Soares Ready For Opener

Striker Ryan Lucas and defensive midfielder Romelle Burgess have been recalled to the Barbados football team for the Digicel Caribbean Cup finals starting in Trinidad and Tobago on January 12.

Neither Lucas nor Burgess played in the first and second round group qualifiers which Barbados won but found favour with the team's technical staff when the 18-man squad was chosen on Tuesday night.

The team has been hard hit by injury with three players, inspirational sweeper Rommell Brathwaite, defensive midfielder Elvis Defreitas and forward Michael Forde, all out with injury.

Three other footballers, who played in both rounds, midfielders Jason "Fowlie" Blackman, Malcolm "Buju" Marshall and striker Kenroy Skinner were also omitted.

Attacking midfielder Paul Lovell, who missed the second round after not recovering fully from an injury, was unable to regain a place in the squad. However, Jeffrey Williams, a player with a somewhat similar style, who was unavailable for the second round, has rejoined the team.

Four English-based players, strikers Mark McCammon of Doncaster Rovers, Paul Ifill of Sheffield United, Neil Harvey of Wrexford and winger Louis Soares from Aldershot Town have been named in the team.

Ifill, who has been placed on the transfer market by his club, played in both rounds while six-footer McCammon was only available for the first round in Antigua when he scored four goals.

Soares and Harvey, a former national under-21 player, have been drafted into the team as well as Lucas, who represented Barbados last year when the finals were held at the National Stadium and scored his only goal against Trinidad and Tobago.

First-choice goalkeeper Alvin Rouse, who is awaiting the results of an MRI scan on his shoulder, has also been selected in the team which will be captained by long-serving midfielder Norman Forde.

The squad:

Alvin Rouse, Morrison Taylor (goalkeepers); John Parris, Dwight James, Renaldo Fenty, Bryan Neblett, Jonathan Straker, Ramuel Miller (defenders), Gregory Goodridge (utility), Romelle Burgess, Norman Forde, John Hawkesworth, Jeffrey Williams, Louis Soares (midfielders), Ryan Lucas, Neil Harvey, Paul Ifill, Mark McCammon (strikers).

Wendley Carter (manager), Stephen Reid (assistant manager), Keith Griffith (technical adviser), Eyre Sealy (head coach), Jerry Skeete (assistant coach), Aldo Babb (medic).