Lawrence confident ahead of U-14 Challenge series
National Under-14 coach Aaron Lawrence is confident that his team will top Group F in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Challenge series that kicks off tomorrow with a double-header at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex in Arnett Gardens.
The young Reggae Boyz are set to tackle Grenada in the second game, starting at 4 p.m., while Barbados will meet British Virgin Islands in the opener at 2 p.m.
Although Lawrence knows little about his opponents, he believes that playing at home in the series is a big advantage.
"I am satisfied with the preparation that we had with the boys coming into the series. We have been preparing for about a month during which time we played in a tournament in The Cayman Islands, and playing at home will lift the boys," Lawrence told The Gleaner yesterday.
The team has been getting valuable help from Wendell Downswell, the Jamaica Football Federation's technical director.
"The technical director has prepared a programme, and the players have adapted to it," he shared.
"The mental and physical aspects of the training have been going well. It will be tough, but we are confident we will move on from the group. We are aware that former Reggae Girls coach Vin Blaine is in charge of Grenada's programme, so it won't be an easy first game."
With regard to how players were selected for the tournament, Lawrence said: "We went into all the parishes with the exception of Portland and organised games, and the best players were selected."
Lawrence said that the final 18-member squad would not be released until today.
National Under-14 Boys' delegations from Grenada, The British Virgin Islands, and Barbados arrived here yesterday. The other country in the group, Suriname, are expected today.
This tournament was organised by the CFU to assist member associations to assess the quality of their youth boys' teams and also to assist in the preparation for the 2019 CONCACAF Under-15 Boys Championship.