TT’s women’s football team will remain largely unchanged, heading into the opening phase of the CONCACAF Caribbean World Cup qualifiers, which kick off on May 19 at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
The squad, which topped their group in the recent Caribbean Football Union Challenge Series a couple weeks ago, will form the base of the TT outfit for the upcoming matches.
Team manager Jinelle James confirmed that communication has been ongoing with overseas-based forward Kennya Cordner and she is likely to join the team for the CAC Games in July in Colombia and the final round of Caribbean World Cup qualification once TT progress. Canada-based defender Arin King is recovering from injury and eyeing a return in June, while Khadidra Debesette is also being looked at for a return.
“I was on the phone with Kennya today and we have been having ongoing communication about the best time for her to return to the team,” James told TTFA Media.
“And we have also been in dialogue with Khadidra and Arin about their return to the squad possibly for the CAC Games or the later stages of this qualifying campaign.” National footballer Jonelle Cato said the Women Warriors are confident of topping Group C which also includes Grenada, Dominica, US Virgin Islands and St Kitts and Nevis.
TT will face USVI on May 19, Dominica on May 21, St Kitts and Nevis on May 25 and Grenada on May 27. Only the winners of each of the five groups will advance to the Caribbean final round scheduled to start on July 21 at a venue to be announced.
“For myself and maybe Liana (Hinds) who got to play in a youth World Cup in 2010, we really have that desire to play in two World Cups. It is every player’s dream to qualify for and play in a World Cup,” said Cato.
“I think, honestly, we will dominate in the the Caribbean, but we cannot be complacent. It is now more about us being a force in the CONCACAF. Sometimes we tend to dominate in the Caribbean but then fall short when we get to the CONCACAF stage,” Cato added.
“This time around we need to make sure we do qualify and if not first, at least second or third so we can go onto qualify for the World Cup in France next year.”
Cato said she felt empowered being a mother and a starting player on the national women’s team.
“People don’t give women footballers enough credit. A lot of them think we should just be wives or mothers. A lot of parents think now that they don’t want their kids or their girls to play football. Being a part of a national women’s team and qualify for a World Cup will be big not just for us but hopefully other people’s kids, and I hope it can inspire other women and parents to send their kids to play the sport and be just like us,” Cato added.