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TnT Team News ! - 11-Jun-2003
Tue Jun 10, 2003 23:23

‘Soca Warriors’ remain undefeated in Africa.
By: Shaun Fuentes in Gaborone.

Trinidad and Tobago’s senior footballers remained undefeated on their tour of Africa when they enjoyed the better of the openings in a 0-0 draw with Botswana’s senior team at the National Stadium in Gaborone on Tuesday evening.
The encounter turned out to be T&T’s toughest of their four matches so far since arriving in Africa on May 27 but once again, failure to put away the scoring chances proved to be the “Soca Warriors” downfall in front of the 5,000 odd fans which had a “Trini” posse of about 30 fans backed by a rhythm section.
Playing against a Botswana team coming off a slim 1-0 loss to Libya in an African Cup of Nations Qualifier last Saturday, T&T never let their guards down but still a win was theirs for the taking on the eve of a trip to Port Elizabeth for the more important international against South Africa next Saturday.
The home team, coached by Yugoslavian Jelusic Veselin, was the one having the first look at goal inside the seventh minute when Maho Mabago’s header went over bar from a left side corner.
Soon enough T&T settled into their own and had the Botswana defence busy as the game approached the 15th minute. Silvio Spann, playing just behind strikers Nigel Pierre and Hector Sam in a 3-4-3 system, proved to be a weapon in T&T’s play that should have done more damage, maybe with a more luck involved. The former Italian-based player had Botswana goalkeeper Kagso Thelamesi rising to the occasions as he whipped several inswingers from both flanks.
A foul on Pierre allowed the ex-St Benedict’s College skipper to drive a 25 metre free kick inches wide of the left post. A minute later as Sam tumbled over on the left, Spann took the kick which swung in powerfully on the near post and Sam’s volley rebounded off the crossbar before being scrambled to safety.
Less that five minutes passed following that scare for the “Zebras” before Spann again was causing trouble. Another inswinging free kick from near the left corner had Thelamesi rushing backwards to push around his near post.
T&T didn’t let their gears down and in the 18th minute as Reynold Carrington’s defence broke down an attack, Spann and Mulraine combined on the counter but Pierre’s effort on goal was saved low by the ‘keeper.
It was all one way traffic at this point and Nigel Daniel was on the end of a knock back by Spann following a long throw out by Williams, but his late shot from the penalty spot was blocked by a defender.
As the interval approached, Botswana went close on a couple occasions. Duncan Kgoshiang almost punished T&T for failing to deal with a high ball from the right. Luckily his volley from point blank range flashed past the left post. On the stroke of halftime, Masego Nishantane made Williams save a low free kick. Defender Brent Sancho was steady as ever with Keyeno Thomas tidy on the left and Travis Mulraine and Dale Saunders marshalling the central midfield.
The second half saw Botswana contented on packing more in defence and T&T’s chances on goal were limited. Mulraine shot wide from the top edge of the box on 55 minutes. Twice within the 66th minute, T&T had further chances. First it was Pierre shooting over bar and then Sam’s low crack went across the goal from the left of the box. Pierre’s best effort should have brought the winner with fifteen minutes remaining when he used his stronger physique to win a long ball with two defenders challenging and turned only to hit inches over back with his outer right foot from the left edge of the box.
T&T’s performance was good enough to leave Miss Botswana 2003 Boingotlo Motlalekgosi smiling as she viewed the game from the covered section. “For me, I think your guys did well. Hopefully they can keep it up in your next game against South Africa,” she told TTFF Media.
Stuart Charles Fevrier would hope though that his “Soca Warriors” can get it better come next Saturday on the back of other 1-1 and 2-0 results in Kenya and a 1-0 win in Soweto.
Coach Stuart Fevrier said “I felt as a team we made progress once again. The players showed signs of improvement in their concentration and the team organization and passion was good. But we still need to improve our transition game in terms of transforming from defence to attack. We were better changing from attack to defence but we need more offensively. This is the area we need to work on. I was most pleased about the fact that we were consistent throughout the ninety minutes and I felt it was our best performance of the tour so far,” Fevrier told TTFF Media. “I thought it was a fair result because Botswana also enjoyed a good performance.” The St Lucian expects his “Soca Warriors” to rise to the occasion come Saturday when T&T faces South Africa.
“The South Africa leg is obviously the biggest of the tour because this country has the biggest profile of all the teams we have faced. But I feel the bigger the game, the better the players will play. They are showing signs of improvement in every game,” he added. The T&T contingent will leave for Johannesburg by bus on Wednesday morning at 7 am (1:00am T&T time) from where they will then have a one hour flight to Port Elizabeth.

T&T Line Up:
Jan-Michael Williams, Reynold Carrington, Keyeno Thomas, Brent Sancho, Silvio Spann (Conrad Smith 88th), Travis Mulraine, Carlos Edwards, Hector Sam (Jason Scotland 80th), Nigel Pierre, Dale Saunders, Nigel Daniel.

Subs Not Used:
Derek King, Peter Ramon Fortune, Kerwyn Jemmott, Avery John, Anton Pierre.

Clayton Ince and Collin Samuel were out with abdominal and ankle injuries respectively.
Two-year deal for Brent Sancho.
By: Shaun Fuentes.

Defender Brent Sancho is in the final stages of negotiating a two-year contract with Scottish Premier League club Dundee.
The drealocked Sancho, now on tour with the national team in Africa, says he expects to be a Dundee player by the beginning on July.
“By the end of this month we might even have the final details on paper. It looks like a two-year contract,” said Sancho. Brent Sancho also has intentions of focusing fully on his football.
“I’m looking forward to concentrating fully on football and doing my best to be a mainstay on the team. Having met the guys before when they were in Trinidad has made things easier. Hopefully, being able to take my girlfriend Jana across with me will also set the right course. It would be a great opportunity to shape life and football,” said Sancho.
The 26-year-old is expected to team up with the other Dundee players on July 4 for a pre-season tour of North Carolina, USA, as well as a clash with English club Northampton Town.
Hector Sam weighs transfer options.
By: Shaun Fuentes.

English-based striker Hector Sam intends to fight his way back into prolific goalscoring form as the new season approaches. The 26-year-old former Queen’s Royal College player received news while on tour with the national team in South Africa that he had been placed on the Wrexham transfer list by manager Denis Smith, just a few months after signing a new two-year contract.
Sam, along with five other players, have been placed on the list, but Sam’s inclusion was described as a shock by the Wrexham newspapers.
The ex-CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh man is not worried as already clubs in the Second Division have expressed interest in him.
“I heard I’m on the transfer list and there could be a bit of controversy there because I just signed a new contract with the club, but I think there will be a solution when I get back. If the opportunity comes for another club, I’ll grab it, but at the same time I will fight for my spot at Wrexham and I intend to get my form back,” Sam said. He added that his biggest aim at the moment was to help get T&T back on top of their game.
“I’m hoping to help get the positive vibes fully back on track. As Mr Warner said, this really is like a last fling for some of us because after this there really isn’t anything to anticipate. For me personally, I just want to score the goals and lift this country up again.”
‘Bravo’ keeps fit in Trinidad.
By: Shaun Fuentes.

Stern John has continued to do his own fitness training while in Trinidad. The Birmingham City hitman is reportedly training twice a day as he prepares for the new Premiership season.
John, nicknamed ‘Bravo’, received treatment on his long-time right knee injury and has already expressed interest in lining up with the ‘Soca Warriors’ in the friendly against Venezuela at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on July 3.
“Even though I’m not with the national team now, I’m continuing to keep fit and I will be ready for the matches coming up as well as the new Premiership season,” said John.
Longford officials try to block Avery John.
By: Shaun Fuentes.

Defender Avery John could end up at a new club within the next few months. John is contracted with Irish Premier side Longford Town. But John mentioned that if things don’t go smoothly, he will look at other options available. Longford officials attempted to block John from joining the T&T team for the African tour at the last minute, and word is he could experience problems in getting his place back on the team.
“You want to always get at the highest level and my training experience with Colchester United where I got to face clubs like West Ham and Tottenham Hotspurs really opened my eyes. I was able to play against guys like Joe Cole and there were no problems in terms of being able to match these guys. Going to England is the aim but Spain and Germany is also filled with top football and that’s where you get the chance to play Champions League football,” said John.
Collin Samuel saddened by promotion block.
By: Shaun Fuentes.

Having netted 16 goals in his first season to help Falkirk capture the Scottish First Division, striker Colin Samuel says he is feeling the disappointment of the Scottish Association’s decision to not allow his club promotion to the Premier League because of a complication regarding their playing venue.
As a result, Samuel, who has one year left on contract, says he may be tempted to consider the option of joining another club in an attempt to play at a higher level.
“There have been rumours that some of the players will be leaving. I’ll be going back to Falkirk but I’m also looking at other opportunities that may come around especially with the transfer window being opened,” Samuel said on the weekend in Gaborone, Botswana.

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