In preparation for the upcoming CONCACAF Nations League tournament, the St Lucia National Senior Men Football Team departed yesterday, for Trinidad and Tobago to participate in two international friendlies.
The 21-man squad left in the company of new Head Coach Stern John with assistant coach Francis “Baba” Lastic among other officials on the technical unit.
John articulated some of the plans geared to help strengthen the squad and to utilize the ‘friendlies’ to assess the team’s structure. The squad consists of a selection of professional and semi-pro St Lucian players plying their trade regionally, alongside some top local footballers.
During the six-day camp in T&T, Team 758 will play against the Guyana Senior Men team on May, 28, while they take on the T&T U-20 Men team on May, 30.
Head coach John expressed optimism about the work in progress to harness the skills of the players. He said that St Lucia has a pool of “very talented players” in the camp and the technical unit will work diligently to help the squad produce good results as they prepare for the upcoming fixtures.
“We will be playing two international games in Trinidad, and when we get back we will go straight into camp, where the overseas-based players would have come in to join the team with the local players that we chose,” John explained.
He said the friendlies would help further assess and evaluate the players and provide the technical team with a clear vision and understanding moving forward. The head coach acknowledged the input of Lastic and other members of the technical unit for the work they have done thus far, in getting the team prepared for the challenges ahead.
Speaking on the structure and formation of the team, and the ploys that he will seek to employ, John asserted: “In terms of my playing style and the whole way in which we want to approach the game …we have several players that are very talented and we want to put the ball up a long way.”
On the nature of the team play, he said, the team will look to play a very structured style of play with the defense line keeping its composure at the back, while the strikers and midfielders advance the ball up field in search of goals.
St. Lucia’s participation in the CONCACAF Nation League 2022 – 23 Home and Away competition; sees St. Lucia drawn up in Group C against Anguilla and Dominica. St. Lucia plays its first game away in Dominica on June, 9, and will host Anguilla on June, 12 at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground [DSCG].
The return leg match sees St Lucia against Anguilla on March 24th 2023; while St. Lucia hosts Dominica on the 27th March 2023.
SLFA President Lyndon Cooper underlined the involvement of John in the technical unit setup, stressing that the head coach will also be involved in assisting with the vision and focus on the overall development of other national teams.
Cooper reiterated that the SLFA’s policy decision-making process in selecting a national senior men’s team will not be confined to the selection of home-based players, but will involve the input from St Lucian based-players, globally as well.
The team traveling to T&T is as follows:
Celestine Theodore, Otev Lawrence, Tev Lawrence, Shawn Evans, Kenvie Polius, Gregson President, Quani Jones – Keeper, Glendan Ferdinand – Keeper, Lester Joseph, Kurt Frederick, Shaquan Nelson, Keegan Caul, Ridel Stanislaus, Kenroy Lionel, Edd Fred, Andrus Remy, Eden Charles, Sherman Augustin, Doneal Lionel, Joshua Davies, and Peter Pearson.
The Technical Team consists of;
Stern John – Head Coach
Francis Lastic – Asst. Coach
Denver Samuel – Manager
Simona Mahfouz – Physio
Junior Mike Phillip – Equipment Manager.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Dennery North and Minister of Education, and former sports minister Shawn Edward met with John in his constituency, this week.
Said Edward: “He is one of Trinidad & Tobago’s most celebrated footballers. He played for several clubs in England including Premier League outfits Southampton and Crystal Palace. He was recently appointed Head Coach of the St. Lucia National Football Team. Stern John is a professional of the highest order.”
Meanwhile, an update was provided on the upcoming Championships, which includes:
Under 14 / 15 Girls Festivals – June 2022
Under 10 Boys Club – July
1st and 2nd Division – 13th and 14th June
Island Cup – September 2022 and
Senior Women – October 2022.