Warner: Benna Boys not daunted by tough Under-20 group draw

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By Neto Baptiste

Antigua and Barbuda is not daunted after having been drawn in what many have termed a “group of death” for the CONCACAF Under-20 Men’s Championship slated for June next year.

Antigua and Barbuda has been drawn in Group H and will face opposition from Honduras, Cuba and Guatemala.

Head coach, George Warner, said his men have never been intimidated in the past, and they will not start now.

“Honduras beat me 2-1 the last time around, and in the last under-20 we played last year we had them 3-1 then 3-2 and they ended up beating me 4-3. So that alone would say to me that it was a big learning curve for us and that we have to know how to play, how to move the ball faster. We have to realise that we can’t give up free kicks just outside the 18 [yards box] on the left or right because these guys can kick the ball properly, so we have to be more disciplined most of all,” he said.

Antigua and Barbuda finished fourth in Group C in 2018 with six points following two wins in five matches. Antigua had beaten St Maarten 6-1 while defeating Belize 1-0.

Warner said preparations for next year’s tournament will start within weeks.

“The team will start to prepare the first week in [December] as far as I gather. I am supposed to be getting back to the ABFA and get the names [of the selected players] to them and who will be my assistant as far as I gather from the executive. My expectation is to go out there and compete and to make sure that at the end of the day we would have learnt something and move forward to the next level,” the coach said.

The CONCACAF Under-20 Championship is a biennial tournament that determines a champion and the Confederation’s qualifiers for the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Group A: Nicaragua, Guyana, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Montserrat, US Virgin Islands. Group B: Dominican Republic, Grenada, Dominica, Anguilla. Group C: Curacao, Guadeloupe, Belize, St Martin. Group D: Bermuda Puerto Rico, Cayman Islands, Barbados. Group E: USA, Costa, Jamaica, St Kitts & Nevis. Group F: Mexico, El Salvador, Canada, Aruba. Group G: Panama, Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname.

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