Trinidad and Tobago’s women’s team will open their 2018 account with a pair of international friendlies against Panama on March 22 and 24. The opening match will be played at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva from 6.30pm, and two days later both teams will meet again at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella from 4pm.
This will be the first set of games for the hosts this year as they prepare for upcoming CONCACAF Caribbean leg of 2019 Women’s World Cup qualifying action which commences in May.
The TTFA said the team has been in training for well over a year with regular sessions involving home-based players who are under retainer contracts with the TTFA.
Team manager Jinelle James said the two matches were highly welcomed as the squad, under captain Tasha St Louis, is craving the opportunity to have international match practice.
“The ladies have been in training for practically a year now and the last matches we played were against Venezuela under (ex-coach) Carolina Morace. They’re saying ‘finally we have this chance now to take the field for international football’. There is a real buzz in the squad about this at the moment,” James told TTFA Media on Wednesday.
“The team has been working hard and getting stronger and this is a great opportunity for us to see where we are at tactically and in terms of fitness. We are going into the upcoming tournament in May as the number one team in the Caribbean from the 2014 campaign. This definitely points to the fact that we have no intentions of taking any phase of this competition lightly,” James added.
Skipper St Louis is expecting the two games against Panama to be decent exercises for the TT team. “I think it’s good that we are getting the opportunity to play these two games and it isn’t just not any ordinary games but against a developing team such as Panama which we’ve not played before.
It should be a good test and a good opportunity to see what this other CONCACAF opponent has to offer before the qualification begins later this year,” St Louis said.
The current squad is in training under head coach Jamaal Shabazz with technical director Anton Corneal also providing his guidance in the preparations.
The TT men’s team will also be in action around a similar period as they travel to face Guadeloupe on March 20 followed by another friendly away to Martinique on March 23. Over the past few days, the TTFA also secured two matches in Guadeloupe for the national men’s Under 20 team in May.