Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones has confirmed his selection in the Trinidad and Tobago 18-man squad for Wednesday’s 2010 World Cup Qualifier against Cuba at the Hasely Crawford Stadium from 9pm.
And the big man was all too happy to confirm his availability for the “Soca Warriors”
“Yes of course I’m coming. I’m fit and I am starting tonight against Blackburn so I don’t think there should be any doubts about my availability for the Cuba game. I wanted to come and I’ve been called up. I’m happy about that,” Jones told TTFF Media on Wednesday evening.
Asked whether he felt his appearance for T&T could spark any row with Sunderland, Jones dismissed such possibilities.
“I think a lot of people have just been looking to create a bit of confusion over it. It’s just been a lot of talk over nothing. I’m a footballer and I’m here to play matches once I’m fit which thankfully I am at the moment. Sunderland has their matches and the national team has a game against Cuba next Wednesday so pencil me in for that one,” Jones added.
Prior to Jones being declared fit for the match with Rovers, Keane earlier told the Press in Sunderland : “Kenwyne has been selected but we will not know until the next 24 hours how his knee is. If he is not fit for us he will not be going to play for Trinidad. Carlos Edwards was selected for one of their games last year when he had been out a long time and he had to go and see someone in Birmingham just to confirm, so I would not expect Kenwyne to be going on a flight.”
With George Mc- Cartney, Craig Gordon and Daryl Murphy all serious doubts for the next few games, Keane was exploring the possibility of recalling Carlos Edwards from his loan stint at Wolves last night.
“I could call Carlos back. I might do it in the next 24 hours – and Stokes after Saturday.I have got to make these decisions. Carlos does give us something when he is fit and strong and I know he is enjoying it at Wolves and is having a run of games. But, again, that could change over the next few hours when we get more feedback on the lads in the treatment room.”
As has been the case in past qualifying matches, T&T head coach Francisco Maturana has made changes to his initial 18-man squad. Even after submitting his final 18-man squad to manager David Muhammad on Saturday, Maturana subsequently indicated that still wasn’t firm on his final selections. And on Tuesday he brought in defenders Cyd Gray and Aklie Edwards at the expense of Julius James and Seon Power.
“This is not the first time it has happened. As head coach he has the time to make such changes once it does not have a major effect on our arrangements. We were able to bring in Silvio Spann at the last minute for the USA match and instances like this can occur again,”Muhammad explained. “So for the coach to be swapping players is not uncustomary, once we can manage it well. There could be a slight delay regarding Anthony Warner as well because of a problem with his Trinidad and Tobago passport but again this is something we are working on.”
The rest of the squad remains the same with the overseas-based players flying in on Sunday and Monday. The team will train on Monday afternoon at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
T&T 18-man squad for Cuba
Anthony Warner, Clayton Ince, Makan Hislop, Dennis Lawrence, Keyeno Thomas, Aklie Edwards, Cyd Gray, Dwight Yorke, Josh Johnson, Keon Daniel, Khaleem Hyland, Carlos Edwards, Christopher Birchall, Clyde Leon, Russell Latapy, Stern John, Kenwyne Jones, Jason Scotland.