20-member squad named for CONCACAF Women’s Championship but…
A 20-member national squad has been named for the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, which will be contested in the United States from October 4-17.
However, there is uncertainty over when the local-based players will head to the US for a pre-tournament camp in Richmond, Virginia, since the team management is still finalising the invoices to provide to the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs.
On September 18, the Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Shamfa Cudjoe agreed to provide a sum of $430,000, the full amount requested via a proposal submitted by the TT Football Association (TTFA).
The funds, for the team’s visit to the US, will cover the costs of airfare, hotel accommodation, food and beverage, pre-training camp, medical and baggage fees, and other items, for the team and technical staff.
The team was due to leave today for the US but, manager Jinelle James said in an interview yesterday, “at this point, we don’t know when we’ll be leaving.”
Last Tuesday, James openly refuted a claim by the TTFA that she made “no approach” to its president David John-Williams or general secretary Justin Latapy-George for an overseas camp.
This time around, James said, “the major invoices like airfares, hotels, transport, medical supplies, those hard items have been provided but we suffered a setback in terms of the daily expenses while we’ll be there.
“If we are to get the lump sum of money, we have to be able to provide quotations for these costs, like water, gatorade, granola bars, the (regular) meals, those kinds of things,” she added. “I really don’t know when we’ll be going.”
The local-based players are currently training under recently-appointed coach Shawn Cooper while the North American-based players, including Lauryn Hutchinson, Liana Hinds and Jonelle Cato, are getting ready at Richmond.
Preparations for the team, ahead of the CONCACAF Championship, have been marred with controversy, as Hutchinson and Canada-born defender Arin King took to social media to plead for support for the team, while the selection of Cooper as team coach have drawn the ire of certain TTFA board members, including Keith Look Loy and Anthony Harford.
The CONCACAF Championship serves as the final round of qualifiers for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. T&T, hosts US, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Cuba, Panama and Jamaica are vying for three automatic World Cup spots.
Concerning the team chosen by the T&T technical staff, striker Mariah Shade returns after an injury sustained at the CAC (Central American and Caribbean) Games in Barranquilla, Colombia. The experienced forward replaces teenager Aaliyah Prince from the squad that featured in the Caribbean Final Round in Jamaica a month ago.
US-born teenaged defender Shadi Stoute and midfielder Shenelle Henry have been included, at the expense of national Under-20 defender Natisha John and American-born midfielder Melissa Baynes.
(clubs/schools in brackets) –
Kimika Forbes (Santa Fe, United States), Saundra Baron (unattached).
Arin King (unattached), Ayana Russell (Queen’s Park), Jenelle Cunningham (Real Dimension), Jonelle Cato (Trincity Nationals), Lauryn Hutchinson (unattached), Liana Hinds (unattached), Patrice Superville (Queen’s Park), Rhea Belgrave (Real Dimension), Shadi Stoute (University of Georgia, United States).
Janine Francois (Real Dimension), Karyn Forbes (Real Dimension), Kayla Taylor (Petrotrin), Naomie Guerra (St Augustine FC), Shenelle Henry (unattached).
Kennya Cordner (Il Sandiviken, Norway), Mariah Shade (Petrotrin), Natasha St Louis (St Ann’s Rangers), Tasha St Louis (Real Dimension).