BVI National Football squad warms up for Russia 2018 World Cup Qualifiers


BVI National Football team that faced Anguilla in first round of warm up games. Photo: Provided

BVI National Football team that faced Anguilla in first round of warm up games. Photo: Provided

The BVI National Football Squad leaves for Antigua on Friday, 20th March to play one last warm up game ahead of facing an away trip to Dominica to play the first round of World Cup Qualification for Russia 2018.

With a game against Canada in round 2, the reward for the winners of the two leg fixture, the incentives are huge.

Due to the renovations on the A.O. Shirley ground the BVI has to play both legs away from home at Windsor Park in Dominica with the obvious disadvantage of losing home ground advantage.

The unavailability of the Shirley ground has also affected preparations.

“We have had to overcome many obstacles in the preparation of the team and been forced to use other fields that are not full sized for football,” commented Coach Avondale Williams. “However the squad is shaping up well and I am full of confidence we can do well against Dominica.”

Apart from various practice matches locally, Williams took his team to Anguilla to play two matches in the run up to the game against Antigua this weekend.

“The trip to Anguilla was a good eye opener as to where we were in terms of fitness and tactics,” said Williams. “Although both games ended in defeat, I was happy with what I saw and have been able to rectify a few things ahead of the Antigua game. The players worked well as a unit, did all I asked of them and showed good intensity throughout the 90 minute games”

Antigua of course is a step up from Anguilla and will be a sterner challenge. “Whilst the game will be taken seriously, it is only another practice match ahead of Dominica,” explained Williams. “We don’t know what team Antigua will pick, but my focus is on how we play and how the boys stick to the game plan. It will be a great experience and whilst hoping for a positive result, of more importance is getting the whole squad a run out and to stay injury free”

Williams had the opportunity to watch Dominica play Antigua last weekend when they suffered a 1-0 defeat to the hosts.

“Dominica looked like a young team, with some speed and skill, but we are also young and have been working hard on fitness so should be able to match them. Antigua gave them a good run for their money and I don’t see why we can’t either,” said Williams.

The full squad includes: Montgomery Butler, Vasquever Frett, Daniel Barker, Troy Ceasar, Andy Davis, Gregory James, Ryan Dicker, Jamal Sargeant, Carlos Septus, Peter Monk, Trevor Peters, Karl Tuitt, Jordan Johnson, James Shearman, Shamoy Thompson, Kevin Fisher, Vanquever Frett, McTair James, Jumaane Morton, Fladimir Septus, Alton Williams, James Felix and Christopher Telemaque.

The Coach is Avondale Williams, Assistant Coaches are John Riley and Lenroy Henry, the Physiotherapist is Sheldon Harry, and the Manager is Wendell Nichols.

The first leg of the World Cup qualifier takes place on March 26th and the “return” leg will take place on March 29th. Both games will be streamed over the internet.