Belize’s Jaguars are off to Canada for their highly anticipated third round FIFA World Cup qualifying match versus Canada, the first leg of which takes place at BMO Field in Toronto Friday afternoon. One man who will definitely be on the plane is Deon McCauley, ace striker who propelled Belize into this round with a three-goal performance versus the Dominican Republic in Round 2. He told us about plans and preparations for the national side.
Deon McCauley: I feel very good, well prepared for this game. Right about now I’m just waiting until Friday, hoping that we have a safe flight and hoping that the team is in good spirits and everybody is ready.
Reporter: What kind of practice will you get out there and how does that factor into the climate and so?
Deon McCauley: Well we’ll just maybe do some maybe, play against each other and see what kind of climate and try to adapt to it, probably today or tomorrow or Thursday. I think that’s what we’ll do for the next couple of days just go out and play a little ball.
Reporter: How much times have you been able to get in with the National team when it come to practice.
Deon McCauley: Well we’ve been in camp for probably two months, from after we played against Dominica and I think that I have been here in full and I’ve trained in full so I think that I have done all the training.
We also spoke with goalkeeper Woodrow West, who says the team is energized and ready to take down the Canucks despite their experience.
Woodrow West: Feeling excited you know? Feel good fu deh back with the team. I had my workout with them yesterday and everybody seems to be happy and contented. With the energy I saw them yesterday, I think we are focused on what we are going to do in Canada on Friday. I’m glad to see that with the team and I guess that the guys are ready to go and play.
Reporter: Any comment about taken on a team whose head coach is saying they’re very experienced as compared to our Belize guys.?
Woodrow West: Well he’s not the first coach we have been playing against who is experienced. We’ve played against Mexico, Costa Rica and all these competitive teams so it’s normal for him to say that. The coach is not playing, it’s the team, it’s 11 against 11 and that’s the way we look at it. And I believe that the guys want this so bad and we want to get to the fourth round. The game will be played on the field and that’s the way we look at it.
And assistant coach Charlie Slusher revealed some of the tactics Belize will employ as they go for the upset.
Charlie Slusher: We definitely need to work on the strength of our Belizean players and try not to divert a lot from that. We cannot bring anything new to these
guys, these guys are comfortable on playing in a system and that’s what we have been continue working on. Trying to perfect that system and the things that have gotten us this far.
Reporter: Now one of the things that their head coach has also said is that they’re fielding all experience players which is not the case for our guys. How do you feel going against that?
Charlie Slusher: Well you know, we know that just playing against Canada is a great challenge. They are a very respectable team as well as a country when it comes to this third round which is definitely a harder approach. We give them all the respect and I know the Canadians have a lot to prove from a disastrous Gold Cup appearance that they did recently. So they’re trying to use us as maybe a scapegoat to try to get back some fame. We know that, we are the underdogs and you know we are prepared for that. I think our guys like the idea of when people underestimate us because we know what we can do and that’s what we’ll be showing in this game against Canada on the road.
Game time is 5:30 Friday evening, with the return match scheduled for FFB Field in Belmopan next Tuesday.