Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 15 Girls Team head coach Marlon Charles will reduce his roster to twenty five players on Friday as he approaches the final selection of the squad to participate at the CONCACAF Under 15 Girls Championship at IMG Academy, Bradenton in August.
Charles has been overseeing the preparations of the squad through the TTFA/NLCB Elite Youth development programme.
This time around, T&T will come up against Caribbean opposition having previously suffered heavy losses to United States, Mexico and Haiti, pulling off a 4-0 win over Dominican Republic at the 2016 CONCACAF U-15 Championship.
“This time we will be in one of the lower tiers which was actually a suggestion put forward and not because of our previous performance,” Charles told TTFA Media. “We will be playing against Curacao, Bermuda and Barbados. t’s actually better for us as I think it will give our girls who are still relatively new to the game and early in their development, an opportunity to compete against teams of a similar level.
“At this stage i am happy with where we have progressed to from a technical standpoint and at present we are working more on their tactical awareness and understanding. We have 35 players in training at the moment and I will be cutting the squad to 25 on Friday before really working towards the final selection of eighteen players for the competition in August,” Charles stated.
In terms of the competition itself, Charles is eager to take the team into action.
“This competition is really about development and I am pleased that Concacaf has maintained it because they realise the importance of it as it really is a feeder into the Under 17 Women’s Qualifiers that takes place again in two years. We have to be more on time when it comes to early development and this competition will help us to get the girls out there in terms of the much needed exposure and experience that is necessary,” Charles said.
The T&T squad currently includes four players from the previous Under 15 team and will also see Spain-based player Hayley Richards joining the contingent next month. She was born in Spain to Trinidadian parents and is currently playing at school level there.
The 2018 Concacaf Girls’ Under-15 Championship will be held from August 6-13 at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
This will be the largest Concacaf tournament ever for female participants and will feature a record number of Concacaf Member Associations as well as two invited teams from UEFA.
More on the competition
In total, nearly two-thousand female athletes will participate in Concacaf championships this year across the region. Centralized tournaments such as the Girls’ Under-15 Championship and regional qualifying tournaments in the Caribbean and Central America are providing more football for more of Concacaf’s women’s teams across all levels, assuring that the region’s women are well-served through the One Concacaf philosophy of access to quality football for more Concacaf athletes.
To ensure sporting balance and fully leverage this unique development opportunity for the full contingent of young Concacaf and invited players, member associations will be divided into divisions. All will be guaranteed a minimum number of competitive matches during the week-long competition.