Rory McKenzie has watched on enviously this year as Rugby Park team-mates Stephen O’Donnell, Eamonn Brophy, Greg Taylor and Stuart Findlay were all selected to play for the national team by erstwhile Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke but the former Scotland Under-21 midfielder has revealed he may end 2019 as a fully-fledged international player... with Trinidad & Tobago.
The 26-year-old midfielder, who found the net on Saturday for the first time since October of last year to move the Ayrshire club up to fifth place in the Premiership table, is eligible to represent the Soca Warriors because one of his grandparents was born in the Caribbean country.
A previous attempt to alert their FA to his availability fell on deaf ears but former Killie team-mate Kris Boyd and Caribbean king Marvin Andrews – the former Raith Rovers, Livingston and Rangers centre-half who won 101 caps for Trinidad & Tobago – have intervened to make a call-up for their Nations League match in Honduras next month a distinct possibility.
“I’m in the process of making myself available to play for Trinidad & Tobago,” he explained. “It’s a long story but I’ve been in contact with them and I’m trying to sort that out at the moment.
“I first looked into it years ago because one of my grandfathers, Bill Mossman, was born over there because his mum and dad had been in the Royal Navy. But we’ve been going back and forth for around four months now and I’d hoped I would have been involved in their matches during the recent international break.
“Unfortunately, the paperwork didn’t go through in time. I reached out to them before but nothing really came of it but this time the Trinidad manager got in touch.
“It was Kris Boyd – through his old Rangers team-mate Marvin Andrews – who set the wheels turning. Boydie and I had been out somewhere and I mentioned this. He then phoned big Marvin and I spoke to him as well.
“After that the manager, Dennis Lawrence, texted me out of the blue a couple of Sundays ago. I’ve subsequently spoken to him, too – he wanted to establish whether or not I was eligible to play for them.”
McKenzie has done all he can in terms of providing the Trinidad & Tobago FA with all the relevant information and is keeping his fingers crossed that he’ll be making his international debut in the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula on November 17.
“I’ve been sending all the documents – including my grandfather’s birth certificate – over to them so, if anything comes of it, then great,” he said. “Obviously, it would be a great experience for me to travel the world, to play international football and to have the likes of the Bahamas and Jamaica in the same group.
“The training camps would be better than Kilmarnock’s as well!”
What proved to be the decisive goal at the weekend came when McKenzie’s volley ricocheted off Nicky Devlin on its way past Matija Sarkic (“It was definitely going in anyway!” he claimed) after Gary Dicker had fired the home side in front from Chris Burke’s free-kick.
Livingston only came to life in the final 25 minutes. Marvin Bartley struck the crossbar with a header and also forced a fine save from Juventus loanee Laurentiu Branescu before Lee Miller scored a late consolation goal for the visitors.
SOURCE: The Scottish Herald