Antigua & Barbuda will have one last chance to rally around the Benna Boys before the team departs for Florida, where they will train for two weeks before facing the United States in the next round of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
The players and the coaching and management team will leave the island at 3 pm today. Their first stop is the IMG Training Center in Sarasota, Florida. Their ultimate destination, this time around, is the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. That is where the players from the smallest island still on the road to Rio 2014 will come up against the US.
Starting at noon on Friday, local fans can interact with the team at a send-off party at the airport. A tent will be erected adjacent to the tour operators’ area. There will be pan music by Halcyon Steel Orchestra and light refreshments.
“The Antigua & Barbuda Football Association invites everyone to take the time to journey to the airport to wish the team Godspeed. As we’ve said repeatedly, this is not about football, it’s about the country, and this is the biggest moment of our footballing history. It would be a moral boost for the team to go to battle knowing that their country is behind them,” ABFA President Everton “Batow” Gonsalves said from Budapest, Hungary, where he is on international football business.
The team will interact with the public and take questions from the press until 2 pm.
The Benna Boys will return on June 9th, three days ahead of their June 12th game against Jamaica at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium.