T&T Football Federation special advisor Austin Jack Warner yesterday announced the resignation of T&T national goalkeeper Clayton Ince.
The resignation came on the heels of T&T’s impressive 2-0 win over Panama, in their World Cup qualifier on Saturday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, which Ince watched from the bench.
National coach Leo Beenhakker choose Kelvin Jack before Ince, a decision which surprised many, but which went well,as Jack brought off a couple of good saves to keep a clean sheet.
Ince, who plies his trade with Crewe Alexandra in the English football Coca-Cola Football League and has won 61 caps for the Warriors, felt slighted by his omission from the starting line up and on Sunday handed in his resignation, according to Warner.
Warner expressed disappointment with the action taken by Ince, especially since “he has been a role model on the team”
“I think he has been misguided” Warner said, as he referred to the latest development in the Warriors camp as “unfortunate,” stating: “I don’t think he has been given proper advice.”
Warner sought to remind all players interested in being a part of T&T football that whether they do it on the field, or on the bench, they are still representatives of the team.
According to both Warner and Beenhakker, Ince had been complaining of a back injury during the five-day camp that preceded Saturday’s match. With this in mind, Warner said Beenhakker was not prepared to take any chances with Ince in such a crucial match.
Ince felt that his complaint did not warrant him being left out of Saturday’s starting line-up and returned his ticket, passport and uniform to Warriors manager Bruce Aanensen.
Warner revealed that T&T captain, Dwight Yorke, was present and attempted to dissuade Ince from taking such drastic action, using his own experiences.
On June 28, 2001 Yorke and then captain Russell Latapy tendered their resignations on learning that they were dropped from T&T’s squad ahead of a World Cup qualifier against Jamaica. Earlier this year, Yorke mended his differences with the T&TFF and returned as team captain.
He sought to discourage Ince from leaving the team at this juncture in their World Cup qualifying campaign, but it appears that Ince had already made up his mind.
Keen to move on from this latest bump on the road to Germany, the T&TFF has called on CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh custodian Durance Williams, who has made an immediate impression on the FIFA vice-president.
Warner revealed that Williams received his call up at midnight and joined the team promptly at 4am yesterday.
He commended Williams and praised his professional attitude.
Of Ince, Warner said: “I wish him well.”
The T&T team left for Monterrey, Mexico, where they will play the hosts and group leaders in the fifth round of matches in CONCACAF’s third qualifying stage on Wednesday.
The Local Organising Committee Germany 2006 Ltd has advised that Wednesday’s match will be broadcast live from Monterrey on NCC TV-Channels 4 and 16 at 8pm local time.
Ince denies quitting
In response to Warner’s comments Ince has said that despite his disappointment at being excluded from Saturday’s game he has in fact not resigned but has only asked for a break from national duty.
Ince said he had been suffering with back spasms and wanted time to take care of his ailment hence his request to not travel with the team to Mexico.
Full story in tomorrow’s Guardian.