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Sat, Nov

Trinidad and Tobago's Raenah Campbell (#11) vies for the ball against her Panamanian opponent during an international friendly, at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, on Thursday, October 21st 2021. The match ended 0-0.
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WOMEN Warriors’ goalkeeper Kimika Forbes believes the T&T team have what it takes to produce a winning result against Panama in their second and final friendly football international match at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on Monday.

The game kicks off at 3.30 pm and will be the squad’s second game in four days, following a two-year competitive drought mostly owing to the pandemic.

In their opening match on Thursday, T&T drew 0-0 against the Central Americans and could have gone behind on several occasions, particularly in the second half, but Forbes came up big to salvage a fair result.

Although there were clear signs of rustiness in the team, Forbes is confident T&T can churn out an improved result.

“Based on the last game we need to minimise our errors, keep playing simple and enjoy the football," said the veteran goalkeeper. "We don’t fear Panama, we respect them but we have a job to do.

“There is no doubt in my mind we can’t come out victorious on Monday so I’m confident for that. We just going to come out and work hard for each other and try to get the job done,” she said.

Similarly, defender Lauryn Hutchinson said the team and coaching staff were able to go back and reflect at their performance to see where improvements could be made ahead of Monday’s anticipated clash.

Hutchinson championed the backline although there were some errors. She however, believes the team must rally on and put on a better showing.

“It’s about being able to adjust. We know what we did in the first game. But it’s how can we now take the things that (assistant coach) Charlie Mitchell, (interim coach) Kenwyne Jones and the rest of our staff has asked us to do and to immediately do it,” she said.

These two matches will serve as warm-ups ahead of the February 2022 Concacaf women’s qualifiers.

Hutchinson added, “That’s what we’re going to have to do in the Concacaf women’s qualifying. We’re going to play one team, adjust, get to the next team and adjust. It will help us see what we’re going to be made of, especially fitness-wise.”

The 30-year-old, who, prior to Thursday, hasn’t played 90 full minutes of football in about six years, was elated to return to the national set-up.

She was also pleased to work under Jones, who took up the post last Monday.

Jones was appointed interim coach after American Constantine Konstin resigned for personal reasons on October 17, four days after he took up the job. Konstin however, had replaced Welshman James Thomas left, on October 6, for greener pastures in the UK after just five months in charge.

Hutchinson said, “Being with the national team for 11 years, I’ve always looked up to him. I’ve watched all his games. I remember sitting up in the stands watching him play on the field.

“I remember the first time we were at the training field and he walked out in his BOL/TTFA gear, it was surreal.

“It was kind of odd seeing him as a player and now my coach. Now it’s time to take all the knowledge that he has and to inject into everything we’re doing. It’s a blessing to have him.”

In dealing with a return to football after over two years of inactivity, Hutchinson credited the coaching staff for helping players cope with anxiety or any nervousness felt prior to Thursday’s match.

On Wednesday, the team held a special psychological session which aided the group in readjusting their fears ahead of the game. Hutchinson said this session assisted the squad significantly.

“We talked about our goals and our mission, what we expect of each other and our roles and functions and not having that fear. We fed off of each other. There was a lot of positivity in the camp. We just mesh, we had a good cohesiveness and camaraderie in the camp.

“At the end of the day we’ve been doing this for our entire lives. It’s just another training session, it’s just another game, there’s nothing different other than the fact that we haven’t been together in a while and now we’ve got the time together,” she added.


SOURCE: T&T Newsday