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Joevin: Saintfiet is trying to dirty my name; I always want to play for T&T

“I can’t see why Tom [Saintfiet] is saying I am not interested and I don’t want to play for my country. I don’t know why he is trying to turn things on me.”

The following Letter to the Editor was submitted to Wired868 by Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team midfielder Joevin Jones regarding his coach Tom Saintfiet’s claim that the Seattle Sounders player was not interested in representing the Soca Warriors in this week’s Gold Cup playoffs:

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones (centre) is tackled by two Costa Rican players during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones (centre) is tackled by two Costa Rican players during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

I just want to clear my name. I just want to say I always want to play for my country. It’s an honour to play for this country.

First to begin, me and Tom [Saintfiet] talked face to face weeks ago agreeing on me coming to the camp on the 1st [of January]. Yes, I did agree to [that]. But the problem was getting clearance from my team [Seattle Sounders].

After the Trinidad and Tobago team got back from the two friendlies [in Nicaragua] on the 31st [of December], I got a message from my lil brother [and national team player] Alvin that I have to come in camp on the 1st [of January] at 12pm, which was the next day.

I had no info as yet from my club stating if I can go [to camp] or not… [And] why do I have to get a message from my lil brother to come in camp? What about the manager [Azaad Khan]?

My club gave me late clearance on Sunday morning to go. My lil brother was in camp already, so I sent a message with my lil brother stating that I got the clearance and I would be in camp or training the following evening, which he did deliver.

Photo: Seattle Sounders wing back Joevin Jones (left) controls the ball during MLS action against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on 12 March 2016. (Courtesy AFP 2017/Gene Sweeney Jr)
Photo: Seattle Sounders wing back Joevin Jones (left) controls the ball during MLS action against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on 12 March 2016.
(Courtesy AFP 2017/Gene Sweeney Jr)

The only reason why I delivered the message back through my lil brother was because they sent one with him. I think they were unprofessional [in doing] that.

The only reason why I played with W Connection [in a friendly against Haiti last week] was because they asked me to train and stay shape for the upcoming game on the 4th against Suriname. So I decided to play the game with W Connection because I can’t watch football because I love the game.

The person who called me to train with Connection called Tom and asked if I could play in the game. The answer I get was: ‘Yes and be careful’.

I risked my contract with Seattle by playing—just to maintain some fitness to feature in the upcoming games. I can’t see why Tom is saying I am not interested and I don’t want to play for my country. I don’t know why he is trying to turn things on me.

I can’t just come in camp just like that. I am under contract with Seattle. They have to give me clearance.

As I said, I got late clearance on Sunday morning. I was on my way to camp on Sunday evening when my lil brother Alvin said to me they don’t want me again. I said no problem.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones controls the ball during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action against St Vincent and the Grenadines at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 29 March 2016. (Courtesy: Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones controls the ball during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action against St Vincent and the Grenadines at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 29 March 2016.
(Courtesy: Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

I think the communication was wrong by sending messages through my lil brother. I don’t see why Tom is trying to dirty my name by saying [if] I could play for Connection [then] why I can’t play with the national team, when the TTFA told me to go and stay in shape and keep fitness. That I didn’t like, [especially] when I risked my contract with Seattle by playing to say fit and in-shape to play for my country.

I just want to tell the people of Trinidad and Tobago, this has nothing to do with me not wanting to play for my loving country. I always love playing.

I just want to clear my name. If I wasn’t interested, why did I talk to Tom and agree face to face to play and to come in camp on the 1st?

If I wasn’t interested, I would have told Tom I had a long season and I needed rest. Simple as that. It hurt me to read stuff that isn’t true.

Editor’s Note: Trinidad and Tobago coach Tom Saintfiet also claimed that Kevin Molino and Cordell Cato declined invitations to represent their country at this week’s Gold Cup playoffs. He later amended this to say that Molino offered to play but he refused to accept him since the midfielder initially said no.

Defender Daneil Cyrus denied suggestions that he turned up to the team camp smelling of alcohol although Saintfiet insisted that he never accused the player of this.

Trinidad and Tobago play Suriname from 7pm today at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

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Letters to the Editor
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361 comments

  1. All these so call stars….dem a playing for Barcelona Real Madrid or what? Dem is a whole bunch a jackos who eh have no discipline and cyah put country fuss. Me say forget dey asses and think bout the nex 10 years.

  2. There you g again bro. This man here hoe much days now. What vendetta could he have. The man now reach here bro. the way how i see is like this. DISCIPLINE AND COMMITMENT is the order of the day

  3. Sporting personalities of this country are hailed to easily, which leads to the swelling of their head and egos. We supporters I believe has a discerning eye and analyze the regular mistakes that are being made. Discipline, Tolerance and Production are our watchwords and these three principles once applied correctly would aid in great success.

  4. Lies! U jus damn slack! so d man came here with a pre bias towards u alone,get real eh

  5. It was a frigging pain to watch tnt play last night…. I want to see jovein Jones. Molino. Garcia. Caesar. Phillips. Jan Michael. Playing again.. need them back n playing as a unit. I keep saying we have a good unit.. our coach decided to play counter attacking football against Suriname… plain Bullshit. Minors we suppose to crush them.. rethink your tactics

  6. Everyone knows that you trinidad and Tobago footballers have no discipline and respect for the country.

  7. Can I ask a silly question??… Do these players have agents or ppl who look after their affairs??

  8. We should spend FOOTBALL MONEY on a FEW PARTY BOATS.Might get BETTER PERFORMANCE.

  9. Too effing much! And “this” is not helping the situation wired868.com!

  10. All yuh fighting down joevin to much

  11. All yuh fighting down joevin to much

  12. Foncette is still a bake, rani flat bread! ?

  13. Yeah but its the same concept because it’s a pick up match not an official fixture

  14. I done say it once ,my 3year old son could make that side.if you could drop a captain from a side clean.all de rest of players would stand up with him.

  15. Mr. Jones should quit while he’s ahead. Wasn’t there àn issue as well with Coach Hart. Please Mr. Jones you’ve been consistent with this national team when you arrive late after party under Mr. Hart. You want us to believe you now.

  16. I went to the game yesterday is the worst level of football i have ever seen better he bring them back them boi them let them drink they rum

  17. All this talk and discussion. Yet the deeper problem lay in the attitude of our entire society. Daz why Jamaica will always be one step ahead. They like dey party too. But they hate to lose. So their ppl and sportsmen put sport b4 fete. They love dey country and work to lift it up. Most of our citizens cud care less. We looking to see wat the country could give us more than wat we cud do for our country. So not just football everything else. I wish the coach and players good luck and I always want us to succeed especially in football cuz I think we have the best raw talent in the world right here. But our nation needs a drastic adjustment to wat we consider priority if we want to succeed in sport. If we want to continue to be known as a ppl who place more priority on fete and liming no problem. But doh expect consistent success if we out fete first. We will get periods of time wen special players like latapy and York among others emerge. But dat will be few and far between and our football will continue to suffer.

  18. Coach and key players are driving in the opposite directions..
    Not a good.sign at all with so many key games coming up..

  19. Take that….discipline in yr ass

  20. He is saying that they agreed that he would join the camp on the 1st so why should the manager have to contact you again and did he wait for clearance from his team to play for connection

  21. I say LOSE Zwithe future.Build a cadre of competitive disciplined players for 2022. The hell with everything eise

  22. Idiots not one of them serious , time to get people who really have discipline and want to represent this country on the world stage .

  23. To quote Earl Mango Pierre allyuh really good yes! Allyuh could work for trump! ?

  24. Lasana they went yellow fever moyet like that on d T queen 2 cases those excuses are poor I rather lose without them

  25. well done trini…..from potential to SWMCOL in 120mins

  26. Better prepared you say Zen? The most capped player on the Suriname team has 13 caps. That doesn’t say much for our preparation does it?
    Glad you all see progress in that though.

  27. Bruce Aanensen you not serious about life, horrible ??? The game could have gone either way, i would give suriname d edge

  28. Oh no, they were not ‘horrible’. Suriname was, obviously, a better prepared team, but they had their chances. Match had multiple opportunities to go the other way.

  29. We were completely outplayed by a much better skilled and organized team. We could hardly string three passes together. We were quite horrible.

  30. Fellas I missed the game. What happened?

  31. Lasana Liburd I really want to hear what Kirwin has to say about the performance tonight and about “The Saint” now…. they need to stop the political bs and let the players that are capable of playing at this level play

  32. Needed rest but wanted to stay fit ???? Smh…

  33. Well we got the result we deserve.

  34. so why yuh not in training… right! it look bad so now yuh talkin

  35. Y yall in go and play for yall country