Struggling English Championship Division team, Ipswich Town, has turned down a request by the T&T Football Federation (TTFF) and interim coach Hutson “Barber” Charles for the services of utility player Carlos Edwards for this country’s second round Group Eight Caribbean Football Union Cup qualifiers.
The matches are carded to play at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet, Tobago from Wednesday to Sunday .
The 34-year-old Edwards, who last played for T&T in the Soca Warriors 2-0 win over Guyana last November in the second round of Concacaf World Cup 2014 qualification, was one of six overseas players requested by Charles for the second round group matches against St Vincent and The Grenadines, Cuba and Grenada, however he will not have the chance to add to his 84 caps and five goals at least for the second round qualifiers.
Contacted for comment, Charles confirmed the request for Edwards was not granted by Ipswich as the club is currently rock bottom of the 24-team Championship Division table with ten points from 15 matches and only last week hired a new manager in former Ireland coach Mick Mc Carthy to replace Paul Jewell.
The T&T coach noted that only the Wednesday fixture falls on a Fifa international date for matches while the club is also struggling and to allow one of its best players to be away for a week could add to its troubles.
There is also some uncertainty as to the availability of midfielder Keon Daniel (Philadelphia Union/MLS), who according to Charles has been released by his club as their US Major League Soccer season has ended but is yet to return calls made to him.
However, Charles did had some good news as Vancouver Whitecaps defender Carlyle Mitchell was due to arrive last night to join the squad after his US Major League Soccer season came to an end last week following his team’s 2-1 loss to LA Galaxy 2-1 in a Western Conference playoff for a semifinal spot while Robert Primus of Kazakhstan’s Aktobe has also arrived.
The other overseas-based players already in T&T and training with the squad are Orlando City’s Kevin Molino and Vietnam-based duo, Willis Plaza (NaviBank Sai Gon/Vietnam) and Hughton Hector (Song Lam Nghe An/Vietnam) who have also completed their league season.
There is also some speculation that 29-year-old striker Darryl Roberts, who plies his trade with Turkish First Division club, Samsunspor Kulubu, is also expected to join up with the team which will gather on Monday.
Samsunspor is currently fourth from bottom on the 18-team First Division table with ten points from as many matches and will have matches against Manisaspor (Sunday) and Sanliurfaspor (November 18), during the same time of the qualifiers in Tobago and it is yet to be seen if the T&T striker will be allowed to return home as the tournament is not being played during a Fifa international window as was the first round. He last played for T&T in a 2-0 friendly loss away to Canada.
The quintet of Daniel, Plaza, Hector, Mitchell and Primus were all part of the Jan-Michael Williams T&T team for the first round Group Five series at Warner Park Stadium, Basseterre, St Kitts/Nevis where T&T won over French Guiana (4-1), St Kitts/Nevis (1-0) and Anguilla (10-0) to advance to the second round as group winners.
At Bacolet, T&T, record eight-time CFU champion open its bid for a spot in the eight-team finals against St Vincent & the Grenadines on Wednesday followed by matches against Suriname on November 16 and seeded team, Cuba, two days later after which the top two teams from the group will advance to the finals carded for Antigua & Barbuda in December.
The other remaining second round series, Group Six to be played in St George's will feature host Grenada, French Guiana, Haiti and Guyana.
From the two groups, the top two teams in each group will advance to the finals with host Antigua & Barbuda, two-time defending champion and six-time winners’ Jamaica as well as Group Seven qualifiers, Martinique and the Dominican Republic in December.