|JAMAL DREAMS OF PLAYING ENGLAND|
|Young Trinidad and Tobago striker Jamal Gay says it would be a dream come true to line up against England on June 1 and he’s hoping he’s done enough to get into Francisco Maturana’s squad for the upcoming friendly international at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Gay scored his first international goal for the “Soca Warriors” in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Barbados and has three appearances after making his debut in the 1-0 win over El Salvador in March.
The tall, speedy forward has been one of those impressing Francisco Maturana and staff since joining the team earlier this year.
Speaking after Sunday’s victory at the Marvin Lee Stadium, the El Dorado Senior Comprehensive player said: “It’s been a lot of hard work and it paid off today with the goal. I am very thankful to God for giving me this opportunity and to the coaches for giving me the chance to play for the team.
“For me as a younger player it has been a bit challenging but I have remained focused and I am working hard all the time. We have some young players in the team so all of us are trying to push each other and hopefully bring out the best in each other. There are times when not every player will get the chance but we want to keep working hard and hopefully get the chances,” Gay added.
Assistant coach Anton Corneal has been impressed by the work rate of Gay and some of his other teammates.
“It shows that they are hungry to play and that’s a plus for us as coaches because you have players who will give it the extra bit out there and you need that as much as it comes. We have stuck with these players some of them who have only three or four matches under their belt but they have shown a lot of promise and that’s to their credit,” Corneal said.
Gay knows that the remainder of the year is filled with matches including the 2010 World Cup qualifiers which begin for T&T against Bermuda on June 15 in Port of Spain.
“I think every player wants the chance to play. It will be a dream come true to be in the squad and to even play against England. These are players we see on the television playing at the highest level and some of us want to reach that level some day so it will be a great feeling to actually play against them,” Gay said.
Meantime, once T&T progresses past Bermuda, it could end up alongside the USA in the semi-final stage which begins in August. And the US Soccer Federation has carded the match against T&T at Toyota Park, Chicago on September 10, should both teams advance to the semi-final round. The US Soccer Federation confirmed the match Monday and said an official announcement will be made as early as this week. The match will mark the United States' first visit to Toyota Park and its first World Cup qualifier in the Chicago-area.
And while the big names such as Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and David Beckham among others have been named in Fabio Capello’s squad for the friendlies against USA and T&T, new call up Blackburn defender Stephen Warnock has admitted he was shocked on hearing the news.
The left-back has been called up by Capello for the first time.
“I'm more shocked than anything," Warnock told the Lancashire Evening Telegraph.
"It's a bit of a surprise because I wasn't expecting it. I'd booked holidays fully expecting to have a bit of a break. I actually got a phone call from Bents [David Bentley] on the way home from Birmingham saying cancel your holidays you're going away with the England squad'. So that was the first I heard of it.
"I knew that if I came to Blackburn and played week-in, week-out, I'd give myself a chance. That's turned out to be the right decision. I must be doing something right, but I just hope it's enough to earn a start and try to show him (Capello) what I can do." (May 13, 2008)