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Aug 26, 2014

National Team Prepares for Central American Cup

Now we turn to Belize’s national team which has been working out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan. The nation’s A Selection is preparing to head to the U.S. next week to participate in the Central American Cup. Our News Five team was in Belmopan today and found some new faces, some familiar faces and one unexpected returning coach.  

 

Mike Rudon, reporting

Belize’s national team is hard at work preparing to represent the country next week in the U.S. The faces are familiar – we saw many of them at the Gold Cup last year, when Belize was knocked out in the first round. This time it’s another championship up for grabs.

 

Ruperto Vicente, President, Football Federation of Belize

Ruperto Vicente

“The national team is getting ready for the Central American Cup. That’s going to be held in the United States, played in four different venues starting from the third of September. That tournament is expected to conclude on the thirteenth of September, and so our national team, if they qualify to the finals, will be there until the thirteenth.”

 

Like we told you, the faces are familiar – Belize’s best goalkeepers Woodrow West and Shane Orio are on the field getting ready. And so is this welcome face, a prolific striker who earned a place on a professional football team abroad, but came back to represent his country.

 

Deon McCauley

Deon McCauley, Striker, National Team

“It feels good. I’m always excited to play for my country, to play for my people, to go out there and do my best…to go out there and win, and this time around we’ll try to make it again to the Gold Cup. My job is to score goals, and that’s what I do. In football you have to score goals to win, and basically that’s my job. My experience abroad has helped me to widen my game, and so I’m more experienced and more settled when it comes to playing professional football, and right about now that’s what I bring to the team.”

 

And then there’s an unexpected addition…Coach Leroy Sherrier-Lewis. He’s had a tempestuous relationship with the FFB, and has walked away from the league not once, but twice. But he’s back as coach of the national team.

 

Ruperto Vicente

“We got a coach from Mexico who came in to work with us, and he was costing like two thousand U.S. per month and so when we gave him the job he came and started working, but eventually he got frustrated because he thought that the workers wouldn’t show up for practice, and so he left. Coach Lewis was here, and he said that he’s prepared to work with the national team, and not having anything against him – you know, I’ve always had the highest of respect for him and so I immediately said well let’s go with you. If you are prepared to coach our team once again I have no difficulty with that, so he took on the job.”

 

Leroy Sherrier-Lewis, Coach, National Team

“Football is like the ball…it goes around. I’m here again. The players are very excited playing and practicing very good, so I am willing to do a good job, same like we did the last time.”

 

Reporter

“Have your conditions been met? I know there were problems with you, the FFB and certain conditions that weren’t met? Has that been resolved?”

 

Leroy Sherrier-Lewis

Leroy Sherrier-Lewis

“Resolved…I always say that the players are the most important people in the organization. If you understand that the players are to get the best, then you understand me. So they’re trying to understand me little by little.”

 

The national team’s opportunities to represent Belize are always haunted by the realities of lack of resources, lack of money and lack of preparation time. But the team is game, and ready to give it their best shot.

 

Deon McCauley

“We’re going to play our first game in Washington on September third, so we’re working on that. We have to take one game at a time. After that we play El Salvador and then Guatemala in our last game. So we’re looking forward to travelling. We’re looking to narrow the group and get everybody settled in. The new players that have just come in…we have Shane and Smith…we have to fit into the coach’s system and get ready.”

 

Leroy Sherrier-Lewis is also the coach of the Belmopan Bandits, champions of the Premier League of Belize. Mike Rudon reporting fir News Five.

 

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