Sat, Sep

Ranae Ward

As the national Under-20 women’s team prepares for the CONCACAF Women’s Championship next month, Newsday profiles some of the players who will be representing this country. We chat with former SKHY FC star player Ranae Ward in this interview.

Bishop Anstey midfielder Ranae Ward has had a brilliant end to 2017 with victory in the National Intercol final earlier this month. After success with her school, Ward is eyeing more titles but this time in national colours.

Ward is part of the Jamaal Shabazz-coached team currently training for the 2018 CONCACAF Under-20 Championships that will be staged at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, from January 18-28.

Eight teams — T&T, United States, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Jamaica and Haiti – will be vying for three spots at the 2018 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, which will take place in France from August 5-24.

Ward, an 18-year-old central midfielder, was a member of the Bishop Anstey High School team that captured the 2017 Coca-Cola National Girls Intercol title with a convincing 6-0 thrashing of Pleasantville Secondary in the final on December 4, at the Ato Boldon Stadium. Ward was the star of the final, netting a hat-trick as Bishop Anstey dominated their rivals in every facet.

Ward described that moment as her most memorable experience in football.

However, she is setting her sights on furthering her career in football.

Asked about her immediate ambitions, Ward said, “Going to college (abroad) to play, but my ultimate goal is to play professionally.”

The Trincity resident revealed how she fell in love with the sport and began taking it seriously. “My parents (Joanne and Ralph) are heavily involved in the SKHY (Skeene Hyacenth) Football Club, so it’s natural that I went and play for them.” Apart from football, Ward has competed in taekwondo but has now put her focus strictly on football for T&T, her school and club St Ann’s Rangers.

She lists FC Barcelona as her favourite team while current Barcelona and Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta and United States’ Tobin Heath are the players she adores the most.

With regards to her free time, Ward noted, “I like to make videos.”

Describing herself as a free-spirited person, Ward made it clear, “I’m not as mean as I look.”

But she will need to possess a mean streak if she is to help guide the T&T team towards a spot in next year’s World Cup.