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Trinidad and Tobago Women's U-20 team pose for a photo before a 2022 Concacaf Women's U-20 Championship Group Stage match against Canada on Tuesday March 1st 2022 at Estadio Pan Americano in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic.

TRINIDAD and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) technical director Anton Corneal has identified three key areas he thinks can be improved to help further develop the national women’s Under-20 football team.

Corneal spoke on Wednesday after T&T’s Concacaf Women’s U20 Championship exit one day prior.

The squad finished winless at the bottom of group G as they lost out to hosts El Salvador 3-0 in their opening match on Friday, 7-2 against St Kitts/Nevis on Sunday and then a 5-0 thrashing against group leaders Canada on Tuesday.

Corneal, who served as technical director, was reappointed in early February. While he awaits the team’s post-mortem report from head coach Jason Spence, Corneal believes proper discussion and planning are the way forward for the women’s U20 team.

“We will chat with the coach on his return. We will look at the report coming out of the tournament. We are very aware of some of the challenges before even going into the tournament. We have to see what’s best at this time, to make sure that we are able to address some of the challenges.

“A league (domestic) system to ensure our players are always playing, assisting more in the scouting of players outside of the country and giving the team sufficient preparation going into similar tournaments: all this would be discussed and we would find the best possible ways to assist,” he said.

Before Corneal’s reappointment, he expressed concern, in November over the unpreparedness of the U20 team, and targeted the lack of a squad, technical staff and competition. A month later, Spence and four other were appointed as team staff.

He lamented the team’s pre-tournament prep and said this played a central role in their mediocre performance at the Concacaf tourney.

“If you don’t have the necessary preparation, it’s difficult to get the required result, very difficult. And at times, it’s not any one area. So we can’t look at coaching staff, players or administration, we were in unfamiliar times of what could be done and what cannot be done,” he added.

Now, with national sporting organisations permitted to resume competition, with restrictions, Corneal is hoping this window of opportunity can be used to maximise the team's effort and output.

“Hopefully we can look forward now, in hope of the pandemic slowing down, and allowing teams to do a little bit more.

“It’s what’s best for the country. It’s never pointing fingers at a coach or anyone. We have to look realistically of what are some of the issues.

After the devastating loss to St Kitts/Nevis – the lowest ranked team in the tournament – on Sunday, TTFA normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad said the results was a “difficult” one and “not where we want to be.”

Hadad added that he would work alongside Corneal to “ensure the necessary steps are implemented to move forward positively.”

SOURCE: T&T Newsday