Trinis need more team spirit

Former T&T captain Densill Theobald says it’s not too late for the team to regain the camaraderie it had during the 2006 Germany FIFA World Cup campaign.

T&T having scraped past Bermuda 3-2 on aggregate in the CONCACAF second round, will continue their quest for a place in the final of the 2010 World Cup South Africa with two leg matches in the CONCACAF semis against Cuba, USA and Guatemala beginning August 20.

Theobald, who played in a recent 2-0 win over the Netherlands Antilles, said: ‘I think what is important is for us to get back that togetherness we had under Leo Beenhakker in 2006.

‘What happened to the team during the final round was really responsible for our success and that was the way the players came together as a team and the coach at the time played a big part in that.

‘Right now I believe we have a great chance to get that again. Time is still on our side because we are now entering the semi-finals and we are working towards getting some of the players involved again and regaining that team spirit. We need to win, lose or draw, as a team.

‘So far I am still adjusting to Francisco Maturana’s philosophy as a coach and how he prepares his team.

‘It would maybe take a few more sessions but I’m enjoying it. His method is good and I think he knows what the job requires to get us to the World Cup. Time will tell of course but so far it looks good.’

Commenting on the additions of Miami FC defender Avery John and Christopher Birchall back into the team, he said: ‘It’s a great chance for them to be back in the mix and to show that they have what it takes to make a contribution again.

‘I’m sure they are very excited about the recall and I expect they will show that on the field.

‘Personally, I’m happy for any player who’s getting a chance to be involved and willing to give 100 per cent.

‘As players while we also want to do well for ourselves and our families, we want to do well for the 1.3 million people and hopefully this is what the people will witness for the rest of the campaign.’

Theobald is among seven members of the World Cup team to Germany in the T&T squad who will play Haiti in a friendly at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya tonight.

The others are Cyd Gray, Anthony Wolfe, Cornell Glen, Aurtis Whitley, Birchall and Avery John.

Among the other players in the squad are goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, Cleon John, Makan Hislop, Gyasi Joyce, Keyeno Thomas, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Aklie Edwards, Khaleem Hyland, Kerry Baptiste, Andre Toussaint, French-based winger Kevaughn Connell and Keon Daniel.

T&T will go to Port-Au-Prince to face Haiti on August 10 and then face El Salvador in Washington in another friendly on August 13 before heading to Havana for their opening World Cup semi fixture.

Sunderland midfielder Dwight Yorke and other UK-based pros will join the team inside the week leading up to the match against Cuba.