Trinidad and Tobago's players both overseas and local, were already examining all the possibilities now that the draw is out for the preliminary stage of the 2010 World Cup.
And Premiership-based midfielder Carlos Edwards says his appetite was already wetting with the possibility of facing the USA and Guatemala before the final round. He’s hopeful of being part of the best effort possible in getting to South Africa.
“Ever since the World Cup in 2006 I have been looking forward to playing for Trinidad (and Tobago) again. But for me it was unfair to go and represent the country again without the players who I sweated blood with in the campaign. Legally I wasn’t involved in any court matter but I don’t think any of us would have been happy with the situation, the players nor the Federation and now is the perfect time for us to get back on board and make this thing happen again,” Edwards told TTFF Media.
“I think we remain grateful for those who have played their part, the officials and others but now it’s a situation where we cannot wait until 2009 to get our house in order. It has to start now even if it means having to bring back the experienced players because I am sure the entire country wants to see us go to the next World Cup in South Africa.
“I remain very hopeful that the Federation will do what is necessary to ensure that this happens,” Edwards added saying too that he felt facing the US and Guatemala before the final round could be a blessing in disguise as it means T&T would have to be well prepared in advance of the final stage from which the top three teams of six will advance to the World Cup with the fourth-placed team meeting the fifth best from South America in a playoff.
The Sunderland midfielder said he didn’t think the majority of World Cup players not representing the country since November 2006 will have too much of a negative impact on the team’s shape for the qualifiers.
“It’s always a major asset to have players playing in high leagues outside and we have that now. We have been there, in a World Cup and we know how to do it. We know the feeling of qualifying for a World Cup and playing in a World Cup and even though we haven’t been together much since Germany I think we have the experience to fall back on. Right now we have a nice mix of experience and young players to choose from. You see the other countries already calling back their best players and mixing them in with the local talent like Jamaica. We need to do the same thing to get the cohesion again,” Edwards concluded.