Barbados’ head coach Russell Latapy has insisted that he would like to see practices that are conducive to professionalism and international standards being adopted by footballers in the island.
Latapy explained that there was a place and a time for everything when he spoke at a press conference yesterday as Barbados prepare to host the United States Virgin Islands tomorrow at 8.p.m in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football Nations League.
Speaking at the Barbados Football Association’s Wildey, St. Michael AstroTurf, Latapy noted: “I am saying when you get invited to play with your national team and we are preparing, do what is required and then on your free time do what makes you happy.
“I don’t think a lot of the stuff is a question of discipline, I think it is more a question of organisation. I think that if you put the right structure in place then the players would fall in line.”
The former Trinidad and Tobago midfielder said he has spotted a few talented prospects from the ongoing Capelli Sport Super Cup tournament and had already called up Youth Milan pair of Ramon Griffith and Ramario Drakes along with Zinio Harris of Empire to join the squad.
“I would take opportunities like this to use young players like Ramario Drakes, and get them into the system straightaway. I think he is one of the players for the future. Not saying if he is going to directly take part in the game, only what happens on the pitch is going to determine that. But if you could have him involved with the squad and being around and being on the bench and stuff like that, I think it is going to be a good experience in the long run,” coach Latapy said.
Last year November the senior Tridents hosted and trounced USVI 3-0 in the CONCACAF Nations League, and coach Latapy is hoping for even better results this time around. He also noted that they were some forced changes made to the squad.
England born right-winger Nicholas Blackman will be the lone overseas-based player on the field for Barbados on Saturday and also the away match in USVI scheduled for this coming Tuesday.
Fellow forwards Hallam Hope and teenager Thierry Gale will not feature along with defensive players Kaeson Trench [red card suspension] and Carl Hinkson on two yellows. Defender Trench will be replaced by Akeem Hill at left centre-back, and Ricardo Morris will take over for Hinkson at right-back.
Tridents lost their most recent encounter 3-2 to the Cayman Islands at the Truman Bodden Stadium and Latapy has no intentions of taking USVI likely.
He also praised the Barbados senior men’s team for being one of the top sides in the Caribbean Football Union region but said they needed to work on areas such as gelling more to make steady progress.
“From where I am sitting, my aim, my objective is to get us as far as we can in this tournament, so if I am going to get 6-0 right now, I’ll take it. But I will be more than happy with one more goal than the other team.
“We treat everybody with respect. I expect the same from the USVI, and in terms of the results, it is pretty much like ours. But I think this game is a very important game in terms of moving forward to the next stage. I think that the winner of these two games would definitely stake a claim for moving onto the next round.
“I have always thought from day one that we have a lot of talented players. I think that in terms of the CFU [Caribbean Football Union] region, our players in terms of their technical abilities are on par with everybody else. I think that my challenge is to get the boys gelling together, get the intensity up, get us playing as a team and get us to win football games which I think we are in the process of doing. There is a lot of steady progress in terms of our structure, our organisation, our understanding of the game. Obviously these things take a little time but we are moving forward, and we are quite happy about that,” Latapy said.
Israeli-based professional striker Blackman scored a brace for Barbados on home soil against Saint Maartin recently, and the Maccabi Tel Aviv player hopes to maintain that good form tomorrow night.
“The more time I spend here training with the guys and playing with the guys, I use that to understand their game more, and I think it would help in the future going forward,” Blackman explained, while coach Latapy sang his praises saying that the Barbados dressing room emulates his professionalism.
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