NATIONAL Women’s football team defender/midfielder Liana Hinds is turning her attention towards the start of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers, which will begin later this month.
Trinidad and Tobago will be hosting Group C, alongside Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts/Nevis and the US Virgin Islands, in First Round action from May 19-27.
In total, there will be five groups involved in First Round games this month, with the group winners advancing to the Final Round, from July 21-29, from which the top three will progress to the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
Eight teams will participate in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, in the US, from October 4-17. The top three teams will automatically book spots to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, while the fourth-placed team will engage in a playoff with the third-placed team from CONMEBOL (South American governing body).
T&T finished their Group E participation in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women’s Challenge Series with a 100-percent record (7-0 over Suriname on April 25, 8-1 against Grenada on April 27 and 3-1 over Guyana on April 29) at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.
In an interview after the Guyana game, the US-born Hinds commented, “We need to work on just playing our game, not trying to play to the level of the other team, not trying to figure out what they’re doing but focusing on what we do and what we’re best at, so we can execute that flawlessly every time we step on the field.”
The 23-year-old Hinds, who was a member of the T&T team who hosted the 2010 FIFA Women’s Under-17 World Cup, gave her thoughts on the performance of the Jamaal Shabazz-coached team during the Challenge Series.
“I felt we did well,” she said. “I think that there (are) definitely things that we need to work on. The first (halves) of the Grenada and (Guyana games) were a little challenging but the second halves we definitely stepped it up and did what we were supposed to do. I think we did well overall.”
Concerning the mood in the T&T camp, Hinds noted, “The team likes to have fun (and) joke around with each other so it’s always positive vibes.
We’re working on uplifting each other when we make mistakes.” However, she admitted, “I will like to find my role in the team. It’s hard being away some times then coming and joining the team, and trying to figure out where I fit in, and get really good at the things that I have to do at (any) position.”
Asked about the new faces on the T&T squad, Hinds responded, “I’m always a fan of the new kids coming up. You see a lot of creativity with players like Aaliyah Prince.”
She continued, “Once they get the ball they’re not afraid to just play. I’m always a fan of new players and getting to learn how to play with new people.”
Another utility player (defender/midfielder) Karyn Forbes, was pleased with the fact that she can continue her recovery from a pair of knee operations.
“I’m now coming off two knee surgeries and I’m now (getting) a little form,” said the 26-year-old Forbes. “I’m just taking the opportunity at this time.
“One of the things that I said to myself before this tournament is (that) I can shoot the ball,” Forbes added. “I want to get back into that realm of helping the team by scoring some goals from midfield.”
Trinidad and Tobago’s Linda Hinds, right, battles Grenada’s Sheranda Charles in the CFU Women’s Challenge Series 2018 at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, recently.