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Vincy footballers in Brazil

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Preparations have stepped up for this country’s Senior National Football team, ahead of its first leg second round meeting with Trinidad and Tobago here August 18.
Twenty players and five officials are on the South American sojourn. The players include Goal Keepers Melvin Andrews and Marcus Williams, Defenders – Brent Samuel, Rodney Francois, Bevan Burgin, Greg Myers, Burton Forde and Darren Francis.{{more}}
Marian Grant, Benford Joseph, Howie Williams, Tyrone Prince, Vincent John, and Randy Pierre are the midfielders.
Strikers – Shandell Samuel, Jamal Ballantyne, Renson Haynes, Shane Glynn, and Alwyn Guy complete the players line up. Ballanyne and Samuel were fresh from outings in England where they were guests of Bolton Wanderers.
Technical Director Ces Podd, Head Coach Aide Shaw, local coach Roger Gurley, Kit – Manager Garth Oliver and Manager Ian Sardine comprise the official party.
The training squad was based at the Santa Filomina University in Sao Paulo. They lost their first game against that University’s team 2-0 but rebounded with a 7-0 thrashing against the Chinese Under-21 squad. Goals came from Shandell Samuel, 3, and one each from Jamal Ballantyne, Renson Haynes, Alwyn Guy and Marian Grant.
The Vincentians will be lined up against Paolista, Sao Paulo’s champion club in an encounter today.
Maxim James, manager of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines football team said that it was imperative the team was exposed to top-level conditions.
The Brazil tour came amidst a week of intense soliciting of funds by the SVGFF, through two telethons. Pledges amounting to EC$29,000 were made during the fund raising. Funding was also sought from FIFA through its Football Assistance Programme (FAP) as well as from central government.
The cost of the Brazilian sojourn is US $75,000. The squad returns home August 10 from Brazil
This country is in Group C of the CONCACAF zone with Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Mexico. They head to Mexico for a September 4 encounter, and host St. Kitts/Nevis September 8.
The Vincentians host Mexico October 9. Team SVG plays the return
leg with St. Kitts/Nevis October 13 and Trinidad and Tobago November 17.

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