Town skipper Carlos Edwards says he has already slipped his Trinidad and Tobago passport into his travel bag in anticipation of returning to this country next month for the February 6th friendly international against Peru at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
Edwards is among a list of overseas-based players invited by the senior team coaching staff for the encounter which will be T&T’s first for 2013 as preparations kick off for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup in July.
The others include Stoke City striker Kenwyne Jones, Iran-based defender Jlloyd Samuel, Vancouver Whitecaps defender Carlyle Mitchell, Racing Genk's Khaleem Hyland and Turkish-based forward Darryl Roberts as well as US-born player Nick De Leon.
The ex-Wrexham player last appeared for T&T in a World Cup qualifier against Guyana in November 2011. But he hasn’t lost his appetite for the national team since that time.
“I’ve missed putting on the national shirt so I’m definitely excited about this one. It’s a great chance for the team to play against a quality side like Peru. I’m pumped and my passport is already in my bag,” Edwards told TTFF Media on Saturday shortly after his Ipswich Town conceded a last minute goal in their 2-1 loss to Bristol City.
He said he was particularly looking forward to teaming up with the players that guided this country to second spot at the 2012 Caribbean Cup Finals in Antigua/Barbuda.
“There are some new faces in the bunch now and I know a lot of people wrote them off before the Caribbean Cup and they went there and proved themselves well and proved the critics wrong. I think it was a big step to get to the final and qualify for the Gold Cup,” Edwards stated.
“Surely there is some quality in the squad and hopefully players with the experience like myself, Kenwyne and Khaleem can lift this team to an even higher place. We are not just coming for a holiday next month but we want to stamp our authority and help the team by playing some good football and getting the team back up the rankings and ready for the Gold Cup.”
The former Sunderland player said he was impressed that the TTFF could arrange a fixture against a team like Peru.
“We haven’t been too popular in recent times on the world stage so I’m happy that we could get a team like Peru to come to Trinidad. They have some great players who have done very well in Europe.
It’s a step in the right direction to play them because we’ve been saying for some years now that we need quality opponents. This is an opportunity for our players who may not have the opportunity to play against high quality players every week and it’s only with fixtures like these we can know how ready we are to face the world.
Players like Pizarro and Farfan are quality players on the world stage and they didn’t reach their by luck. We as T&T players need to now prove ourselves by doing well against players like them and making full use of the opportunities coming our way,” Edwards added.
Tickets priced at $100 will go on sale next week at locations to be announced. The game kicks off at 8pm on February 6th.