BFA President, Randy Harris, poses with players and management at the Grantley Adams International Airport after they came home on Friday.

Senior men’s team ready to bounce back

The Bajan Tridents are ready to go again! This was the mood from players of management when they arrived at the Grantley Adams International Airport on Friday evening after flying home from Guyana. Playing on the previous night to a 2-2 draw against a heavily-stacked Golden Jaguars team, the senior men’s football team returned to an outpouring of love as they were met by family and friends.

Speaking to The Barbados Advocate, BFA Technical Director, Ahmed Mohamed gave a statement when he returned and said that the result was a little bit disappointing but his team did well.

“The players played very well. They showed character. After going down 1-0 just 35 seconds into the second half, we caught ourselves. We really showed quality playing against Guyana who had 14 professionals. The majority of their players came from Europe. We showed kind of quality that we have. We had the game in our hand to win. We were closer to 3-1 than Guyana were to 2-2 but that is how football goes. Mother fortune wasn’t on our side but we are looking forward to the next couple of games coming,” he said.

With English professional players Hallam Hope and Krystian Pearce making their international debuts for Barbados in the match, Mohamed said that the pair were a solid addition and that he was hoping for two more in Curtis Hutson and Nick Blackman ahead of next month’s game in El Salvador.

“The two players really are a reinforcement for us. Krystian kept our defence together. Hallam was playing as a Number Ten and everybody could see the quality of the two and we are glad to have them on board. We are looking forward to bring more players like Hallam and Krystian in the near future,” Mohamed said.

Team captain Rashad Jules said that there were some positives to be taken from the game. “The way the game went, I think the guys did very, very well to come from a goal down to actually taking the lead against Guyana’s 13 pros. It was a pretty good game and I think we could have done better though, but overall, the guys showed a lot of heart and a lot of character and that’s what we need to carry us through the Concacaf Nations League.”

Saying that Pearce and Hope were a great addition to the team and that they were grateful to have them in their ranks, Jules added that the main ingredient needed now was concentration during the game. “Concentration of course. I guess that is where we have been falling down in the most recent games. So we will be focusing a lot more on concentration and keeping shape – anything necessary to get a result in El Salvador,” he said.

Hope and Pearce took direct flights back to the United Kingdom and Hope relayed his thoughts on the match via voice-note.

“We put a lot of work in and we were disappointed not to get the win in the end. I think we all did well and we had a good game. I feel proud to have represented my country and to score two goals – that’s obviously a nice thing but it was all of us together and we all put in 100 per cent. It’s just a bit unlucky that we didn’t win,” he said.

Noting that he and Pearce fit right in with the team, he said the only way to go now was up.

“I enjoyed the experience for sure. All of the guys were really welcoming and they made me feel good. They made me feel like I was part of the team – which is important – and we’re only going to get better now. The more we get to know each other, the better we are going to be,” he said. (MP)

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