He is here. And then he’s not. He is in. And then he is back out again.
Former England National Under-17 Team captain John Bostock will not make his senior international debut with Trinidad and Tobago on Friday against Costa Rica, despite being granted approval to play by FIFA.
Within hours of being granted FIFA clearance, Bostock has pulled out of the national team for the second time. On the last occasion, the elegant midfielder, who plays professionally for RC Lens in the France Second Division, said his passport was stolen.
This time, Bostock told Soca Warriors coach Stephen Hart that he could not travel to Trinidad due to a personal emergency. The specific reason was not shared with the public.
“As many may know, it has been a long process in receiving the clearance from FIFA,” Bostock told the TTFA Media. “So understandably it is now with deep regret that due to personal reasons that I’m unable to disclose, I cannot play for Trinidad and Tobago at this stage.
“I wish coach Stephen Hart and the boys all the best for the upcoming games. I will, of course, be following the matches closely and God willing I will be able to make my international bow in the not too distant future.”
At the time of Bostock’s last withdrawal in September, he was due to travel to Trinidad in blind hope before games against Guatemala and the United States. As it transpired, he would have been unable to play anyway. This occasion is different, as FIFA gave the assurance that the midfielder is eligible to represent the Warriors.
However, Hart said he is convinced by the sincerity of Bostock’s desire to represent Trinidad and Tobago—his father, John Bostock Senior, was born in Trinidad.
“I had a conversation with him where he was emotional in expressing his withdrawal due to a family situation which he did not want to disclose,” said Hart.
Hart has already selected Charleston Battery playmaker Ataulla Guerra to compensate for Bostock’s pull-out and the internal suspension of attacking midfielder, Kevin Molino.
“We have 23 players in the squad and we will get on with the business of preparing for Friday’s match,” said Hart. “The mood is good and upbeat after the first couple of sessions and everyone appears to be in a good physical and mental state of mind based on how things have looked on the training field so far.
“We’ll have everybody in by today and with that we’ll move ahead full steam with the preparations.”
Trinidad and Tobago held two training sessions yesterday and should be joined today by the Mexico-based duo Jomal Williams and Yohance Marshall, Belgium-based midfielder Khaleem Hyland, Russia-based defender Sheldon Bateau and Holland-based winger Levi Garcia.
(Trinidad and Tobago Team)
Goalkeepers: Jan-Michael Williams (Central FC), Marvin Phillip (Morvant Caledonia United), Adrian Foncette (Police);
Defenders: Aubrey David (FC Dallas—US), Daneil Cyrus (W Connection), Radanfah Abu Bakr (JK Silame Kalev—Estonia), Sheldon Bateau (KC Krylia Sovetov—Russia), Yohance Marshall (Murcielagos FC—Mexico), Jelani Peters (W Connection), Carlyle Mitchell (Seoul E Land—Korea Republic);
Midfielders: Andre Boucaud (Dagenham & Redbridge—England), Khaleem Hyland (KV Westerlo—Belgium), Neveal Hackshaw (Charleston Battery—USA), Kevan George (Jackson Armada FC—US);
Attacking Midfielders: Levi Garcia (AZ Alkmaar—Netherlands), Jomal Williams (Murcielagos FC—Mexico), Ataulla Guerra (Charleston Battery—US), Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes—US), Joevin Jones (Seattle Sounders—US), Marcus Joseph (Central FC),
Forwards: Kenwyne Jones (Central FC), Trevin Caesar (Orange County Blues—US), Willis Plaza (San Juan Jabloteh).