Wed, Jun

National team defender Cyd Gray, coming off a relatively successful 2006 campaign in which he played in two World Cup matches has vowed not to turn his back on representing this country.

Gray was speaking on Wednesday, a day after meeting with CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh head coach Terry Fenwich over his availability for the Digicel Caribbean Cup starting January 12 against Barbados.

Jabloteh had earlier asked for their players to be excused from the ongoing training at the Ato Boldon Stadium because of their hectic recent season. However, Gray has revealed that he wanted play for T&T but has been asked by the club to sit out the tournament as their Caribbean club Championship matches resume two days after the scheduled final of the Digicel Cup.

“Actually I had a meeting with the coach yesterday telling him that I wanted to play in the Digicel Cup but if the club says it’s not a FIFA tournament and they are paying my wages then I have to abide by their decision,” Gray told TTFF Media. “We will not be joining the team for the Digicel Cup,” Gray said disappointingly. Other Jabloteh players invited for the tournament were Aurtis Whitley, Daurance Williams, Kerry Baptiste.Trent Noel, Jason Marcano, Anthony Wolfe, Glenton Wolfe, Marcelle Francois, Nigel Daniel, Keyeno Thomas  and Ian Gray.

However, the matter is an ongoing one and time may tell what further development takes place.

“Every time Trinidad and Tobago has an international game I look forward to playing once I am called up. I just don’t want to retire and walk away from the national team,” Gray added. “As for now I am looking forward to staying fit and continuing the good work of the 2006 season. The club has the Caribbean Club Championship and then the CONCACAF Finals and my goal is to do well there and I also want to be involved in the Gold Cup,” he said.

Meantime, head coach Wim Rijsbergen is scheduled to return to Trinidad on Thursday and is expected to name a final 20-man squad to move into a live in camp before the Digicel Cup opener against Barbados on January 12 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

In other Digicel action, With the withdrawal of the Dominican Republic, the following is the Playoff Schedule for Haiti and Bermuda.

Haiti vs Bermuda, Ato Boldon Stadium, 4pm, January 7, 2007
Bermuda vs Haiti, Ato Boldon Stadium, 5pm January 9, 2007

The playoff is being played on a home and away system with the home team mentioned first. The winner on aggregate goals will advance to the Digicel Cup Finals to join T&T, Barbados and Martinique in the Sedley Joseph Group. The winning team will walk away with US$100,000 and the top four teams advances to the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June, 2007.