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National Under-20 Women’s coach Jamaal Shabazz will welcome a cadre of overseas-based players at a live-in camp by Friday, as the team continues to prepare for the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Women’s Championship at the Home of Football in Couva from January 18-28.

Shabazz saw his team go under 2-0 to the T&T Senior Women in a training match on Friday at the Ato Boldon Stadium in the opening game of a double header.

Despite the loss, Shabazz believes his players showed some positive signs. “For us we saw some good things with the Under 20s. They showed a good attitude towards bringing the ball out of the back and building the attack. We did not get a lot of penetration and this we could do better. I felt there were situations where on the sides of the field the wingers could have tried to go back the wing backs. They lacked a bit of bravery there,” Shabazz said.

“But generally we saw a couple good things from them and it was the kind of practice game that we wanted leading up to this tournament in January.”

“Three weeks ago we had a camp mainly for the foreign-based players and some local-based. The foreign-based will come back in from December 15 and then we will have our full contingent. The local-based players currently competing for a place in the final squad got a chance on Friday to show themselves. They will train for one week again, this week and then we will select the best group to go into camp alongside incoming foreign-based players who we have called back. And then from then we will be in a better position to compare apples with apples,” Shabazz stated,

He added that efforts are being made to arrange practice matches with a couple South American opponents for later in December.

T&T are in Group A and will face off with Haiti in the second game of a double header on the opening day of the championship on January 18. Costa Rica faces Canada in the opening match. Group B comprises United States, Nicaragua, Jamaica and Mexico.

The 2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship will be the 9th edition of the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship, the biennial international youth football championship organised by CONCACAF for the women’s under-20 national teams of the North, Central American and Caribbean region.

The tournament will be hosted by Trinidad and Tobago and take place between 18–28 January 2018, as announced by CONCACAF on 31 October 2017. A total of eight teams will play in the tournament.

The top three teams of the tournament will qualify for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France as the CONCACAF representatives.