Senior national women’s team defender Arin King was yesterday revealed as the first pick in the first of a two-round initial draft for the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL), which is set to start on Thursday.
King was one of five top senior national women’s team “marquee players” selected for the first round. King, who recovered fully form an injury sustained in the US some months ago, will represent the franchise, Dragons, with Costa Rican Carla Aleman and England-born T&T resident Joanne Daniel leading the team as coaches. England’s Isabella Hayes joined King after being picked in the second round of the draft.
Also selected for the first round were national players Kennya “”Ya Ya” Cordner and Tasha St Louis (forwards), winger Ahkeela Mollon and T&T captain and midfielder, Maylee Attin-Johnson. Jamaicans Christina Murray, Shakira Duncan, Jodi Ann McGregor and the US Virgin Islands’ Emily Marie Cota were all named in the second round of the draft.
The other franchises named are: Oilers, Fuego, Rush, Wave FC and Angels.
Oilers, the franchise designed as a development team of players with competition restrictions by NCAA rules, did not participate in the selection of players. Oilers are led by national women’s Under-15 head coach Rajesh Latchoo and Arnold Murphy. That team is expected to comprise mainly national U-20 and senior team players attached to US colleges.
Police FC and Fatima College coach Richard Hood and Joel Warrick will coach Fuego, along with St Louis and Murray. Former senior national women’s team coach Marlon Charles leads Rush with the two picks Mollon and Cota.
Coaching Angels are Anthony Creece and Jinelle Noel lead with along with Attin-Johnson and McGregor.
Derek Arneaud and Allistair Ramdoo are Wave FC’s coaches. They picked Cordner, T&T’s leading scorer in recent years and Duncan, a standout for the Jamaica national women‘s team.
National goalkeeper Kimika Forbes was a surprise inclusion outside of the draft and was picked by a separate random draw to represent Wave.
Minister of Sport Brent Sancho, who spearheaded the inaugural tournament, gave the opening address, during which he used the opportunity, given the announcement of the date for the general elections, to call for a separation of sports and politics.
He said the franchises will be complete with their players in the coming day when an internal draft takes place. The final squads are expected to be announced by Monday.
Some of the international players, including those from Brazil, are yet to arrive in the country. The visiting players are based at Chancellor Hotel, St Ann’s, one of the official sponsors of the tournament. Caribbean Airlines and Shanghai Construction are other major sponsors.
The fixtures are yet to be finalized. However, Sancho announced that the league will kick off with a double-header at the St James Barracks on Thursday.
T&T WPL 2015 Franchises
Coaches: Rajesh Latchoo, Arnold Murphy. No drafted players.
Coaches: Richard Hood, Joel Warrick
Drafted players: Tasha St Louis (first round), Christina Murray (second round).
Coach: Marlon Charles
Drafted players: Ahkeela Mollon (first round), Emily Marie Cota (second round).
Coaches: Karla Aleman, Joanne Daniel.
Drafted players: Arin King (first round), Isabella Hayes (second round).
Coaches: Derek Arneaud, Alistair Ramdoo
Drafted players: Kennya Cordner (first round), Shakira Duncan (second round), Kimika Forbes (additional random draw).
Coaches: Anthony Creece, Jinelle Noel.
Drafted players: Maylee Attin-Johnson (first round), Jodi Ann McGregor (second round).