On August 30, the 2022 Concacaf Men’s Under-17 Championship Qualifiers will kick off in which 22 teams will be hoping to land one of the four coveted places in the 2023 Concacaf Men’s Under-17 Championship. St. Kitts and Nevis is one of those teams and preparations began in earnest over a month ago. Coach of the team is the experienced and battle-tested Alexis Morris, who has a good track record working with young players. On Thursday at the football field in Half Way Tree, Coach Morris spoke about the characteristics of the players a part of his squad preparing for the Concacaf Championship qualifiers, to be played in the Dominican Republic. “The guys are together…you could see that they are very jovial, they tend to joke a lot…but at times you need that as part of a group. They are youngsters and that is something we don’t try to get out of them but when it’s come to being serious we ask them to be serious,” he said.
He said the competition is going to be tough but they are up for the challenge. “We are looking basically to compete, give it our best and hopefully at the end of it all we qualify for the next round,” he said.
When all is said and done, Coach Morris wants to see continuity in the team. “We are looking somehow to keep the guys together. Even if we don’t qualify for the next round; we try to at least keep them together. Bring them together for at least once or twice per week so that we can continue to harness what we have built in the one and a half months…that is one of the key things,” the coach noted.
Meanwhile, a couple of the players spoke about their experience so far in training. Tenron Henry, a player with the Cayon Rockets Youth Team, said it has been a wonderful experience getting to know the other players and training with them. Jahmal Lewis from Prospect, Nevis, is one of two players from the sister island in the squad. He said training has been intense and going well and the experience with the other players has been going great. He also stressed that he has learnt life skills while harnessing his football abilities. “Outside of football (I’ve learned) being disciplined, respect. Inside football, I’ve learned to defend well, defend set pieces, passing drills, first touch and the important aspects of football,” Jahmal said.
St. Kitts and Nevis is featured in Group C with hosts the Dominican Republic, Cayman Islands and Dominica. They left the Federation on Saturday.