WOMEN Warriors Victoria Swift and Rhea Belgrave were pleased with the team’s opening performance against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, on Thursday, in their first international friendly match in over two years.
TT drew 0-0 but both players were happy the team did not return to the competitive circuit on the losing side. They were also led into battle by newly appointed interim head coach Kenwyne Jones, who only took up the role on Monday.
“Being the first game that we played together in a really long time I think the team really fought hard. Even though the result we wanted was a win, a draw is pretty decent for the first game,” said Swift in the post-match interview.
With players coming from different playing systems and having to quickly adapt to a new system under Jones, Swift thinks the team did well to hold their own.
On acclimatising in such a short time frame, Swift said it had a lot to do with players having the experience, fight and desire to do well.
“I think we did really well coming together in such a short space of time. We first just need to focus on recovery and as a team, talk about our positioning and our formation and go from there to the next game,” she said.
Additionally, defender Belgrave welcomed an anticipated return to competitive football after such a lengthy delay, most of which was owed to the pandemic.
“For me, it’s been more than two years (without national team football). It felt really good hearing the anthem and getting back into things. We had to adjust a lot to the new system and getting used to the movements and so forth,” she said.
Belgrave also commended goalkeeper Kimika Forbes for executing some critical saves in the second period to keep TT in the game. She believes the squad has what it takes to produce a winning result on Monday.
In February, the Concacaf Women’s Championship, which also serves as 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers, gets underway.
“I definitely think we can win. We’re going to go back and watch the team and see where we can improve on.
“We just try to stay positive. The goal is to qualify (for the World Cup) and not everything is going to be perfect so for us it’s for us to try to stay focused on the qualifying and control what we can,” she added.