Hart names T&T squad today
Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart is expected to announce his squad today for the friendly international against Oceania FIFA 2014 World Cup group winners New Zealand, which takes place from 7.15 p.m. next week Tuesday (October 15) at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
New Zealand will play two matches in the United States prior to their arrival in T&T. Their squad is expected to include the likes of Blackburn Rovers midfielder Tim Payne, Burnley’s Cameron Howieson, West Ham United defender Winston Reid, Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith and Leicester City forward Chris Wood as well as Stuttgart FC midfielder Marco Rojas. The All Whites will play Mexican club Queretaro and MLS club Chivas USA, before travelling to play T&T in a warm-up match prior to their World Cup 2014 playoff against the fourth-placed CONCACAF qualifier.
T&T midfielder Densill Theobald, one of the surviving members of the 2006 World Cup squad, had a chance to witness New Zealand in action in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last month. He expects the visitors to be formidable opponents on October 15.
“They will be coming here to get the most of the match as they prepare for the playoffs. It reminds me of our period in 2005 before we faced Bahrain. We didn’t have any warm-ups but our team was in top form after the win against Mexico. New Zealand will want to be on top of their game also,” Theobald said.
“Our team is preparing for the future and the coach is rotating his squad but at the same time I know he wants his best squad available and this will be a great opportunity for us to put on a good performance in front of the home fans. It’s been some time since we played a quality match at the National Stadium and in that sense I think we’re all expecting it to be a fascinating contest,” Theobald added.
New Zealand’s High Performance Director Fred de Jong said the showdown with T&T will be extremely beneficial.
“We’re pretty happy to that we can get this international fixture off the ground because in essence it mirrors our preparation for November should our opposition be Panama or Honduras.”