WILLEMSTAD, Curacao – Week three of 2019/20 Concacaf Nations League Qualifying is set to start on Friday, including Aruba facing off against Montserrat.
Through two matches, Aruba is 1W-1D-0L with four points and very much in the mix for a berth in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.
Yet the Aruba players are not about to get ahead of themselves and start making plans for next summer’s tournament. Instead, their focus is squarely placed on Friday’s clash.
“We are only thinking about the Montserrat game,” said Aruba MF Raymond Baten in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com. “Montserrat is a strong team, with experienced players and great physical strength. Anything can happen,” added Baten.
Baten was also quick to remind that the Montserrat game is all part of Aruba’s long-term plan to build a stronger footballing nation.
“We are seeing this as the third match in this long-term project that we have. We are still getting used to each other because we have so many new players,” said Baten.
At the same time, there has been a sense of excitement among the Aruba players in CNLQ, which is making for an optimistic future.
“Guys are excited to play. We just really like playing and playing with each other. Guys are motivated to work hard and help each other and so that’s one of the reasons why there is such a positive vibe right now,” said Baten.
In many ways, the CNL was started for teams like Aruba. Finally afforded the opportunity to play games on a more regular basis, Aruba is showing that it has the makings to start challenging the major powers in the region.
“The Nations League came at just the right moment for us. We have a lot of potential, our players have quality, we just needed games. The Nations League is just what we needed. We needed games to develop and show our qualities and potential,” concluded Baten.