Trinidad and Tobago Assistant Coach Anton Corneal, after being quizzed on Thursday said there were no particular reasons away from football for the exclusion of Swansea City striker Jason Scotland for the June 1 encounter against England.
Scotland’s omission was the only notable one from the list of overseas-based players included in Francisco Maturana’s 26-man squad.
But questions were raised to which Corneal replied: “There’s nothing particular about his omission. The head coach did his work and after studying the players he has available he looked closely at some points and one of them is that Jason was competing in a very tight department which is the forward line where we have in form players who have all played consistently well at a higher level that him (Jason). This does not mean that he has been discarded but we felt that the forwards we selected were the ones able to fit into the team’s preparations for the England game. It was not an easy decision by any means, ” Corneal said. “We also decided that we wanted to give the opportunity to two of our local forwards, one who is the topscorer in the T&T Pro League, the opportunity to be in the squad and be part of the whole build up and possibly the match as well.”
There has been no confirmation of Russell Latapy and Dwight Yorke and Maturana didn’t see this as disappointing, maintaining that was confident in the abilities of his squad. Whether they are available or not, the two T&T legends were not listed in the 26-man squad as they would in any event appear as guest players.
Scotland won the Puma League One Golden Boot Award and will receive it from the League on his return to England. (May 15, 2008)