Barbados’ number one goalkeeper Keaseal Broome will not feature in the goal bars this coming Sunday, June 3, when the senior Tridents host Belize in an international friendly football match at the Barbados Football Association’s Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf.
Broome, currently nursing an injury, has opened the gate of opportunity for three premier league goalkeepers. They are Jason Boxill of Paradise Football Club, Kishmar Primus of Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme [BDFSP] and University of the West Indies Blackbirds teenage sensation Liam Brathwaite.
This is the first time in football history that Barbados will play the Belize Jaguars, as both teams prepare for the upcoming Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) League of Nations qualifiers commencing September 2018.
It is speculated that Brathwaite will get the nod over Boxill and Primus but BFA technical director Ahmed Mohammed said that no matter which one of the three started in the 7 p.m encounter on Sunday, they were all equally talented enough if called upon.
Former national Under-17 captain and center-back Keason Trench who plays Major League Soccer for Toronto Football Club is the only new addition and Mohammed explained that collectively Barbados was a force with which to reckon.
“We are working hard, and we have been training twice a day, physically, mentally and tactically. We are ready for Belize, we know that it is going to be very tough against them, but we will be ready for that. The team is growing, the guys are maturing, and I am seeing improvements. Belize is a totally different team compared to us. They play different football than we are used to, it is more intense, and more one touch football, and they are also very aggressive. That would be good exposure for the guys and then we would see where we are now and what form we are in. It is wrong to say in advance we are this, we are that, but one thing for sure, we are ready for this game.
“Collectively we are really strong. We have a couple of young players with us from our different programmes we have at the BFA, from the Under-17, 20 and 23, and that is to show you how bright our programmes are,” Mohammed said.
Four players have also returned to the national setup. Romario Harewood from serving suspension time for playing in out-of- season football. Right-back Carl Hinkson currently a student at Southern Illinois University, BDFSP attacking midfielder Omani Leacock with the most goals (ten so far) in the premier league was also given the nudge to replace injured striker Zeco Edmee along with Armando ‘Suga’ Lashley who is also returning from injury and will be the obvious choice to start upfront.
Speaking with Barbados TODAY, the 18-year-old Trench said he was elated at the news of being called up and even though he’s suffered a slight toe injury was excited about playing his first international match against Belize.
“I always wanted to play for a national team and since my mom is Barbadian I have the opportunity to do so. And truth is I never thought I would make it into the senior national team, but it happened,” the young center back said.
Meanwhile Hinkson, who played his first international game against Bermuda Gombey Warriors that concluded in a goalless stalemate in March, said he was honoured to play for his country at the age of 21 and felt confident about the upcoming game.
“I played with a number of these guys at a younger level, so coming back it was just a few unfamiliar faces, but everyone is very welcoming, so it has been a fun experience for me,” the former Barbados Soccer Academy player said.
He added: “It is also going to be a test for us where the game against Belize is concerned, and a chance for us to see how good we are. So, we are going to concentrate on ourselves and try to perform to the best of our abilities and hopefully come out victorious.”
Barbados’ opening game in the League of Nations is against hosts Guyana on September 8. However, before they meet the South Americans, Belize will play host to Barbados in what will be the second and final international friendly match on August 4.
The Barbados team reads: Goalkeepers Kishmar Primus, Jason Boxill and Liam Brathwaite, defenders Ranaldo Bailey, Shane Codrington, Carl Hinkson, Rashad Smith, Keason Trench, midfielders Jomo Harris, Akeem Hill, Rashad Jules (captain), Ackeel Applewhaite, Raheim Sargeant, Hadan Holligan, Darico King, Mario Williams, Omani Leacock, strikers Armando Lashley, Dishon Howell and Thierry Gale.
The management team reads: Technical Director, Ahmed Mohamed, assistant technical director, Michael Foster, assistant coach Fitzgerald Carter, team manager Martin Newton, team medic Nicola Yard and team trainer Ryan Brewster.