Dwight Yorke has been left out of the Trinidad & Tobago team to face England in Sunday's friendly. The 36-year-old Sunderland midfielder, who played for the Soca Warriors at the 2006 World Cup, retired last year but had been invited to play in the match by the country's football federation.
However, Yorke only responded to the invitation this week and head coach Francisco Maturana has opted to stick with a younger team. Maturana, who has also decided not to recall former Hibernian and Rangers midfielder Russell Latapy, said: "We see this as a very important preparation match against England and we want to use the players who will be part of the squad that will help us get to the next World Cup. This is not an exhibition match.
"I have a lot of respect for Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy. I have seen them play and they are fantastic players but we are working towards the next World Cup."
The former Manchester United striker will meet the teams before the match in Trinidad along with cricket legend Brian Lara. Yorke's Sunderland team-mates Kenwyne Jones and Carlos Edwards will be in the team along with Southampton striker Stern John, who has scored 67 goals for his country. The Trinidad & Tobago-based midfielder Aurtis Whitley will captain the side.
Elsewhere, the FC Twente chairman Joop Munsterman has revealed that the former England manager Steve McClaren contacted the Eredivisie club to ask for a "guided tour".
Munsterman maintained, however, that no discussions have taken place regarding the coaching vacancy at the club despite the former Middlesbrough manager having been photographed at Twente's training ground.
He told the Dutch paper De Telegraaf: "McClaren called FC Twente to get a guided tour around the stadium of FC Twente. We did not speak about a contract. There are more candidates." Twente are on the lookout for a new coach with Fred Rutten departing to join Bundesliga club Schalke this summer.
The England Under-21 international striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has urged the Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry, who is currently with Fabio Capello's senior squad to pledge his future to the club.
Agbonlahor admitted he would be unlikely to look to move away from Villa after they made massive improvements under the club's manager Martin O'Neill during the past two seasons. O'Neill is ready to offer new deals to the likes of Barry, Agbonlahor and Ashley Young this summer after helping Villa finish sixth in the Premier League, narrowly missing out on an automatic place in the Uefa Cup.
Barry, a target for Liverpool, could be the most difficult to hold on to but Agbonlahor believes Villa can break into the top four and provide him with the Champions League football he desires. "It's important to keep Gareth but it's important to keep a number of players," Agbonlahor said. "The gaffer knows how key Barry has been to us this season but you can't stop what can happen so hopefully he will stay because it's important.
"Gareth has improved as well. He has been on top form for the last two seasons and, if he can stay, it will be a plus for us. Breaking into the top four in the next few years is what we want.
We know it's going to be hard but, if we get the right squad, then we're capable of doing anything we want to do. Hopefully we can push on next season." Agbonlahor was linked last season with a £15m move to Arsenal but he insisted he is keen to keep improving under O'Neill. "Villa is where I enjoy my football. I'm getting chances in the first team," he added.
"It's difficult to imagine I could have the same improvement anywhere else. I have to give the gaffer credit for it because it's only since he's been here that I've made those improvements. Hopefully I can stay in the team and carry on improving.
"It's just what the gaffer can do and why he's rated so highly because people have come in and played their best football in the last two seasons."Reuse content