Trinidad and Tobago's Under 20 footballers arrived at the Piarco International Airport in smiles on Monday morning just after 11am but seemed exhausted following their triumph at the Caribbean Football Union World Under 20 Qualifying series in Suriname.
The players were met by parents and friends and there were some onlookers who appeared thrilled by the team's accomplishments but all admitted they didn't think the team could pull it off.
But as skipper Jones said, it was a total team effort which did the job which was overseen by coaches Clayton Morris and Hutson Charles, two members of the National Senior team which narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 1990 World Cup Finals.
"Basically we are just very happy right now about this victory especially because of the situation we were in. But this is just the first hurdle for now so we are just maintaining our normal attitude until we know we have finally reach to the World Cup," said Jones.
"At a point in time it was very tough for us especially in the first game when we had to play with just an eleven and all the guys just stuck together," he said as the players got ready to board the buses en route to different destinations.
The former National Under 17 defender thanked the TTFF for ensuring that the team was able to make the trip, even at the last hour.
"I think the football federation should be thanked for that effort to make sure we got there because it could have caused a problem for us and we really wanted to go. Now we are just looking forward to the next stage," he added.
Goalkeeper Kevin Graham, anxious to find out about Joe Public's 1-0 win over CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh in the Pro League on Sunday, was pleased with his performance which saw the team concede only in one of the three matches.
"It was a great experience for us and we are all very happy to come away victorious. But this was a hard trip for us which makes the feeling even better," said the Public custodian.
"All in all it was a great feeling. I got an injury in the first five minutes of the first game but I had to play on and then to come and score two goals yesterday was a really good feeling," were the words of striker Devon Jorsling.
The team will be on a break and resumes training on Thursday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
T&T's Under 20s will await the winners of the CFU Group D phase which will see Cuba, Grenada, St Lucia and Dominica contesting from August 17-21. The winners of this group will meet T&T in a home and away time for the right to move on to the CONCACAF Finals in November. T&T will host the first leg on September 15 with the away leg on September 29.
Teams P W L D F A PTS.
X - Trinidad & Tobago. 3 2 1 0 6 2 6
Suriname. 3 2 1 0 4 6 6
Barbados. 3 1 2 0 5 4 3
Netherlands Antilles. 3 1 2 0 4 7 3.
VENUE: Andre Campaveine Stadium - Suriname.
2 goals apiece for T&T players, T&T also scored the most and, conceded the least, good start.
T&T Goal Scorers:
Terrence McAllister - 2.
Devon Jorsling - 2.
Odelle Armstrong - 2.
Trinidad & Tobago. 1 vs 0 Barbados.
Trinidad & Tobago. 1 vs 2 Netherlands Antilles.
Trinidad & Tobago. 4 vs 0 Suriname.
Barbados. 0 vs 1 Trinidad & Tobago.
Barbados. 1 vs 2 Suriname.
Barbados. 4 vs 1 Netherlands Antilles.
Netherlands Antilles Results:
Netherlands Antilles. 1 vs 2 Suriname.
Netherlands Antilles. 2 vs 1 Trinidad & Tobago.
Netherlands Antilles. 1 vs 4 Barbados.
Suriname. 2 vs 1 Netherlands Antilles.
Suriname. 2 vs 1 Barbados.
Suriname. 0 vs 4 Trinidad & Tobago.