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Guerra ready to impress coach Hart

Monday, September 2 2013

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FINLAND-based Trinidad and Tobago football team midfielder Ataullah Guerra will have his first chance to work under national coach Stephen Hart in Riyadh this week and is eager to make an early impression as the “‘Soca Warriors” prepare to take on United Arab Emirates in the opening match of the OSN Cup on Thursday.

Guerra missed out on the TT’s Concacaf Gold Cup campaign in July due to visa woes and Hart will also been keen to see how former San Juan Jabloteh and Caledonia AIA player fits into his plans.

“I’m really excited about rejoining the national team,” Guerra said.

“When I received the news that I was invited I was thrilled because I was unable to be at the Gold Cup and that was something I was looking forward to.”

Guerra, who currently plays for the club RoPS, continued, “but the team did really well and I was happy about that. Now hopefully we can continue getting better and have a good performance in Saudi Arabia also. I’m really looking forward to doing my best for the national team again.”

Looking at the other midfield selectees — Khaleem Hyland, Kevin Molino, Densill Theobald, Kevan George, Andre Boucaud and Marcus Joseph, Hart noted, “we’ve put a good bunch of players together, some of them coming into the squad for the first time since I took over as head coach but generally I’m pleased with what we have in front of us.”

The ex-Canada coach continued, “obviously it’s about getting to see these players in game situations and we are on the road again, playing in conditions that we don’t often have the opportunity to do which is another test for us.”

A few TT-based members left for London yesterday where they will meet the rest of the overseas-based players, while the other members of the technical staff will leave today.

In related news, on Saturday, tournament organisers OSN released a statement on the forthcoming matches, adding, “fans can look forward to some thrilling action as star players Saud Kariri, Naif Hazazi and Nasser Al Shamrani from the Saudi team and UAE favourites Ali Khaseif, Omar Abdul Rahman and Ismail Mattar prepare for a sensational win.”

More than 65,000 spectators will cheer their favourite teams in what will be an adrenaline packed two-day tournament.

Two semi final matches will take place on Thursday followed by two matches on September 9 where the winners will be announced.

OSN (Asia’s biggest pay-tv network) will also give 72 Saudi children the opportunity to escort their favourite football heroes on to the field. Families who would like to register their kids for this once-in-a-lifetime experience need to sign up at any OSN stand in Riyadh.

Aimed at inspiring young talent in the Kingdom to hone their skills, the first-of-its-kind OSN Cup underlines OSN’s commitment to provide the ultimate sporting action to viewers in the region. The OSN Cup, set to become an annual OSN initiative, is part of the network’s wider plans to roll out several new activities across the Arab world that promote youth engagement and bring the family together for fun entertainment experiences.”

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