Sat, Feb


Anastasia Prescott grew up in Red Hill extension, Morvant — a stone’s throw away from her former Malick Senior Comprehensive Scool team’s captain, Nadia James.

Never did she know that one day she would be wearing the school colours of Malick – not just in the classroom, but on the football field and helping to uplift the school’s slogan of “Proud to be Malick,” which greets all comers to the school compound at Coconut Drive, Morvant.

In fact, it is through that same sport that Prescott has jumped into the limelight at Malick, after being named the 2004 Secondary Schools Football League female “Player of the Year” at the awards function recently.

Before her days at Malick, Prescott, born June 27, 1987, was more involved in lawn tennis and cricket at Morvant Anglican Primary School. “I also pitched a lot of marbles,” she added.

But when Prescott enrolled at Malick, she dropped lawn tennis and cricket.

“I really had my mind set on playing basketball.

“However I was afraid to join the team because I figured the girls would not accept me on the team,” she said.

But the temptation was too much.

She recalled: “There was a call over the PA system for all the girls involved with the team to start training for the Secondary Schools Football League season.

“Even though I was afraid, I decided to go.

“I carried along a friend, Adeine Francis, but after a few sessions she dropped out of the sessions.”

Prescott said she enjoyed the training and had lots of fun.

She was chosen by school coach Stephen Smart for the 2001 SSFL season, but despite being among the final 22 players, she saw little playing time.

“I was still green, so I was on the bench a lot, but the next season I got my chance,” she recalled.

Luckily for Prescott, she had the full backing of her father, Kirt “Kempes” Prescott, and her mother, Rosamaria Prescott.

Added support came from her uncle Williard and aunt Deborah Prescott, who like her father played the sport passionately.

During the first part of her debut season, Prescott was used at right back but shewas shifted to right wing as Malick won all the major crowns.

These included the National RBTT Inter-Col and British Gas Secondary Schools Football League “Big Five” crown.

That team included national Under-19 players Tenekar Alexander, Nadia James, Niasha Reyes, Nisa Goodridge and Afiya Castle.

Prescott boasted: “We went into every match knowing that we would win; it was just a matter of by how many goals.”

Looking backat her past, Prescott is proud that during the two years, she has received only one yellow card.

“I did not even feel I deserved that card.

“I remembered it well, Maylee Attin-Johnson tripped over her own feet, but I was close and the referee said I tripped her,” she related.

Prescott scored her first goal in 2003 and went on to do the hattrick. “Coach Smart used me mainly as a play-maker, so my chances at scoring were very limited,” she said.

The goals seemed to boost her confidence and she was eager to get a spot in the national youth team.

“I was not called for training by coach Jamal Shabazz, but the members of the team who were at Malick told me to come along, so I did.”

However, she was not selected.

“I was not disappointed because the girls selected were better players than me,” she admitted.

Prescott would again go to national trials after being invited this time by coach Shabazz and she was selected in the team for the CONCACAF Under-19 Women’s World Youth Championships.

“The 2003 SSFL school season was another easy one for us,” boasted Prescott.

So it was indeed as the Malick girls made it look simple on the field as they again won all four major titles at stake in the SSFL league.”

Real Dimension also enjoyed a good season in the T&T Women’s Football Federation’s Senior Division league.”

However, she admitted to having to cope with a lot of rough play.

“Schools football and the T&TWFF league” are two separate ball games.

“It was very tough, playing against those bigger women, and coming across rougher players.

“There was also a lot more work for me to do on the field as compared to playing with Malick,” she said.

Last season (2004), Prescott, a Form Five repeater, netted four goals to carry her career tally to seven in three seasons.

She was forced to repeat Form Five CXC examinations because of national team duty at the CONCACAF tournament in Edmonton, Canada in 2003.

Prescott was also selected among the top five players in the SSFL.

Back then, former school captain Nadia James was voted the league’s MVP.

The first time she was selected in the SSFL girls’ All-Star team came as a big surprise for the slim built defender.

But being named in the 2004 All-Star and then among the ‘Top Five’ players was due reward for her hard work put in during the year. Prior to Anastacia being named the SSFL’s top women’s player, Chinaka Springer, a close friend of Prescott, kept teasing her at school, saying she would get the top award.

Looking back at the awards function she said: “When my name was eventually called among the ‘Top Five,’ it felt great, but winning the MVP ahead of my captain Afiya Castle was not expected, honestly.

“I was very overwhelmed, but i just felt that Afiya should have won it.”

“She (Afiya) has been playing the game longer that me, in addition to being a good player and team leader.”

As for her future plans,”firstly I will like to be part of a league that makes women’s football proud in T&T, to make the supporters acknowledge our talent, and make them understand that we need their support, not only when we are winning, but especially when we are losing.

“It means a lot to us female players to get people to come out and support us, because without the supporters the sport cannot reach anywhere”

A devoted Christian and member of the Morvant Church of Christ was high in praise for the support shown by her family.

“My parents and the rest of my family are very supportive of me playing the game while my granddad could be my biggest fan.

“Granddad Grafton (Prescott) comes to most of my matches, whether its with the national team, school or club,” she disclosed.

Among her ambitions, Prescott says she would like to make her country very proud and to obtain a scholarship.

With regards to the national team, she says she intends to be see T&T women’s team participate in a World Cup Tournament.”

Repeating her words with a look of certainty on her face, she said: “Yes, a World Cup, because I feel we have the talent among the girls to get there,” she said. On the international football scene, Prescott idolises Brazilian left-back Roberto Carlos, who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid. She even wears the same No. 3 on her jersey as him.