The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has offered one-year retainer contracts to eight Women’s National Senior Team players, so as to allow them to focus full-time on duties with the Women Soca Warriors.
The eight players selected were captain and attacker Tasha St Louis, forward Mariah Shade, playmaker Dernelle Mascall, defenders Patrice Superville, Annalis Cummings, Anastasia Prescott and Ayana Russell and forward Natasha St Louis, who is the younger sister of the team captain.
The TTFA did not reveal the value of the contracts but they are believed to be in the range of TT$8,000 per month, which surpasses the average salary paid to men’s Pro League players. At present, the Women Warriors train as often as six days a week.
Head coach Carolina Morace selected the players based on her assessment of their performance, commitment and quality.
St Louis (T), Shade, Mascall, Superville and Prescott all started yesterday in Trinidad and Tobago’s goalless international friendly draw with Venezuela while Cummings and Russell were unused substitutes. St Louis (N) is injured at present.
The overseas-based players and students were not offered contracts but are expected to benefit from match fess and/or allowances once they return for training camps.
Shade told the TTFA Media that she was pleased with the unprecedented move for the women players.
“I believe that this is something very positive for us because I’ve been playing with the national team since I was thirteen,” said Shade, “and we have been working so hard and not really reaping any rewards and this [gives us some] security.
“A lot of of us don’t have jobs. We have degrees but we dedicate most of our life to football. So now we can feel confident that we can take care of business on the field and then outside we also have something to work with.
“It is something good for the programme and the future of women’s football.”
Canada-based defender Arin King also commended the TTFA on the move, which president David John-Williams said recognised the time and effort the women devote to their craft.
“We made history with these retainers contracts,” said King. “A lot of people do not know that women have it very hard. In the men’s game, they are getting pro contracts and have a foundation with a salary. But sometimes we come to practice on a hungry belly.
“For the women, it’s just great to have that stability and [we are] taking the programme to a next level with this.”
The Trinidad and Tobago women will play their second international match under Morace on Wednesday when they face Venezuela again from 7pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
(Trinidad and Tobago team)
Goalkeepers: 1.Kimika Forbes (GK), 21.Shalette Alexander (GK);
Defenders: 8.Patrice Superville, 3.Anastasia Prescott, 5.Arin King, 20.Lauryn Hutchinson, 15.Chevonne John, 2.Ayana Russell, 4.Crystal Mollineaux, 17.Annalis Cummings;
Midfielders: 11.Liana Hinds, 12.Ranae Ward, 7.Dernelle Mascall, 6.Nia Walcott, 14.Karyn Forbes, 18.Kelsey Henry;
Forwards: 19.Laurelle Theodore, 13.Shenelle Henry, 10.Tasha St Louis, 9.Mariah Shade, 16.Ke’die Johnson.
Coach: Carolina Morace