Easy talk: Trinidad and Tobago "Soca Warriors" skipper Jan-Michael Williams, left, and Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation president Raymond Tim Kee share a light moment during a TTFF media conference at Cascadia Hotel And Conference Centre, St Ann's yesterday. –Photo: ANISTO ALVES

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TTFF seeking Peru friendlies

By Mark Pouchet

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF) is hoping to secure a friendly match against South American side Peru on February 6 as part of the men's senior national football team's preparations for the Gold Cup in July. The game is to kick off at the Ato Boldon Stadium from 8 p.m. and will cost $100 for adults and be free for children under 16.

TTFF president Raymond Tim Kee announced that his organisation is also in the planning stages for a return game, as well as another match to be hosted by South Korea.

The 71st ranked T&T team will call on the services of locally-based players for the first Peru encounter as well as foreign recruits like Kenwyne Jones (Stoke City, England), Carlos Edwards (Ipswich Town, England), Khaleem Hyland (Racing Genk, Belgium), Darryl Roberts (Samunspor, Turkey), Jlloyd Samuel (Esteghal, Iran) and Nick De Leon (USA).

The team from Peru, two-time Copa America champions, is expected to feature such players as Claudio Pizarro (Bayern Munich, Germany), Jefferson Farfan (Schalke 04, Germany), Carlos Zambrano (Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany) and Juan Manoel Vargas (Genoa, Italy). The South American squad may also include Rinaldo Cruzado (Chievo Verona, Italy), Andre Carrillo (Sporting Lisbon, Portugal) and Paolo Guerrero (Corinthians, Brazil).

Besides the two games with Peru and the match in South Korea--for which Tim Kee said the airfare, accommodation, ground transport and meals will be sponsored by the South Korean Football Association--Tim Kee said the TTFF is looking into two additional warm-up matches before the Gold Cup.

Captain of the T&T side, Jan-Michael Williams said the players are happy with the direction the TTFF is taking by securing the warm-up games.

"The guys have a lot of confidence in Mr (Raymond) Tim Kee and his TTFF executive in terms of what they are doing to make sure we get good match practice against international teams, and that we get good preparation for the Gold Cup. So we are quite happy with what we have seen and we wish the TTFF continues on this path," Williams said.

Tim Kee said he contacted former Minister of Sport Manohar Ramsaran, the current sports tourism manager at the Tourism Development Company (TDC) to negotiate the Peru encounter.

"He (Ramsaran) had said he would do whatever he could once available and I took him up on that," Tim Kee said.

The result is that the TDC will underwrite some of the costs of hosting the Peruvians here to the tune of nearly $500,000.

Tim Kee added that the national team's sponsorship with Adidas recently came to an end and that he is seeking to hold talks with Admiral, Puma and Adidas about new contracts for the national team.

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