Sun, Jul

Southampton striker Kenwyne Jones is still in dreamland after helping to take Trinidad & Tobago to their first World Cup finals.

And he is likely to stay there for the next seven months as he admitted to BBC Sport: "Qualification will give me smiles in my sleep."

Not that there was much time for sleep following the win in Bahrain which clinched a place in Germany.

Trinidad Prime Minister Patrick Manning led the celebrations by issuing a directive for all the squad to return to Port of Spain for an official party, which led to Jones being unavailable for Southampton's Championship game against Leeds.

The Soca Warriors are still pinching themselves at the thought of being at the world's biggest football party in Germany next summer, with Jones among them.

"It's amazing to think that we will be sharing the stage with the likes of Brazil, France, Germany, Argentina and England," Jones told BBC Sport.

"But we have proved our right to be there. We had a very long journey to the finals, of which the two legs against Bahrain in the play-off were the last, but probably the biggest step."

The appointment of Dutch coach Leo Beenhakker in April was a pivotal moment for Trinidad's qualification aims.

The wily former Real Madrid coach moulded the natural talent into a unit, as Jones admits.

"We've always had talent individual players but he came in and organised us into a team.

"He has an eye for detail and leaves nothing to chance. We didn't know much about Bahrain before, but when we came to play them we knew all we needed to know.

"We're much better organised in defence and when we take a lead we're much more confident of holding on to it, and I think Leo Beenhakker has been great for Trinidad football, he's given us belief as well as organisation."

Beenhakker does risk the wrath of some players as Trinidad scour the passport lists for players who could enhance their squad.

Aston Villa's Jlloyd Samuel and West Ham striker Bobby Zamora have already been sounded out and Jones says: "That's an issue for the coach to sort out.

"He has said that he wants to try and be fair to the players who have got us this far and I think he has to do that.

"But at the same time, if there's a chance of bringing in a couple of players who are going to improve your team and could make a difference, it would be foolish not to take it."

Dwight Yorke is exactly the type of player who made a difference to Trinidad's qualification.

"It's great to have a player like Dwight in the team", says Jones. "He's won so much in the game and he's got a lot of experience at the top level.

"He had retired from international football but I think he realised what it means to everyone in Trinidad & Tobago to reach the World Cup finals and he's come out of retirement to get us there."

The biggest name in Trinidad sport has been firmly behind the Soca Warriors, even if his own team have been taking a battering in Australia.

"Brian Lara has been one of our biggest supporters and he was the first to send us good luck messages and greetings, so we've certainly got the whole island behind us."