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Women's team eyes Saturday departure.
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In spite of on­go­ing con­cerns with the T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion, the coun­try's Women's foot­ball team will com­mence its de­par­ture to­day for the Con­ca­caf Women's Cham­pi­onship in the Unit­ed States which is a qual­i­fi­er for the FI­FA Women's World Cup in France next year.

Guardian Me­dia Sports was in­formed that the team's man­age­ment was on­ly await­ing the trav­el­ling doc­u­ments for three play­ers to con­firm their trav­el­ling arrange­ments. It is un­sure what has been the de­lay, and who the play­ers are, but one re­li­able mem­ber of the team said they are pin­ning their hopes that all mat­ters were sort­ed yes­ter­day.

It was al­so learnt that the em­bat­tled foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion, be­ing head­ed by David John-Williams, has agreed to bring an end to all con­cerns the play­ers had re­gard­ing fi­nances, by next week.

A 20-woman team has al­ready been cho­sen by coach Shawn Coop­er ahead of the tour­na­ment and it ex­cludes in­stru­men­tal play­ers Maylee At­tin-John­son, winger Ah­keela Mol­lon and util­i­ty play­er Khadisha Debe­sette, as well as ris­ing tal­ent Shanelle Ar­joon, among oth­ers. Ar­joon was a stand­out for the coun­try's Un­der-20 team at the CON­CA­CAF Qual­i­fiers and the se­nior women's team at the Caribbean Foot­ball Union (CFU) Chal­lenge Se­ries ear­li­er this year.

An of­fi­cial of the team said the women, in spite of the chal­lenges, have turned up for train­ing, av­er­ag­ing at 10 play­ers for each ses­sion.

Ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial, "The mood in the camp is not the best giv­en the cir­cum­stances but the ladies have been work­ing very hard. And un­der Coop­er, the ladies have adapt­ed very quick­ly, as they un­der­stand the sit­u­a­tions."

The T&T team has been grouped with gi­ants the USA, open­ing their ac­count against Pana­ma on Oc­to­ber 4, be­fore meet­ing Mex­i­co on Oc­to­ber 7. They will then com­plete their group phase against the might of the US women three days lat­er for the rights to be among the top two teams to ad­vance.

The team has strug­gled to have a prop­er core of play­ers in train­ing lo­cal­ly, as most of the play­ers are based in the USA, ei­ther as stu­dents or res­i­dents.

T&T TEAM

Goal­keep­ers: Kimi­ka Forbes, Saun­dra Baron;

De­fend­ers: Arin King, Rhea Bel­grave, Ayana Rus­sell, Jenelle Cun­ning­ham, Jonelle Cato, Lau­ryn Hutchin­son, Patrice Su­perville, Sha­di Stoute;

Mid­field­ers: Ja­nine Fran­cois, Karyn Forbes, Liana Hinds, Naomie Guer­ra, Natasha St Louis, Tasha St Louis, Shenelle Hen­ry;

For­wards: Kay­la Tay­lor, Ken­nya Cord­ner, Mari­ah Shade.

Women’s team to depart for US tomorrow.
T&T Newsday Reports.


TTFA gets cheque from Sports Ministry:

MEMBERS of T&T’s senior women’s national team, who have not yet departed for the US for the Concacaf Women’s Championships, will leave tomorrow, by the earliest, after the Ministry of Sport yesterday presented the TT Football Association with the requested sum of $429,626 for assistance to the team.

Jinelle James, who was instrumental in involving the ministry, as well as Wayne Cunningham, a board member of the TTFA, represented the association at the Ministry of Sport & Youth Affairs’ head office in St Clair, where the cheque was presented to them.

According to a press release issued by the ministry yesterday, “the Ministry, through the Sport Company of T&T, decided to provide the total sum requested to assist the women’s football team in their participation at the World Cup Qualifiers in North Carolina, USA.

The release noted the failure by the TTFA to pay all outstanding retainer fees owed to members of the women’s team by the promised date.

“Notwithstanding the commitment made by TTFA to pay outstanding retainer fees to the players before their departure, the TTFA has informed the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs that at this time, the female players are still owed retainer fees for the month of August and the TTFA is currently liaising with the Concacaf to provide all outstanding payments to the players. TTFA anticipates that payment will be issued to all relevant players within the next two weeks.”

In the release, Minister Shamfa Cudjoe reminded the TTFA officials of the importance of the players’ welfare.

A source close to the team confirmed that the money was received and the arrangements are being made to have the team leave for the US tomorrow.

“(But) there are issues with that. The initial budget they had, which they used to receive money from the Ministry, included tickets at one price but the tickets have gone up significantly instead, which challenges the budget.”

“They are hoping to leave on Sunday. The thinking is, if they get a cheaper flight on Monday, because of the budgetary constraints, they will take that.”

There is also an issue with the team securing US currency, which is necessary for miscellaneous expenses and emergency funds. The source said the issues are being addressed.