The play of team captain Kenwyne Jones (red jersey) will be key to Trinidad & Tobago's 2014 Caribbean Cup title aspirations. (Photo: Allan V. Crane)
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – Trinidad & Tobago may have won the Caribbean Cup a record eight times, but it hasn’t lifted the trophy since defeating Haiti in the 2001 final.
For a team of Trinidad’s stature, that’s a long time without adding silverware into the cabinet.
Team captain Kenwyne Jones believes that it is time to change the trend. The Cardiff City forward knows that a win over Curacao in Tuesday’s final-round opener can help set the tone for the remainder of the competition.
“We have the majority of the squad that has been working for all of the past week,” the 30-year-old, who scored three goals in qualifying, told TTFA Media. “We had a session this (Monday) morning to refresh our minds on the way that we will play going into the tournament. So far the spirit in the camp is really good and hopefully we can start off with a win.”
Two years ago, the Soca Warriors reached the regional final, only to fall 1-0 to Cuba after extra time. As a result of fine play in that competition, Trinidad qualified for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. It impressed once again in the USA, reaching the quarterfinals, before dropping a narrow 1-0 decision to Mexico.
This time around, Jones has a pair of intertwined objectives.
“The qualification for the Gold Cup is the goal but firstly for us we have to believe that we can win the tournament,” he stressed. “We are not going to underestimate the opposition. We will go out there and give them the respect they deserve but we are also going to impose ourselves and play hard.”
It all starts, though, with a tricky encounter with Curacao, which allowed one goal or fewer in its last five Caribbean Cup qualifiers.
“I’ve said before that it’s about time we win the Caribbean Cup again and tomorrow is a stepping stone towards that,” finished Jones.