Despite a relatively rough tour of Martinique Barbados’ senior football team arrived at Grantley Adams International Airport this morning in high spirits and optimistic about their chances in the next round of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) qualifiers scheduled to take place October 6 to 13 in Haiti.
The arrival party was led by manager Fabian Wharton and senior coach Colin Forde. Wharton told Barbados TODAY that many of his players got sick in Martinique and in addition they were up against it with the likes of a very good Suriname team and hosts Martinique who had four to five professional players in their line-up.
“It was a rough tour for us in many aspects because we had some guys getting sick and we had to dig really deep into our resources to make things happen. At the end of the day it was rough for us because we were playing a Suriname team that was very good and a Martinique team that had in four to five professional players. We also played a Bonaire team that had very fit players and they are a very defensive side but at the end of the day it is the unity within the Barbados team that brought us through. We had a good combination of senior and junior players so we had a good mix of experience and that also brought us through,” he said.
Wharton said he was very happy with the selection of the squad but added there were some areas that management would focus their attention on and one of those key areas would be the mental aspect of the game.
“I am very happy with the squad we took and the elevens that we played and at the end of the day when you give someone a role they are expected to perform that role to the best of their ability and that was what happened. We asked the guys sometimes to do things that they were not accustomed doing but the entire team pulled together as a unit to achieve that goal. There are some areas that we need to take a look at and among those is the mental aspect of the team which involves holding on to leads and focusing a lot more during play,” the manager said.
Going forward Wharton believed Barbados should do well playing in Haiti because of the unity in the team.
“We always have a good chance and the reason I say that is because this team is together. There are no separations in this team. This is a united and happy team and sometimes a little too happy for my liking because they are always laughing and having fun. The senior and the juniors get along well and the players want to do well and because of that everybody gets along well. I also understand that many people were not expecting us to advance and the fact that we did speaks to the hard work and dedication from the overall team,” he said.
Forde told Barbados TODAY despite having three difficult games it was an excellent performance from the local boys and he was happy with the overall performance in all three games.
Forde said they were hoping to incorporate a few Barbadian-born international players in order to strengthen the team heading off to Haiti in October.
“There are a number of Barbadian players from overseas who have shown interest and if we can get them to come in they can strengthen the side even more. If you can get players from overseas it can only make the team stronger and what we have to make sure to do is bring the right players and not just any players. We need a player that would fit in and one that would really improve the side,” the veteran coach explained.
Barbados will play hosts Haiti, St Kitts and French Guyana in October.
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