Sat, Jun

Trinidad and Tobago Women's Head Coach Richard Hood

The Trinidad and Tobago senior women’s football team will compete in the Caribbean Queen’s friendly tournament hosted by Curaçao Football Federation from May 28-June 3.

The team left for Curaçao on May 24 and will play Aruba on May 29 and June 2 and Curacao on May 30 and June 3.

At a press briefing on May 23 at the La Horquetta Recreation Ground, head coach Richard Hood said, “I’m really happy for the opportunity for the young ladies to participate in international competition, particularly in a year when there’s no (FIFA and Concacaf) tournaments for the senior team.”

Hood also named his 22-member squad for the tournament, which includes 14 teenagers.

Twenty-nine-year-old defender Victoria Swift and 24-year-old midfielder Asha James will be key figures in the team, as they have the most experience. Over a dozen players are poised to make their debuts during the tournament.

Hood looks at this tournament as a way to expose the team in a more “relaxed environment.”

“We’re giving them an opportunity to play in a more relaxed environment without the pressures of having to qualify, to play some of the better teams in Concacaf."

The Women Warriors last played on December 5 against Mexico in a Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup qualifier, losing 1-0.

Newsday asked how the team has improved since the December 5 loss, Hood replied, “I have to be honest; we have not done anything since December 5.

“We have just activated the girls for this tournament and it is my hope that after the tournament that we continue the programme, continue the training with a local group and keep engaging the foreign players as well, so when the international windows come around, we will be prepared.”

With the lack of professional women’s football in T&T, Hood wants to see vast improvements.

“I have my criticisms of the T&T Women's League Football (WOLF). I would like to see teams investing a little more in their clubs and their preparation to play football – they need to play at a higher level and at a faster tempo.

“We lack a professional league, unlike the men. It’s for us to try and create an environment to prepare the girls to play international football. We have to play and train at a higher level.”

Hood hopes that a league such as the 2016 Women's Premier League (WPL) returns, as it was a “fantastic endeavour.”

He wishes women’s football improves in the near future, starting with the developmental programmes for young girls across T&T.

“I think we need to get our girls involved in the game much earlier. We have to pay attention to what we’re doing with them at that level (grassroots).

“In T&T we depend on results and we want to win and not think about development, and it’s something we need to pay much more attention to.”

Last year, the team finished bottom of their three-team Concacaf Women's Gold Cup qualifying group with Mexico and Puerto Rico, with a solitary point from four matches.

In their last eight games, T&T have drawn two, lost six and have not won any matches.

The team’s last win came in 2022 on April 9, as they ran riot against the Turks and Caicos Islands, defeating them 13-0.

The T&T women are ranked 75th by Fifa. Curacao and Aruba are ranked 179th and 185th respectively.

After the press briefing, T&T played Club Sando women’s team and won 1-0 after going ahead within the first ten minutes of the match.

T&T senior women’s team:

Goalkeepers: Mikaela Yearwood, Maya Figgener

Defenders: Victoria Swift, Shaunalee Govia, Latifha Pascall, Kaitlyn Darwent, Anastasia O’Brien, Kanika Rodriguez, Ariana Borneo, Chrissy Mitchell, Hackeemar Goodridge

Midfielders: Kedie Johnson, Orielle Martin, Rasheda Archer, Tori Paul, Cherina Steele, Mariah Williams, Tayeann Wylie

Forwards: Alexcia Ali, Talia Martin, Sonia Lamarre, Asha James

SOURCE: T&T Newsday