Domestic football will be in the spotlight tomorrow night when the national team take on Curacao in the first round of the Scotiabank Caribbean Football Union’s Caribbean Cup at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex.
Barbados have included three overseas-based players in captain Emmerson Boyce, goalkeeper Keasel Broome and 24-year-old midfielder Louis Moss, in their 20-man squad. The team will be led by veteran Boyce, who has the experience of playing in the English Premier League with Wigan Athletic. He led that team to FA Cup glory in 2013.
Moss, who debuted for Barbados in 2011, was born in Chester, England, to a Barbadian mother and has made six previous appearances for the national squad. He currently plays for Colwyn Bay.
Broome was born in the United States but has Barbadian heritage with his father Keasel Broome Sr. being originally from Crab Hill, St Lucy. He has two caps for Barbados, playing last year in the World Cup qualification matches where he performed outstandingly. He last played for the New York Cosmos in the North American Soccer League.\
The squad, which is likely to be reduced to 18 by the first whistle tomorrow, includes newcomers Elijah Downey and Armando Lashley. Downey and Lashley are so far having a relatively good premiership season for local club Direct TV Paradise and will most likely be seen in national colours tomorrow night.
Noticeably absent from the team are Kemar Headley and Jabari Chandler who have more than likely paid the price for having sub-par performances during the on-going domestic season
Speaking to local media today during another successful Barbados Football Association grassroots programme for the students of Grazettes and Eagle Hall Primary schools at the Deacons, St Michael pasture, Boyce said the match-up would be a tough one against a Curacao side that had some good technical players.
“It is going to be tough but we intend to put on a good show with the support of the Barbadian public and hopefully get the right result. We have some young talented players who want to show how good they are and tomorrow night will be one of their many opportunities,” Boyce said.
Boyce told Barbados TODAY that his aim was to help the Barbados senior team progress as far as they could go on the international scene and in an international tournament.
“My dream is to get Barbados into a major tournament and that is my drive to carry on playing football. I still feel good and football has changed especially in Europe and for me it’s how you look after your body and I have been fortunate enough to listen to older players that have played into their forties at the highest level. So I feel as though I still have another two years in me and to be selected to play with the national side is a sense of pride for me to keep playing until we get into a major tournament,” the 36-year-old midfielder explained.
Broome expressed his delight at being a part of the Barbados set-up once again.
“I feel really excited and look forward to working with a young crop of talented guys. Personally, I feel great physically and mentally thanks to my pre-season training. So I am looking to go out there tomorrow night and give one hundred percent,” the 24- year-old six-footer said.
The Barbados side will also have further motivation to give of their best tomorrow night.
The squad and the extended local football fraternity were thrown into a state of sadness today with the news of the sudden death of former national assistant coach Randolph Cox. Cox also coached Rendezvous last year and was the coach of Pinelands in this season’s premiership. He was 45.
The full squad for tomorrow’s game that starts at 8 p.m. is: goalkeepers: Dario Weir, Keasel Broome; defenders –– Paul Alexander, Ricardio Morris, Ranaldo Bailey; midfielders –– Emmerson Boyce, Rashad Jules, Ramario Harewood, Raheim Sargeant, Ranaldo Marques, Rico Graham, Mario Williams, Jamal Chandler, Jomo Harris, Haydn Holligan, Louis Moss, Elijah Downey; forwards –– Mario Harte, Arantees Lawrence, Armando Lashley.