National Under-20 women’s head coach Jamaal Shabazz will enjoy a full complement of players from Friday as he continues this country’s build-up towards the 2018 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva from January 18-28.
Shabazz saw his team go under 2-0 to the TT senior women in a training match on Friday at the Ato Boldon Stadium in the opening game of a double header. W Connection captured the TTFA FA Trophy with a 3-1 win over Police FC in the second outing.
Despite the loss, Shabazz felt his Under 20s showed some positive signs thus far.
“For us, we saw some good things with the Under-20s. They showed a good attitude towards bringing the ball out of the back and building the attack. We did not get a lot of penetration and this we could do better. I felt there were situations where, on the sides of the field, the wingers could have tried to go (attack) the wing backs. They lacked a bit of bravery there. But generally we saw a couple good things from them and it was the kind of practice game that we wanted leading up to this tournament in January,” Shabazz told TTFA Media.
Shabazz believes the addition of the foreign-based players who are expected in by Friday, will add some tooth to the TT attack.
“Three weeks ago we had a camp mainly for the foreign-based players and some local-based. The foreign-based will come back in from December 15 and then we will have our full contingent. The local-based players currently competing for a place in the final squad got a chance today to show themselves up. They will train for one week again, this week and then we will select the best group to go into camp alongside incoming foreign-based players who we have called back. And then from then, we will be in a better position to compare apples with apples,” Shabazz stated.
He added that efforts are being made to arrange practice matches with South American opponents for later this month.
TT are in Group A and will face off with Haiti in the second game of a double header on the opening day of the championship at Ato Boldon Stadium on January 18. Costa Rica face Canada in the opening match.
Group B comprises United States, Nicaragua, Jamaica and Mexico.