"We can compete with anyone right now": Eve backs Soca Warriors for another competitive campaign

By Sports Desk February 10, 2024
EVE...We want to show that confidence that we could go out on the park and compete with anyone EVE...We want to show that confidence that we could go out on the park and compete with anyone

Having watched his team rise against the odds to secure famous victory over United States in last year’s Nations League quarterfinals, Trinidad and Tobago senior men’s Head coach Angus Eve believes there is no task too difficult for the Soca Warriors to handle.

So, while he gears up for another challenging and demanding campaign, Eve is confident in the depth of his player pool, which he expects to showcase their competitiveness and possibly rewrite the history books.

Much like it was against United States, when the Soca Warriors came away 2-1 winners, Eve knows their CONMEBOL Copa America playoff contest against Canada will be tough, but he remains optimistic about his team's ability to overcome the stiff competition on March 23, and qualify for the prestigious Copa America tournament.

“Like the US team, the Canada team is built up the same, (with) a lot of European-based players. Some of the players (are) playing in the MLS (Major League Soccer), some playing back home, but most of the players are playing in Europe and they are playing with good teams,” Eve assessed.

“But we think we can go in there; we think we can compete with anyone right now and we want to show that. We want to show that confidence that we could go out on the park and compete with anyone,” he added.

Eve incorporated new players into his training squad for a recently-concluded four-day camp, which could be a move to bring a fresh dynamic to their gameplay. Still, he believes that with the right application, the team will compete strongly against Canada and, by extension, in the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers, which promises to be both demanding and exciting.

“We just have to be tactically aware. A coach can only give instructions. When the players go out there, they have to have the mindset to play the position, to play the role that the coaches give them to the best of their ability because, a coach could never tell a player what to do for every second of every minute of a game,” he reasoned.

The Soca Warriors will have two practice games against Jamaica early next month, ahead of the Copa America qualifier against Canada. The Reggae Boyz trip to Trinidad follows the Soca Warriors tour of Jamaica last year for two friendly matches.

“They promised to return that favour to us, so these two games are supposed to be in early March. We will use those games as the final two warm-up games going into the CONMEBOL playoff match and when that happens, then we will pick that final squad,” Eve declared.

He also welcomed the fact that two players –Reon Moore of Defence Force and Real Gill of Club Sando –have been signed to play overseas in the Canadian Premier League and United Soccer League, respectively.

This, the tactician believes is another step in the right direction to not only assist in the players preparations for the challenges ahead, but more importantly, for football in the twin island republic.

“It shows that the work that we are doing (is good) and people are identifying players again, because we (once) had the same set of players getting contracts all the time. This is a new batch of players who are getting contracts, and I could tell you, when people see them playing with the national team, that is how they get that sort of exposure,” Eve shared.

“It shows that people are watching us again and watching our players and that augurs well for the country and for the team on a whole,” he ended.

Related items

  • Almost gave up: T&T's Wallace opens up about journey back from injury; eagerly awaits start of Super Netball season Almost gave up: T&T's Wallace opens up about journey back from injury; eagerly awaits start of Super Netball season

    It has been a challenging couple of years for Samantha Wallace, after a serious injury threatened her career to the point where she was left questioning her future in the sport.

    The Trinidad and Tobago native, who represents New South Wales Swifts in the Suncorp Super Netball League, was delivered news that any athlete dreads, especially during the high point of their career.  

    “The surgeon said, 'I don't think you'll be returning to netball,'” Wallace revealed.

    That news from the surgeon was as a result of a knee injury Wallace picked up in Round one of the 2022 season, when she damaged her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL) and meniscus. At that point, Wallace was the Swifts' leading goal scorer with a tally of 585 goals at 93 per cent accuracy for the 2021 season in which they were crowned champions.