NEW Women’s Warriors football coach Kenwyne Jones, who has led the team to creditable performances over the past weeks, said the squad is not the final product as he is scouting new players and aiming to improve team performance to bolster the team’s pedigree.
TT played two international friendlies against the Dominican Republic over the past few days in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic. The first match on Friday ended in a 2-1 victory for the home team and the second match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Jones, a member of the 2006 Soca Warriors World Cup squad, was hired as the full-time coach on Friday after being appointed interim coach in October. Before the matches against the Dominican Republic, TT battled to back-to-back draws against Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva. The teams played to a 0-0 draw in the first match on October 21 and the second match ended 1-1 on October 25. There are many experienced players on the TT squad with the likes of captain Karyn Forbes, goalkeeper Kimika Forbes, Maylee-Attin Johnson and Kennya Cordner. There are also youngsters aiming to stamp their mark at the international level.
On Wednesday, speaking to the media following TT’s 1-1 draw against the Dominican Republic, Jones said, “I was satisfied with the reaction by the team after coming off the defeat on Friday. I did ask the team to give a reaction because we have to develop that DNA in us when we do have a setback.”
Jones would have liked TT to emerge victorious but was happy with the effort. Jones is targeting a camp in early 2022 but is uncertain if it will materialize.
“We are planning as a team, as a staff to have another camp in January, but whether or not it will come off I can’t give you that answer right now…we are going back home and get back to the training field. We have players that are coming back after finishing school…they are going to be back home over the Christmas period when we will be training.”
He later said, “There are some players that I desperately want to see in the hopes of adding them to the squad and that will be the perfect opportunity to be able to do that.” Jones is also aiming for more international friendlies.
TT have scored three goals in the last four matches. Asked if he is pleased with the team’s goal-scoring ability, Jones said, “The team’s remit is to win games. Not every game you are going to go out there and score five goals and think that is how you win games only.”
Jones, who said championships are sometimes won with one goal, said, “Of course, like I previously said we have to improve and there is room for improvement in all areas, by no means this is the final product. We have a lot of room to get better.”
Jones said his priority is qualifying for the world cup during his time in charge. Jones recently received a nine-month contract.
On Friday, the TT Football Association announced that Jones will assume full-time responsibility for the team from December 1. It is a nine-month contract that “provides him the option to extend his term for a further year, based on the achievement of KPI’s and a successful performance appraisal.”
The national women’s senior team footballers have never qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, but Jones believes in the team.
“The aim of this team is to go to the qualifiers and qualify for the world cup. That is the only mandate that I have set for myself. I believe in the potential of our squad.”
TT will begin their quest to qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand when they compete at the 2022 Concacaf Women’s Championship qualifiers.