Wiser now from their mistakes that placed them in the bottom rung of the regional football competition, Barbados Tridents are gearing for the future by hosting a European and a fellow Caribbean team this month.
Between Jan. 21 and 29, Barbados will be home to world-rated Serbia and St. Kitt and Nevis in a triangular series.
The 162nd FIFA-ranked Tridents have a lot to learn from their exposure in this Barbados invitational from the 29th-ranked Serbia, and are in with a good chance against the 136th-ranked St. Kitts and Nevis.
“We are trying to expose our players now to a higher standard of play, because we think that this is one of the major ways that we can improve our football on the island,” the Nation newspaper reported Barbados Football Association, Randy Harris, saying.
“We are getting a lot of requests from teams to visit Barbados and one of those teams we are able to accommodate is Serbia.”
This tri-nation series comes after a less than stellar performance of the Bajans in the Confederation of North, Central American, and Caribbean Federation (Concacaf) Nation’s League qualifiers competition.
They notched up only one victory in five matches, and stand at number 23 with only one game left in that competition, out of which the top 10 teams will compete for the prestigious regional Gold Cup.
One those lost games was a fixture against Guyana in which Barbados had earned a 2-2 draw but subsequently saw that decision changed to a 3-0 loss after Concacaf upheld an appeal by the Guyanese who protested that the Barbadians had fielded ineligible players.
In spite of holding Barbadian passports because their parents were born on the island, the two players were ruled ineligible because they had played for England at youth level.
A recent FIFA rule-change stipulates that they should have been cleared with both the English Football Association and FIFA before wearing the Barbados colors. But the Barbados Football Association had sought and obtained clearance from the English FA only.
“It is unfortunate what has happened in terms of the eligibility of the two English players but I look at these things differently,” stated Harris. “In the future as we go forward, we know everything that we have to look for before putting a player that doesn’t have a history in Barbados on the team. So that would be a thing of the past for those coming in the future.”
The BFA president, who also heads the Caribbean Football Union, said that in the island’s future “we expect to be doing much bigger things in football and if these hiccups happen at this time, we have to use it as a learning experience.”
The road towards bigger things for the Tridents starts later this month.
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