COACH OF the Trinidad and Tobago women’s Under-17 football team Jason Spence is eyeing at least a draw in their opening match of the Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championships as it will be a confidence booster for the remainder of the tournament.
TT are in Group C alongside Panama, Mexico and Nicaragua. TT will play Panama at 4 pm on Saturday at the Felix Sanchez Olympic Stadium.
Following that match, TT will face Nicaragua at 4 pm on Monday, before closing off the group phase with a match against Mexico at 7 pm, on Wednesday.
The top three teams in the 20-team tournament will qualify for the 2022 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in India. The World Cup will be held from October 11-30.
On Tuesday, speaking about the opening match during a training session at the St James Police Barracks, Spence said, “Definitely we are trying to see how best we can come out with at least the point that we would have gone into the game with. That I think is going to give us the confidence to be able to move on.”
Spence said TT’s training has been geared towards the teams they will face in Group C.
“Those three teams have similar styles in the way they play and a lot of our preparation would have been towards the way they play and being able to nullify what they would bring to us…we would set up a little bit more defensive, just to try to make sure we protect ourselves and then we open up with the chances that we get.”
Assistant coach Dernelle Mascall has been guiding the TT Under-17 players for years.
Mascall said, “This group in particular I have known them since they were 14…I have worked with them at the Under-15 level and now it is grand to see them grow and mature as far along as they have, so we looking forward to a good tournament.”
Speaking more about the progress of the players, the former TT midfielder said, “If we consider the (covid19) pandemic that threw us a bit back…when you look at these girls from where they began to where they are now I can certainly say I am proud of their development.”
Mascall wants her team to show character if they concede a goal first.
“As a team playing football you don’t want to be scored on, but what I will like to see if we were to go a goal down I will like to see how the girls react…this will show us exactly where they stand when we are on our back foot to see how they mature and continue playing.”
TT UNDER-17 SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Sadiel Antoine, Shaunda Sheppard, Alexandra Ennals.
Defenders: Cicely-Ann Wickham, Faith Alexander, Trischell Charles, Tayeann Wylie, Shadea Andrews, Emily Nanton, Makeba Morang.
Midfielders: Angel Berot, Marley Walker, Nikita Jackson, Arie Bhagan, Hannah Viera, Aliyah Hudlin, Jeniecia Benjamin.
Strikers: Jhelysse Anthony, Breanna Smith, Jada Graham.