Kelvin Jones, current coach of the Police FC team and ex-Strike Squad defender, has slammed the lack of preparation for Trinidad and Tobago’s failure to progress beyond the Second Round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup CONCACAF Zone Qualifiers.
The 50-year-old Jones, who played 14 times for Trinidad and Tobago between 1984 and 1992, stated, “it’s obvious the majority of the whole (downfall) is more or less preparation.
“I think preparation and some of the players were playing in the wrong position,” he continued. “We have a lot of talented players here and (the coaches) are not playing them to their strengths.”
Trinidad and Tobago finished second in Group “B”, with group winners Guyana advancing to the Third Round, which begins in June.
Jones is adamant that TT coach Otto Pfister did not have the final say in terms of player selection during the ill-fated World Cup campaign.
“To be fair, it seems like the players that he needed (were) chosen by other people,” he stressed. “For instance, not being bias, one of the (best) left backs was not even played in the games,” he added, referring to his son, Joevin Jones of W Connection. “But he’s on the Under-23 team.
“Now, if we’re looking for future tournaments, these are the guys that you have to be looking at, the Under-20s and Under-23 (players),” he continued. “I’m just waiting to see what happens now with the Olympic Games (qualifiers) that are coming up. And these are the teams that you have to be grooming now.”
Jones is willing to assist in the development of the new breed of national footballers if called upon.
“I have no problem with that because, as a police officer, we are here to serve the country in all aspects, whether it’s sports or (other) wise,” he said. “I have no problem with that. Things that I’ve got through the national team, I can give back as well.” The former Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive, ECM Motown, Police FC and St Ann’s Rangers player admitted that he hopes to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“I think the only thing that we can do is go up,” Jones said. “That’s the only choice that we have now. As far as I see, we’re at the bottom of the pack.
“Teams like St Lucia and St Vincent, we used to be playing them and beating them with local players. What we need to do is groom a local team and continue training, even if it’s once (or) twice a week.
“The success would come and the guys abroad can strengthen the team,” he ended.