BARBADOS’ No. 1 Davis Cup tennis player Darian King is also in the plans of the senior national football team.
King, 21, a wide midfielder, is among 46 local players invited to national training ahead of this year’s Caribbean Football Union’s Cup and upcoming friendly internationals.
The first friendly is slated for February 16 at the National Stadium to usher in the 2014 season. The opponents are yet to be confirmed after Guyana, who were originally invited, informed the Barbados Football Association of their unavailability.
Only last week, King won his singles matches and partnered Haydn Lewis in the doubles to help Barbados defeat Chile 3-2 in their Group 2 Davis Cup tie at the National Tennis Centre.
A former Barbados Under-17 footballer, King showcased his soccer skills during last year’s David Thompson Constituency Councils’ Classic when he not only helped Christ Church East Central win the competition but was named Most Valuable Player.
His Pride of Gall Hill tall central midfield teammate Rico Baptiste is also among the invitees, as well as Bagatelle’s striker Jomo Harewood, who impressed in the last year’s LIME Pelican Challenge, playing for Bajan Pride.
With a clear emphasis on blending youth with experience, the selectors have chosen five Barbados Under-17 players.
They are goalkeeper Keon Harding, strikers Shaquille Boyce and Shakile Belle and defenders Ramar Miller and Ronaldo Bailey, the son of former Barbados goalkeeper Horace Stoute.
Miller and Bailey were also very impressive in the LIME Pelican when they represented losing finalists T.S. Strikers.
BDF’s custodian Dario Weir is also among the five goalkeepers called, but surprisingly, two of the island’s better goalkeepers, Kareem Farrell of Claytons Kola Tonic Notre Dame and Omari Eastmond of Gall Hill, have been omitted.
Other noticeable inclusions are University of the West Indies’ defender Amal Mayers, who is a former under-17 captain, and BDF’s young defender Akeene Browne and the Notre Dame pair of Zico Edmee and Hadan Holligan.
Midfielder Malcolm “Buju” Marshall and Cosmos’ Maradona Lavine, have both been recalled.
Other recent Under-17 graduates include Diquan Adamson, Kemar Headley, Akeem Maloney, Romario Harewood, Jomo Harris and Jabarry Chandler, Ricardio Morris, Shaquille Stewart and Brittons Hill’s striker Rommel Bynoe.
The oldest members of the squad are Wales’ goalkeeper Bentley Springer, 34, and Gall Hill’s defender Ramuel Miller, 33, while national captain Rashidi Jeffrey Williams and defender Rommel Burgess are both 31 years old.
There is no room for the experienced Riviere Williams, Cosmos’ defensive midfielder Donovan Lavine and Rendezvous’ defender Jomo Brathwaite, who previously played with Dayrells Road.