13 Flow Youth Pro League players among T&T U15 team to contest CONCACAF U15 Championship in Florida

Trinidad and Tobago Under-15 head coach Russell Latapy, right, gives instructions to his U15 players during a recent training session at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain.

Talented youth Defence Force forward Justin Araujo-Wilson and Point Fortin Civic midfielder Ezekiel Kesar are two of thirteen (14) Flow Youth Pro League players selected among an 18-man Trinidad and Tobago Under-15 squad to contest the second edition of the CONCACAF U15 Boys Championship between August 13-19 at the world-renowned IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

It is the second competition outing for the U15 Soca Warriors this year after the Cayman Airways International Cup last May under head coach Russell Latapy, who has been, from a development standpoint over the past months, working with the national U15 and Under-17 players—as part of the campaign towards FIFA 2019 Under-17 and Under-20 World Cup qualification.

The 2017 CONCACAF U15 Boys Championship in Florida will involve 40 counties from across the confederation. Honduras won the inaugural tournament back in 2013. Guatemala finished runners-up while El Salvador and Bermuda finished in third and fourth respectively.

Trinidad and Tobago, based on a draw, must face Costa Rica (Aug. 13), Canada (Aug. 14) before completing Group B against host nation, the United States (Aug. 16).

“We have solid teams in our group,” Latapy told the TTFA media. “(…) and I’m very eager to see how we show up against them. I think these kind of tests of playing quality opponents at this level is critical and we will embrace this challenge. This is all about development now for these young boys,” Latapy said.

Latapy’s CONCACAF U15 Championship squad includes goalkeepers Jahiem Wickham (Trendsetter Hawks) and Kernel La Fon (North East Stars); defenders Randy Antoine (San Juan Jabloteh), Antonio Chee Ting (San Juan Jabloteh), Darian Bradshaw (St. Ann’s Rangers), Marc Wharfe (Defence Force), Rhowen Stewart-Williams (Club Sando) and Cephas St. Rose (Independiente Sabaneta / Colombia).

In midfielder the 2006 World Cup midfielder and ex Porto star selected Ezekiel Kesar (Point Fortin Civic), Jabari Lee (W Connection), Josiah Edwards (San Juan Jabloteh), Zachary Welch (last known club QPCC FC), Jaiye Sheppard (Phoenix FC), Josiah Allen (last attached to W Connection) and Adriel George (St. Clair Coaching School). While forwards are Jean-Heim Mc Fee (St. Ann’s Rangers), Justin Araujo- Wilson (Defence Force) and Amaal Julien (Point Fortin Civic).

“I’m extremely happy with the group of players that we have, not only with the final group were selected for the (CONCACAF) tournament, but I am also happy with the players so far who have contributed to the level of where we’re at right now,” continued Latapy.

“We’ve had a pretty extensive preparation period starting with the screening in the zones (…) that opportunity to carry out the entire process.

“We’ve trained hard. We are up to five sessions per week in preparation for this tournament. We think that technically and tactically the boys are starting to understand exactly what we are trying to do. We are not over confident going into the tournament but I am confident that we can give a good account of ourselves.”

CONCACAF U15 Boys Championship 2017 (Group stage)

Group A: Mexico, Honduras, Jamaica and Panama;

Group B: Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica, United States and Canada;

Group C: El Salvador, Bermuda, Martinique and Cuba;

Group D: Haiti, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Curacao;

Group E: Puerto Rico, Belize, Barbados and Guadeloupe;

Group F: St Lucia, Suriname, Guyana and St Kitts/Nevis;

Group G: Aruba, Cayman Islands, Bonaire and Saint Martin;

Group H: Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica and Sint Maarten;

Group I: Bahamas, US Virgin Islands, French Guiana and St Vincent & Grenadines;

Group J: British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat and Turks & Caicos.

Trinidad and Tobago U15 CONCACAF Boys Championship 2017 squad

Goalkeepers: 1.Jahiem Wickham (Trendsetter Hawks), 18.Kernel La Fon (North East Stars);

Defenders: 2.Randy Antoine (San Juan Jabloteh),

4.Antonio Chee Ting (San Juan Jabloteh), 3.Darian Bradshaw (St. Ann’s Rangers), 16.Marc Wharfe (Defence Force), 12.Rhowen Stewart-Williams (Club Sando), 5.Cephas St. Rose (Independiente Sabaneta / Colombia);

Midfielders: 9.Ezekiel Kesar (Point Fortin Civic), 6.Jabari Lee (W Connection), 10.Josiah Edwards (San Juan Jabloteh), 13.Zachary Welch (last known club QPCC FC), 11.Jaiye Sheppard (Phoenix FC), 8.Josiah Allen (unattached), 15.Adriel George (St. Clair Coaching School);

Forwards: 7.Jean-Heim Mc Fee (St. Ann’s Rangers), 17.Justin Araujo- Wilson (Defence Force), 14.Amaal Julien (Point Fortin Civic).

Team staff
Russell Latapy (head coach)
Duane Richardson (assistant coach)
Kevin Graham (goalkeeper coach)
Rawle Webster (physical trainer)
Otis Hislop (physiotherapist)
Aaron Pollard (team manager)
Devin Elcock (equipment manager)