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Sunday 23 September 2018
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TT senior women toughen up Under-20s

National Under-20 goalie Klil Keshwar, right, makes a catch in a practice game held recently as the team prepares for the CONCACAF  Women’s Under-20 Championships in January.
National Under-20 goalie Klil Keshwar, right, makes a catch in a practice game held recently as the team prepares for the CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championships in January.

This country’s Under 20 Women’s team was defeated 2-0 by the Senior Women’s National Team in what according to coach Jamaal Shabazz was the “only blemish to a wonderful pre Christmas camp” when both teams met in a training match at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Arima on Saturday.

“As an age group team, it’s really no disgrace to lose to your national senior team,” Shabazz told TTFA Media.

“And there were some important lessons our girls can take from the game,” he added.

The match against the senior women’s team ended a gruelling one-week residential camp for the U-20s, inclusive of six foreign based players.

The team was based at Turning Point in Maracas, St Joseph, from December 16-23.

“We really pushed them in the week and they responded well. They now have a better understanding of team shape and compactness,” Shabazz stated.

“But they got a lesson from the senior ladies today on possession and patience,” he added post- game at the Larry Gomes Stadium on Saturday.

The squad will rest for three days before resuming training on Wednesday and will be joined by two more foreign based players – Amaya Ellis and Ceciliy Stoute.

Trinidad and Tobago host the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s World Cup Qualifiers from January 18-28 at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva. They face Group A opponents Haiti on January 18 with Costa Rica taking on Canada in the opening game of the double header.

In the absence of friendly internationals, Shabazz and Technical Director Anton Corneal have come together to ensure that the U-20s get match ready.

“At the moment, Anton is working with the senior ladies and us playing them once a week has a dual purpose. We (the U-20s) get match practice against a stronger opponent and the seniors get an opportunity to stay sharp.

“Off course it would be ideal to get two international matches in early January to really test our work, but if it does not materialise, two more games against the seniors will be arranged,” Shabazz concluded.

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