T&T need better opponents than Caribbean teams claims U-15 coach Fevrier

By Sports Desk July 23, 2019

Trinidad and Tobago national under 15 team coach Stuart Charles Fevrier has called on the TTFA to secure more matches with Central American opponents in order to close the gap between the twin-island republic and CONCACAF’s top teams.

The recently concluded TTFA Youth Invitational football tournament proved to be a chastening experience for the national team.  The young Trinidadians lost matches to Panama, Venezuela, and Mexico. 

The match-up with the Panamanians was closely contested with T&T losing 5-4 by the odd goal, the team, however, went on to lose 4-0 and 4-1 to Venezuela and Mexico respectively.

With the tournament serving as a warm-up for the CONCACAF Under-15 Championship in August, the gulf in quality has proven to be a concern.

“We need to play more Central American and North American teams instead of Caribbean teams.  It’s not that we can’t play Caribbean teams, we are from the Caribbean region but I believe now we have to focus a lot more on the Central American and North American teams.  If we are to qualify for any major competition these are the teams we have to beat,” Fevrier said.

“Playing against Caribbean teams is a lower level obviously because when you watched the level of football tonight (against Mexico) for me it was very high,” he added.

“In the last 10 minutes they were still going, it was nothing for them.  They already have a professional mentality and our boys are still playing college football.”

Related items

  • Al Sadd v Hienghene Sport: Ex-Barcelona star Xavi eyes Liverpool clash at Club World Cup Al Sadd v Hienghene Sport: Ex-Barcelona star Xavi eyes Liverpool clash at Club World Cup

    Xavi has challenged Al Sadd to reach the Club World Cup semi-finals and set up a clash with Liverpool in Qatar.

    The former Barcelona midfielder was a two-time winner of the tournament as a player in 2009 and 2011 but will be in charge of Al Sadd this time around.

    His side play Hienghene Sport, a team from New Caledonia who won the OFC Champions League this year, in Wednesday's opening match.

    Xavi, who turns 40 in January, became coach of Al Sadd after they won the Qatar Stars League earlier this year.

    The winners of the first-round match will go on to face Mexican side Monterrey, who are the reigning CONCACAF Champions League title-holders, and then the prize would be a semi-final against Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool.

    "It's an honour to be here. It's one of the biggest tournaments in the world," Xavi said in a news conference.

    "We are here to compete. We know the difficulty. We are here for success, to play good games, to show everybody our level because we have the best generation of Qatari players in history, in my opinion.

    "They won together the Asian Cup in January of this year. We gave a good philosophy and we want to show everybody we can compete, but it will be tough, I have to be honest.

    "I had the opportunity to play three times in this competition and I won it two times as a player. As a coach it's totally different. We'll try to do our best and I'm really excited as a coach to play this competition."

    Asked about the possibility of a last-four clash with Liverpool, Xavi added: "It's a goal to be in the semi-final, but we have to respect all the teams and they will respect us a lot.

    "Tomorrow we have a difficult game, a difficult club. We want to go step by step. It's part of the process. Football is the present and the present is tomorrow's game."

    The tournament opener takes place at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Al Sadd's home ground, and they face a team from a town of barely 2,500 residents who have radically over-achieved to earn their place at this event.

    Xavi said of his team's first task: "I try to say to them that the pressure now is on me. Don't be afraid to play football, otherwise it's impossible to have success.

    "When you have the ball you cannot feel pressure otherwise you cannot play well. With my experience, when I was playing with pressure it was impossible to do things. For sure they will show they are ready to compete against everybody."

     

    Player to watch

    Al Sadd - Gabi

    Like Xavi, former Atletico Madrid man Gabi boasts years of LaLiga experience and his playmaking ability should make him stand out from the pack at the level of Wednesday's game.

    Hienghene Sport - Bertrand Kai

    Kai, who manages a boarding school as a day job, won the Golden Ball award at the 2019 OFC Champions League as the competition's outstanding player. Like Gabi, he is 36 but a force to be reckoned with.

  • Arsenal interested in Paulo Sousa, claims entourage of Bordeaux coach Arsenal interested in Paulo Sousa, claims entourage of Bordeaux coach

    Arsenal have identified Bordeaux coach Paulo Sousa as a potential successor to Unai Emery, a source close to the Portuguese tactician has claimed.

    Following an underwhelming start to the season, Emery was dismissed by Arsenal in late November, with Freddie Ljungberg taking over in an interim capacity.

    Although Ljungberg guided Arsenal to a 3-1 win at West Ham on Monday, the Swede is not thought to be in contention for the job on a full-time basis.

    Patrick Vieira, Marcelino Garcia Toral, Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta have all been linked with the vacancy at the Premier League club.

    But Sousa, who has taken Bordeaux to fifth in the Ligue 1 table this season, is also attracting interest, according to his entourage.

    They told L'Equipe: "They like his profile as a coach but also as a person – we've been blown away.

    "That doesn't mean he'll leave. They've targeted several candidates, but Paulo is one of them, certainly. Between the two [Arsenal and Sousa], it could be a match.

    "With all the problems at Bordeaux, why wouldn't he leave? The project is not what he was promised, that's a fact.

    "He loves the fans, but he needs more from the board - this team is not strong enough to finish in the top six."

    Sousa is no stranger to English football having already coached QPR, Swansea City and Leicester City, while he has also had spells in charge of Basel, Fiorentina and Tianjin Quanjian in China.

    Despite apparently having a desire to talk with Sousa, Bordeaux's head of recruitment Eduardo Macia insists the Gunners have not been in touch with the club.

    "It would be normal that he arouses interest, but we have not been contacted," Macia told L'Equipe.

  • Deschamps signs new deal to lead France in World Cup defence Deschamps signs new deal to lead France in World Cup defence

    Didier Deschamps will lead France in their World Cup defence after committing to Les Bleus through to the end of their Qatar 2022 mission.

    The new deal for the head coach, confirmed at a news conference in Paris, rewards the former midfielder for his ongoing success with the national team.

    Deschamps was contracted until the end of Euro 2020 but has committed for a further two and a half years to take in another World Cup trophy quest.

    The Qatar finals take place from November 21 until December 18, and if Deschamps sees out his contract he will complete a full decade in his post.

    Appointed in July 2012, initially on a two-year deal, he oversaw France's Euro 2016 campaign on home soil, where they lost to Portugal in the final.

    Les Bleus went one better at Russia 2018, a 4-2 victory over Croatia in the final seeing Deschamps match the feat of Franz Beckenbauer with West Germany and Mario Zagallo with Brazil in becoming a World Cup winner both as a player and as a manager.

    He was captain of France's triumphant 1998 team and played most notably at club level for Marseille and Juventus, winning the Champions League with both.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.