practice games,” according to Shaw.
He said that he got a chance to see the twenty players on a regular basis and test their fitness level, as the team trained twice per day.
The players and five officials returned last Wednesday afternoon. Training for the team recommences tomorrow. Shaw intends to use the days leading to the Trinidad and Tobago encounter “to find the right formula.”
He expects at least six of the overseas–based players to mesh with the home grown ones. Among those who confirmed their availability, were team captain Ezra Hendrickson, Wesley Charles, Kendall Velox, Cornelius Huggins and Rodney Jack.
Team SVG got to this stage with a 6-3 aggregate win over Nicaragua. T&T blasted the Dominican Republic 6-0 in the two legs. Head Coach of the Trinidad and Tobago team, Bertille St.Claire is familiar with many of the Vincentian players, as he was at the helm of the technical team, in 1996.
Other CONCACAF semi-final action set for next Wednesday, saw Jamaica hosting the USA at the National Stadium, while Panama travelled to San Salvador to meet El Salvador at the Estadio Cuscalan. Canada hosted Guatemala at Swangard in Vancouver. Honduras visited Costa Rica. The planned Mexico versus St. Kitts encounter in Basseterre has been pushed back to November.