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Team SVG to face Nicaragua

Team SVG to face Nicaragua

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The road to the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany begins for St. Vincent and the Grenadines this Sunday in Nicaragua.
This country will face the hosts in the first leg of the qualifiers set for a 3 p.m. kick-off, Nicaraguan time, at the Caciques Diriangen Stadium in Diriamba.{{more}}
The 18-member team that traveled to Central America reads: Melvin Andrew and Denroy Barker goal-keepers; Burton Forde, Brent Samuel, Wesley Charles, Aquasi Audain, Ezra Hendrickson, Randy Pierre, Wesley John. Midfielders – Kenlyn Gonsalves, Vincent John, Tyrone Prince, Howie Williams, Benford Joseph. Strikers – Jamal Ballan-tyne, Alwyn Guy, Shandel Samuel, Renson Haynes.
It will be the first trip to Central America for Barker, Williams, Joseph, Samuel and Haynes.
The technical team, which left here last Wednesday, includes Technical Director Cess Podd, Head Coach Aide Shaw, Fitness Coach Kevin Hornsby, Coach Terry Dolan and local Coach Roger Gurley. Maxim James is the team’s manager with Garth Oliver – kit manager.
President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation St. Claire Leacock, First Vice- President Ian Sardine and Games Secretary Leopold Dopwell make up the administrative team.
The touring party is completed by two media personnel: Justin Douglas of Nice Radio and Rohan Thomas, freelance reporter for SEARCHLIGHT newspaper.
It will be Team SVG’s first time playing their opponents, though it won’t be the first time to that part of the globe. In their previous World Cup outings, Team SVG played against Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica and El Salvador.
Sunday’s match will be a resurgence on the world football scene for both teams as Nicaragua has been in the wilderness for many years due to political unrest there. St. Vincent and the Grenadines had a three-year drought and, like Nicaragua, saw its rankings drop drastically.
At FIFA’s world rankings last month, Nicaragua stood at 161st – clambering 16 places. This was after they downed Bermuda 2-0 in two consecutive Friendlies in Managua. St. Vincent and the Grenadines stands at 166. This is the first time Nicaraguans have been placed above SVG in the rankings. But while SVG has enjoyed ratings in the top 60 among the 204 countries, Nicaragua’s highest placing was 150th, achieved in August 1993. The Nicaraguans are coached by Italian Maurizio Battiisti.
But local Head Coach Shaw said he is not too concerned about his opponents.
“I am looking forward to a professional approach from my players,” Shaw projected.
“If we perform well as I expect, we will get a positive. I am expecting a win,” Shaw said with confidence.
“I am very confident and so are the players,” he stated. The return leg will be played on June 20.

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