David John-Williams, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), expressed surprised over the retirement of ex-national men’s team captain Kenwyne Jones on Monday.
The 33-year-old Jones announced his retirement from the sport after his one-year contract with American MLS (Major League Soccer) team Atlanta United was not renewed.
During his international career, which ran from January 2003 to June 2017, Jones netted 23 goals in 90 appearances.
“It came as a surprise to me that Kenwyne retired from all football,” said John-Williams during a recent interview. “Normally players at that age will tend to retire just from national team football and continue with their club career. In terms of the retirement from all football came as a shock to me.
“If Kenwyne had retired from only national team football I probably would have understood that. Kenwyne, in his own mind, knows what he wants.”
Jones was a former member of John-Williams’ club W Connection before he left in 2004 to take up a contract with Southampton in England. Jones was a defender during his youth days but he became a converted striker while in England.
He also had stints with Sunderland, Stoke and Cardiff, as well as loan spells with fellow British teams Sheffield Wednesday and Bournemouth, Al Jazira in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and defending Pro League champions Central FC before moving to Atlanta.
“On behalf of the TTFA I want to wish him all the best in his endeavours,” said John-Williams. “He played in the two highest tournaments for his age group, the Under-17 World Cup as well as the FIFA World Cup in 2006. So he is a person with a lot of experience.”
John-Williams acknowledged that Jones was a polarising figure in TT football.
“A lot of people have differences of opinion in terms of Kenwyne Jones (and) what would have been his best position. Kenwyne chose to be a striker,” said the TTFA president. “His history as a striker would not suggest that he set the world afire because his record speaks for itself. He may not have been a prolific goalscorer but he brought some other intangibles to the Trinidad and Tobago football team.”