Eleven goals were scored on the opening night last week in the opening matches of the Women's Premier League. The competition returns to St James Barracks today, as the Petrotrin Oilers are set to take on Rush.
The Oilers, are a developmental team, which means that their players will not be compensated thus keeping within the margins of the college rules in the US. The players are mostly college players as well as national team members and include the Debesette twins and Karyn Forbes, as well as up-and-coming athletes like Keri Myers, Shalette Alexander, Victoria Swift and Shanelle Henry and American Stephanie Bonilla.
Rush on the other hand feature live-wire local striker, Mariah Shade, who impressed in an unofficial friendly at the Hasely Crawford Stadium a week before the WPL kicked off. Most of the team are locals, and they can look to the skills of Ahkeela "Lady Latapy" Mollon to spur them forward in the attack. Among their foreign contingent, Bruna Marchiowatti and Priscilla Selau, both of Brazil will be players to watch. The match kicks off at 6pm at the St. James Barracks, where admission is free to the public.
Today's WPL teams:
1 Shalette ALEXANDER (GK), 2 Tamara JOHNSON, 4 Tisha BELFON, 5 Karyn FORBES, 6 Khadisha DEBESSETTE, 7 Denecia PRINCE, 8 Victoria SWIFT, 9 Stephanie BONILLA, 10 Naomie GUERRA, 11 Khadidra DEBESSETTE, 12 Kayla TAYLOR, 13 Shenelle HENRY, 14 Chevonne JOHN, 15 Shenelle ARJOON, 18 Rinelle FINDLEY, 19 Ray-Ann MONTANO, 20 Shanice HAYNES, 21 Keri MEYERS (GK), 23 Collette MORGAN
1 Emily Marie Cota (GK), 2 Bruna MARCHIOWATTI, 3 Adeka SPENCE, 4 Rhea BELGRAVE, 5 Annalis CUMMINGS, 6 Tamika ISAAC, 7 Priscilla SELAU, 8 Nubiluz RANGEL, 9 Chrisbelis ABRAHAM, 10 Mariah SHADE, 11 Janine FRANCOIS, 12 Ahkeela MOLLON, 13 Afeisha MOHAMMED, 14 Janelle MC GEE, 15 Joyce MATTOS, 16 Nadia JAMES, 21 Nicole MITCHELL (GK)
Petrotrin Oilers take on Rush at Police Barracks
By Nigel Simon (Guardian).
Despite fielding has been labelled a “Developmental Team,” and perhaps the weakest of the six in the inaugural Women’s Premier League on paper, Petrotrin Oilers coach Rajesh Latchoo says he is looking forward to his girls producing smooth flowing football as their ‘Oilers’ name suggest.
Latchoo will not have to wait much longer for his squad to have its first taste of action in the six-team league as they make their tournament bow today from 8pm against the Marlon Charles—coached CNGC Rush at the St James Police Barracks Training Ground, Western Main Road, St James, from 6pm.
When the tournament kicked off at the same venue last Thursday, there was a flurry of goals as the Angels led by Women Soca Warriors captain Maylee Attin-Johnson trounced Wave FC captain by national striker Kennya “Yaya” Cordner 3-0.
This followed an even much more exciting encounter in which national duo, Tasha St Louis and Jo-Marie Lewis netted braces for Fuego in a 5-3 defeat of Dragons.
Speaking ahead of the Oilers opener, Latchoo, a former coach at Joe Public said some of the notable names in his squad are the outstanding Debesette twins Khadisha and Khadijha, Karyn Forbes, up and coming athletes like Keri Myers, Shalette Alexander, Victoria Swift, Shanelle Henry and American Stephanie Bonilla.
He added, “We have managed to get in a few sessions together as a group, but my honest expectation with this being our first match is for the team to go out and embrace the atmosphere and enjoy their football.
With no action during the first weekend, Latchoo’s players also enjoyed some down time over the long weekend, visiting Maracas Beach and playing football tennis at the team hotel.
Some also journeyed to Guaracara Park on Saturday to participate in Petrotrin’s Women’s Football Development event, distributing prizes and interacting with the young players.
Emily Cota, goalkeeper for Rush enjoyed the outing, saying “We had a great time. We felt a bit like celebrities because the girls were so excited to see us! But I’m very proud to be able to inspire and influence the next generation of footballers.”
Of the six teams in the competition. Petrotrin is the only team which will not have a wage bill for its players, so as not to flout US NCAA rules.
At the launch of the league it was stated that Petrotrin Oilers, being a development team will operate under unique guidelines during the tournament to preserve scholarship opportunities for the athletes under this banner.
The development team concept adopted by the WPL, was in compliance with strict NCAA rules to prevent the student-athletes from becoming ineligible for scholarships or other benefits of enrollment in an athletic programme at US tertiary institutions.
On the other side, the Charles-coached Rush line-up features the vastly experienced Women Soca Warriors striker in Ahkeela Mollon who plied her trade in Europe for a number of years as well as fellow national players Rhea Belgrave, Janine Francois, Mariah Shade and ex-national Sharice Arthur along with the overseas quartet of Bruna Marchiowatti, Priscilla Selau, Joyce Mattos (all Brazil) and Emily Marie Cota (US Virgin Islands).
An exciting Charles, speaking on the eve on the match said he was anxiously looking forward to the match as much as his team.
“It’s the first match for us and even though our team roster was perhaps the last to really come together, we are confident of putting on a good showing.”
Charles added, “I’m really excited about the entire competition, because it also provides the women with an opportunity to sell themselves as players and also to sell the league.” In today’s first fixture, Queen’s Park Cricket Club and St Ann’s Rangers meet in a WoLF encounter at 6pm at the same venue.