Some of Trinidad and Tobago’s overseas-based footballers have continued to revel in the success of qualifying for next year’s World Cup Finals and have fittingly been the toast among their fans back at their respective clubs over the past few days.
But there have been some concerns coming from some of the club bosses over the fitness and availability of a couple of the players like Kenwyne Jones and Kelvin Jack while striker Stern John has been left out of his team for the next two matches and has not been acknowledged by his club manager Phil Brown.
But for John, while he has come back down to earth since T&T’s qualification, nothing will have a negative effect on their feelings.
John, as he settled back in at his Birmingham home on the weekend, was able to carefully give his take on T&T’s World Cup booking.
“It’s definitely the most exciting time of our lives. It’s everyone’s dream to reach and play in a World Cup and for the fans too, it’s their biggest wish to see their players reach a World Cup and I think we are experiencing all the love because of this,” John told TTFF Media.
“The fans are still congratulating us. Some are shocked that we made it and it’s not just about getting the rewards that comes with it, but just the fact that this is the biggest moment in my career and the other guys as well. All the persons who played a part in this has every reason to be on high clouds right now.”
He was not as cheerful sounding though when having to comment on the response coming from Brown.
“The manager didn’t have much to say but that’s okay. For someone who had been chasing me down since I was back in Trinidad for a qualifying game, I thought he would have been somewhat happy but that’s life I guess. Now it’s like they don’t care.
They have not even included me in the squad for the next two games but there’s nothing that can take away from this experience. I’ve been dropped before and I bounce back. Nothing is going to break me now,” John stressed.
The former MLS topscorer said too, that while he appreciated all the love shown to the team upon qualification, he wanted to say a special thanks to those who were there from the early days.
“We need to say a special thanks to those who have been with us from the early part of the campaign, from the days when only 5,000 fans would come to the Stadium. The fans who just came on need to be aware of what it takes to be a true supporter and to everyone else who will like to be involved now in whatever area must understand that there are others who have been here before them and respect that at the same time. All in all though nothing could beat back the love we got when we arrived home especially from the kids,” John added. “The other people like players too – Arnold (Dwarika), Gary (Glasgow), Angus (Eve), Mickey (Trotman) and others who have been there from before and they must be mentioned too”
The T&T topscorer with 64 goals with 91 matches, had special regards for Jack Warner, Russell Latapy and Dwight Yorke.
“There’s so much that can be said about Jack Warner and the entire team is really grateful for what he has done for us. I don’t think he would maybe understand how we feel about his assistance but a large part of it is responsible for what we have achieved. People could say what they want about him but the main thing is that he has delivered for us,”
“Dwight and Russell deserve all the praises too and even though I was playing in the early matches when they were not here, I must say that I am really happy that they can end up in a World Cup now and they both deserve it. Even Michael Maurice deserves credit because he has been there since 1989,” said John.