St. John’s Antigua- Antigua & Barbuda is already reaping some of the many benefits that are associated with the senior national football team’s involvement in CONCACAF’s semi-final round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
The Benna Boys, who are currently at the IMG training centre in Sarasota, Florida, are just days away for their opening Group A contest against the USA.
And according to communications officer Mark Bowers, the team and its story has been receiving ample attention.
“I can tell you that we will be doing a BBC World Documentary, CNN will be covering us as well. The New York Times was here yesterday (Sunday), the Tampa Times will be doing a huge article on Antigua & Barbuda and in addition to that ESPN will be here on Thursday as part of the coverage for this all important game and of course, every couple of days we keep in touch with the folks at home covering the details,” he said.
Friday’s contest is slated to commence at 7 pm at the Raymond James Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where the Benna Boys are expected to play in front of a sold out stadium.
The players, according to Bowers are in tip-top shape with only one minor precaution.
“Quentin Griffith did not play the game yesterday (Sunday) because he got a knock in practice, but I don’t think they are overly worried about it and that it is more a case of precaution,” Bowers said.
“The guys are in the IMG performance centre doing their recovery from yesterday (Sunday), being supervised by the IMG professionals here as well as the coaching staff so what is happening is that all these 25 guys are being put through the rigors by the best trainers physiotherapists, psychologist and doctors on a whole to after them. It is a wonderful experience for these young men, especially the 18 that have never experienced anything at this level,” he added.
Four days following the USA clash, Antigua & Barbuda will return home to take on Jamaica at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds before tackling Guatemala on September 7 in Guatemala.
The Bena Boys’ road to Rio, Brazil, for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Finals continues on September 11 when they host Guatemala in Antigua before hosting the USA one month later on October 12 at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds.
Antigua & Barbuda will round off their Group A campaign on October 16 when they play Jamaica in Kingston.