By Neto Baptiste
Four new players have been added to the senior men’s national football training squad as they resume sessions in preparation for their June 4 World Cup Qualifier against Grenada here in Antigua.
Defenders Carlos Title (All Saints United) and Chad Williams of Greenbay Hoppers, Liberta Blackhawks midfielder Shaquan Knight, and striker Keon Greene of Cedar Grove Blue Jays have all been called up by the team’s selection panel.
One member of the coaching panel, Schyan Jeffers, said the players have been responding well to training thus far.
“The turnout is good; everybody is upbeat and up tempo since we started out last week Monday. The condition in terms of the fitness of the players looks much better in terms of their awareness and everything so their football sense is much better. The ball passing has also been much better, faster with guys running into space much better and that sort of thing right now,” he said.
The former national players also pointed out that one veteran player has recovered from injury and rejoined the team in training at the football associations training and technical center on Factory Road.
“Ziggy [Tamorley Thomas] just came back yesterday [Tuesday] but who had been doing therapy all the time. Every time the team trains he is there but he just stepped onto the pitch for the first time on Tuesday. Everything is running smoothly, we have two busses taking the guys to and fro so it’s not a problem in terms of transportation. The protocols remain the same, we are still doing our regular temperature checks and all the other stuff that goes along with the protocols,” he said.
Antigua and Barbuda currently lead Group A on goal difference but are leveled with El Salvador on four points. Jeffers underscored the importance of the team’s next match.
“Our two games coming up against Grenada an El Salvador are two very crucial games for us but this one against Grenada will definitely set the tone in terms of our confidence in terms of where we want to be so this game is very important and it is important that we get to play this game at home so we could get that home court advantage,” the coach said.
Antigua and Barbuda have won one and drawn one of their two matches to date, a similar statistic to that of El Salvador. The Benna Boys have however scored five times and allowed two goals while El Salvador has scored three and allowed one.