Hart, Tim Kee want more matches
Trinidad and Tobago’s senior footballers will look forward to their 11th international match of the year when they face hosts Saudi Arabia in the third place playoff at the OSN Cup in Riyadh on Monday.
T&T have played six friendly internationals for the year and are likely to have at least two further matches before the close of 2013. T&T have not had the luxury of playing more than ten games per year outside of World Cup qualifying matches of Caribbean Cup encounters in recent years.
“It’s important for us to have as many games that we possibly can,” TTFA President Raymond Tim Kee said on the eve of his arrival in Riyadh to witness T&T’s game against Saudi Arabia.
“This is all in preparation for our 2018 campaign but what it does is provide our players with an opportunity to gain as much experience as possible and we are able to develop or build new relationships with countries within and outside of the CONCACAF region.
“I was particularly impressed with the way the team came from three goals down to level the scores… that kind of drive and determination is what we are trying to develop. Of course we want to win games but we have to start by playing as regularly as we can… once we can afford to engage in these outings.”
Some members of the T&T squad travelled for close to 30 hours before arriving in Riyadh, just over a day before the match against United Arab Emirates which T&T lost 7-6 on penalty kicks after rallying to come back from three goals to level it in the final minute on Thursday. Head coach Stephen Hart believes the experience will add some character to the T&T squad which will face Saudi Arabia for the fourth time ever after the homeside lost 1-0 to New Zealand on Thursday.
“It’s all part of the experience of developing yourself as a player for international football… part of the total development of a national team. We knew it was going to be difficult but we are prepared to do more than just sitting at home and playing games against Caribbean opponents or other teams from the region. This is the journey we have to set out on if we are to think of future World Cup qualifications or proper representation on the international stage,” he added.