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TRINIDAD and Tobago football captain Kenwyne Jones will be missing from the national football team training session today, but the striker says he is not surprised to see his name missing from the squad and he does not have any animosity.

Belgian Tom Saintfeit, who was announced as the new head coach of T&T a week ago, released a squad of 28 players to begin preparations for two friendly international matches both against Nicaragua away from home on December 27 and 30. Saintfeit will have his first training session with the national team today at the Hasely Crawford Stadium from 7 pm.

Jones, who has represented the senior team for more than 10 years was a notable absentee from the squad. Saintfeit reportedly wants to go for a faster style of play and Jones was omitted from the squad.

In a media release Saintfeit stated, “the squad is made based on my style of play but also on consultation with several people on the technical committee, local coaches and other local people involved in football here. In the future we can also see players involved who were maybe not selected now because then I will follow up the league more and know more about the individual players and their qualities and I would have more knowledge of the players in the local league and abroad.”

Jones, who was part of the T&T team that qualified for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, said he is not shocked by the decision. Jones said, “I wish the team all the best, it is nothing that is surprising to me.

I had a meeting with the coach and obviously that is not a squad that he picked so at the end of the day I wish the team all the best and I hope that they come out successful in the games coming up.” Carlos Edwards, one of Jones’ teammates at the 2006 World Cup, received a call up yesterday. Edwards, now 38, has made 88 appearances for T&T, last playing for the national team in an international friendly against Jamaica in November 2013. Edwards is currently playing for Ma Pau Stars in the T&T Pro League.

Jones, despite the snub, said he still has the enthusiasm to play for T&T . “I don’t think that is a question, I have represented T&T in good times and bad times. The hunger is always there to represent T&T , I don’t think that has ever changed.” Jones added he has no hard feelings on being dropped. “I don’t feel animosity to anybody. At the end of the day everybody has their reasons for whatever selection and whatever process, he is the coach.

Again, obviously he is new here so he is probably getting help to pick the squad.” The Central FC striker says he is glad to see new players being called up for the national team and does not want to say too much to cause a distraction to the team, “I mean a lot could be said about a lot of things and how people are going about things but at the end of the day I am a footballer first. As someone usually says, it is what it is.

“At the end of the day I am not going to say anything to make it seem as if I have a bad taste in my mouth or sour grapes. As I said I have represented T&T in good times (and) in bad times to the best of my ability under good circumstances, under bad circumstances. So me talking about any ills or wrongdoings or any tea to spill, now definitely is not the time for that. I am still a player and moreover I want to see the country do well. The time for that small talk will be at some point in time in life.” T&T will leave on Christmas Day for Nicaragua.

T&T Training Squad
Jan Michael Williams (Central FC), Glenroy Samuel (Ma Pau Stars), Marvin Phillip (Morvant Caledonia United), Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Daneil Cyrus (W Connection), Sheldon Bateau (Krylia Sovetov Samara), Triston Hodge (Toronto FC II), Mekeil Williams (Colorado Rapids), Carlyle Mitchell (Seoul E-Land FC), Radanfah Abu Bakr (Sillamae Kallen), Alvin Jones (W Connection), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Nathaniel Garcia (Central FC), Sean De Silva (Central FC), Hughtun Hector (W Connection), Maurice Forde (W Connection), Kevin Molino (Orlando City), Aikim Andrews (W Connection), Trevin Caesar (Orange County Blues), Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes), Jomal Williams (Murcielagos FC), Hachim Arcia (Defence Force), Willis Plaza (Jabloteh FC), Shahdon Winchester (Murcielagos FC), Carlos Edwards (Ma Pau Stars), Joevin Jones (Seattle Sounders), Aubrey David (Dallas FC), Jomoul Francois (St Ann’s Rangers)