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Nothing Less Than A Win

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Nothing less than a win is what BFA’s Head Coach Russell Latapy expects in the Bajan Tridents final qualifying match against Dominica.

But, the “Little Magician” said it was about developing the team into becoming the best possible version of themselves that was his major goal.

Latapy was speaking during a post-game press conference following the team’s 1-1 draw against hosts Dominican Republic in the Concacaf Qualifiers of the FIFA 2022 World Cup on Friday.

“We need more games and we need to keep working, but I am satisfied with where we are. When we look at the way we train and see how we performed last night (Friday) we know we’re moving in the right direction. I think we’re getting there but it will take more work, but I am confident we’re moving in the right direction and we will get there and have the consistency in getting there,” he said.

Currently the Bajan Tridents stand on four points behind the Dominican Republic and Panama in Group D. However, the homeboys, who are very diminutive, have been pegged as the favorites ahead of tomorrow’s encounter despite the towering and burly six-footer players on the opponent’s team.  

The Head Coach said the team would deal with the situations as they appeared and would most certainly not underestimate any opponent. The Tridents lost 2-1 to Dominica in 2017, but came back in 2018 and won 2-0 in the Windward Island Football Tournaments.

“There are no easy games in international football. On paper, it is not realistic because it is 11 versus 11. The first two matches, we made life difficult for Panama, and then we played Anguilla, who, on paper, again was supposed to be an easy opponent and they made life really difficult for us,” he said.

Latapy is keeping his execution plan close to his chest, but he noted he would prefer to focus on the group of men who wanted to do the best and were having a fantastic time playing football.

However, the Head Coach said they would be using the final encounter to give some of the younger players experience at a World Cup Qualifying level.

“The young players are here on merit and they have been working really hard. It is a perfect opportunity to throw them in at the deep end so they can start to build and develop. I think they are good enough to go forward and stake a claim to be in the starting team moving forward. I want to see some of these young players playing at the highest level and pushing some of the others,” he said.

Latapy added over the two years he was at the head of football development, the team would have been trying to develop a particular style of play.

“I believe that we are well on the way to establishing that. We always have to look forward, especially for 2026 when the World Cup will be in this region. This period that we are going through right now is preparation and development for three or four years down the road. It is great for me that I have a group of young men who want to improve themselves and be here doing well for the country.

“I am quite confident we’re moving in the right direction and once we have a better understanding of this, we will be a fun team to look at. I know a lot of teams in the region are looking at us and they know when they come up against us they’re going to have their hands full,” Latapy said.  

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