Sat, Jul

Warriors step it up.

Trinidad and Tobago skipper Kenwyne Jones resumed training with the national team on Monday morning after making a successful return to play following a short injury lay off last month.

Jones had been sidelined for just over two weeks after suffering a shin injury in the international friendly with Nicaragua at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. He scored a first half goal to help Cardiff City to a 2-0 win over Reading on Saturday before jetting off to the United States early on Sunday.

 He joined the T&T team in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday night along with Dagenham and Redbridge midfielder Andre Boucaud, winger Lester Peltier, Belgium-based KVC Westerlo midfielder Khaleem Hyland and South Korean based defender Carlyle Mitchell.

All five players took part in the session at Sawgrass Grand on Monday morning. Guatemala-based defender Mekeil Williams joined the camp on Monday afternoon while Russian-based defender Sheldon Bateau, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Justin Hoyte and Kevan George were all expected in later in the day. George’s Columbus Crew advanced to the MLS Eastern Conference Final after defeating Montreal 3-1 on Saturday.

Hart led the team through double sessions on Monday under sunny conditions on a lush outfield at Sawgrass.

“The field is in immaculate condition and ideal for our preparations,” Hart told TTFA Media.  “The facility really has the makings of what you need for a training camp like this. And by tomorrow we should have the full team together but so far with the players here we’ve had a couple good, intense sessions and the players have responded quite well.

Obviously it’s good to have Kenwyne in at this time. He is the leader of the team and therefore he brings that added presence. But generally all the players here have responded well to what we’ve asked of them,” Hart added.

Forward Jonathan Glenn spoke about the camp, saying  the “Warriors” were gearing up for the contest in Guatemala City on Friday.

“It’s been going good so far. The guys are fully focused and giving it our all in practice here in Fort Lauderdale. It’s very crucial that we get a good start to set the tone and go on to advance to the Hex.

“We’re just really ready to go out and get a result. I have a one hundred percent confidence in the guys to go there and get it done. We know it will be tough but if it was easy, then anyone could achieve this so we know we have to go there and work for the right result,” Glenn said.

Meantime, Hart was interviewed by on the weekend, and spoke of the importance of getting into the final round next year.

“The objective is to get in the Hex,” Hart told, referring to what is widely-known moniker for the final round of qualifying CONCACAF. “If you do your business at home and hope to get some points on the road, you should be able to get in.” 

He touched on the November 17th home clash with the United States.

“We will see a different United States team,” he said. “They will be a team that is completely different from what we have seen in the last few outings. However, we have to take advantage of the fact we are playing at home.”

“The main thing is not to panic with the opening two games because there is a huge break between these games in November and March,” the 55-year-old added. “That’s the most important thing.”

Tickets (priced at $300 and $150) for the upcoming World Cup qualifier versus the United States remain on sale at Sports & Games (nationwide), The Fan Club (Movietowne, Trincity and Gulf City Mall), Ramsingh’s Sportworld (Couva), Sportway (Ellerslie Plaza and Gulf City), Heritage Sports (Tobago), Fan Zone (Centre City Mall, Chaguanas) and online at  Gates open at 4pm on matchday with kick off set for 7:30pm. No coolers will be allowed at the event.