Trinidad and Tobago’s senior women national footbal team will play Venezuela’s senior women’s team in two friendlies next month. The ‘Soca Princesses’ first host their Venezuelan counterparts on July 6 at Mahaica Oval, before meeting them a second time two days later at a venue likely to be the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.
The Trinidad and Tobago are one of several Caribbean teams seeking to utilise the expansion of the World Cup to 24 teams to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.
The CONCACAF region could for the first time have as many as four representatives at the world tournament. In addition to Canada qualifing as host, North, Central America and Caribbean region (CONCACAF) is guaranteed three automatic qualifying spots (up from two), while the fourth-placed finisher qualifies for a playoff for an additional spot.
From August 19-26, Trinidad and Tobago will host the 2014 Women Caribbean Cup which series as the final round of Caribbean qualifying for the World Cup in August. In preparation, the TTFA have arranged a month-long training camp for the team in Houston, Texas, USA, from July 10 - August 10 .
The Soca Princesses are currently engaged in training sessions three times per week at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, as they look ahead to the Caribbean Football Union final round of qualification towards the CONCACAF World qualifiers later this year.Coach Marlon Charles is currently overseeing the team’s preparations with a current 20-player training squad.
“Preparations are coming along quite well,” Charles said in an uintyerview with TTFA Media. “The key components we are focusing on at the moment is fitness and injury recovery barring the technical and tactical aspects of the preparations as we look ahead to the Venezuela matches and then the training camp in Houston,” he added.
‘’Most of the senior players are back home and they’ve all been part of the programme since age 11 or so. We have players who have been out on scholarships and are now back home and this is their last hurrah. They love the game and they are extremely committed to getting to the next World Cup.”
Charles said the 20 players in training now are all T&T-based but the door will be opened up following the Venezuela match with the likes of Swedish-based player Ahkeela Mollon and US-based forward Kennya Cordner expected to join the team in Houston.
“We will give every player the opportunity to vie for selection as we try to assemble the best team possible. I think the players realize that this is about the team and putting country first. They’re now about concentrating on what is best for the team and the country,” Charles added.
“The Venezuela matches are coming at an ideal time as we haven’t played together for some time but this will give us an idea where we’re at at this time and what needs to be worked on as we look ahead to the August tournament.”