Cardiff City forward Kenwyne Jones and Seattle Reign FC Reserve forward Kennya “Ya Ya” Cordner were selected by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) as the Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year respectively. As a result, Jones and Cordner will represent football at the upcoming First Citizens Sports Awards for 2013.
It is the third win for both footballers. Jones also won the accolade in 2010 and 2007 while Cordner managed it in 2012 and 2010.
“It’s an honour to be the footballer of the year for Trinidad and Tobago and an honour to be a nominee for the top sporting personality as well,” Jones told TTFA Media. “It’s been my pleasure to represent my country again for the past year, a year which I think was a pretty good one for us. We had some challenges but we were able to get over that and show that we are doing what we to try and get the football back to a respectable level.”
Jones, who has been an England Premier League player for the past seven successive seasons, scored six goals from 12 internationals in 2013 and helped the “Soca Warriors” advance to the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals for the first time in 13 years. (Click here to view Jones’ brilliant lobbed effort against Saudi Arabia).
The six-foot-two striker was also named on a shortlist for the CONCACAF Player of the Year award although that distinction eventually went to Mexico forward Oribe Peralta. Jones, who is the present Warriors captain, said he is proud to be involved in the upturn of fortunes for the national team.
“I am very proud of wearing the national colours and again I think it has been a very good year for myself and the national team,” said the 29-year-old Jones. “I hope I can continue to serve as an inspiration in whatever little way to my teammates and other aspiring footballers at home and wherever I am seen playing the game.”
The 25-year-old Cordner became the first Caribbean player to appear in the United States’ top flight National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) when she signed with Seattle Reign FC. She made two appearances in the NWSL before dropping into the second tier Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL).
Her brief stint was mainly due to a NWSL rule which only permits two international players per team.
Cordner gave further evidence of her ability on an England tour with the senior women’s team in August 2013 when she scored twice in a 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur and four times in a 7-1 demolition of Queen’s Park Rangers.
“I am honoured to be named the top women’s player,” said Cordner. “Hard work pays off and I hope I can encourage and inspire others to continue working hard and go after their dreams.”
TTFA President Raymond Tim Kee congratulated both players.
“I wish to specially congratulate both Kenwyne and Kennya for their outstanding efforts for the country in what was year of resurgence for both our men and women teams,” said Tim Kee. “I salute both of them for their performances. And it was no easy choice in spite of their prolific displays as we had several other players who also delivered on the field of play and contributed to some of our successes in 2013.”