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Jones: A lot of love in this squad

Published: 
Thursday, July 23, 2015
T&T’s Khaleem Hyland (8), Radanfah Abu Bakr (6) and Mekeil Williams (17) celebrate a goal by Kenwyne Jones (9) during the second half of a CONCACAF Gold Cup football match against Panama Sunday at MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. T&T lost in penalty kicks in nine rounds, 6-5, after the teams finished regulation and extra time leveled at 1-1. AP Photo

T&T captain Kenwyne Jones wants the public to know that the driving force behind the current national senior team is the love and belief among players and members of staff.

He believes that it is the only way to bring about any kind of positive change whether it be with matters on or off the football field.

The Cardiff City player said the country at large could take a page out of his team’s approach.

“This team went from being one that nobody gave a chance of doing anything worthwhile to one that not only surprised many and surpassed expectations but also put us back on the map and can now have people feeling a positive vibe and seeing the country in a positive light,” Jones said a day after his team exited the Concacaf Gold Cup with a defeat to Panama in penalty kicks in New Jersey.

“And I have been around a lot of national teams, the biggest achievers being the 2006 squad where there was a strong bond and I can say now that this bunch of players has a tight bond. There is love and the feeling that if we do things together and continue to do things the right way, then we can go on to reach places.

“We are not perfect and like everything else, we have mishaps, we make errors but what brings us through it is that togetherness and willingness to work hard to achieve. I think the country could use this as well. Right now there are a lot of things happening in our country that may not be always pleasing but coming together and putting things into perspective and working on things the way it should be, could do a lot of for us,” the T&T captain said.

Jones also addressed his teammates after the loss, saying: “Nobody except all of us in this unit would know what you had to go through and what you have to do to get to where we got to. And we need to keep pushing on. People will have things to say but once we stick together and keep doing things the right way, then we reach where we want to be.”

John hails T&T’s Gold Cup showing

Former national striker Stern John has hailed T&T’s senior team for one of the best showings ever at the Concacaf Gold Cup.

John played in three Gold Cups in which he scored three goals including a double in a 3-1 win over Honduras in 1998 and a penalty in a 1-1 draw against Costa Rica in 2002.

Currently the head coach of the T&T Football 7 Academy in Trincity, John attended a couple of the T&T sessions during their pre-Gold Cup training camp in Fort Lauderdale earlier this month.

“The team wasn’t having a good run and from what I saw from then to now, it’s been a massive turn around and all credit to the head coach and his staff and the skipper and his players,” John said. 

“They were a bit unfortunate in the last match against Panama. Maybe the Mexico game took a lot out of them but they were outstanding in that game so you can’t really fault them. To come from two goals down and then fight right down until the end when you are behind against Mexico is no easy accomplishment.

“I was quite pleased to see the way the team carried itself, the players gave everything and that’s what you want to see from a national team. Hopefully they can keep this up and get the right support that can put them in a good way for the World Cup qualifiers coming up,” said T&T’s all time leading goalscorer.

Cato lines up against Manchester United

Mere hours after leaving the T&T camp in New Jersey on Monday following this country’s defeat to Panama a day earlier, national team player Cordell Cato was on the field again. On Tuesday the nippy winger started for MLS club San Jose Earthquakes against Manchester United in the International Champions Cup North America at Avaya Stadium in San Jose.

Cato’s team lost 3-1 to United which had the likes of Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata in its line up. Former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was also part of the club’s contingent at the game.

Cato is coming off a strong showing at the Gold Cup during which he scored in T&T’s 3-1 win over Guatemala.

“It’s been a fantastic experience for us. We came here looking to achieve something and I think we did that. The team came back well after the results and the performances leading up to the Gold Cup were not that impressive. It felt great for me to get that goal in the first match and then we just got better with every game. The Mexico result was huge. Hopefully we can build on this and take it into the future especially for the World Cup qualifiers,” Cato said.

Glenn presents Team shirt to kids in Iceland

Forward Jonathan Glenn returned to Westman Islands in Iceland this week and immediately resumed his duties as a coach at a kids football camp. He left New Jersey on Monday after T&T exited the Concacaf Gold Cup. 

Glenn plays professionally in Iceland for IBV also made a generous move by putting two of his national team official playing shirts from the Concacaf Gold Cup as a prize to the best performing male and female players at the summer camp of which he is affiliated with. 

Shaun Fuentes is the director of communications for the TTFA—[email protected]

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