TRINIDAD AND Tobago women’s football team coach Kenwyne Jones has defended the non-selection of attacking players Kennya “YaYa” Cordner and Afiyah Cornwall on the squad, for the Concacaf W Championship in Mexico.
T&T had a dismal showing at the Concacaf W Championship, as they lost all three of their games in Group B – 6-0 to Canada (July 5), 4-0 to Costa Rica (July 8) and 1-0 to Panama (July 11).
Canada and Costa Rica qualified automatically for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, while Panama will compete in the 2023 World Cup inter-confederation play-offs in New Zealand.
Both Cordner and Cornwall did not feature in the women’s team for 2022.
The 33-year-old Cordner scored 34 goals in her debut season with Turkish club Fenerbache while Cornwall was one of T&T’s leading lights at the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship.
Asked by Wired868 website’s editor Lasana Liburd, during Monday’s post-game presser, about the non-selection of the pair, Jones responded, “I think you know the story of both of them so it’s a bit redundant for you to be asking the question. But for that sake, I'll answer you on the forum.
“Kennya Cordner decided not to play because her teammate (Maylee Attin-Johnson) was not selected anymore. She decided not to play for the country.”
On January 29, during the team’s training session at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, Jones said, “Nothing was done to Cordner. We do wish her well. I hope that she has all success in the future, but we have to continue.”
At that session, he mentioned, “(Maylee) has done a lot for the women’s game and I personally do wish her well. It is in my remit and our remit to be able to make decisions that is best for the (team). We do thank her for her will, her commitment but, at this point in time, we are going to go in a different direction.”
Attin-Johnson, who was the captain of the T&T team during their failed campaign to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, was forthright in her view on the team, after the Panama game.
“My God does not sleep, He only wears pyjamas!!!!” and “A bunch of amateurs with high profile badges”, were some of the comments she posted on social media on Monday.
About Cornwall, Jones said, “She played Under-20 football about two years ago, was in the pool with the previous coach (James Thomas), was sent home for discipline reasons; tried to get into university but was sent home for discipline reasons again.
“In my tenure, I invited her to come to training, I spoke with her parents, to have a conversation with them and the player, and they never showed up. They had no intention of playing for the country, so I think the repeated question of why they weren’t selected needs to stop.”
SOURCE: T&T Newsday