Led by experienced national coach Jamal Shabazz, the T&T Under-20 women’s football team made light work of the competition in the Caribbean Football Union’s Women’s Under-20 First Round Qualification Group “A” series.

Led by experienced national coach Jamal Shabazz, the T&T Under-20 women’s football team made light work of the competition in the Caribbean Football Union’s Women’s Under-20 First Round Qualification Group “A” series.

It was only three matches, but the margin of victory inflicted on the opposing teams by the talented and dedicated young starlets of T&T echoed through the other islands of the region.

Over the past six months, the T&T women had been training weekly and despite the many obstacles faced in getting proper training facilities at times, they stuck to their guns.

The end result was three resoundings first round CFU wins and a step closer to the CONCACAF Final Round Qualifiers.

A major contributor to the steady progress of the young women is a positive interest that seems to be coming from the local football federation with regards to their development.

Prior to the tournament in St Lucia, the T&T girls with the help of T&T Football Federation technical director Lincoln Phillips and the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, were able to go on a 10-day camp in Indiana, USA and even though head coach Shabazz was not unable to make the trip, his understudy Marlon Charles, who has been working with the players almost for the same number of year did a great job.

T&T has been the dominant force in the region along with Jamaica when it comes to women’s football, but in order to step up to another level to compete with USA, Canada, Mexico, they need to be exposed to higher level of competition.

For years, Shabazz, his players and their parents have all been complaining about the lack of support shown to the team.

However in recent times, things seem to be opening up to them, and when it does they will be sure to grab the opportunity with open arms.

For now, Shabazz seems to have found a reliable individual in Phillips, who not only believes that women’s football has a positive future, but intends to see it work.

Over at the Mindoo Phillip Ground in Castries, St, Lucia, Shabazz and his squad, helped jump start that campaign.

In the first match, T&T led by a seven-goal performance from nippy Tobagonian Kenya Cordner hammered Grenada 11-0.

Aveann Douglas added three goals for the Soca Princesses and Stephanie De Sousa got the other.

Two days later, T&T fell three goals short of the CONCACAF qualifying record held by Jamaica (against Grenada, 21-0, on December 18, 2001) in trouncing St Vincent and the Grenadines 18-0. Cordner got five goals, while Karyn Forbes and Bianca Walker added three each.

Group “A” concluded with T&T once again missing out out on the CONCACAF scoring record as they pounded St Lucia 18-0. Cordner and De Sousa put in four goals each, while Douglas scored three.

With its three impressive wins, T&T progressed to the next round where they will more than likely battle with Jamaica, Suriname, Haiti and Dominican Republic for the lone spot to the CONCACAF Final Round Qualifiers.

Coming out of St Lucia, striker Kenya Cordner with 16 goals in three matches, team captain Aveanne Douglas, US-based Stephanie De Sousa, Bianca Walker and Karyn Forbes all had impressive performances while the entire group of defensive players must be credited for helping to keep a clean slate throughout the competition, a testament to the discipline.

Caribbean Football Union
— First round

Group A

St Lucia31115204
St Vincent & Grenada30031320

Tournament Results:

T&T 11 (Kenya Cordner 4th, 20th, 21st, 24th, 63rd, 68th, 75th, Aveanne Douglas 8th, 38th, 65th, Stephanie De Sousa 59th) vs GRENADA 0.

ST LUCIA 4 (47th, 54th, 67th, Shawis Wilson 80th) vs ST VINCENT & THE GRENADINES 1 (Akiria Samuel 83rd).

T&T 18 (Kenya Cordner 15th, 18th, 21th, 33th, 38th, Karyn Forbes 16th, 60th, 86th, Bianca Walker 45th, 47th, 78th, Aveanne Douglas 20th, 26th, Janine Francois 25th, Dernelle Mascall 37th, Candace Edwards 46th) vs ST VINCENT & THE GRENADINES 0.

ST LUCIA 1 (Shawis Wilson 56th) vs GRENADA 1 (Deslyn Langiagne 8th).

GRENADA 10 (Rockel Hood 3, Deslyn Langiagne 3, Kishanee Thomas 2, Lindonna Rennie) vs ST VINCENT & GRENADINES 0.

T&T 18 (Kenya Cordner 4, Stephanie De Sousa 4, Aveann Douglas 3, Ayana Russell 2, Stephanie Barrow, Janine Francois, Anastacia Prescott, Bianca Walker, own-goal) vs ST LUCIA 0.