The Trinidad and Tobago women’s football team are set to embark on a four-game tour of Central America next month.
This tour will be part of the team’s preparation for the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women’s Under-17 Final Round Qualifiers, which will take place from October 16-22 in Haiti.
Trinidad and Tobago, Bermuda and Jamaica will play in Group F while hosts Haiti, Puerto Rico and Cuba will compete in Group G.
After their round-robin matches, the group winners will automatically advance to the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship in Nicaragua.
Also progressing to the CONCACAF stage will be the winner of the third-place match (comprising the second-placed teams in each group).
TT coach Jamaal Shabazz, in a telephone interview yesterday, noted, “We intend to play friendly matches against Panama on the 4th and 6th of October, and against Nicaragua on the 7th and 9th of October, in Panama and in Nicaragua (respectively).”
In the First Round, which took place in August, hosts Trinidad and Tobago won Group A, ahead of Grenada, Curacao and the United States Virgin Islands.
Since earning a spot in the CFU Final Round, Shabazz said: “We’ve been training five days a week (at) various venues across the country.
“The girls have responded and shown good commitment,” said the team coach.
Asked if the pool of players for the training sessions have remained the same, Shabazz replied, “We’ve invited players who didn’t make the final 20. (Assistant) coach Marlon Charles and myself made a trip to Tobago and we’ve included some players from Tobago.
“We’re having a camp this weekend in Maracas, St Joseph and we’re having a game on Monday against the senior and Under-20 women (combined).”
With regards to the foreign-based players in the TT team, Shabazz said, “This week, (at least) two foreign players should be here in Trinidad. The others would join the team in Panama.”
The TT team for Panama and Nicaragua will be announced this weekend and the squad will leave for Central America next week.”
And Shabazz, the former TT and Guyana men’s teams coach, has thanked the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) for their support towards the women’s Under-17 squad.
“We’ve gotten the support from the (TTFA),” said Shabazz. “We’ve had two weekend camps and we’ve been fully supported. The team could only develop as far as the capacity of the players. All this is part of the development of the team.
“This is one of the few women’s teams that did not come out of a development programmes. It’s difficult but it’s a work in progress.
The parents have been very corporative, and the players and staff have shown tremendous commitment. And the TTFA has helped every step of the way,” he ended.