Friendly International: T&T against New Zealand on October 15

TT lineup against UAETrinidad and Tobago Men’s Senior Team will face off with New Zealand in a friendly international at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on October 15.

It's the first match on home soil for the "Warriors" since their quarter-final run at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup and third place finish at the recent four-nation OSN Cup in Saudi Arabia.

New Zealand earned second place at the OSN Cup. In their first ever visit to Trinidad, the "All Whites" will be preparing for its final World Cup qualification matches against the 4th place CONCACAF hexagonal participant and is keen to experience a CONCACAF environment.

T&T head coach Stephen Hart meantime said that he was anticipating what would be his debut home match at the helm of the National Team since taking up the job last June.

“It’s a good international for us particularly as we are hoping to continue with the intentions of playing at least one international game per month,” Hart said via the TTFA Media.

“So far we have seen progress but it is important to have the group together at every affordable time and this game will provide us with another opportunity to work with the players and see them in a match situation against a respectable opponent in New Zealand which finished unbeaten at the 2010 World Cup Finals,” added Hart.

TTFA President Raymond Tim Kee disclosed that this is yet another collaborative effort between TTFA, Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, and SPORTT to help bring the country's most popular sport back to prominence.

“We are extremely pleased to announce that there will be an international friendly between our National Men’s Senior Team and New Zealand later this month. Following discussions with the New Zealand FA last month, an agreement was reached and we also wish to acknowledge the support of the Ministry of Sport and the Sportt Company for their commitment to the National Team’s program and this particular match on October 15,” TTFA President Tim Kee said.

“We are making progress in several areas of our development as was evident with the championship run of our Women’s Under 17 team in Haiti this week, where they were crowned Caribbean champions and our Senior Men’s Team has also shown signs of advancement. The Minister of Sport Mr Anil Roberts has recognized this and we are pleased with the support that he and his Ministry continue to offer the TTFA,” Tim Kee continued.

Further announcements will be made in due course relating to ticket prices, points of sale, as well as initiatives that will allow patrons attending the match to make contributions towards a fund to assist National Team  defender Akeem Adams who is currently warded in ICU at the Varosmajori Heart Clinic in Hungary  after suffering a heart attack last week and is awaiting a heart transplant.

As part of their preparations for the World Cup playoffs, New Zealand will also play two matches against Mexican and US club opposition to allow coach Ricki Herbert one last chance to work through his on-field options for the penultimate international before November.

New Zealand will play Mexican Liga MX club Querétaro on October 9 and meet Major League Soccer’s Chivas USA three days later.

“The camp in Los Angeles could well replicate how the "All Whites" approach the challenge in November,” said NZF High Performance Director Fred de Jong.

“There’s still a lot of water to go under the bridge in terms of knowing who our opposition are and what unique logistical challenges they will present but basing the team in the US then flying in for that first leg is very much an option.

“It’s similar to what the "All Whites" did in Dubai before the 2009 playoff against Bahrain so it’s a scenario the group has some familiarity with.

“The difference is the two club games, which will give Ricki the freedom to try a few things in a training match situation then make decisions on the make-up of his side to face Trinidad and Tobago.”