28 Jun 2011
- Written by T&T Guardian
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National coach Richard Hood expects T&T’s Olympic women’s team to have little difficulty in overcoming their opponents in the opening phase of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) qualifiers despite the fact that he will be taking a mostly local-based team.
T&T travels to Dominican Republic to face host Bermuda and Dominica from July 5-9 with the group winner advancing to the CONCACAF finals in Vancouver, Canada, in January. Hood has been putting his players through their paces at the University of the West Indies (UWI) ground, St Augustine with technical director Even Pellerud also assisting in the sessions.
“The last couple of weeks has seen things falling into place nicely. The players are gelling well at this point. It is a work in progress. We have had some issues with the players as there’s been a change in management and we have been working on them buying into the philosophy of the coaches but I expect good things from these players,” Hood said.
“We will go to the tournament with a more local team. We have some players from the last Under-17 World Cup team joining as well as some other members from the senior team so it will be a nice mix of youth and experience.
“We haven’t played much international practice games but understand the situation with the Federation now so to compensate that we have been playing a lot of practice games against boys teams,” added Hood, who only recently took over the position of head coach of the Women’s senior/olympic team.
“I don’t see much difficulty in us getting through this first phase. The girls have been putting in the hard work and I am expecting them to perform creditably at the tournament in Dominican Republic.”
Hood, who is also a TTFF instructor for the ongoing “C” License coaching course, shared that the T&T Women’s programme has benefitted tremendously from Canadian Pellerud. “We have benefitted surely.
I have learnt a lot from Even. He has assisted in putting a structure into our programme and assisted with developing the work ethic of our players. The programme has advanced leaps and bounds and we’re trying to maintain that kind of progress.”
Hood added that several players from overseas have been making contact with the Federation showing interest in representing the local teams.
“We don’t have a full scouting programme in place for the women’s football but we have ensured that the word is out there through our contacts and there continues to be massive interest from players wanting to be part of the programme and we try to make arrangements for them to be seen or to join the training at some point,” Hood added.