St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN); When the St. Kitts-Nevis senior men’s national football team comes up against Barbados in an internationally friendly match tonight (May 6), seven Under 20 players will be part of the squad.
Coach Jacque Passey explained playing a younger national team for this game.
“For us it’s such an important game. We are going to present a squad, which out of the twenty players we’ve been working with, seven of them played in the U-20 qualifiers just two months ago.
“We’re very used to seeing some of the players that have been playing for St. Kitts and Nevis for a long time now but always there’s a moment in football when the national team has to see the younger players consolidate, have to see what each one of the players can do on the field.”
The seven teenaged players are Dennis Flemming, Tyquan Terrell, Javaughn Brookes, Yohannes Mitchum; Delano Hodge, G'Vaune Amory, and Tahir Hanley.
The other national players are Keithroy Freeman, Jamal Jeffers, Adolphus Jones, Alain Sargeant, Justin Springer, Gerard Williams, Clyde Mitchum, Vidal Hendrickson, Joash Leader, Errol O'Loughlin, Javeim Blanchette and team captain Thrizen Leader.
Coach Passey said a few of the younger players will get the opportunity to be part of the starting line-up, however with additional substitutions allowed for this game, the others could get the opportunity to showcase their talent on the field during the course of the match.
“When the SKNFA asks for your support, asks fans to come, they’re not only asking you to come see the team win, which of course is the most important thing, but they are asking each and every fan to come and see some of the young players that are gonna play. Not all seven of them are gonna start the game but we are going to have a couple of the U 20 players in the starting lineup Saturday.
“It’s going to be an important transitional moment for the team; a significant moment for the team.”
On Friday President of the St. Kitts Nevis Football Association Anthony Johnson announced that the Sugar Boyz will be traveling to Europe in June to play against Armenia and Georgia on the 4th and 6th, respectively.
Coach Passey said some of the younger players will be on the national squad that will travel to Europe; in fact he is confident that many of the Under 20 players have the potential to advance to the senior squad.
“Out of the twenty players that were in the tournament just recently in the qualifiers maybe 80% of the team has the quality, the technique and the talent to transition to the senior national team. We can look at each individual player and you would see some outstanding talent in players like G’Vaune, Johannes, Delano, Tahir, and many other players; but not only that, in the team right now we have one player who played in the U17 qualifiers last year who is 17 years old right now which is Jomo.
“At the end of the day new talent is nothing if it is not supported by professionalism, mentality, discipline, work ethic. So what I can tell you is the talent is there but these games and the camps we host allows us to realized which of these players not only has the talent- which is of course tremendously important in football, but also comes with the entire support that is required to be successful on a national team and in professional football overall.
“The future looks bright in terms of the talent. Now these players need to show that their overall standard, their overall approach to football is equally professional.
“I have the hope that many of these players are going to consolidate. At least two or three players that were in U 20 tournament are going to be in Europe next month.”
The National Coach praised the efforts the SKNFA has been making to develop the players and the sport, creating a bright future for football in the federation.
“I must say that I am very impressed by the extraordinary job that the Football Association is doing in terms of understanding the present, understanding the future and taking string decisions in looking towards the future of football in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“I am thrilled that Barbados is here; I am thrilled that we are going to be able to play in Europe next month; I am thrilled by the overall perspective that I see in the future of the national team and football in general in St. Kitts and Nevis.”