The return of six overseas based players will result in the Barbados senior national men’s team being at full strength when they depart in two weeks’ time to compete in the second round of the Group D CONCACAF Qualifiers.
Head of the men’s team Russell Latapy announced during a virtual press conference this morning that overseas based players Omani Leacock, Krystian Pearce, Nicholas Blackman, Hallam Hope, Ryan Trotman and Thierry Gale are all available to represent the country.
Meanwhile, experienced centerback Ricardo Morris and Armando Lashley are also expected to make a return in an effort to help the side earn a place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Barbados will feature in two matches against hosts Dominican Republic on June 4th and Dominica on June 8th at the Felix Sanchez Olympic Stadium.
In March the Bajan Tridents lost their opening match 1-0 against Panama but were victorious 1-0 over Anguilla in their second match.
Considering the Bajan Tridents’ familiarity with the playing conditions and climate, coach Latapy said he did not believe these would affect their preparation physically or tactically.
“The reality is that we prepare the same way for games wherever we play, home or away. I think what is good for us is that the players have been there and they are comfortable with the places that we stayed. I think we are familiar with the training pitch we used before, so in those terms we are happy.
“But in reality the preparation is always the same. How we want to play, what we are going to do in our defence, what we are going to do in offence, what we are going to do in set plays. So, in relation to the preparation it is pretty much the same like when we are getting ready for the games. Let us continue to do what we do best and the things that we need to improve on we focus on them a little more and see if we can get them right on match day,” he said.
As always the senior national side’s objective is to impose more of the way they play on the opposition. Latapy said he was seeing signs of belief in their philosophy, based on the players who were looking more confident in the way they play, particularly in their first two matches against Panama and Anguilla.
He is hoping that his players can show more of how they feel not just to themselves but also the country. Latapy revealed that they were now down to 26 players along with three goalkeepers and the final cut to 24 would be made in the coming days before they travelled.
Another positive for Latapy and his coaching staff is that there are seven Under-20 players who are also part of the senior national set-up. These are Nashton Browne, Andre Applewaithe, Jamol Williams, Rashon Gittens, Niall Reid- Stephens, Tajo James and Devonte Richards.
“I am happy and delighted to say that over the past year a lot of these boys have gotten stronger, have a better understanding of the game and they are actually getting to the point now where they are working themselves into contention for places on the senior team. So, right now we have seven players from the Under-20 team who are actually training with the senior team. I think the next two weeks will determine if all seven of these players make the final squad to travel.
“These young players, they have gone away, they come back, they are fit, there are focused. In terms of adapting to the senior squad they were doing the same things at Under-20. So, it is making it really easy and good for me as a coach to integrate these players into the senior team. It looks really good for the future that we have these young players coming through to the senior team,” the coach said.