Benna Boys Squad Named For Nations Cup Opener

The Antigua and Barbuda Benna Boys will host St. Lucia on Friday in the CONCACAF Nations Cup. (File photo)

Antigua and Barbuda Benna Boys will feature 10 England-based players when they host the St. Lucia national team in the opening round of the CONCACAF Nations Cup slated for Friday at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.

Head coach and former national striker, Derrick “Pretty Boy” Edwards, revealed the names of the 10 players who are now on island preparing for the crucial encounter.

“Josh Parker, Duran Martin, Calaum Jahraldo Martin, Miles Weston, Mahlo Romeo, Zane Angol Francis, Courtney Wildlen and we have Daniel Bowry, Brentton Muhammad and Thomas Bramble are the English players,” he said. 

Two other national players living in the USA, utility player Quinton Griffith and goalkeeper Molvin James, are also on island and will feature in the 23-member squad.

The other members of the team are Peter Byers, Stefan Smith, Tevaughn “Peter Redz” Harriet, Prince Walters, Novel Francis, Karanja Mack, Jevaughn Stevens, Juwan Roberts, Leroy Graham, Mervin Hazelwood and Junior Benjamin.

Edwards is confident in the England-based players’ ability to perform at a high level despite only arriving 48 hours before the contest.

“It’s not going to be anything different, they know the system and they will just come and fit in. Of course, they have two days to prepare and I think that is good enough because they are playing football, so they are not home sitting on their couch with their feet up and they are part of the team for quite a long while, so they understand the system,” the coach said.

Edwards is however adamant that the players must go out and execute the game plan if the team is to be successful on Friday.

“It’s not a two leg sort of situation, it’s a one leg so it is going to be important that we stay focused and we go into the game and execute the game plan. I think that we have a good unit looking [based] on the training session last night [Tuesday] so I think we should be in good standing come Friday,” he said.

“I would say that we are probably about 90 percent prepared right now and even though we started a bit late the local players put in some work over the past few weeks and we’ve seen a lot of improvement over the past week or two,” he added.

Friday’s match will start at 6:00 p.m. and carries an entrance fee of $20 for adults and $10 per child, 12-years and under.