Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones has been included in an 18-man squad announced by National Team head coach Francisco Maturana for the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Cuba at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on November 19.
Jones, recently back from a knee injury was not called upon initially for international duty since making a return to the Sunderland team last month, being given the necessary time to settle back into the game after the lengthy lay off. But Jones on Saturday made himself available, expressing his interest in returning to international duty for T&T in the encounter against Cuba. Maturana and his staff along with the TTFF willingly invited the big striker for the affair.
Jones now joins Dwight Yorke, Russell Latapy (Falkirk), Carlos Edwards (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Chris Birchall (Coventry City), Clayton Ince (Walsall), Stern John (Bristol City), Jason Scotland (Swansea City), Dennis Lawrence (Swansea City), Josh Johnson (Rhyl FC) and Anthony Warner (Hull City).
TTFF Special Advisor Jack Warner welcomed Jones’ return to the national team, adding that like every other player, Jones will be well looked after while on duty for T&T.
“We are happy to have him back in the team. At first he was not called into the squad because of the fact that he was only now coming back from injury and we all know how difficult it can be a for a player to get back to his accustomed place in the starting team for a club. We felt that it would serve him well to allow him that time.
“But when he indicated that he wanted to make a return for the Cuba game, we thought about it… Maturana and company and we went ahead with the invitation. It will give him a chance to fit back into the team before the critical matches we should have coming up next year, once of course we seal our spot with a positive result against Cuba,” Warner told TTFF Media on Sunday.
“We were in touch on Saturday, Dwight and myself as well and both players are looking forward to the match on November 19 with a high amount of interest.”
The rest of the squad includes defenders Makan Hislop (United Petrotrin), Julius James (Toronto FC), Seon Power and Keyeno Thomas and midfielders Keon Daniel (United Petrotrin), Khaleem Hyland (SV Zulte Waregem), Clyde Leon (W Connection).
Jones said on the weekend that he is feeling good again.
"Things are all right with me now physically, so there's no need to make any more of it than it was. It's a long time since the injury, and you have to remember that this is football, things like this happen. It wasn't a malicious challenge so there's no point in trying to bear grudges. I'm still here and I'm still playing, so I thank God for that."
Jones played 30 minutes against Newcastle United, a full half against Stoke City and an hour against Chelsea on the comeback trail. But he was not in the team for Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Portsmouth.
"I'm slowly getting back in my own mind to being a 100 per cent fit Kenwyne Jones, mentally and physically. Whether I am fully fit or not, we will have to wait and see on the pitch – that's where you find out.”
T&T 18-man squad
Anthony Warner, Clayton Ince, Makan Hislop, Dennis Lawrence, Seon Power, Keyeno Thomas, Julius James, Dwight Yorke Josh Johnson, Keon Daniel, Khaleem Hyland, Carlos Edwards, Christopher Birchall, Clyde Leon, Russell Latapy, Stern John, Kenwyne Jones, Jason Scotland.