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Montserrat represented at CFU football Cup

An 18-member squad left the island on Saturday to represent Montserrat at the annual Caribbean Football Union qualifying Cup, which kicked off in Martinique on Wednesday, September 5, 2012.

This year, changes to FIFA’s entry requirements for the tournament, prompted the selection of a new national squad. The new regulation dictates that players representing a particular country must be a national or descendant of the country. This had strong repercussions for footballers on island, since the majority of the players would not qualify under the new regulation.

The new team consists Montserratian descendants and young Montserratians, who migrated and live in the United Kingdom (UK).

In preparation for the tournament, the team assembled in Montserrat for the first time for a period of two weeks to practice and to familiarize themselves with the island.

For the majority of the players it was their first trip to Montserrat. It gave them the opportunity to connect with relatives living on island and to get a sense of local culture; to view the local sceneries and to familiarize themselves with the places, the food and people of Montserrat.

Team coach Mr. Kenneth Dyer, explained that all but four of the players selected for the national team have represented Montserrat before, in the United Kingdom. “Some of these players have been with me for seven year.” He said that the visit also gave the team the opportunity to practice in the Caribbean hot climate, with which they are not familiar since all the matches are being hosted in the Caribbean.

On Friday evening, the team played a friendly match with the local players and used the opportunity to meet and greet the locals.

Dyer told The Montserrat Reporter, “We have taken the opportunity to bring the national team here in Montserrat because most people in Montserrat do not know the players. So, we’ve taken the opportunity to bring them here so they can familiarise themselves with their country, their parent’s country; some of them were actually born here but left at an early age so they are eligible to represent Montserrat nationally.”

He said, “This has been in the pipe-line for a long time, especially now that the world governing body FIFA has tightened the rules regarding nationalised players. Before we had some players like Julian Wade who is Dominican and Clifford Joseph, who played for the Montserrat team before and would have been travelling with us to Martinique, but they are not naturalised… As a coach I’m disappointed because they have given great service to Montserrat, not just to the football team but to sports in general in Montserrat.”

However the coach believes that the new team may be the best team ever assembled for Montserrat. “I think this new team is the strongest national team we’ve ever put together and I expect positive things from them,” he said.

The national team includes: team Captain, Anthony Griffith, Germaine Sweeney, Dean Byfield, Alexander Bramble, Kendell Allen, Leuvan Ogarro, Nyron Dyer, Dale Lee, Terrell Miller, Ellis Reny, Jalee Hodgson, Bradley Woods, Marlon Campbell, Clifford Newby Harris, Hildyard Mendes, Darrly Roach and Deon Mason.

The team is one 25 teams participating in the biennial competition, which will qualify four teams for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Montserrat will face Suriname on the first day of the tournament before Martinique plays the British Virgin Islands in Stade En Camee in Riviere-Pilote in Group 3, with subsequent matches on September 7 and 9.

The winners and runners-up from Groups 1-3 as well as the best runner-up from Group 4 or Group 5 will advance to a second, three-group round in late October, when Grenada, Guadeloupe and Cuba will be added to the competition.

The top two teams from each second-round group will qualify for the Caribbean Cup finals along with two-time defending champion Jamaica and host Antigua & Barbuda from December 3-15.

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An 18-member squad left the island on Saturday to represent Montserrat at the annual Caribbean Football Union qualifying Cup, which kicked off in Martinique on Wednesday, September 5, 2012.

This year, changes to FIFA’s entry requirements for the tournament, prompted the selection of a new national squad. The new regulation dictates that players representing a particular country must be a national or descendant of the country. This had strong repercussions for footballers on island, since the majority of the players would not qualify under the new regulation.

The new team consists Montserratian descendants and young Montserratians, who migrated and live in the United Kingdom (UK).

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In preparation for the tournament, the team assembled in Montserrat for the first time for a period of two weeks to practice and to familiarize themselves with the island.

For the majority of the players it was their first trip to Montserrat. It gave them the opportunity to connect with relatives living on island and to get a sense of local culture; to view the local sceneries and to familiarize themselves with the places, the food and people of Montserrat.

Team coach Mr. Kenneth Dyer, explained that all but four of the players selected for the national team have represented Montserrat before, in the United Kingdom. “Some of these players have been with me for seven year.” He said that the visit also gave the team the opportunity to practice in the Caribbean hot climate, with which they are not familiar since all the matches are being hosted in the Caribbean.

On Friday evening, the team played a friendly match with the local players and used the opportunity to meet and greet the locals.

Dyer told The Montserrat Reporter, “We have taken the opportunity to bring the national team here in Montserrat because most people in Montserrat do not know the players. So, we’ve taken the opportunity to bring them here so they can familiarise themselves with their country, their parent’s country; some of them were actually born here but left at an early age so they are eligible to represent Montserrat nationally.”

He said, “This has been in the pipe-line for a long time, especially now that the world governing body FIFA has tightened the rules regarding nationalised players. Before we had some players like Julian Wade who is Dominican and Clifford Joseph, who played for the Montserrat team before and would have been travelling with us to Martinique, but they are not naturalised… As a coach I’m disappointed because they have given great service to Montserrat, not just to the football team but to sports in general in Montserrat.”

However the coach believes that the new team may be the best team ever assembled for Montserrat. “I think this new team is the strongest national team we’ve ever put together and I expect positive things from them,” he said.

The national team includes: team Captain, Anthony Griffith, Germaine Sweeney, Dean Byfield, Alexander Bramble, Kendell Allen, Leuvan Ogarro, Nyron Dyer, Dale Lee, Terrell Miller, Ellis Reny, Jalee Hodgson, Bradley Woods, Marlon Campbell, Clifford Newby Harris, Hildyard Mendes, Darrly Roach and Deon Mason.

The team is one 25 teams participating in the biennial competition, which will qualify four teams for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Montserrat will face Suriname on the first day of the tournament before Martinique plays the British Virgin Islands in Stade En Camee in Riviere-Pilote in Group 3, with subsequent matches on September 7 and 9.

The winners and runners-up from Groups 1-3 as well as the best runner-up from Group 4 or Group 5 will advance to a second, three-group round in late October, when Grenada, Guadeloupe and Cuba will be added to the competition.

The top two teams from each second-round group will qualify for the Caribbean Cup finals along with two-time defending champion Jamaica and host Antigua & Barbuda from December 3-15.