The criticisms were harsh, and they were sometimes many, but for close to two decades former T&T striker Kenwyne Jones didn’t let it faze him. At the start of the week, he called time on his career, midweek he returned home, and yesterday morning he gave his first interview since retiring.
What appeared to be a surprise retirement wasn’t a surprise at all. Speaking on the Morning Shot, Jones said an injury he sustained prior to the Costa Rica match setback his hopes of a fully fit comeback in the sport. He said, “The decision I came to didn’t happen overnight. It’s been in my memory for three to four months.
In looking into the injury, the type of injury it is, I will have to do a three in one surgery if I am to continue playing professionally. The recovery time is 14 months. By that time, I’ll be close to 35, so there’s no point trying to come back to tussle up with the young ones.”
Instead, Jones said he will be willing to help any young T&T footballer who seeks guidance. Head coach Dennis Lawrence opened the door earlier this week to the former T&T captain if he is willing to contribute to the road to Qatar 2022.
However, in his first few days in post professional football, Jones says he’s been enjoying the simpler things in life, like taking his son to school and picking him up.
It is, however, hard to have a conversation with the striker and not talk about the constant criticism he’s faced throughout his career, especially playing for T&T. As he closed the chapter on this part of his life, his words weren’t politically correct anymore.
They don’t need to be. He said, “When you come out of the bubble that is T&T, you get to experience real fanaticism, I would say. I don’t think we’re real fanatics of any sport. Outside of this, any country I go to, based on the career I’ve had, and I’m very thankful for it, I have the respect of everybody else. I don’t look at my career as being a failure.”
For the people who did stand by him though, Jones is grateful, and thanked them once more for being a positive voice in his journey.
WATCH: In his first interview after announcing his retirement, Kenwyne Jones talks about the build-up to his retirement, the difficulty of the decision, his future plans, and the critics.