Chad Appoo, coach of the TT men’s beach soccer team, is heartened by the potential shown by his squad at the Bahamas Beach Soccer Cup.
TT earned a come-from-behind 4-3 extra-time victory over Costa Rica in their final match on Sunday, at the Beach Soccer Stadium in Nassau. Jordan Riley scored twice, and there was a goal apiece from David McDougall and Jesse Bailey.
This was TT’s lone victory in the four-team group. On Friday, they fell to a 7-4 defeat to the hosts Bahamas and, on Saturday, they were trounced 6-0 by Colombia.
During a post-game interview on Sunday, Appoo said, “It was the third game in three days. It wasn’t easy because we went down by two goals, but the boys showed great fight. They stuck to the game plan and managed to pull of the win, in extra time.”
Asked about his thoughts on the team’s character, the TT men’s coach replied, “Although we went down by two goals, we felt that we were pretty much in the game and actually playing some of the better football.
“The momentum was with us, the moment we got the first (goal). It’s important to not change during the game what was working for us.”
Reflecting on the tournament, Appoo said, “It’s my fifth time in the Bahamas, three times as a player and twice as a coach. These tournaments are always nice. For five of our players, they made their debuts so, obviously, this experience is going to be great.
“We have a tournament in Colombia coming up in just under three weeks or so,” he added. “Going into that, we have a little momentum with the win against a CONCACAF powerhouse in Costa Rica.”
Appoo pointed out, “Back home we have a lot of challenges. The quality of the sand that we play in these tournaments is different to what we train on at the Home of Football (in Couva).
“This tournament, we got invited late so we only had three days of proper prep back home before we came here. So, to pull off a win against a team like Costa Rica shows the potential for us going forward.
“We have a huge pool of players. We have other players showing interest so we’re looking forward to just (playing) more and hopefully one day we can host our own tournament, similar to this, in Trinidad and Tobago.”
Appoo is not ruling out the prospect of making a comeback, as a player.
“I really enjoy passing on my knowledge, having played in Europe for a number of years,” he said. “I feel as if I can give back. We’ve had a number of foreign coaches in the past, all credit and respect to them, but I think the relationship I have, being a player not so long ago, also helps when we come into these tournaments.
“I’m not ruling it out completely, I think being a player/coach will be a challenge so it will have to be as a player or as a coach for now. So, we’ll see what happens going forward.”
TT won the women’s division at the Bahamas Beach Soccer Cup, after defeating the Bahamas 11-6 in their final match on Sunday.
Tenesha Palmer, who is also a member of the TT women’s international team (grass), was adjudged as the division’s Best Goalkeeper. Sham Mohammed, president of the Beach Soccer Worldwide Caribbean Region, labelled the Bahamas Beach Soccer Cup as a “success”.
“Hats off to Anton Sealey, the president of the Bahamian FA, and his team, for having a successful event,” Mohammed said. “Having teams like Costa Rica and Colombia playing against the Caribbean teams is great.”
Mohammed added, “Being in the position that I’m in now, gives me the opportunity to invite Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean countries to participate in events like this, throughout the Caribbean; developing the sport and taking it to another level.”