ANTON CORNEAL, caretaker coach of the national women’s football team, said that the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) will have to decide on a full-time coach for the squad, ahead of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship in the United States.
Corneal guided the TT women’s team to second spot, in the five-team CONCACAF Caribbean Women’s Qualifiers (final round group) in Kingston, Jamaica last week.
In an interview yesterday, Corneal said, “The TTFA will have to come up with that decision.”
Hosts Jamaica won the CONCACAF Caribbean final round group with a maximum 12 points from four games, followed by TT (nine points), Cuba (six points), Bermuda (three points) and Antigua/Barbuda (zero points).
TT defeated Cuba 3-2 (August 25) and Antigua/Barbuda 5-0 (August 29) before suffering a 4-1 whipping by Jamaica last Friday. The TT team rebounded with a 3-0 victory over Bermuda on Sunday.
Jamaica, TT and Cuba advanced to the CONCACAF Championship, which will take place from October 4-17.
Yesterday, CONCACAF announced the two first round groups, with TT drawn with US, Mexico and Panama in Group A, and the quartet of Jamaica, Cuba, Canada and Costa Rica in Group B.
The finalists, and the third-placed finisher, will progress to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. The fourth-placed team will have a home-and-away playoff, with the third-placed team from CONMEBOL (South America) for a spot in France.
With only a month to go before the CONCACAF Championship kicks off, Corneal, who took over the team after Jamaal Shabazz resigned in July, is unsure who will be given the task of conducting the training sessions.
“That’s going to be decided upon (soon) I’m sure,” he said. “If (the team needs) any advice, I’ll be willing to advice only. But I’ll let the TTFA, through (Richard) Quan Chan, who is the chairman of the technical committee, come up with that decision.”
Corneal added, “Time is of the essence, so something needs to be done in the next few days.”
Concerning the results in Jamaica, Corneal commented, “For the cards dealt, we got through to the next round which was the mission.”
He continued, “The preparation, because of logistics, was not the best. We had to deal with so many various issues that affected the preparation, some of them beyond our control and others that (mean) we probably need to plan a little better in advance.”
Two players who returned to the TT squad for this competition, Kayla Taylor and Kennya “Ya Ya” Cordner, did the bulk of the scoring, with seven and three goals respectively.
Corneal, who is also the TTFA technical director, described their performances as “quite good”.
He said, “They meshed right away. Both of them are very opportunist in their play. They scored most of our goals.”
About the team’s displays overall, Corneal noted, “We did well in spurts, both defensively and in attack. I think the girls understand their strengths. The weakness will surely be preparation, the ability to prepare together as a team for a long period.
“If that is not done, it’s difficult to play at the CONCACAF level,” he added.