TRINIDAD and Tobago senior team coach Bertille St. Clair yesterday laid down the law for the forthcoming 2002 World Cup drive.
In a stirring team talk with his training squad at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, St. Clair explained that players should prepare themselves for a long hard journey.
I they were not prepared to go the distance, St. Clair added, they could pack up at anytime and hop off the World Cup train.
Speaking after yesterday's session, general manager Richard Braithwaite said he hoped St. Clair's session hit home.
"This is going to be a long and hard journey,'' he told the Express.
"And with the Gold Cup coming up very soon to be followed the World Cup qualifiers, Bertille just let the players know that he will not be pampering anybody in the months to come.''
Some 25 players turned up for yesterday's session including several United States-based players back home on vacation. Switzerland-based Jerren Nixon also arrived here yesterday and is expected to join the session today.
St. Clair himself is just back from a coaching stint in England in which he visited several top clubs including Manchester United, Watford, Sunderland and Nottingham Forest.
Previously, the Tobago-born coach had also held a training camp in the United States where he assessed the talent resources available to him.
Braithwaite explained that it was because the coach expected there to be a lot of competition for places that he was laying down the law now.
"The coach realises that he has a lot of talent at his disposal now. And this is why he let them know he will not be tolerating any slackness.
"He also explained that if any of them felt the preparation was too difficult, they would be free to pack up and leave the camp at any time. So I think everybody now understands how serious the build up to the World Cup is going to be for us.''
Braithwaite also said yesterday that Costa Rica had joined the list of countries requested a warm up game against T&T early next year. T&T are scheduled to meet Canada on Jan 8 and Morocco 10 days later. A tentative date of January 12 has been set for the Costa Ricans.