28 Oct 2010
- Written by T&T Guardian
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Sweden-based striker Ahkeela Mollon has been included in the Soca Princesses squad for the Concacaf Women’s World Qualifying Tournament formerly known as the Women’s Gold Cup.
The event kicks off in Cancun, Mexico today. Mollon missed the recent two-match warm-up series away to Guatemala and was doubtful for the qualifiers, however, she has since joined the team in Mexico ahead of their group matches versus Canada, Mexico and, Caribbean rivals, Guyana.
Since arriving in Mexico on Sunday, the Jamaal Shabazz-coached Soca Princesses have had three training sessions ahead of tomorrow’s opening match with Canada.
The local women’s squad, led by Maylee Attin-Johnson knows that they are up against the odds when they face off with world powerhouse Canada, but they are by no means seeing themselves as pushovers and are fully psyched up to have a go.
With regards to the return of Mollon, who linked up with the squad at the luxurious Presidente Intercontinental Hotel in Cancun, Shabazz said: “The issues related to Mollon’s absence from the squad earlier have been resolved.
“This is a player we love and we are happy to have her back in the team,” Shabazz said. “The challenge now is for us to all work as a unit and do the best to bring good results for the country.”
Shabazz said Mollon, Attin-Johnson, Tasha St Louis, Katrina Meyers, Ayana Russell and Kennya Cordner have been in the national programme for the last ten years and they are still all under 25.
“I think they are more mature now on and off the field and better able to compete. As a coach I cannot contain my excitement in having to face Canada on Friday (tomorrow),” added Shabazz.
Also with the T&T squad as an adviser is director of the T&T women’s programme, Norwegian Even Pellerud, a former coach of the Canadian women’s team. Today, the eight-team tournament kicks off with favourites and six-time winner USA facing Haiti and Costa Rica meeting Guatemala in Group B.
Tomorrow, in Group A, T&T meets 2002 and 2006 runner-up Canada from 6 pm Mexican time at the Estadio Beto Avila while Mexico faces Guyana in Group A action from 8.30 pm.
At the end of the round-robin series, the top two teams from each group advances to the semifinals with the two finalists qualifying for the 2011 Fifa Women’s World Cup in Germany and the third placed team meeting the fifth best UEFA team in a playoff for another World Cup berth.
The T&T women’s squad
Goalkeepers: Kimika Forbes, Nicole Mitchell
Defenders: Rhea Belgrave, Katrina Meyer, Arin King, Anastacia Prescott, Danielle Blair, Patrice Superville
Midfielders: Ayana Russell, Tasha St Louis, Ahkeelea Mollon, Karyn Forbes, Maylee Johnson, Afiya Matthias, Jemila Mathlin, Dernelle Mascall and Janine Francois
Strikers: Kennya Cordner, Candace Edwards and Natasha St Louis