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Christmas jam: W/Warriors book six internationals in flurry of December fixtures

The “Women Soca Warriors” will have a busy Christmas period, as the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has reportedly confirmed the Women’s National Senior Team’s participation at the Natal Female International Football Tournament in Brazil this month.

Photo: Puerto Rico captain Delyaliz Amber (right) beats Trinidad and Tobago flanker Khadidra Debesette to the ball during 2016 Olympic qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Puerto Rico captain Delyaliz Amber (right) beats Trinidad and Tobago flanker Khadidra Debesette to the ball during 2016 Olympic qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

The Trinidad and Tobago ladies, according to informed sources, were offered the chance, on December 1, to replace Croatia in the four nation competition, after the European nation withdrew suddenly. The other competitors in the competition include Canada, Mexico and hosts, Brazil.

The TTFA’s decision to accept the invitation, which was revealed by the host nation, means that the Women Warriors will not only have two international matches away to the United States on December 4 and 10 in Hawaii and Texas respectively. But they must now also play Brazil (December 9), Canada (December 13) and Mexico (December 16) in the round-robin tournament, which ends with a final and third place play off on December 20.

Thus far, newly appointed TTFA president David John-Williams has been unavailable for comment.

Scheduling is an obvious headache for the TTFA, as the Women’s National Senior Team cannot get to Natal in time to face Brazil on December 9, due to a previous commitment against the United States, who are the FIFA World Cup champions and ranked number 1 in the world.

As a result, according to sources, newly appointed TTFA president David John-Williams brokered an arrangement to send a second string team to face Brazil on December 9 while coach Randy Waldrum and the first choice squad should arrive in Natal on December 12, just hours before they face Canada.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Ahkeela Mollon (centre) whips in a cross during their 2015 Pan Am contest with Argentina. The Trinidad and Tobago and Argentina teams played to a 2-2 draw. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Ahkeela Mollon (centre) whips in a cross during their 2015 Pan Am contest with Argentina.
The Trinidad and Tobago and Argentina teams played to a 2-2 draw.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Assistant Anthony Creece, who was ruled out of the US tour due to visa complications, will be in charge of the group that travels to Brazil, until Waldrum gets there.

So, the Women Warriors, who were training with just nine players two weeks ago and are unlikely to be in peak physical condition, are now scheduled to play five internationals against top opponents in the space of 16 days—exclusive of the fixture against Brazil by a make-up T&T team.

At present, the Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Under-20 Team is in Honduras for the 2015 CONCACAF Championship. The two island republic is drawn with Canada, Jamaica and the host nation and the top two teams advance to the semifinal round.

If the T&T squad fail to advance, it is expected that the majority of coach Jason Spence’s players will make up the Women Warriors outfit which faces Brazil.

Photo: Teenaged Trinidad and Tobago flanker Chevonne John (right) takes on Puerto Rico defender Adrianna Font during 2016 Olympic qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva. At present, John is with the Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team in Honduras. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Teenaged Trinidad and Tobago flanker Chevonne John (right) takes on Puerto Rico defender Adrianna Font during 2016 Olympic qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
At present, John is with the Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team in Honduras.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Brazil are ranked seventh in the world and have qualified for at least the Round of 16 of every FIFA Women’s World Cup since 1999. At present, Trinidad and Tobago are 48th in the world.

The Natal tournament also gives Waldrum a chance to test his charges against Canada, who his team must face again on 14 February 2016.

The Canada women are ranked 11th in the world but, if Trinidad and Tobago upset them next February, the Women Warriors are likely to avoid the United States and face Mexico instead in a semifinal play off to decide a place at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

FIFA ranks Mexico at 26th in the world.

John-Williams hopes to have the best players available to represent Waldrum and held a clear the air meeting yesterday with former team captain Maylee Attin-Johnson and manager Sharon O’Brien.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Maylee Attin-Johnson (left) tussles with United States attacker Alex Morgan (centre) while Tasha St Louis looks on during 2014 CONCACAF action in Kansas City. (Copyright Kyle Rivas/AFP 2014)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Maylee Attin-Johnson (left) tussles with United States attacker Alex Morgan (centre) while Tasha St Louis looks on during 2014 CONCACAF action in Kansas City.
(Copyright Kyle Rivas/AFP 2014)

Attin-Johnson has refused to play under O’Brien but John-Williams is confident that a compromise can be reached. Thus far, Attin-Johnson has not commented on the discussions.

AboutLasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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18 comments

  1. While it may be much needed match experience that’s a lot of games in such a short period of time

  2. Who is footing the bill for all of this btw?
    Is the US covering the cost for the US friendlies and Brazil covering the cost for the tournament?

  3. Good luck W/Warriors, stay strong!

  4. From no games to 100 in a week! Love it

  5. The new TTFA President certainly means business. He is off to a flying start.

  6. lol… well in all fairness, TT was a sub and the US friendlies were sign and sealed way before this so….

  7. Teflon Shawn, I guess we’re banking on our U-20 women not advancing in order to make it work! Lol.

  8. Gosh…scheduling headache..endurance, physical and mental challenges. Challenging, but not impossible. May be too late, but mental preparation is the key to staying on top. And always, all the support to the team. Please just give us your best, we will be proud and supporting you! The exposure can only serve in good stead for future development and training.