T&T’s senior men’s hockey team minus two of its marquee players in Kwandwane Browne and Dwain Quan Chan will flick off its gold medal bid at the 22nd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Veracruz, Mexico against Dominican Republic from 11 am today. This is because Browne has commitments with his English Premier Division club, Canterbury where he is a player/coach while Quan Chan has work commitments. Both players were also unavailable for T&T during its successful campaign at the second International Hockey Federation (FIH) World League first round qualifying tournament in Kingston, Jamaica last month.
Back then, T&T men first overcame Dominican Republic 2-0 in a penalty-stroke shoot-out after a 2-2 draw in regulation before brushing aside Barbados 3-1 and host Jamaica 3-0 to top the four-team round-robin series with eight points, three more than the Jamaicans, to secure the lone spot available to the second round in Chula Vista, California, next year (February 28 - March 8). Coach Raphael Govia is hoping the team can continue on the same path even though locally-based pair, Aidan De Gannes and Solomon Eccles, two members of the team in Jamaica, were also forced to miss the tournament in Mexico also through work duties.
In their absence, Govia has drafted in experienced duo, Mickel Pierre and Dominic Young, who were not involved in Kingston. The T&T men will next meet Cuba on Tuesday and Guatemala two days later, to end pool play while Barbados, Jamaica and defending champions Mexico are in Pool B. T&T last won the CAC gold medal in 2002 while it has finished second on the last two occasion to Cuba (2006) and Mexico (2010). T&T also got bronze in 1998 and coach Govia said its time the “Calypso Stickmen” get back to claiming the gold.
Tournament Pools and Fixtures
Pool A: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, T&T
Pool B: Barbados, Jamaica, Mexico
T&T vs Dominican Republic, 11am
Cuba vs Guatemala, 1pm
Mexico vs Jamaica, 3pm
Dominican Republic vs Guatemala, 11am
Cuba vs T&T, 1pm
Barbados vs Mexico, 3pm
T&T vs Guatemala, 11am
Dominican Republic vs Cuba, 1pm
Jamaica vs Barbados, 3pm
Fifth to Seventh semifinals, 11am
First to Fourth semifinals, 1.15pm
Fifth place, 11am
Raphael Govia (coach), Christobella George-Ford (manager), Zynul Khan (doctor), Cindy Martin-Faustin (assistant manager), Karielle De Bique (physiotherapist)
T&T Men's Hockey Team
Darren Cowie (captain), Dillet Gilkes, Nicholas Grant, Marcus James, Shaquille Daniel, Tariq Marcano, Stefan Mouttet, Mickel Pierre, Akim Toussaint, Kiel Murray, Andrey Rocke (goalkeeper), Jordan Reynos, Michael O’Connor II, Kristen Emmanuel, Dominic Young, Shane Legerton.