The Football Federation of Belize held its first press conference for 2022 virtually today. It was to present the members of the male senior national team which will be leaving the country on Wednesday en route to Nicaragua for a friendly match. News Five's Duane Moody reports.

Duane Moody, Reporting

Twenty-two athletes were chosen to become the Male Senior National Football Team to represent Belize in international matches for the 2022 football season. It's a pool of young and veteran ballers that for some time now have been training under the guidance of recently acquired head coach David Ascencio from Spain and assistant coach Manuel Can from Mexico.

David Ascencio, Head Coach, Male Senior National Team [Translated]

"For me, it is a pleasure to be working with the F.F.B. for the past six months, working with Verdes. We are here to work and better football in Belize and that Belize is a formidable team in Central America."

Manuel Can, Assistant Coach, Male Senior National Team [Translated]

"Thank you to the federation for allowing us an opportunity to contribute and help Belize grow a little more and change its image. I do not have much to say; we simply want to work and to contribute the knowledge and developments that we have. I hope we can do our best for Belize."

There is a different approach to the national team's preparation for the upcoming Nation's League Tournament which will commence in June. So there is a schedule of international friendly matches that will be conducted to build comradery amongst the players and the style of play that is being implemented.

Isaac Castillo, Goal-Keeper, Male Senior National Team

"I'd just like to plead to Belize to continue supporting us and motivating us. Your messages are never unseen. We really appreciate you here at camp.� You guys motivate us to work hard and on behalf of the team I ensure that we are working very hard in training and giving our utmost best so that we can give the results that Belize wants back home. We're giving our all so that we can go out there and produce and show the country that we do have talent."

Luis Torres, Midfielder, Male Senior National Team

"I've seen a tremendous change in the federation - the comfort o the players, the food/nutrition and with the new coach system, the preparation is going really well. The directors and the F.F.B. is doing really well so far, we cannot complain and the team seems really happy with a mixture of young and old players. And I guess, we won't say we are well prepared, but a huge step going forward especially for June."

Upcoming International Football Matches

The senior male national team departs Belize for Nicaragua this week to participate in its first international friendly match on January twenty-ninth.� F.F.B.'s Technical Director, Philip Marin, shared details via zoom of the upcoming matches, the first of which is on Friday.

Philip Marin, Technical Director, Football Federation of Belize

"We have commenced training with the senior men's team, the senior women's team and our U-20 men's team. The senior men's team is preparing for the nation's league which is scheduled for June 2022, so we are about to play two friendly matches in Nicaragua against Nicaragua. The first match with be the twenty-ninth of January at seven p.m. and the second match will be the first of February at seven p.m.� In March, we are hoping to play another two matches for us to be ready for June."

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