Under-17 footballers on a mission
THE Barbados Under-17 football team will go to Suriname this Sunday with a mission of securing top spot in Group D of Stage One in the CONCACAF Zone, for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.The young ambassadors will need to overcome challenges from the host country, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada because only one team from this group will advance to Stage 2 in Jamaica later this year.It has been a tough selection process to cut the squad to 18 players for coach Kenville Layne and his management staff. Eight months ago, 70 players started training, with the elimination of players done through a series of practice matches against local clubs from all four divisions.The squad enjoyed success on Tuesday when they defeated the touring North Cestarin Grammar School from England 1-0, courtesy of a header from Parish Land FC defender Shaquille Bradshaw.The players are currently in camp for a week, a decision which coach Layne said was made for their social and psychological assessment in a setting away from home, as well as to foster stronger team chemistry.Layne, who has coached every level of Barbados’ national programme, has identified some challenges during his preparation but said he was confident and expected the players to do very well in Suriname.From a technical standpoint, he credits the defence as the fortress of his team, praising their communication and organisational skills.Layne also mentioned the diversity of his squad; being able to play three formations – 4-4-2, 3-5-2 and 4-3-3 – all of which were used during the practice matches. “I believe they prefer the 3-5-2, as it is the one they play more comfortably and concede the least goals,” he said.He also believes his greatest challenge in the group would come from Suriname.“They will play a South American style of football, quick passing and moving,” Layne said but noted he had a plan to overcome that style of play.
SQUAD: Raheem Thomas, Joshua Hynam, Mario Alleyne, Amal Mayers, Jomo Harris, Akeem Maloney, Richard Howard, Shane Sealy, Shomari Stevenson, Jevon Durant, Dayo Ward, Mark Williams, Romario Griffith, Nathanael Maynard, Jabarry Chandler,Zari Prescod, Diquan Adamson, and Armande Griffith.
OFFICIALS: Dave Small (manager), Barney Callender (assistant manager), Kenville Layne (coach), Barry Taylor (assistant coach), Anreco Ramsay (medic/trainer), Antonio Brandford (equipment manager).