Mon, Jan

Coventry City striker Stern John may arrive home a couple days earlier before the scheduled start of the live in training camp on may 7 ahead of the friendly international against Peru. Why?  The T&T topscorer realizes fully that from the moment the team assembles at the Crowne Plaza on the Sunday, apart from all the hype around the team with the fanfare and nationwide roadshow, it will be total football for the “Soca Warriors ”.

John, a lover of Kung Fu DVDs plans to get some mind relaxing days at home before he reports to Beenhakker but he has no intentions of mixing matters when it comes down to representing the country on the world’s biggest stage.

“I think everyone realizes how importance this period is for our football. It’s the biggest stage for all of us and is definitely the most important stage of our history so far aside from winning several Caribbean tournaments and posing as a threat to some of the bigger names in the past. We have worked and tried very hard for this before so we definitely don’t want to spoil it now,” John told TTFF Media on Sunday as he relayed that already he was packing his luggage for the long trip on the road which include stops in Port of  Spain, Manchester, Austria, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Germany.

“We are going to be together for a long time on the road so I have to be fully prepared and that includes everything from comfortable clothes to my favourite movies and you know the guys need the good food too so we are quite pleased with the local chef making all the trips with us,” John added shortly after watching on as teammate Shaka Hislop kept a clean sheet in West Ham’s 1-0 win over Middlesbrough in the FA Cup semi final. This now means that Hislop will sit out the friendly against Peru on May 10 as the FA Final is scheduled for May 13. Beenhakker has already given him the go ahead for the FA.

On a more serious note, John was quick to point how his sharp feeling these days on the pitch itself.

“I have been ready before for matches and so but the last few weeks has been maybe the best of my career in England in terms of how I am feeling mentally and physically. I have enjoyed my football to the fullest and I hope to keep this going right into the World Cup. I know it will be a greater test but I think all the games starting from the one against Peru will be important and we all as players and staff members need to be at our best at all times,” said the former Columbus Crew man.

“I think when you look at how the coach has planned his programme and selected his squad you can only see that he really knows what he’s doing and the team has full belief in him. Like anything, those who are left out will be disappointed and hopefully they can overlook that and keep going but from the team that has been picked now I definitely feel we are all feeling good about things and it’s a matter of getting that rhythm going again. We must feel as if we have a good chances as any and to be fair, the players are really feeling up for the challenge. No Paraguay, Sweden or England is going to make us feel second best,” John added.

He is expected here in early May but before that Beenhakker will start work with some of his World Cup selected players at the Larry Gomes Stadium on Monday ahead of a training match involving the President’s Eleven against Grenada’s Olympic team on Tuesday from 7pm at the same venue. The President’s Eleven team includes World Cup squad players Aurtis Whitley, Cyd Gray, Anthony Rougier, Silvio Spann, Atiba Charles, Anthony Wolfe, Densill Theobald, Clayton Ince and Avery John. Also included for these two matches are Brent Rahim, Gary Glasgow, Trent Noel, Glenton Wolfe, Kerry Baptiste, Jan Michael Williams and late addition Evans Wise who arrived in the country this month.