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Mon, Jan

U20 footballer Chelcy Ralph (centre)
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As the countdown continues to the CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship which gets underway at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva next month, Newsday features some of the players on the national team. We kick things off with Chelcy Ralph who discusses how she got into football.

National Women’s Under-20 footballer Chelcy Ralph has shifted her focus from track and field, and is keen to do her best to ensure that Trinidad and Tobago can achieve a historic milestone.

Ralph is a member of the Jamaal Shabazz-coached team, who are preparing for the 2018 CONCACAF Under-20 Women Championship, which will be staged at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, from January 18-28.

Eight teams – hosts TT, United States, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Jamaica and Haiti will be vying for three spots at the 2018 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, which will take place in France from August 5-24.

Trinidad and Tobago have never participated in a FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, but the 18-year-old Ralph may have a role to play if the twin-island republic is to attain that feat.

The St Augustine Secondary student admitted, “I started off at my father’s coaching school – Ralph Coaching School, from the age of six.”

From there, she has shown a steady rise in the sport, especially in her favoured position as right winger, where her speed can be utilised to good effect.

“I like track and field, I was a runner,” she noted. However, football is her first love and she dreams, one day, of turning professional.Concerning her favourite players, Ralph listed the Brazilian pair of Marta Da Silva and Ronaldinho.

Asked about her most memorable experience in the sport thus far, Ralph replied, “Winning the Field Cup International Soccer in England in 2015, and I got the MVP (award).”

The Chaguanas resident describes herself as “funny and approachable”. She pointed out, “I have a real nice sense of humour.”

She is also a lover of English football club Arsenal FC, spends her spare time playing the recorder and watching videos of Marta.