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Vincy Heat steps up preparations


The national senior football team, Vincy Heat, puts its World Cup preparations into another gear this weekend, with an international friendly this Sunday against Guyana.{{more}}

Vincy Heat travels today for their meeting with the Golden Jaguars, in what is grudge match after St. Vincent and the Grenadines humbled them 2-0 last year January in the Digicel Cup Finals in Trinidad and Tobago.

This would be St. Vincent and the Grenadines first international for some time. A return match is planned for the Victoria Park January 27.

Vincy Heat’s other confirmed international is versus Guadeloupe, between February 27 and March 2, to coincide with the Caribbean Football Union’s Congress.

Both teams are preparing for World Cup Qualifiers. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is set to meet Canada in June, while Guyana would be matched against Suriname or Montserrat, who must engage in first round action.

Manager of Vincy Heat, Roxell John, told SEARCHLIGHT last week Friday night at the Victoria Park that discussions are ongoing with Cuba, Mexico, Barbados, Haiti, Venezuela, Costa Rica and Suriname, with a view to get friendlies in the upcoming months.

He said that they are awaiting confirmations.

The current crop of local players in training warmed up last Friday night in a match against a grouping of past national players at the Victoria Park and came out 5-1 winners. Shandell Samuel hit a hattrick, with Randolph Williams and Sean Glynn completing the route. Former Vincy Heat captain Ezra Hendrickson scored the consolation for the past national outfit.

John said that at present the team has been whittled down to 32 players, but adjustments can be made, as players both locally and overseas based can make themselves available for inclusion.

John identified several overseas based players who are included in the short list.

Among them are Malaysia based Cornelius Huggins and Marlon James, as well as Wesley John who plays in Portugal and Wesley Charles, who campaigns in Ireland.

Others who play abroad are Trinidad and Tobago based Shandell Samuel and Troy Jeffers. Theon Gordon who is attending the Universidad Ibero Americana del Deporte’ in Venezuela is among the thirty two.

John disclosed that a few players from Canada have shown interest in joining the team for trials.

He named Omarie Aldridge, whose grandmother is Vincentian, Lawson Cordice and Kenroy King as the Canadian prospects.

A technical staff that includes interim coach Roger Gurley, Keith Ollivierre, Earl Paynter and Kevin Richardson is preparing the team. A Technical Director is yet to be named. (RT)