By Neto Baptiste
National striker Tevaughn Harriet said he opted out of travelling with the senior men’s team to Curacao for fear he would not be able to give 100 percent on the field.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Harriet said that despite having surgery on his right knee last year, he is still not comfortable playing on an artificial turf like that in Curacao where the Benna Boys are scheduled to open their Group A qualifying campaign against Montserrat.
“When I heard the game had changed to Curacao and knowing that Curacao has an [artificial] turf, because of the surgery that I did, my knee cannot manage the turf, so I told Nando [Fernando Abraham], Schyan Jeffers and Lenny Hewlett that I don’t think it would be best for me to travel with the team knowing that I can’t get 100 percent on the turf. If it was grass, then it would be different but the turn is too heavy and from since I did the surgery, when training on the turf there was always some discomfort,” he said.
The sought-after Parham player revealed that he could be traveling to Spain in June to meet renowned surgeon, Ramon Cugat, for further assessment.
“I have to do another MRI and then he would advise me on the next step, but the only advantage I have is my age and time. He is a specialist so I am confident with him because when I looked at Van Dijk’s injury, Suarez, Agüero and Medes who all went to him [Cugat] maybe two or three times and they are back to normal as we watch them every weekend. So if he says I have to go under the knife again then I’ll tell him put me to sleep,” he said.
Harriet, a UPP political hopeful for the St Peter Constituency, said there are some flaws in the make-up of the squad, but believes there is enough firepower to get the job done and advance from Group A.
“The only weakness I see the team has to date is in our center backs. I don’t see a formidable pair in center-half. We are strong around the pitch, from goalkeeper going right around, but in the center-back I don’t see a strong pairing. There is Karanja Mack who has experience and who has been through it all. At the moment Ziggy [Tamorley Thomas] is scheduled as a center-back and you have Jervez Lee but I don’t see two of them out of the three telling teams that they can’t score,” he said.
Antigua and Barbuda Benna Boys will contest Group A of the CONCACAF qualifiers alongside El Salvador, Grenada, the US Virgin Islands and Montserrat.