PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – Cardiff striker Kenwyne Jones leads an array of international stars called up for Trinidad and Tobago’s Caribbean Cup campaign starting here next month.
Jones, who has played for English Premiership sides Stoke and Sunderland, will be joined by the likes of the overseas-based Khaleem Hyland, Lester Peltier, Kevin Molino, Andre Boucard and Carlyle Mitchell in a training squad of 30 named by head coach Stephen Hart.
T&T will host Group 7 of the second round of the Caribbean Cup from October 8 to 12, and will do battle with the likes of Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia and the Dominican Republic.
The former champions are entering the competition for the first time after missing the earlier qualifying rounds, courtesy of having reached the final of the 2012 Cup when they went down 1-0 to Cuba.
Hart said he had planned on using more local-based players but many were not available.
“A large portion of the available local players were out of the country or on trials,” the Trinidad Express quoted Hart as saying.
“Either you go blind, not knowing how a (new) player will react in a situation, or you go with something familiar.”
The call-up for the overseas-based players, however, means that T&T are now heavy favourites to progress to the eight-team championship finals scheduled for Montego Bay, Jamaica in November.
Jones, who has been named captain of the squad, has had an impressive start to the Championship season for Cardiff with four goals in eight League appearances.
He will team up with Hyland, a midfielder who plays his football for Genk in the Belgium top tier, along with Mitchell and Molino who are both based in the United States. Mitchell plays as a defender for Vancouver Whitecaps in Major League Soccer while Molino plays for Orlando City as a midfielder in the USL Professional Division.
Peltier, meanwhile, is a winger who turns out in Slovakia for Slovan Bratislava while Boucaud, also a midfielder, plays for Dagenham and Redbridge in the English League Two.
The Vietnam-based pair of Daneil Cyrus and Hughton Hector have also been called up.