...Browne, Quan Chan return
T&T will be without the talented Darren Cowie and five other regulars for the FIH World Hockey League Round Two qualifiers set for Chula Vista, San Diego, California, USA, from February 28 to March 8.
This after Cowie, who led the team as captain to the Round One win in Jamaica last September and a silver medal at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in November, was forced to withdraw from the team due to work commitments.
In addition to Cowie, other members of the team who participated in the first-round series and the CAC Games in Mexico are also forced to pull out of the event. They include Aidan De Gannes, Christopher Scipio and Ishmael Campbell through work commitments, while Kiel Murray and Stefan Mouttet are injured.
However, making a return to the team are England-based Kwandwane Browne, Dillet Gilkes and Dwain Quan Chan, all of whom will be making their first tour together in over a year, while youngsters Joshua Olton, Kelon Skerritt and Teague Marcano have all been drafted into the training squad.
Francis also welcomed the introduction of the new faces in the training squad, saying, “The team is in transition at the moment as over the next couple of years, players like Browne and Gilkes and a few others will not be around, and it is hoped that these youngsters gain enough experience now to pick up where they leave.
“We have a lot of youth in the set-up now with the Emmanuel brothers, Kristin and Kwasi, Marcano boys, Tariq and Teague as well as Lyndell Byer, Joshua Olton and Kelon Skerritt, and they are all the future of T&T hockey.
In California, T&T will compete in one group with USA, Russia and Canada while Austria, Chile, Ireland and Italy are in the other round-robin group at the end of which the team will meet in cross-over quarterfinal matches followed by semifinals, third placed and final matches.
And looking ahead to the tournament, coach Glen “Fido” Francis,” who returns to lead the team after interim coach Raphael Govia coached the team through the round one series in Jamaica last year, said the group draw for the local squad is a tough one, but also presents a good chance to prove itself worthy of being involve.
“We will be the lowest-ranked team in the tournament and based on the new format we are already assured of a quarterfinal spot as only eight teams are involved.
“However, we want to get past that hurdle and reach the semifinals for the least.
“The current crop of players are a very good mix of youth and experience, but we still have lots of work to do as a team and for that we will need to the support of the powers that be financially,” he said.
A former national goalkeeper Francis also welcomed the return of Browne, who he says will bring a lot to the team.
Following the World League round-two series, the national men’s team is carded to head to the Pan Am Games in Toronto, Canada, from July 10-26.
Men’s training squad
Ron Alexander, Kwandwane Browne, Cogie Butler, Lyndell Byer, Shaquille Daniel, Solomon Eccles, Kwasi Emmanuel, Kristen Emmanuel, Dillet Gilkes, Nicholas Grant, Dominic Jaikaransingh, Marcus James, Shane Legerton, Terrence Baptiste, Justin Pascal, Tariq Marcano, Che Modeste, Michael O’Connor, Allan Henderson, Mickell Pierre, Dwain Quan Chan, Jordan Reynos, Andrey Rocke, Karlos Stephen, Akim Toussaint, Jordan Vieira, Danil Trancoso, Dominic Young, Teague Marcano, Kelon Skerritt, Joshua Olton.