Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams is mum for now despite the national Under-20 women’s team’s embarrassing early exit from the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championships hosted here in Trinidad. TT ran out of steam in all three of their group A matches to end their campaign without a point despite taking the lead in all three of their matches.
TT took a stunning 2-0 lead inside 12 minutes in their first game against Haiti but eventually lost 3-2. They lost to defending champions Canada 4-1 after scoring first, and were beaten 2-1 by Costa Rica in their final game after again taking a first half lead.
Speaking after TT were eliminated, national coach Jamaal Shabazz, echoing comments made prior to the tournament where he pleaded for international warm-up matches, bemoaned the lack of proper preparation for his players.
“We have got to learn our lesson from this and be very honest with ourselves, and know that we have got to make better preparations going forward, and try to get the team to be more intense in the battles,” he said.
Contacted yesterday, John-Williams said he needs to conduct a debriefing with the coaching staff of the Under-20s before commenting.
“Chief, I prefer not to comment on that until we have a debrief meeting. That’s how I will stop,” he said.
Asked why he needed a debrief meeting to respond to the coach who prior, during and after the tournament spoke of a lack of fitness and preparation, John-Williams reiterated, “When we have a debrief meeting about the tournament, then I will make my comments. please appreciate that.”
Speaking to Newsday yesterday, former national women’s senior captain Maylee Attin Johnson said it was “unfortunate” that the TT girls were unable to show their true worth.
“It is unfortunate. I don’t think they were given the proper tools to execute and play at that level, and it is unfortunate having a tournament at home and not giving the girls everything possible to perform at the best level – it was seen on the field,” she said. Asked if this could do more harm than good for the players, Maylee, who captained TT to within a victory of qualifying for the 2015 Women’s World Cup, said: “Obviously, if you fail to prepare then your prepare to fail and that was shown in the three games. You can see they have talent because this team went up sometimes two goals in every game they played and went on to lose. It was lack of preparation, lack of strategy, lack of fitness and lack of a lot of things. Having a team for two to three months, the one thing that should have been going for them was fitness and that was shown to be not their strong point,” she said.