The Trinidad and Tobago senior women’s football team head coach Kenwyne Jones said his side will be hunting wins as they look to make an impression in the 2022 CONCACAF W Championship (CWC) set to be staged in Monterrey, Mexico, between July 4-18.
The tournament will serve as the qualification tournament to the FIFA Women’s World Cup (FWWC) 2023 while the champions will qualify directly to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
The region’s best eight participating national teams were divided into four pots based on the FIFA Women’s Ranking of June 2021. The T&T women are in Group B alongside Canada, Costa Rica and Panama while Group A consists of the United States, Mexico, Jamaica and Haiti.
The top two teams in each group after the round robin phase will qualify for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
Speaking about the draw, Jones described it as “favourable”, but noted that the T&T women will have to “buckle down” and make sure they are prepared for every match as they look to secure a World Cup berth.
“The night of the draw was a fantastic night and I think we were all anxious to see who we would be matched up against in the grouping for the Women’s Championship come July. I think at the end we were kind of pleased with the fellow participants in our group,” Jones told the media yesterday.
“We know that stepping up to this level of CONCACAF qualification, all opponents are going to be tough and you will have biases in terms of who you will rather face and I think in the end, we did get a favourable draw but at the same time we are going to buckle down and prepare for each match of that group stage,” he added.
Asked about facing Canada in the opening match of the tournament on July 5, Jones said: “We know football is a sport that anything can happen on the day. We are not going there to hope for the best.
“Yes, we know we are playing against one of the best teams in the world but I believe in the players and their talents and I do believe we can play football and I have to give them the confidence to do that on the big stage.”
Jones continued: “I am not going in thinking I am going to set up in a certain way that we don’t lose by too many goals..this is about football and being able to have confidence in the way we play and how we announce ourselves at this stage of the competition because if we do not set that type of example, we will continue to have an inferiority complex when it comes to confidence.”
The coach said he had “100 per cent belief in this squad,” adding, “it is not going to be a master plan to park the bus if at all; we are going to try to win matches to secure qualification.”
Jones also believes his squad will be going into the final stage of World Cup qualification on a high following a tense draw against Guyana in Tobago, which he said added a certain quality to the team.
T&T needed a draw against Guyana to advance and they earned a hard-fought come-from-behind 2-2 result.
“I was happy to see that bit of character added to the DNA of the team because it is important for you to have that,” Jones said of the game.
“It added strength to the team; it added character and a necessary piece to the puzzle that we would need going forward because it is a mentality that you want to be able to foster within a team environment that then extends to the national programme,” the T&T coach concluded.
2022 CONCACAF W Championship schedule (T&T matches)
(Kick-off times to be confirmed at a later date and the order of matches is subject to change)
Tuesday, July 5 – Estadio BBVA
Canada vs T&T
Friday, July 8 – Estadio Universitario
T&T vs Costa Rica
Monday, July 11 - Estadio BBVA
Panama vs T&T
SOURCE: T&T Express