Forde for country
FORMER Barbados football captain Norman Forde and experienced goalkeeper Adrian Chase are back at national training and both are almost certain to represent the country in the upcoming World Cup qualifying campaign.
In fact, Forde will be in action from as early as tomorrow when Barbados play St Lucia in a tune-up match at the National Stadium, Waterford, at 7 p.m. Wednesday’s proposed friendly against India, was unfortunately cancelled.
“It is all about representing my country. Once they want me to play for Barbados, I will with my heart and soul. The coach (Colin “Potato” Forde) and Sherlock Yarde (chairman of selectors) called me and I said yes, I would come and play,” Forde told the SUNSPORT last Sunday night during the draft for the lucrative LIME Pelican Out-of-Season Tournament at the Party Stand.
“What ever happened before is in the past even though I was disappointed in the way I was left out. Barbados comes first. Our football is at a stage where the best players should be wearing our national colours. This is World Cup football, the highest level of play,” he added.
Barbados have been drawn in a second-round group with arch rivals, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Bermuda. They will play each other in home and away matches, starting on September 1 when Barbados journey to Guyana for their opening match at the National Stadium in Providence.
This will be followed by a home match against Trinidad and Tobago on September 5 at either the National Stadium or Kensington Oval before the return home game against Guyana on October 6.
The return game against Trinidad and Tobago is set for October 10 in Port-of-Spain, while Barbados play Bermuda in Hamilton on November 10 and host the second leg on November 14.
Forde, 33, and Chase, 34, who were omitted from the original list of trialists, have not played for Barbados since the team failed to advance from the first round in last year’s Digicel Caribbean Cup in St Vincent, last October.
They missed the two away defeats by Guyana in friendly internationals in Georgetown as well as the home draw to the same opponents and the friendly against St Vincent and the Grenadines at the National Stadium last May.
With over 100 national caps, Forde, who guided his local club Meridian Youth Milan to their second Digicel Premier League title this year, will bring a wealth of experience to the team.
Whereas Forde was called up a few weeks ago and has been attending training sessions, Chase was summoned for his first session last Tuesday night, joining two other goalkeepers, Jason “Barbers” Boxhill and Bentley Springer.
Forde and Chase have been joined by two other Youth Milan players – midfielder Dwayne “Boot” Griffith and overlapping left-wing back Ramuel Miller.
Also at trials is Notre Dame’s striker Dwayne Mars, who had been studying in the United States for the past two years.