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National Women’s Senior Team head coach Jamaal Shabazz says that the upcoming period for the current Women footballers is a critical one as skipper Tasha St Louis are beginning to understand the importance of their roles as ambassadors and leaders in society as women.

Shabazz was speaking ahead of a training session at the Ato Boldon Stadium, the TTFA Home of Football on Tuesday as the team prepares for Thursday’s International Friendly against Panama at the Couva venue at 6:30pm.

“I think the senior women’s national team players are seeing more and more how important it is for them to step up individually and collectively. They have seen the appointment of a Woman President, first ever in our country and the whole of domestic violence that pervades the society now, I think sport allows females that opportunity to make a statement on the pitch and by whatever little they can do.

“They are not police officers or lawyers. They are football players and they can perform and excel, it gives them that added credence to make statements that can be very powerful,” Shabazz told TTFA Media.

In relation to Thursday’s first of two friendlies, Shabazz added, “It’s a squad that is one that is rebuilding so these matches will certainly test us and answer a lot of questions as to where we are presently. There is new blood in this team. We brought in five players from the Under 20s and two from the Under 17s.

“I think we are at a stage where we need to widen the pool and friendly matches allows the coaches to give caps to players that are not as experience and to play alongside players who have experience. Tasha St Louis and Karyn Forbes are two of the more experienced players that will be on the pitch but then you have youngsters like Shenelle Arjoon and Naomie Guerra who just came back from scholarship to join the squad and you have even younger players like Aliyah Prince, Kedie Johnson and Natisha John from the Under 20s and Under 17s who are also eager to play in matches like these,”

Arjoon added that she was definitely anticipating a senior team appearance in either of the two games,

“I think it would be beneficial to the team in terms of getting the necessary preparation. I don’t think the games would be easy at all so we just have to try to win and give our best effort” she said.

“I think we’d do really well considering the amount of work we have been putting in from early, we usually start like two weeks before. ” Arjoon continued.

Tickets cost $20 for each match and will be on sale at the venues on both game days.

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