While the Guyanese hockey players are settling down in Trinidad and Tobago preparing for the start of the Caribbean Hockey Cup, the hosts’ chances of lifting the inaugural men’s title were dealt a severe blow with the news that nine of their overseas players will be unable to make the journey home.
According to news out of the Port-of-Spain, the team was slated to have the services of no fewer than 10 overseas-based players for the five-day tournament which runs from tomorrow to Sunday at the National Hockey Centre and also involves Guyana, Jamaica and Barbados.
Team captain Kwandwane Browne was quoted as saying that eight players were forced to withdraw from the team due to school commitments which include important examinations.
While the T&T captain would have been delighted to have all the overseas-based players at his disposal, Browne noted that the players would already have some time off for national training ahead of the Olympic Qualifiers in New Zealand.
“No disrespect to the Caribbean Hockey Cup, but the Olympic Qualifiers in New Zealand in early February is our main focus and we will have them at our disposal,” said Browne.
The list of overseas-based players who were shortlisted in a squad of 22 but who will now miss out includes Dillet Gilkes, Dwain Quan Chan, Alan Henderson, Darren Cowie, Brian Garcia, Terrance Baptiste and Nigel Providence who are all based in England.
The United States-based Dominic Young and Atiba Whittington, who recently signed a contract to play in Spain, are also out of the one-week tournament.
Guyana men’s and women’s teams are set to go into action today with matches against Barbados.
Host Trinidad and Tobago men will square off with Jamaica tomorrow evening