DESPITE suffering back-to-back defeats to Canada at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Tobago last week, Even Pellerud, the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation's technical director of women's football, is keeping faith in the national Under-17 women's team.
The T&T players are continuing preparations for the final round of CONCACAF qualifiers for the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in Azerbaijan.
Although the national Under-17s lost both matches against Canada by 3-0 margins, Pellerud felt the matches were a good preparation exercise for the Trinidad and Tobago girls.
The Canadians are highly rated, having posted a draw and a loss against Japan; a pair of wins against Mexico; and a draw against Germany since last August.
Against Canada, Pellerud played a fully home-based team captained by Anique Walker. Still to join the squad are North American-based players Emma Abdul, Diarra Simmons and Liana Hinds, who were all members of the T&T team at the 2010 Under-17 Women's World Cup hosted in T&T.
Pellerud credited Khadidra and Kadisha Debesette, Shenelle Warrick, Victoria Swift and Walker for their performances against Canada.
"The primary goal was to play a strong, world-class opponent and to test ourselves at this stage of our preparations. We played a very strong team in Canada and while we were defeated and conceded six goals in the two games I was still pleased with the way we played in some parts and how we defended against a team of the quality as Canada," Pellerud told TTFF media officer Shaun Fuentes.
"They (Canada) created very few scoring opportunities and maybe all of the goals were results of errors on our part. Canada had only one corner in the two games and they really couldn't get behind us too often in the games. What we have to work on now is to avoid committing too many unforced errors, as well as our offensive game. This will be priority for us in the remaining days leading up to the (qualifying) tournament. Overall, I thought it was a very good experience for this group," Pellerud added.
The national Under-17 women will continue training sessions before departing for Costa Rica on April 11 for a training camp, during which they will play three matches against club teams prior to another training camp in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from April 21. They will then head to Guatemala City for the CONCACAF Under-17 World Cup qualifiers from May 4-12.