Harewood keeps Barbados plans on backburner

February 11, 2008

Aston Villa striker Marlon Harewood is to reject the chance to play World Cup football for Barbados at this stage of his career.

Barbados coach Eyre Sealy has spotted that the 27-year-old striker was born on the Caribbean island and was planning to call him up for the two-legged qualifier with Dominica.

But Harewood is concentrating on his football in England with Villa although he admitted he may consider playing for Barbados at a later date.

The former West Ham striker said: 'My whole family are Barbadian but playing for Barbados hadn't really crossed my mind.

'Truthfully my dad used to say 'don't go back to Barbados because it's not as good as playing for England.'

'Probably later on, maybe in another couple of years, I'll consider playing for them but not at this moment.

'I followed Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago in the World Cups and I think Barbados are trying to do something similar and get players like myself who are Barbadian to play for them.'

The Barbadian FA have put a lot of energy into tracing first generation Barbadians living and playing abroad and identified Harewood and Wigan's 28-year-old defender Emmerson Boyce, who was born in England but to Barbadian parents.

Harewood has still to start a Barclays Premier League game for Villa since his summer move from Upton Park but has made a big impression in recent games when appearing as a substitute.

He will fly out with the rest of his Villa team-mates today for a short sunshine break.

Villa manager Martin O'Neill confirmed: 'We are going to go away for a few days. We did it last year and got ourselves a bit together for a good end to the season and hopefully it works again.

'Because we have been going into games with a small squad and are using a lot of the same players every week, it will be a boost to them.

'We will do some training and work on a couple of things.'