New National Under-17 and 20 Women's football coach Richard Hood is already predicting difficult roads ahead for his teams, especially his U-20 players who will have to tangle with the giants of the CONCACAF region USA, Mexico and Canada, as well as emerging powerhouse Haiti for one of just two spots from the North, Central American and the Caribbean Football Federations tournament next month.
Hood in his first official meeting with the media on Friday at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Balmain, Couva revealed that both Panama and Costa Rica have been awarded the right to host the final round of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, which means only two teams will progress from next month's tournament in Santo Domingo, Domingo Republic.
The Soca Princesses have been drawn in a group with Panama, Haiti and the Cayman Islands, needing to be among the top three teams, since Panama will earn automatic advancement because of being the host of the final round.
Hood said he is anticipating that his girls will come out of the group phase, but they will have to see what they can do in the knock-out stage.
However, Hood who was part of the Women's programme back in 2010, has received some much-needed help from the T&T Football Association, which has agreed to send the U-20 team on a camp ahead of the tournament in Santo Domingo itself from February 11, where the team will play three matches against the Dominican Republic U-20 team, a club team, and another against a boys team, Hood said.
The Soca Princesses will then go into action on February 23 against the Panamanians.
A month later, the U-17s will spring into action in their qualifiers in March at a date and venue to be determined.
SOURCE: T&T Guardian