Tue, Nov

Trinidad and Tobago Women's Interim Head Coach Kenwyne Jones and assistant coaches during an International Friendly against Panama at Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, Trinidad and Tobago on October 25th 2021

Interim T&T women’s senior football team head coach Kenwyne Jones says he expects host Dominican Republic to be a very good test for his team in their two upcoming friendly internationals.

A former national senior men’s team captain, Jones was appointed to the position last month and led the senior women to two drawn results against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, first 0-0 and then 1-1.

The matches kicked off the women’s team preparations for the Concacaf Women’s World Cup and Gold Cup qualifiers with the T&T women's team set to face Guyana, Nicaragua, Dominica, and Turks and Caicos Island in Group F beginning in February.

Today (Monday), Jones and his technical staff along with 22 players, inclusive of nine newcomers will depart for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where they will face that country’s team in two matches on November 26 and 30 at the Pan American Stadium, San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, both kicking off from 6 pm on each day.

Speaking via Zoom to local media on Sunday, Jones noted that for a team that hasn’t played football or competitive matches for quite a long time we (T&T) are slowly progressing to the level that the squad needs to be playing at.

With one eye on the qualifiers, Jones in explaining why they are facing the Dominican Republic as opposed to other teams said, “In the group games our first match is against Nicaragua and then Dominica.

“So we are trying to mimic the opposition that we are going to face, and I think at this stage as we are building and putting philosophies in, the test of the Dominican Republic is a good one for us.

“It will allow us to do some implementing of strategic tactical changes of what we would like our DNA to be and I see it as a really good test.

A former England and USA-based international Jones said his team had the option of playing stronger opponents, but opted against it.

“We were offered the opportunity to play Mexico and Costa Rica, but as a coaching staff we thought it was way too soon for us to be playing them, so then we actively scouted and came up with the Dominican Republic.

Commenting on the composition of the squad for the two matches, Jones pointed out that the difference between some of the new faces and the ones who were in the previous camp is that they have been in their college seasons and have been playing competitive matches like Asha James, Chelsi Jadoo who is a professional in Portugal, Kedie Johnson, Kaydeen Jack and Chrissy Mitchell.

“They have all achieved plaudits with their colleges and it helps us to not only have a stronger squad but a more balanced squad as well.

Looking further down the road, Jones said there are also some names that we may see in the future that is unknown to the public of T&T.

He added, “We have been doing our homework and actively scouting these people and the public could be really excited by the few names that we will be introducing into the squad in the near future.

However, concerning two players who were not called up,

Goalkeeper, Saundra Baron, and Summer Arjoon Jones said, “We went a little bit different in this camp in that there are some faces that I actively seek out to add to the squad based on their college seasons.

“There are still quite a few players we want to be able to add in the camp before the qualifiers, but what we did this time is tried to get a better balance squad than what we had last time to be able to go out and tactically perform.

He added,” There are a lot of names out there and still a lot of names that the public I think do not know that we have been scouting and actively engaging with to be a part of the squad and I really do see some exciting players coming into the squad in the future.

Concerning the two friendly matches, Jones stated that it’s great to continue preparation like this not only having a training camp but having two games against international opposition.

“What we are trying to do is to build the team up as best as we can for the qualifiers and having another Central American or Latin-speaking team to play against is going to mimic who we are going to play first in the group come the qualifiers in February and this we see as a really good opportunity to not only get some new players in the squad

but to also test our tactical remit for this camp.

“Trying to qualify for a World Cup you need a pool of 35 to 40 players to be able to take you through the different stages and we have an opportunity to see some players that we haven’t seen and have not been a part of the team and have not been a part of the training camps previously

“The intention is to have a very competitive squad and if we have a competitive squad it will only drive the standard of the team higher and that’s what we need going into World Cup qualifiers.

T&T senior women 22 member squad:

Tenisha Palmer, Naomie Guerra, Dennecia Prince, Kimika Forbes, Kennya Cordner, Collette Morgan, Karyn Forbes, Tsianne Leander, Rhea Belgrave, Jaasiel Forde, Maylee Attin-Johnson, Chelcy Ralph, Akyla Walcott, Raenah Campbell, Liana Hinds, Kedie Johnson, Asha James, Kaydeen Jack, Chelsi Jadoo, Victoria Swift, Lauryn Hutchinson, Chrissy Mitchell,

Technical staff: Kenwyne Jones (Head Coach), Charlie Mitchell (Assistant Coach), James Baird (Goalkeeper Coach), Atiba Downes (Strength and Conditioning trainer), DR Anyl Goopeesingh (Doctor), Aqiyla Gomez (Physiotherapist), Terry Johnson-Jeremiah (Equipment Manager), Alexandria Olton (Sports Psychologist), Kylla Charles (Medical Massage), Joanne Daniel (Manager)

SOURCE: T&T Guardian