For too long T&T has failed to do much more than concede goals, perhaps score a few and attain the odd point here or there at the Concacaf women’s level.
Aside from the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup which was hosted here in 2010, T&T has never managed to hold their own against world opposition.
But years of persistence seems to be paying off and the current crop of T&T U-20 players—several of them coming out of the development programme dating back to 2009—are determined to become a force in the region and to raise the level of the local women’s game.
“It’s an amazing feat to get into the semifinal round of a Concacaf tournament. We’ve done it with the boys but the girls have always had a mountainous task and to achieve that in 2014 is commendable,” said T&T Football Association (TTFA) technical director Anton Corneal, who is with the team in the Cayman Islands for the current final round.
T&T will face the United States in semifinal number two tomorrow but can still book a place in the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada. Even with a loss as they will have the chance to contest the third place playoff on Sunday at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
The team’s qualifying campaign is supported by the Ministry of Sports and Sportt, and Minister of Sports Anil Roberts is eager to see them continue their fine run which includes victories so far over Honduras and hosts Cayman Islands.
“We’ve worked really hard as a team and we want this badly,” said captain Anique Walker, who has been among the outstanding players in the competition so far.
“I was part of the U-17 team in 2010 and I know what it’s like to be at that level and I want to experience it again. There will be no greater feeler than helping the team qualify for the U-20 World Cup. We are working towards taking women’s football in T&T to a respectable level, especially in Concacaf.”