Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 17 women’s team will commence their World Cup qualifying quest towards the 2018 FIFA Under 17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay with a Caribbean Zone preliminary phase clash against US Virgin Islands from 7:30 pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on Wednesday.
The game will follow the opening clash of a double header with Curacao facing Grenada from 5pm. Matches continue on Friday and Sunday with only the Group winner advancing to the Caribbean Final round in Haiti.
Head coach Jamaal Shabazz has been overseeing the team’s preparations for just under a month and says he expects the team to overcome their hurdles this week.
“I think we have prepared well. It’s a different ball game all together having to switch from training senior men to now preparing Under 17 women. It’s a new language and new type of decorum. The under 17 girls is a different kettle of fish. I have learned a lot in this three weeks and some of us has been very enjoyable. “But overall I think the players have demonstrated a good level of understanding for the game which is an encouraging sign and they have a high level of enthusiasm to work hard and achieve success. They are very passionate and I am very impressed with their effort and determination and also their spirit,” Shabazz told TTFA Media.
“They have put behind them the season that they had when they went to CONCACAF for the first time at Under 15 level and were slaughtered and now they are very focused on the future and this upcoming tournament.
“We will enter the competition confident as hosts but very careful about how we approach the games because there has been progress in each of these three countries in women football and everyone wants to move on and get to the final round in Haiti. It is important that we take each game by its own and put points on the table so at the end we can come out on top of the group and advance to the next phase,” Shabazz added.
“This team did not come out of a development programme when the new regime came into the TTFA, they inherited a CONCACAF tournament which they played in.
The teams we had before developed at under 12. So this is new to these girls and it will not be a stroll in the park for us at this level. It will be a huge challenge,” he said.
Tickets are priced at $20 (Adults) and $10 for children and will be available at the venue on each match-day.