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Alvin Jones replaces Hoyte: Six Connection players in Warriors squad

A late call-up for versatile 21-year-old defender Alvin Jones, who replaces England-based right back Justin Hoyte, created a remarkable distinction for the W Connection football in the Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team.

Photo: W Connection players (from right) Triston Hodge, Jomal Williams, Alvin Jones and Dimitrie Apai celebrate during 2016 Caribbean Club Championship action against Club Sportif Moulien in Couva on 26 February 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection players (from right) Triston Hodge, Jomal Williams, Alvin Jones and Dimitrie Apai celebrate during 2016 Caribbean Club Championship action against Club Sportif Moulien in Couva on 26 February 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Every single player with a Trinidad and Tobago passport in the Connection starting team, barring veteran 34-year-old playmaker Andre Toussaint, will travel with the “Soca Warriors” on a three-nation tour to Peru, Uruguay and China.

Jones, who captained the National Under-23 Team at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, joins teammates Daneil Cyrus, Triston Hodge, Hughtun Hector, Jomal Williams and Shahdon Winchester in coach Stephen Hart’s set-up.

Toussaint apart, the rest of the Connection first XI includes the St Kitts and Nevis duo of goalkeeper Julani Archibald and midfielder Gerard Williams, St Lucia left back Kurt Frederick and Suriname winger Dimitrie Apai.

Connection are fourth in the 10-team Pro League standings at present.

In contrast, Central FC, who just won the Pro League title for the second successive season, contributed just three players to the national squad, despite having just one foreign player on their entire roster.

Photo: Central FC forward Jason Marcano (centre) is dragged to the ground by his teammates after his opening goal against North East Stars at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella on 8 May 2016. Marcano scored twice as Central cruised to a 4-0 win to complete their successful defence of the league title. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC forward Jason Marcano (centre) is dragged to the ground by his teammates after his opening goal against North East Stars at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella on 8 May 2016.
Marcano scored twice as Central cruised to a 4-0 win to complete their successful defence of the league title.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Still, Connection’s Warriors are all capped at either junior or senior level and club owner David John-Williams, who is also the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president, might be reaping the benefits of shopping for young talent.

The sudden influx of Pro League players—there are 15 in Hart’s squad—is due to a clash with the FIFA calendar, which meant that the national coach had to rely on the generosity of overseas-based clubs to release players for the South America tour.

The 21-year-old Hodge, who can operate in central defence or at left back, hopes to make the most of the absences, as he eyes his second senior international cap.

“I’m trying my best in training this week, hoping to impress the coach so that I can get to play in these three games,” Hodge told the TTFA Media. “I would like to be a permanent pick on the national team. I know the competition for spots is tight but that’s football and it’s a good thing for the team.

“It’s an elating feeling to be among some of these players on the national team like Khaleem Hyland and Hughtun Hector. They always encourage me to do my best. “Coach Hart has also taught me a lot so far and also tells me to stay focused.”

Photo: W Connection defender Triston Hodge (foreground) holds off North East Stars forward Keron Cummings during 2015 Toyota Classic quarterfinal action. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection defender Triston Hodge (foreground) holds off North East Stars forward Keron Cummings during 2015 Toyota Classic quarterfinal action.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Another new call-up is 26-year-old North East Stars goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel, who represented Trinidad and Tobago at the 2007 Under-17 and 2009 Under-19 World Cups but struggled to get a look in at senior level.

Just four months ago, Samuel was representing Matura ReUnited in the National Super League competition before a mid-season move to Stars earned him a surprise call-up, with Warriors and Central FC number one, Jam-Michael Williams, missing through injury.

“It’s a proud moment for me and hopefully I can keep my spot,” said Samuel, who was called into a training squad in 2013 but remained uncapped. “I was so elated, I ran through the village of Matura to let everyone know the news. It’s good to be working with Marvin Phillip and Adrian Foncette.

“Michael Maurice is a good coach and hopefully I can keep fit and continue developing my game. I was very eager to get back on this team.

“I’m not nervous about the occasion. I am thirsty to play.”

Photo: Matura ReUnited goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel (standing) gets some help from a young football during CNG 2015/16 National Super League Premiership Division action against Petrotrin Palo Seco at the Matura Recreation Ground. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Matura ReUnited goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel (standing) gets some help from a young football during CNG 2015/16 National Super League Premiership Division action against Petrotrin Palo Seco at the Matura Recreation Ground.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

The Warriors leave on Friday May 20 for Lima. They will face Peru there on May 23 before tackling Uruguay in Montevideo on May 27 and China in Qin Huang Dao on June 3.

(Trinidad and Tobago squad)

Goalkeepers: Marvin Phillip (Morvant Caledonia United), Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Glenroy Samuel (North East Stars);

Defenders: Aubrey David (Saprissa FC—Costa Rica), Alvin Jones, Daneil Cyrus, Triston Hodge (all W Connection), Weslie John (CD Universidad—El Salvador), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Yohance Marshall (Murcielagos FC—Mexico), Andre Ettienne (Central FC), Radanfah Abu Bakr (HB Koge—Denmark);

Midfielders: Hughtun Hector (W Connection), Andre Boucaud (Dagenham & Redbridge—England), Leston Paul (Central FC), Khaleem Hyland (KVC Westerlo—Belgium);

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland points the way during last month's friendly international against Nicaragua. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland points the way during last month’s friendly international against Nicaragua.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Attacking midfielders: Jomal Williams (W Connection), Levi Garcia (AZ Alkmaar—Netherlands), Sean De Silva (Central FC), Nathan Lewis (San Juan Jabloteh);

Forwards: Willis Plaza (Alianza FC—El Salvador), Shahdon Winchester (W Connection), Makesi Lewis (Police FC);

Additions for China match: Carlyle Mitchell (Seoul E Land—Korea Republic), Marcus Joseph (Central FC).

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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32 comments

  1. David going guns*
    May 17, 2016, 10:1 PM AST. This reporter couldnt find another word to describe guy doing really well ? With all the gun violence in T&T he should be more sensitive in.his choice of words

  2. I thought central is the best team in Trinidad

  3. lmaoooooooooooooooo hahahaha and the Devil has began to rare his head..as expected to happen..heck even a blind man could of seen how this was to be played out lmao!! Guess someone coffers gonna be fat with contracts now lol an for the forseeable future lool.. pathetic oui

  4. Good player alvin jones go an represent

  5. Like is only WConnection aka mDisconnection players could make TT National team.. FAILURE

  6. Well hopefully more players from our professional league will finally get permanent spots on the national team eh, but I don’t see it happening any time soon because our professional league still needs to raise their standards in both their level of play and the coaching eh, to compete with the players and coaches in the real professional leagues abroad or else Coach Hart will continue to stick with our real professional players that are plying their trade abroad and the other problem is that we really have to return to the program like back in the days where we use to have little fellas starting to play the game at the age of 4 yrs old eh, and there were under 7 tournaments when my player Russell Sutton won the most goals who eventually went on to represent our national teams and also the Army team back in their championships days because to many of our players are peeking at an older age where they should be peeking in their teens and early twenties hence the reason why some of the coaches have to get their acts together because if the teacher cannot teach the students will never learn eh. Them really good yes.

  7. I trying to figure out that midfield triangle: Hyland/De Silva; Paul/ Boucaud and Hector/Jomal Williams?

  8. Save your work coach call up more 6 is not enough

  9. Lasana, please stop quoting de players incorrectly. Glenroy said “I am very TUSTEE for football right now.” LOL

  10. Now is ur time…dont hold back go forward

  11. Ah guess that W Connection is the new Bayern Munich eh, where the majority of the players represents the national team from the wining team in the league ent, oh well I am really happy for Alvin Jones eh, and I am really hoping that he will finally gets a permanent spot on the team. Them really good yes.