Soca Warriors up for the fight against Reggae Boyz
THE YOUTHFUL Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) senior football team is eager to get going against arch-rivals Jamaica as the two are set to play in two friendly internationals in the coming days.
The Soca Warriors will get their first workout today at the JFF-UWI-Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence, and head coach Angus Eve has made it clear that he will be using the two games to gauge the team’s readiness for more pressing assignments on the horizon.
T&T will use the matches as preparation for upcoming Concacaf Nations League and Gold Cup qualifiers versus The Bahamas in Nassau on March 24 and against Nicaragua on March 27 at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago.
For defender Alvin Jones, a fixture against Jamaica has always brought out the best in the twin-island republic’s players whether home or away.
“Playing against Jamaica, it is always a personal rivalry, and we are up for it. It has also always been a battle between us for the top spot in the Caribbean for some time now.”
The gap between the teams on the FIFA rankings is stark, and the last two results have not been in favour of the visiting T&T team, which lost 2-1 the last time they met back in 2017.
At the Montego Bay Sports Complex, where the first encounter will take place on Saturday, the Jamaicans came away with a victory on penalties in the 2014 Caribbean Cup.
For defender Neveal Hackshaw, the team is focusing on the bigger assignments coming up, however, they will not be taking the Jamaicans lightly.
“We are playing Jamaica, but we are really prepping for Nicaragua and The Bahamas. These friendlies should be good because we haven’t played a team outside in a long while. Everyone is up for the fight and what the coach has for us to do.”
Head coach Angus Eve remembers some of the battles that Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica have had over the years during his playing days, and the man who has been calling the shots for the Soca Warriors since 2021 is labelling these upcoming games as “invaluable”.
“I said from the beginning we need to establish ourselves in the Caribbean, so this would go some way in assessing their local-based group against our local-based group.”
Trinidad and Tobago’s lone victory since the start of the year came back in January when they defeated St Martin 2-0.