Turks and Caicos Islands
- Capital: Cockburn Town
- Official Languages: English
- Nicknames: TCI Team
- Association: Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association (TCIFA)
- FIFA Code: TCA
- Best World Cup Result (Men): Not Qualified
- Best World Cup Result (Women): Not Qualified
- Best Gold Cup Result (Men): Not Qualified
- Best CONCACAF Women’s Championship Result: Not Qualified
- Best Caribbean Cup Result (Men): Not Qualified
- Highest FIFA Ranking (Men): 158th (February 2008)
- Highest FIFA Ranking (Women): 117th (May 2010)
- Lowest FIFA Ranking (Men): 211th (October 2018)
- Lowest FIFA Ranking (Women): 148th (September 2015)
- Most Capped Player: Lenford Singh – 15 caps [as of March 2021]
- Top Scorer: Billy Forbes – 8 goals [as of March 2021]
The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory located in the Lucayan Archipelago of the Atlantic Ocean and northern West Indies. The islands lie southeast of Mayaguana in the Bahamas island chain and north of the large island of Hispaniola (shared between the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic).
The Turks and Caicos Islands are relatively new to the international football scene with their association being founded in 1996 and joining FIFA in 1998. The national team’s first game occurred on 24th February 1999 which resulted in a 3-0 defeat against the Bahamas. They entered their first official FIFA tournament by starting in the CONCACAF qualifying stages for the 2002 World Cup. Alas there was to be no fairy tale journey for the team as they were knocked out in the first stage of qualifying, 14-0 on aggregate against St. Kitts and Nevis.
Turks and Caicos entered the qualifying rounds for the 2006 World Cup but were again knocked out in the first stage, this time 7-0 on aggregate against Haiti. However, happier times were ahead for the team as during the qualifying stages for the 2010 World Cup they recorded their first ever win in World Cup qualifying, a 2-1 first leg win at home against St. Lucia. Sadly however, they lost the return leg 2-0 and were subsequently knocked out by an aggregate score of 3-2.
If we take a look at their results in terms of a more recent history, there are signs that things could be on the up for the team. In 2019 they played a total of five games and recorded 2 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses. One of those wins was a 5-2 victory away against Sint Maarten which remains to this day their biggest international victory in their history.
The Turks and Caicos Islands will be looking to take the form shown in 2019 into their forthcoming qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup. They were ranked as the 32nd best team in CONCACAF qualification and placed into a qualifying group with Haiti, Nicaragua, Belize and Saint Lucia, making them the lowest ranked team in their group.
To find out more about the national team we spoke to football enthusiast and Everton FC supporter, Steven Kendrew who lives in the Turks and Caicos Islands, for his views on the national team – a team very close to his heart. You can find a link to Steven’s twitter feed below.
- Twitter: @stevekendrew
Q. Who would you say is your country’s best player and coach/manager of all-time, and the reasonings behind the choices?
In terms of ability and power, Billy Forbes [30 year old winger/striker at Miami FC] and Marco Fenelus [28 year old defender/midfielder at Taiwan Steel] stand out but Jepthe Francois [21 year old midfielder] and Pendieno Brooks [20 year old goalkeeper at SWA Sharks] are up there too. Including past players, Gavin Glinton [playing 10 times for the Turks & Caicos Islands and scoring 4 goals] was perhaps the best we have had.
The best manager we have ever had is Matt Barnes. He took the team to another level in terms of their attitude and professional approach.
Q. Who could be regarded as a ‘cult hero’ in terms of the national team both in the past and present?
Cult players would include Marc-Donald (Marco) Fenelus who was a defender that stepped into goal for our big victory against St.Vincent. Fred Dorvil [25 year old forward at Beaches FC] is also a crowd favourite with a big heart and especially after his super goal against the British Virgin Islands. Herby Magny [23 year old left-back/left midfielder at the AFC Academy Jaguars] deserves a mention for sheer bravery in playing on after dislocating his shoulder more than once!
Q. Of the current team, who would you say is the best player in the Turks and Caicos national side currently?
Best current player is between Billy Forbes and Marco Fenelus. We also have our very good up and coming goalkeeper Sebastian Turbyfield [at just 18 years old].
Q. How would you describe the current state/performance of the national team?
Our team has been developing steadily as the guys get older, stronger and more experienced. The current coaching team has huge experience and have continued the development well. The team is in a good place, apart from there being no regular league games due to COVID-19.
Q. Are there any Turks and Caicos players who you think we should be focusing on for the future – who would you say is the most exciting up & coming talent from the country?
Up and coming talent includes Turbyfield as mentioned previously but there are several other very good players too, born in TCI but not Turks islanders due to the peculiar protective nationality rules because of the small population.
Q. Looking at Turks and Caicos international history, what would you say has been the best game, result or performance for the national team in your opinion?
Beating St. Lucia 2-1 at home in 2008 was the first big win. More recent wins in the CONCACAF Nations League have involved more local players as opposed to ex-pats which shows the progress. Another high point was the 3-2 St. Vincent win in November 2018 for sure!
Q. Likewise, is there a performance or result which is regarded as the team’s lowest point?
Losing 11-0 to Cuba was tough but it was Matt Barnes’ first game in charge and the players were unfit and disorganised. Things got much better soon after this.
Q. What are the best and worst things about being a fan of the Turks and Caicos Islands national team?
Being from the UK, the best thing was being involved so closely with a national team and them already being your friends from day to day life. The buzz when we started to match big teams and win was indescribable. The win against St. Vincent after months of hard work, and based on a specific tactics, was incredibly emotional. The worst thing about it is perhaps that you know there is only so far you can truly go due to the size of the population, etc.
Q. Have the fans adopted some kind of unofficial anthem to sing along to before/during/after matches?
I’m afraid we are not that vocal in terms of fans. We might get an attendance of 300 people or so to a national game maximum. The boys do like to chant ‘649! 649!’ which is our area code.
Q. Do you have a favourite or iconic shirt from the whole time of the national team?
The white and green away one was nice and the current strips are good too.
Q. Finally, what are your hopes for the future of the Turks and Caicos national team?
For the future, it would be great to go up a group in the Nations League and maybe get to the next stage of the World Cup qualifiers. To see more of our players making it professionally would be a real boost also.
A massive thank you to Steven for answering our questions on the Turks and Caicos national football team. Remember you can find his excellent Twitter account in the link at the top of the blogpage.
If you have any comments, suggestions, reactions, or even your own answers to the above questions, please write them in the comments box below. Likewise, you can either email us at email@example.com or send a message to the author @Gareth19801 or the editor @The94thMin on Twitter.