Caribbean Cup 2012 captain Jan-Michael Williams will rejoin the Trinidad and Tobago national senior team for the first time this year after being selected for upcoming friendlies away to Romania and Estonia on June 4 and June 7 respectively.
Williams’ call-up is reward for his service at Pro League club, St Ann’s Rangers, which he joined last month. The talented 28-year-old custodian helped DIRECTV W Connection to the 2011/12 Pro League title but was frozen out of the squad early this year after a fall-out with head coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier.
Co-head coaches Hutson “Barber” Charles and Jamaal Shabazz overlooked Williams for four successive international friendlies due to his lack of match practice but the goalkeeper has earned himself a recall, just two months before the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
“I’m happy and extremely ready,” Williams told Wired868. “I just really want to resume playing with the national team.”
Central FC custodian and captain Marvin Phillip is expected to keep his place in the 20-man squad while North East Stars goalie Cleon John is likely to give way for Williams.
Two other intriguing additions are Middlesbrough defender Justin Hoyte and Notts County midfielder Andre Boucaud, both 28-years-old, who have agreed to join the squad.
Hoyte is a former Arsenal and England national youth defender who was born in England to Trinidad and Tobago parents. The Middlesbrough player, who can operate in central defence or at right back, was offered the chance to try out for the “Soca Warriors” on the eve of the 2006 World Cup but declined.
He is willing to help Trinidad and Tobago at the upcoming Gold Cup once given the chance, though.
Boucaud, who was also born in England, already has six international caps with the Warriors and played in three 2006 World Cup qualifiers under then coach Bertille St Clair. However, the box-to-box midfielder was just 20-years-old when he last wore “red, white and black” in October 2004 and has not played for any of the six coaches that followed St Clair.
Attacking midfielder Hughtun Hector and versatile defender Seon Power, who are based in Vietnam and Thailand respectively, are also in the present squad and could make their first international appearances of the year.
Khaleem Hyland, Keon Daniel, Sheldon Bateau, Carlyle Mitchell, Chris Birchall, Kevin Molino, Darryl Roberts and Ataullah Guerra complete the roster of 12 overseas-based players selected for duty in Europe.
Ipswich Town right back Carlos Edwards is likely to miss out due to injury while Stoke City forward striker Kenwyne Jones is “excused” and talented Finland-based 21-year-old attacker Shahdon Winchester and 24-year-old Slovan Bratislava winger Lester Peltier were again overlooked.
The remaining Pro League players expected to make-up the 20-man squad include North East Stars striker Cornell Glen, Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA playmaker Densill Theobald and the W Connection pair of defender Daneil Cyrus and utility player Joevin Jones.
Connection captain and midfielder Clyde Leon, Caledonia striker Jamal Gay and the Defence Force duo of winger Kevon Carter and forward Devorn Jorsling are believed to be on a shortlist competing for the two remaining spots.
“These two games are massive for us at this point as we prepare for the Gold Cup,” Charles told the TTFF Media. “This will give us a very good idea in terms of what we are looking for as a final squad for the Gold Cup. It will give us a true picture.
“I am particularly eager to see how the boys like Andre Boucaud and Justin Hoyte fit into the squad because we believe they will bring something of value to us. And then the return of guys like Kevin Molino, Khaleem Hyland and Hughtun Hector is a definite boost for us.”
The final Trinidad and Tobago squad is expected to be selected in the final week of May.
Trinidad and Tobago (possible team):
Jan-Michael Williams (St Ann’s Rangers), Marvin Phillip (Central FC); Sheldon Bateau (Mechelen—Belgium), Justin Hoyte (Middlesbrough—England), Carlyle Mitchell (Vancouver Whitecaps—Canada), Seon Power (Chainat—Thailand), Daneil Cyrus (W Connection); Chris Birchall (Port Vale—England), Densill Theobald (Caledonia AIA), Khaleem Hyland (Genk—Belgium), Andre Boucaud (Notts County—England), Hughtun Hector (Song Lam Nghe—Vietnam), Kevin Molino (Orlando City—US), Ataullah Guerra (RoPS—Finland), Joevin Jones (W Connection), Keon Daniel (Philadelphia Union—US), Kevon Carter (Defence Force), Darryl Roberts (Samsunspor—Turkey); Cornell Glen (North East Stars), Jamal Gay (Caledonia AIA).