As England faced Sweden in their crucial Euro 2012 encounter on Friday, midfielder Carlos Edwards took time to remember what took place in Nuremberg on June 15th, 2006.
It was a day that definitely the Ipswich Town man, his teammates and all of the T&T faithful would carry with them forever as T&T battled the English head to head and in one instance hand to head. And it was five days after the “Soca Warriors” stunned the world by holding Sweden 0-0 in Dortmund.
Seems like a lifetime ago with the somber state of the national team after its early exit from the Brazil 2014 campaign. But truth be told, it’s less than a decade ago.
And with only the Under 20 and Under 17 men in with any World Cup chances for the respective Finals next year, Edwards wants to see more pride, passion and humility in T&T’s efforts on the world stage.
“That will always be one of the outstanding moments in our football and particularly for me personally… hearing the anthem, playing the game and coming out with a draw against Sweden,” Edwards told TTFF Media.
“Then we went into the England game knowing that it would be one of the biggest games for us and holding them for 80 minutes or so before they got the first goal.
Nobody expected we would put up a fight. People thought we would go there and be trampled but we played with a lot of determination and passion and we were organized. That was the key to our success,” said the ex-Wrexham winger.
Those moments would always bring a smile to Edwards and anyone else who were part of the times. But the former St Anthony’s College player isn’t too happy these days having to read about what’s happening with the likes of Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda.
“We have no reason to be sitting down home while those two countries are playing Mexico and Costa Rica and these other teams. There are a lot of reasons people can give for why we are out at this stage but as players I think we have to shoulder some responsibility.
I know me personally… I am still not over the disappointment. Honestly I can’t understand how we could let Guyana beat us. They were up for the game across there but we still have no reason to allow them to get on top of us,” Edwards added.
As he prepares for another grueling season in England, the Ipswich Town man was back in Trinidad enjoying a bit of rest and relaxation along with the likes of Kenwyne Jones, Lester Peltier and Khaleem Hyland, so much deserved off season time in the homeland. But Edwards hopes none of them takes their absence from the qualifiers for granted.
“As much as we are still playing with our clubs, we are lovers of this sport and we need to feel the hurt. Honestly if any player from the national team, whether it be the senior team or even the youth team players, are not hurt or disappointed about us being out of the race, then we don’t deserve to play for the country.
That may sound a bit harsh but it’s the truth about how I feel right now. The coaches and the administrators have their part to play but we as players are the ones out on the field. We have to get the results,” he added.
“I would love to be playing for the national team and if the opportunity comes around for a couple of the upcoming friendlies then I’m willing to be there. I think I still have one Gold Cup left in me” Edwards laughed.
Ex-T&T captain Dwight Yorke is also hoping T&T can find its footing on the international stage again.
“When you look at where we were back in 2006 and then you look at us not even being mentioned now it’s obviously sad.I think there’s a lot of work to be done to get back there and we have to get our acts together and get on with it.
That time in 2006 was a major highlight for us and we need to do whatever we can to get back to those kind of moments and bring some glory to the country again. We need to get back some of that pride again and give opportunities to people to try and fulfill their dreams,” Yorke told TTFF Media.