National Under-17 women’s team head coach Jason Spence hopes his team can succeed the counter-attacking way when they play Mexico, Panama and Nicaragua in the upcoming CONCACAF Championship.
The squad leaves today for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where they will contest the tough Group E, beginning Saturday. The Championship serves as part of qualifying for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in India in October. Spence recently took charge of the Under-20 team that lost all their group matches in qualifying. But the coach expects a bit better from his Under-17 charges.
“In terms of results, we always hope to get good results. In terms of performances, I’m really hoping to get a better performance out of this group,” he told the media yesterday ahead of his side’s final practice match against Police women at the St James Barracks. “We started with both groups (U-17 and U-20) at the same time and they were able to get a couple more weeks in…We got more practice games in with this group so that would put us in a better place right now.”
The Under-17s’ match preparation included games against boys’ teams. However, Spence noted: “If I had gotten about two more months I would have felt more comfortable.”
In particular, the T&T coach is keen for his players to play with a positive attitude in Santo Domingo. “In the way we play I’m just looking for them to be a little more confident. Confidence comes with playing more…so it’s really from the confidence factor that I would have liked to be in a better place right now.”
But Spence has no complaints about the attitude of his group. “They have really opened up their minds and they’ve really absorbed what we are trying to put to them and they have responded quite well,” he said. However, don’t expect T&T to try to go toe-to-toe with their Central American opponents.
“Those three teams have similar styles in the way they play and a lot of our preparation would have been towards the way they play and being able to nullify what they would bring to us. We would have set up a little bit more defensive just to try to make sure we protect ourselves and then we open up with the chances that we get,” he said.
T&T’s first match will be against Panama on Saturday and for that game Spence said: “We are trying to see how best we can come off with at least the point we would have gone into the game with. That I think is going to give us the confidence to move on.”
T&T Womens's U-17 Squad
Sadiel Antoine (Central FC), Shaunda Sheppard (Jewels FC), Alexandra Ennals (St. Joseph's Convent)
Cicely Anne Spencer-Wickham (Vaughan SC-CAN), Faith Alexander (All Stars FC), Trischelle Charles (West Side Academy), Tayeann Wylie (Premier FC), Shadea Andrews (Black Panthers WSC), Emily Nanton (Pro Series Events), Makeba Morang (St. Augustine FC)
Angel Berot (Maracas FC), Marley Walker (Charleston SC-USA), Nikita Jackson (Sting SC-USA), Arie Bhagan (St. Joseph's Convent), Hannah Vieira (Pro Series Events), Aliyah Hudlin (Cox Coaching School), Jenecia Benjamin (West Side Academy)
Jhelysse Anthony (International SC-USA), Breana Smith (Laventille United), Jada Graham (Black Panthers WSC)
SOURCE: T&T Express