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Last updated: 11 May, 2006 - Published 15:34 GMT
 
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The World Cup's smallest team
 
Map of Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago at the southern end of the Caribbean island chain.
Trinidad and Tobago is the smallest country to ever qualify for the World Cup.

The twin-island republic's population of 1.3 million people has started the countdown for this high-profile opportunity since the end of the country's annual carnival celebration in February.

Following their final home match, a friendly against Peru, which ended in a draw in Port of Spain, the Soca Warriors then embarked on a meet-the-people tour around the two islands.

During this, midfielder Silvio Spann, said: “are like a volcano waiting to erupt in Germany.”

The team then trained in Manchester in England before flying to Germany for some pre-tournament games. They managed a win against a German third division side FC St Pauli.

Full Trini welcome

This "local" match saw a sell-out crowd with many Germans flocking to the stadium in Hamburg to see the Trinidad and Tobago side.

As the countdown continued, hundreds of Trinidadians flew into Germany on a special flight laid on by Trinidad's national airline.

It included Trinidadian calypsonians and soca performers who are staging showcases of the country's indigenous music in concerts across Germany.

Their first World Cup game is against Sweden on June 10.

T 'n' T's Group B fixtures
Sweden - June 10 (Dortmund)
England - June 15 (Nuremburg)
Paraguay - June 20 (Kaiserlautern)

Bringing the team together

The team's Dutch coach Leo Beenhakker says the challenge will be to bring together a wide range of experience between those on English league sides and less experienced players.

 The idea there is..in a physical way, in a mental way.. to bring the team together.
 
Leo Beenhakker, Trinidad's coach

"We have players who are arriving at this preparation with different luggage. Players have had a very tough season."

"We're going to do the same training and the same work as the other guys who have just started with the league who are not playing so many matches in the last season."

Yorke - Tobago's star

The most well-known T 'n' T player is Dwight Yorke, from the smaller island of Tobago.

Dwight yorke
Yorke - Tobago's most famous export

Yorke has played for England premier league sides Manchester United and Aston Villa.

For many in Britain, if you say Trinidad and Tobago, they'll say either Dwight Yorke or cricket legend Brian Lara. The two are longtime good friends.

Thanks to the British tabloid press, Yorke, who now plays for Sydney FC in Australia's A league, is also well-known for his off-pitch social life.

He is the father of a love child with glamour model, Jordan.

The Soca warriors get their name from the music genre, soca, an upbeat version of the islands' other musical creation, calypso.

Full Caribbean support

Trinidad and Tobago might be the smallest team ever to qualify for the World Cup but the T 'n' T side promises to offer the tournament an interesting blend of vitality and skill.

And while getting to the second round of the World Cup would trigger non-stop parties in the home of carnival and partying, former national coach, Bertille St. Clair, captured the spirit wonderfully well when he “said all the boys have to do is play well and represent their country.”

The partying will also take place across the entire Caribbean.

From Jamaica in the north to Guyana in the south, the English-speaking Caribbean (formerly the British West Indies) are rooting for the Soca warriors.

"Everyone is supporting Trinidad...it's a nice little thing that's taking place here," Cathy Barrett, News Editor at Radio Jamaica, told BBC.

 
 
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