On Friday the Football Federation of Belize gave fans a sneak preview of the national U-16 team that will represent Belize as the Central American U-16 tournament in Belmopan from November 18 – 24. Many of them were part of the U-15 team that impressed in the inaugural CONCACAF tournament in the Cayman Islands where we came within a loss to Guatemala of making the final round. With a few new additions, says FFB President Ruperto Vicente, Belize is ready for the world.
Mr. Ruperto Vicente- President of the FFB
“We want to win the tournament. My motto has always been is not just to participate in a tournament, but to these tournaments…and to win as many games as possible. The only reason we did not qualify into the finals of the U-15 tournament held in Grand Cayman was because we lost 1-0 to Guatemala. So, that put us out of the championship rounds, but our team performed well. I believe that in this tournament they will do a lot better”.
Mexican technical director and coach Renan Couoh took us through the team’s preparation.
Mr. Renan Couoh- Coach of the U-16 Football Team
“The preparation for this team is divided in three parts or three phases: assimilation, systematization and perfection. We have only six weeks to prepare for this tournament; two weeks for each phase right now we are in the last phase for perfection. We work only for three days for each week. Everybody arrive to the federation on Friday at 5:00 to work-out for hour and Saturday, we have two time for work-out from 9:00 to 12:00, 2:00 to 3:00 in Black Bird and at 4:00 to 6:00 in the field, three times . For Saturday and Sunday, one time and everybody comes back home”.
We spoke to left wing midfielder Jamir Alpuche who told us he feels no pressure playing at home.
“Playing at home is a lot of pressure, but then we will try to turn that around to motivate us more, knowing that a lot of Belizeans, our friends and family will be right here supporting us; so, we will try to turn that and use it to motivate us”.
Tickets to the tournament cost ten dollars each and three games will be played daily at the FFB Field in Belmopan, with Belize hosting the marquee match every night.