Scottish-based defender Marvin Andrews, one of the eight surviving members of the 2006 World Cup squad in training on Wednesday, was a delighted man as he returned to the national team set up for the first time in almost three years to prepare for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica on June 6.
Andrews, recalled by National team head coach Russell Latapy, had not been in action for the “Soca Warriors” since 2006, his last appearance coming in a 3-0 loss to Czech Republic in Prague on June 3, 2006. A knee injury kept him out of the World Cup in Germany and subsequent problems with the troubled knee saw him out of action for just over a season before surgery to repair a damaged cruciate ligament.
He had earlier left Raith Rovers by mutual consent before returning a little less than a year later during the 2008/2009 season. He went on to be one of the club’s outstanding performers as they clinched promotion to the First Division.
But Andrews has another milestone he’s hoping to achieve. He is one short of one hundred international appearances and is hopeful of reaching the century mark on June 6 against Costa Rica.
Aside from that ambition though, Andrews said he was just happy to be back training with T&T and believes the team has what it takes to get to South Africa 2010.
“I’m just delighted to be back playing again and to be here preparing with the national team for this important match coming up against Costa Rica. It’s a fantastic feeling to be back on the national team under Russell,” Andrews told TTFF Media after his first session at the Larry Gomes Stadium on Wednesday.
“Back in 2005/2006 everyone was on a high and we believed that we could get to the World Cup and there is no reason why we can’t do it again. We are in a tighter position now but can definitely go on to qualify. Even if we don’t get the wins in the next two games then it’s still not over and done,” Andrews added.
While undergoing rehab and having to stay away from the game following the surgery, the former Glasgow Rangers defender said he kept himself well occupied.
“I was involved in other things and made good use of the time. I was preaching the gospel of the lord.”
He added that he’s been working feverishly to return to his best on the football pitch.
“I’m getting there. I have eleven 90 minute appearances under my belt and it feels good. Getting back your full confidence and back to your best after being out of football for a year is not an easy thing but I’m working towards it and I think the training now with the national team has come at the right time for me and I’m definitely looking forward to giving my best for the country.”
The former Livingston stand out took full part in the session with the likes of past 2006 World Cup team members Stern John, Jason Scotland, Collin Samuel, Silvio Spann, Densill Theobald, Clayton Ince and Dennis Lawrence also involved.
The T&T squad is carded to travel to Tobago on Sunday to begin a live-in training camp ahead of the clash with the Costa Ricans. Latapy’s squad will be finalized and revealed on Sunday.