TOUGH TACKLE: Barbados’ defender Shonelle Als (right) tackling Guyana’s forward Calaigh Copland for the ball during the tournament. (Picture courtesy BFA)
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BARBADOS FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION technical director Ahmed Mohamed is confident the future of the women’s football team is bright.
He was speaking to MIDWEEK SPORT after the senior women’s performance in the Concacaf Caribbean Women’s Qualifiers in Guyana last month.
The Lady Tridents registered a 2-1 win over Suriname, a 0-0 draw against Guyana and were defeated 3-2 by Bermuda at the National Track and Field Facility at Leonora on the West Coast of Demerara.
“Going forward the team will have more youth players from the Under-17 national team, so it will be a mixed team. We are in the process of looking at how we can restructure the whole team, but they will remain more or less the same,” he said.
He said the girls intended to continue training for the Olympic Qualifiers scheduled for next year with some friendly games in between.
“We have some good upcoming players in the youngsters like Felicia Jarvis, Marissa King, Rianna Cyrus, and Caitlyn Padmore, who are 14, 16, 17, 18. it shows the kind of potential that team has. We also have powerhouses in Ashanee Thompson and Cadijah Mars, who are both 20, so we have talent. The team is quite equal, so if there is any injury or anything we can fit in a girl anywhere,” he said.
Despite the unfortunate outcome of the tournament, Mohamed said he was happy with the girls’ performance as they came up against some international players in most of the teams.
“When you see teams like Guyana having mainly international players, and we were able to hold our own against them, that is something positive, and says we have a bright future. The same thing with Bermuda, and we only had one overseas player. That is really good for us and I am proud of them,” he said.
Mohamed said although Guyana was their strongest competition, they were able to hold their own, even after the game against them was delayed by 50 minutes after a power outage at the venue.
“We had a good game against Guyana. We were the better team, and our main goal was if we don’t qualify for the second round make sure Guyana don’t qualify for the second round as well,” he said.
He said although there was a break down in the game against Bermuda, the team showed lots of progress.
“We started very well, and we won against Suriname. After that we were very confident to have a positive result against Bermuda. Unfortunately, the girls didn’t pay attention, and Bermuda got two goals in three minutes. That was the breakdown for us. We struggled and came back late in the game and Caitlyn [Padmore] came in and scored. We came back, but we hit the bar three times, and we further lost concentration,” he said.
“We had one last hope in the game between Suriname and Bermuda, and we were hoping at least they drew that we could beat Guyana and get to the second round. We did our job and Suriname didn’t do their job, and we didn’t qualify for the next round,” he added.
However, despite the outcome of the tournament, Mohamed is happy with the team’s overall performance.
“Seeing what I saw and the development of the girls, we had 11 games, and for those 11 games they were positive. We now have more motivation for the Olympic Qualifiers next year, where I am quite sure we will qualify for the second round,” he said.
The final round of the World Cup Qualifiers moves on to Jamaica, where Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago and host country Jamaica will put boot to turf to determine the three Caribbean teams to participate in this year’s Concacaf Women’s Championship, scheduled for October. (RA)