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Saint Lucia’s team to the 2015 CONCACAF Under-17 Championships later this month in Honduras was named earlier this week by the Saint Lucia Football Association.
The team is led by Junior Footballer of the Year, Nyrone Winter, the second-leading scorer through two rounds of play. Also on the side is fellow Vieux Fort product, Noah “Lucky” Nicholas, who has led the team in scoring through seven games to date.
Micoud native and student athlete of the year Ryi Maryat, who plays wing back with the national team, has been returned as captain.
Saint Lucia qualified for this round of play, the final step before the FIFA U17 World Cup in Chile later this year, by finishing second in their opening round group at Beausejour and finishing fourth in their second round group in Haiti.
The team to Honduras may be stronger than the outfit that travelled to Haiti, with a number of key players having been unavailable due to school commitments.
The management team has also supplement the normal training regimen with a programme of strength training, which head coach St Croix Albert (better known to most Saint Lucians as Cassim ‘Vaso’ Louis) has hailed as a very important addition.
Vaso will be supported in Honduras once again by assistant coach Denis Didier, technical director Cyril ‘Ces’ Podd and manager Timothy Moffat. The delegation, which includes 21 boys, will be led by Stephen Regis.
A total of 21 boys will be making the trip. They hail from 10 different schools and 10 different districts. The core of the team has been together for just about two years, with a number of youngsters added through school and inter-district competition.
The CONCACAF U17 Championships kick off on 27 February in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Saint Lucia plays against Costa Rica on 28 February, against regional powerhouse Mexico on 3 March, against Panama on 6 March, and against Canada on 9 March, before closing out their preliminary campaign with a return match against Haiti on 12 March.
All of Saint Lucia’s games in Group B will be played at the Olympic Stadium in San Pedro Sula in Honduras. Should they win their group, they will automatically advance to the U17 World Cup. If they place in the top three in the group phase, they will be eligible for a playoff against one of the top teams from Group A for a chance to go on to Chile.
Team Saint Lucia By The Numbers:
· Oldest player: Melvin Doxilly (Defender from Gros Islet) turned 17 on the second day of 2015. Only players born on or after 1 January 1998 are eligible to play in the tournament.
· Youngest player: Edward O’Neal (Defender from Babonneau), one of just two players born in 1999, turns 16 in November.
· Soufriere Comprehensive has five players on the squad, more than any other school. Keeroy Lionel, Cassius Joseph, Zachernus Simon, Andre Gustave and Antoine Wilfred. There are three players each from Anse Ger and Castries Comprehensive.
· Five members of the under-17 team – Bradley Cyril, Lael Cherry, Damion Louis, Jhadel Prospere and Harrison Moffat – are fromCentral Castries.
· The team includes players from 10 schools and 10 districts.
· The Saint Lucia team has scored 14 goals so far through two rounds of competition.
· Seven players have scored for the Saint Lucia national under-17 team so far on their journey to the CONCACAF Championships.
· So far, Saint Lucia has had two clean sheets (against Grenada in the opening round, and against Trinidad and Tobago in Haiti) and has been held scoreless just once (against Cuba in Haiti).
· Noah Nicholas: 5 goals (Curacao 2, Trinidad and Tobago 2, Haiti 1)
· Nyrone Winter: 4 goals (Curacao 1, Grenada 2, Trinidad and Tobago 1)
· Jamie Prospere: 1 goal (Curacao)
· Cassius Joseph: 1 goal (Grenada)
· Albertini Philip: 1 goal (Grenada)
· Bradley Cyril: 1 goal (Trinidad and Tobago)
· Antoine Wilfred: 1 goal (Barbados)
Team in alphabetical order:
|Alvinus||Myers||Anse Ger Secondary||Vieux Fort||D|
|Damion||Louis||Sir Arthur Lewis CC||Castries||M|
|Harrison||Moffat||St Mary’s College||Castries||D|
|Jamie||Prospere||Vieux Fort Comprehensive||Dennery||F|
|Jhadel||Prospere||Sir Arthur Lewis CC||Castries||M|
|Melvin||Doxilly||Gros Islet Secondary School||Gros Islet||D|
|Noah||Nicholas||Piaye Secondary School||Vieux Fort||F|
|Nyrone||Winter||Vieux Fort Comprehensive||Vieux Fort||M|
|O’Neal||Edward||Babonneau Secondary School||Babonneau||D|
|Viannie||George||Anse Ger Secondary||Micoud||GK|
|Vino||Barcelette||Anse Ger Secondary||Vieux Fort||GK|