A Women’s League Football (WoLF) all-star team will welcome Venezuela’s national women’s team in the first of a four-match exhibition series, today at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, from 6.30 pm.
The WoLF all-star team will take on the South Americans twice—today and on Tuesday—while the national senior women’s team will also meet the same Venezuelan outfit twice, on Sunday (5 pm) and finally on Wednesday (6.30 pm). All matches will be played at the same venue.
The matches are being held to accommodate T&T’s preparations for next month’s CFU Women’s Caribbean Cup, where the team will vie for a top two spot in its group to qualify for the Concacaf Women’s Championship. T&T will meet St Kitts and Nevis (August 20), Antigua and Barbuda (August 22) and Martinique (August 24).
The Women’s Caribbean Cup, which will be hosted in T&T will see both group winners advance directly to the final on August 26, while the two group runners-up will meet in the third-place play-off on the same day.
From the Concacaf Women’s Championship, the top three teams will advance to the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup, while the fourth best team will earn the lone play-off spot against a Comnebol team. Canada will host the World Cup and as a result are automatic qualifiers.
T&T’s women will get a taste of Comnebol when they face Venezuela twice before heading out to Houston, Texas, for a month-long training camp.
Venezuela’s team arrived in T&T yesterday. They were originally carded to play two friendlies, both against T&T’s senior women’s team, but because of flight arrangements, the Venezuelans requested a further two matches to fill their schedule.
Sharon O’Brien, president of both women’s football at the T&T Football Association (TTFA) and the Wolf said the All Star team was the perfect filler for Venezuela’s tour of T&T as they (Wolf players) were limited to their exposure in the country.
It too, could potentially lead to a few players earning a spot in T&T’s squad for the CFU Women’s Caribbean Cup.
With regard to former head coach Marlon Charles’ resignation, O’Brien said up to yesterday no confirmation was made on who would lead the national team for the two friendly matches. National men’s senior team head coach Stephen Hart trained with the team this week and may act as head coach for the national women’s team’s first match on Sunday.
The team, however, is expected to meet up with Randy Waldrun, who has agreed to lead the team through the Women’s Caribbean Cup without pay.
Waldron is currently head coach of US National Soccer League’s Houston Dash. The Wolf all-star team will be led by Jason Spence.
Following Venezuela’s tour, T&T will depart for Houston, Texas on or around July 14. The team is expected to return home on August 10. Vernetta Flanders, the women’s senior national team manager said between 25-30 players will be in camp for the Houston tour.
The team will play a series of exhibition matches which is expected to include at least one international opponent and two club opponents.
Flanders said there are potential opponents in sight, but she was not yet in a position to reveal their identities.