Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team captain Kenwyne Jones will spend the next five months in the local Pro League, after the former England Premier League forward agreed terms with defending champions, Central FC.
The 31 year old forward, who recently signed for new United States Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise, Atlanta United FC, will stay with the “Couva Sharks” until December 31 before heading to Atlanta United for pre-season camp.
Jones’ Central contract starts on 1 August and he expects to make his competitive debut on the following day when the Sharks host Vancouver Whitecaps in CONCACAF Champions League battle at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
The former St Anthony’s College schoolboy started his Pro League career with Joe Public before moving to W Connection as a teenager. He then signed for Premiership club, Southampton, and went on to also represent Sunderland, Stoke City and Cardiff City in the England top flight.
His decision to return home will be seen as a boost to not only the two-time Pro League and Caribbean champions, Central, but also the local top flight competition, which has struggled financially due to government cut backs.
“I’m quite happy to be heading to Central FC, of course,” said Jones, via press release. “I’ll be back home playing football again. I haven’t done so for a number of years and I’m excited to be back in the mix.
“Definitely, Central’s position at the top is a great place to be. They have been playing some quality football and, just looking at the league in general, it feels good to be a product of that standard of football.”
The Soca Warriors captain hinted that his return to Trinidad might be motivated—at least in part—by a desire to stay close to the national team, as they look to seal a place in the final CONCACAF qualifying round for the Russia 2018 World Cup tournament and challenge for the 2017 Caribbean Cup.
The qualifying series for the Caribbean Cup starts in October 2016.
“Of course we have the two World Cup qualifiers and upcoming Caribbean Cup rounds in October [and] this makes it the best move,” said Jones. “It’s a good moment to be home [and] a good moment to be closely involved in matches between now and December.
“And it’s a good transitioning stage for me before I go off to the new venture in Atlanta.”
Jones’ looming move to the MLS was well received in Atlanta as accomplished rapper and actor, Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges, was among fans to hail his decision to play in that city.
Central will hope to feed off that buzz as well.
Jones is the second former Premiership player to turn out for a Pro League team and is three years younger than his 2006 World Cup teammate Stern John was when he represented North East Stars.
And he joins a small list of former Europe-based top flight players to feature in the Pro League, which includes Russell Latapy (Caledonia AIA), Jerren Nixon (North East Stars), Leonson Lewis (W Connection) and Anthony Rougier (FC South End).
Warning: Undefined variable $userid in /www/wired868_759/public/wp-content/plugins/user-photo/user-photo.php on line 114
He’s gonna score a lot
Good luck to Kenwyne and Central FC… It should make for a more interesting Pro League season!
Dennis and Clayton Ince were also in that team right
I know that was the other era of Army dominance
Hahahahahah we make army win titles Jamaal Shabazz
Was it publicized? I can’t remember reading or hearing anything abut it about it
It’s not at the minute
News starts here Fulton. It hits the mainstream media after. You should know that by now. 🙂
Better late than never
Scotty went to school in our neighbourhood and Carlos always wanted to play with us instead of kick and rush with Army
Hahaha! Perfect to help with your young players Jamaal!
Ok Ok so Caledonia is officially putting in a bid for these two icons
He’s rite next to me chilling bro. Hoping we could help and bring it back the football
Hahaha. I saw his face on a billboard for yogurt the other day and sent him a text to his UK number! Give him a hail for me.
It will certainly bring some attention to the pro league. Dwight and Russell should have done the same even in their old age.
Russell did play a few games with Caledonia while he was T&T player/coach.
That would be great Scottie! How is Carlos doing anyway?
Me Carlos and Jonesy in the pro league Lasana Liburd what u think?
Well he will be up against me Lasana Liburd ⚽️⚽️
I hope those wild men in the Pro League don’t damage his tools which are his feet with wild tackles.
We have room for him at Arizona United SC Lasana Liburd ⚽
It will be a challenge to Pro League defenders as well to show how tough and capable they are.
Maybe even wingers like Jason Marcano and Darren Mitchell can catch Stephen Hart’s eye if they start pinging brilliant crosses into Kenwyne.
So he should bring some motivation to the league.
See you have one person showing up for a game! So it might a pack stadium
Well this is certainly interesting. Good or bad decision…I am not missing a game
So after all the talk and denials, he’s back?
I take it that the problem was that Sancho jumped the gun with the announcement. Kenwyne must really be homesick to join the Pro League at this time.
I think it is a great move for Central and the Pro League. Not sure it is that good for Kenwyne professionally. But his family would probably enjoy it.
It’s better than playing no football at all between August to December Lasana surely?!
So the options were Trinidad or nothing?? I highly doubt it.. Some Championship division team in England or other part of Europe would probably love to have him for the right price..
Is it sherron? Lol
Sherron, the option was never ever Pro League or nothing. Atlanta has a formal arrangement with Charleston Battery in the A League, for instance, and sent at least two signings there.
Another recent signing from Argentina went on loan in Mexico. He could have almost certainly have gone elsewhere if he wanted to.
Lasana Liburd why wouldn’t he just play for them right now? What’s the problem?
Ok, understandable. I was considering the short period and felt that it would be difficult for him to get a club internationally. But I’m glad he’s coming back home. Wished more of our foreign pros did this during their career even though I know many reasons why they don’t.
Prince, Atlanta starts playing in 2017. They only have about seven players signed at the moment. They don’t even have a head coach yet.
Lasana Liburd oh see how much I watch mls lol
Lol. I would expect that not to be the case Stefano. I’m not sure if he would have received a signing on fee at least from Atlanta already. Not sure if they will offer anything to him between now and December.
Maybe Atlanta will hope offset his salary.