Wed, Aug


TRINIDAD AND Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) Technical Director, Anton Corneal, is confident that the Under-17 Women’s team will shine at the forthcoming CONCACAF qualifiers for the 2012 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan this September.

He admitted that the opposition will be tough in the group stage but the task is not impossible.

TT will face Mexico on May 3 with USA (May 5) and Bahamas (May 7) to follow in the qualifiers, hosted by Guatemala.

Corneal believes that the young women must remain undaunted in their task. “Mexico and the USA are two of the top women’s teams at this level. We are training well and the team showed promise in recent preparations. We face sturdy opposition who may seem physically stronger and faster, but we can pull off some upsets. It’s not improbable,” he revealed.

Corneal also professed that the current training scheme is a beneficial one for the Under-17s.

Even Pellerud’s charges lost two friendlies to Canada’s Under-17 team last week in Tobago by 3-0 margins and will be training in Costa Rica and Florida in April to gear for the May qualifiers.

Players who will be looked at for garnering success include Khadidra and Kadisha Debesette, Shenelle Warwick, Victoria Swift and skipper, Anique Walker.

He indicated that emphasis is being placed on youth development for both the Men’s and Women’s teams. Corneal relayed that the Trinidad and Tobago Under-20 Women’s unit will be closely tied to the ‘senior’ Women’s team as the Under-20s will comprise the core of the team that will be eyeing 2016 Olympic qualification.

The youngsters lost to Puerto Rico and Cuba but defeated Guyana as their U-20 World Cup campaign ended last January but Corneal emphasised that the future remains bright.

“Our Under-20 players have the talent to make the senior team. Our recent senior performances have been decent and both the Under-20s and seniors will be playing the College of Charleston Women’s Team,” he shared.

The Charleston contingent will be on local soil for a 10-day visit in May and Corneal confessed that such foreign teams, particularly Division One teams from USA, would prove strong competition to improve the national teams.