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Jones' absence a huge boost for national team

Bermuda's chances have been given a massive boost with the news that Trinidad's star striker Kenwyne Jones will miss the upcoming World Cup qualifier at the National Sports Centre.

The Stoke City man, who scored in Trinidad's 1-0 win over Bermuda last month, will be out for three weeks after suffering a hamstring injury in a recent Carling Cup game against Tottenham.

Jones' injury should hand Bermuda a huge incentive ahead of a qualifier they cannot afford to lose if they are to keep alive their aspirations of advancing to the next stage of the competition.

Bermuda host Trinidad on October 7 with the Trinidad skipper not expected to return to action until the Potters' Premier League game against Fulham eight days later.

Anton Corneal, Trinidad's assistant coach, admitted they would struggle to replace Jones who he hoped would be fit for their home qualifier against Barbados on October 11.

“Kenwyne is our powerhouse forward and a key asset but we have players who can replace him and get the job done once dedicated in training,” he said.

“Kenwyne will be missed but there is no automatic choice to replace him. It's all up to the head coach and staff monitoring the players in training before deeming who is fit to lead the team come the qualifiers away to Bermuda and at home to Barbados.”

Corneal hinted Ipswich Town winger Carlos Edwards could be handed the skipper's armband in Jones' absence.

“We cannot say who is close to being the captain as yet but we have ample time to analyse our top quality players, for example Carlos Edwards, who is experienced and a talisman as well. He is one who has the ability to run out as our captain,” said Corneal.

“We have a good squad that once assessed, we can tell who has the better chemistry on the field, and using this knowledge of who compliments who well, then a proper justification will be made as to who will don the role(s) up front and fill the void left by Kenwyne.

“Every game is important and it is competitive within the squad to see who is ready, able and willing to step up. This healthy competition enables us to see which players are best suited, whether it be to start the game or don the armband and lead.”

Jones missed both of Trinidad's World Cup qualifiers against Bermuda in 2008 due to a knee injury.

Bermuda take on Trinidad on Friday, October 7 at 8 pm at the NSC.

Trinidad's Kenwyne Jones (back) challenges for the ball with Bermuda's Taurean Manders in Port of Spain last month. Jones will miss Trinidad's match in Bermuda on October 7 due to injury.

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Published September 27, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated September 27, 2011 at 9:18 am)

Jones' absence a huge boost for national team

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