Wed, Oct

Eve - 'Everything done for women to fail'

Thurs­day's 3-0 vic­to­ry by Pana­ma over T&T's women foot­ballers at the CON­CA­CAF Women's Cham­pi­onships did not come as a sur­prise to many which in­clud­ed for­mer na­tion­al play­er and coach An­gus Eve, con­sid­er­ing the tur­moil the sport has been in, and the is­sues the women faced.

Eve, who is al­so the coach of Na­pari­ma Col­lege in the Sec­ondary Schools Foot­ball League (SS­FL) said yes­ter­day, "Every­thing was done for the women to fail at this tour­na­ment, which was high­ly un­for­tu­nate. Ab­solute­ly noth­ing was done to give the girls a fair chance of pro­gress­ing at this com­pe­ti­tion."

The coach whose ex­ploits in the game earned him a stint in the Eng­lish Sec­ond Di­vi­sion point­ed to the lack of or­gan­i­sa­tion, for­ma­tion and struc­ture that could have been seen in the T&T team due to lit­tle to no prepa­ra­tion, which ac­cord­ing to Eve was ex­pect­ed.

He told Guardian Me­dia Sports that noth­ing could have been done with a team where there was doubt about play­ers' avail­abil­i­ty, play­ers' salaries, no train­ing camp, doubt about who was go­ing to coach the team, and whether there were the re­sources nec­es­sary to con­duct prop­er ses­sions, among many oth­ers.

"In short, the play­ers did not lose to Pana­ma be­cause of their abil­i­ty but rather be­cause of im­prop­er prepa­ra­tion," Eve ex­plained.

At the Sahlen's Sta­di­um in Cary, North Car­oli­na, USA, the So­ca Princess­es play­ing their first match of the Cham­pi­onships, which is be­ing used as a qual­i­fi­er for the FI­FA Women's World Cup in France next year, con­ced­ed a goal in the 12th minute from Mar­ta Cox for a 1-0 half-time ad­van­tage, and two oth­er items in the sec­ond pe­ri­od from Ke­nia Rangel in the 68th, and Eri­ka Her­nan­dez late in the match.

The open­ing loss did not sit well with a num­ber of play­ers, who took to so­cial me­dia to voice their frus­tra­tions with the team's lack of prepa­ra­tion in­clud­ing Kimi­ka Forbes, Ken­nya Cord­ner, Mari­ah Shade and Lisa-Jo Ramkisson.

Forbes was quot­ed say­ing: "3 friend­ly match­es for the men with 3 months and 1 train­ing with 15 play­ers and 45 mins (min­utes) game be­fore our first game in world cup qual­i­fiers...tell me about car­ing about the women team, men team have just a friend­ly and he gets his team an en­tire week be­fore, then you put us in tough sit­u­a­tions and ex­pect so much but it is what it is the Lord alone knows but he doesn't like ug­ly..."

To which Cord­ner re­spond­ed: " Sad eh."

The thread con­tin­ued with Shade agree­ing. She said: "My thoughts ex­act­ly and they don't even have World Cup Qual­i­fiers. Al­ways treat­ed like this and then they ex­pect us to per­form at this stage. Sad,­ways send­ing us with no prepa­ra­tion."

One on the post sug­gest­ed that the play­ers should "boy­cott tour­na­ments un­til TTFA get it right!"

To which Ramkissoon replied: "You know the crazy thing if we boy­cott TTFA might be hap­py, you play­ing you ain't know those ppl (peo­ple)."

With the re­sult, the T&T women now face an up­hill task to be among the top two teams to ad­vance from an al­ready chal­leng­ing Group B, that al­so com­pris­es Mex­i­co and the foot­ball gi­ants, the Unit­ed States. The team is sched­uled to take on the Mex­i­cans in its sec­ond match on Sun­day at the same venue.

Eve said, "I don't think it's be­yond the girls to come out of the group but it is go­ing to be very dif­fi­cult for them to do so."

The T&T team will al­so be mi­nus Jenelle Cun­ning­ham for the re­main­der of the com­pe­ti­tion hav­ing been ruled out with a torn ACL, and pos­si­bly Cord­ner, who was tak­en to hos­pi­tal af­ter suf­fer­ing a con­cus­sion.

Eve said, "When I saw the team play at the Caribbean Foot­ball Union (CFU) Qual­i­fiers in Ja­maica, I saw a bunch of re­al­ly good play­ers. They looked ma­tured and con­sist­ed a bal­anced of well-sea­soned play­ers, such as Tasha St Louis and Rhea Bel­grave etc. But with all that has hap­pened to them from then to now, I re­al­ly don't think we did jus­tice to the girls, and they suf­fered tremen­dous­ly be­cause of this."

Eve ques­tioned why the TTFA did not ap­point a top coach to take the team in­to the qual­i­fiers, say­ing: "I think it was known that the coun­try would have qual­i­fied out of the Caribbean qual­i­fiers, as we have done con­sis­tent­ly over the years. And if that was so, why wasn't there prop­er plan­ning. Why when An­ton Corneal ac­cept­ed the po­si­tion of care­tak­er coach that the foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion did not go through the re­sumes it had and ap­point­ed a top coach?

"This would have at least giv­en that coach the op­por­tu­ni­ty to look at the team and chart a way for­ward."