A PAIR of frustrated national women footballers, Arin King and Lauryn Hutchinson, has taken to social media to issue a plea for help to ensure that the T&T women's team qualify for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France.
The TT Football Association (TTFA), under the presidency of David John-Williams, is yet to appoint a coach for the national team, ahead of the CONCACAF Women's Championship, which will take place in the United States from October 4-17.
Eight teams will compete at the CONCACAF Women's Championship for three automatic spots at next year's World Cup.
The Canadian-born King, on her Facebook page, posted earlier today, "21 days away from our final stage of World Cup Qualifiers!! NO CAMP & NO OFFICIAL COACH! This is madness. Help us make a change for Women’s Football and to inspire Trinidad and Tobago! #ISTANDWITHTTWSW We are simply asking for support. #RoadToFrance2019 #EQUALITY"
Hutchinson has called for interested persons to support a proposed training camp in Richmond, Virginia where she lives, in terms of accommodation for the T&T players, meals and/or training gear.
"We wanna bring the team to Richmond, we wanna create our own camp. If you have any resources that you can donate to us, please, please, please reach out to me," Hutchinson said.
Ironically, the national team suffered similar struggles during their campaign for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. In 2014, former coach Randy Waldrum posted a tweet outlining the lack of support the team received ahead of the CONCACAF Championship. Impoverished Haiti had pledged a donation then to assist their Caribbean neighbours.
Women footballers begging for help.
By Walter Alibey (Guardian).
Disrespected is how some players of the T&T Women's team feel about the treatment meted out to them on the verge of the October 4-17 Concacaf Women's Championship which will be a qualifier for the FIFA Women's World Cup in France next year.
The team does not have a coach after the contract of care-taker coach Anton Corneal expired at the end of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Qualifiers in Kingston Jamaica last month. And although Shawn Cooper, who was Corneal's assistant at the CFU qualifiers, was given the nod for the coaching job, doubt surrounded his selection after Keith Look Loy, a member of the Board of Directors of the T&T Football Association, has vowed to challenge the validity of the appointment, saying the Annual General Meeting (AGM) that the TTFA claimed to have selected Technical Committee Chairman Richard Quan Chan on June 30 this year, did not have a quorum.
However, yesterday, two players, goalkeeper Saundra Baron and defender Arin King took to social media to highlight their concerns, saying their problems stem from lack or no support from the parent football association. Baron, who represented T&T during a CFU Women's Challenge earlier this year at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, said, " I made an app and the hashtag says I stand with T&T Women's Soca Warriors. I made the graphic because we are being disrespected. We can't go on like this, they're treating us like we're nothing."
King on the other-hand called on anyone wishing to provide help for the team's preparation. "Right now my teammates and I are struggling to put together the resources we need to qualify for a World Cup. Four years ago it was the same story, the same narrative but it's even worse this time. We do not have a ton of resources and a lot of it comes from our association, but this is where you come in."
She added, "Right now, today, we do not have an official training camp ahead of Concacaf. We want to bring the team to Richmond, we want to create our own camp. If you have any resources that you can donate to us please reach out to me. If you want to host a player at your home for a few days if you have extra water if you have got snacks or bananas or anything that you can donate if you can buy a t-shirt so I can get my teammates here."
King said her social media account is usually to inspiring others and highlight positivity, but at this point, she really needed the help of the public. "Transportation, support, field time, training, strength and conditioning, anything you are willing to donate, please help us. Let's get the team to Richmond asap because right now we have no support, we have not coached. Supporting us is not only gonna help me. It's gonna inspire all the little girls in Richmond and around the United States that follow the sport, and it's going to inspire an entire nation, the nation of T&T."
The T&T team has been drawn in group 'A' of Women's Championship, alongside USA, Panama and Mexico. T&T opens its campaign against the Panamanians on October 4, before facing Mexico and the United States on October 7 and 10 respectively.