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U15s dust off St. Kitts

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BARBADOS were convincing 3-0 winners over St Kitts and Nevis in an Under-15 friendly football international at the Wildey on Wednesday night.

The defeat could have been much more humiliating for the visitors if not for the heroic efforts of their goalkeeper or had the young Bajan Tridents converted some more of their chances.

“That’s been the stories of our team thus far from St Maarten and here in Barbados. Especially here in Barbados, our greatest issue is in the converting,” coach Renaldo Gilkes told WEEKEND SPORT after the game.

Barbados dominated the game with numerous goalscoring opportunities compared to just a few by the Kittitians. Kyle Lewis started the scoring in the 2nd minute for the only goal of a first half in which Barbados had a vast majority of the possession.

The second half was much the same with Thierry Gale scoring the second goal in the 42nd minute with a long range shot which beat the St Kitts’ custodian, who was off his line. Offside goal Lewis soon managed to get the spectators shouting after scoring another but it was offside. Andre Applewhite sealed the outcome when he scored the third and final goal from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute to cap off a fine performance by Barbados.

Out of 12 matches at a tournament in St Maarten, Barbados won seven, drew one and lost four.

Gilkes said with the Under-15 CONCACAF Championships in three weeks he would be continuing to work on the team’s “tactical awareness on both sides of the ball, offensively and defensively” as well as have some sessions with a psychologist.

The former Barbados Under-23 captain said it was clear that the crop of players were special and would do much for Barbados in the future.

Something great “This group is the start of something great for Barbados football. What I can take away is the camaraderie among the boys, the professionalism, the level of patriotism and nationalistic behaviour they are currently displaying. When you look at these boys, they are from various clubs and various communities, yet they have one goal in mind and that is to put Barbados on the football map,” he said.

The coach revealed that in 2026, FIFA would be allowing over 40 teams into a new format for the World Cup and he was certain that crop of players would be selected once they were nurtured right. “With the systematic and the proper organisation of programmes for these boys, 2026 can be a reality. Even if we don’t get to the World Cup, at least [we should qualify for] the Gold Cup,” said Gilkes. (RG)

Adapted from nationnews.com

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