ational Women's football coach Kenwyne Jones is aiming to have a camp in January where he will continue his preparation ahead of the World Cup Qualifiers in February.
Jones and his staff will begin sourcing worthy opponents for the camp but the final decision will not be theirs.
Following his confirmation as the team's full-time coach recently, Jones told the media via a virtual post-match press conference on Wednesday he intends to continue scouting potential players with the hope of selecting the best team to represent T&T at the qualifiers.
Jones, a graduate of St Anthony's College, said he intends to have a couple of international friendly matches as part of the camp, but warned he cannot assure the camp will take place, as that responsibility is out of his hands.
The local girls are set to open their campaign against Nicaragua, playing in a Group F of the qualifiers, which will consist of Guyana, Dominica and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
With the team short of preparation, the girls will have no Christmas holidays within steady preparation set to continue.
The team was beaten in its opening match of a two-match friendly series against their Dominican Republic counterparts in San Cristobal last Friday, and on Tuesday the team was held 1-1 in a match that Jones wanted a reaction from.
"After the defeat on Friday, I did ask the team to give a reaction because we have to develop that DNA in us when we have setbacks. Obviously, we did get that but we did not get the victory that we wanted, but a showing that as we continue to work toward the qualifiers, it will help us, it will make us stronger in the build-up for the qualifiers. So far, it is a building process. It is sometimes a slow and tedious process but they are all willing to work. In this block of games, we had here, it was an opportunity to see the girls we had here before, but also to see some new faces that we hope to include in the squad in the future", Jones, a former Secondary School Most Valuable Player said.
He added: "There is room for improvement. We will get better, the more we work together and it's just about getting our heads down and working. We're behind in match preparation I would say, compared to the rest of the teams we have been playing so far. I have all confidence that getting these games, and in the couple of months that we have ahead of us, we will be where we want to be. We're planning to have another camp in January but whether or not it will come off I cannot answer that right now. We're only fresh out of these two games right here. We have to go back home and get back to the training pitch. We have players who are coming back after finishing school, we have quite a few players who have to leave to go back to finish their exams and then they will be back home for the Christmas period when we will be training."
With regards to the planned camp and its finalisation he said: "I cannot give you that, but the hope is to have another camp in January. Obviously, there'll be a training period in between where we can still have a few people who can be part of the squad."
Captain Karyn Forbes, a 30-year-old midfielder from Plymouth, Tobago, said they were hoping to come away with a win after last Friday's defeat, but the result is part of the building process. Forbes described the performance, however, as a definite improvement, saying the Dominican Republic team has shown a marked improvement from when the teams last met, noting that her team will continue to work and peak at the right time.
Meanwhile, defender Rhea Belgrave, 30, the scorer of the lone T&T goal said her goal was as a result of her being in the right place at the right time. She noted that the team has shown a marked improvement from the Panama matches last month to the two matches against the Dominican Republic.
Jones eyes more players, improved efforts by Women Warriors.
By Jelani Beckley (T&T Newsday).
NEW Women’s Warriors football coach Kenwyne Jones, who has led the team to creditable performances over the past weeks, said the squad is not the final product as he is scouting new players and aiming to improve team performance to bolster the team’s pedigree.
T&T played two international friendlies against the Dominican Republic over the past few days in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic. The first match on Friday ended in a 2-1 victory for the home team and the second match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Jones, a member of the 2006 Soca Warriors World Cup squad, was hired as the full-time coach on Friday after being appointed interim coach in October. Before the matches against the Dominican Republic, T&T battled to back-to-back draws against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva. The teams played to a 0-0 draw in the first match on October 21 and the second match ended 1-1 on October 25. There are many experienced players on the T&T squad with the likes of captain Karyn Forbes, goalkeeper Kimika Forbes, Maylee-Attin Johnson and Kennya Cordner. There are also youngsters aiming to stamp their mark at the international level.
On Wednesday, speaking to the media following T&T’s 1-1 draw against the Dominican Republic, Jones said, “I was satisfied with the reaction by the team after coming off the defeat on Friday. I did ask the team to give a reaction because we have to develop that DNA in us when we do have a setback.”
Jones would have liked T&T to emerge victorious but was happy with the effort. Jones is targeting a camp in early 2022 but is uncertain if it will materialize.
“We are planning as a team, as a staff to have another camp in January, but whether or not it will come off I can’t give you that answer right now…we are going back home and get back to the training field. We have players that are coming back after finishing school…they are going to be back home over the Christmas period when we will be training.”
He later said, “There are some players that I desperately want to see in the hopes of adding them to the squad and that will be the perfect opportunity to be able to do that.” Jones is also aiming for more international friendlies.
T&T have scored three goals in the last four matches. Asked if he is pleased with the team’s goal-scoring ability, Jones said, “The team’s remit is to win games. Not every game you are going to go out there and score five goals and think that is how you win games only.”
Jones, who said championships are sometimes won with one goal, said, “Of course, like I previously said we have to improve and there is room for improvement in all areas, by no means this is the final product. We have a lot of room to get better.”
Jones said his priority is qualifying for the world cup during his time in charge. Jones recently received a nine-month contract.
On Friday, the TT Football Association announced that Jones will assume full-time responsibility for the team from December 1. It is a nine-month contract that “provides him the option to extend his term for a further year, based on the achievement of KPI’s and a successful performance appraisal.”
The national women’s senior team footballers have never qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, but Jones believes in the team.
“The aim of this team is to go to the qualifiers and qualify for the world cup. That is the only mandate that I have set for myself. I believe in the potential of our squad.”
T&T will begin their quest to qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand when they compete at the 2022 Concacaf Women’s Championship qualifiers.