Trinidad and Tobago head coach Rajesh Latchoo is focused on a top four finish when the junior Soca Princesses compete in the inaugural Concacaf Under-15 Girls’ Championship, which runs from Wednesday to August 17 in the Cayman Islands.
At the group stage, Trinidad and Tobago will face Group B opponents Barbados (August 6), Bermuda (August 8) and Honduras (August 10). Latchoo felt that preparations had proceeded smoothly and his players were fairly match fit, having this season competed in the Premier Division of the T&T Women’s League of Football (WoLF). The 23-member T&T team consists of 19 home-based players, two based in Canada, one in the United States and the other in Germany. Latchoo revealed satisfaction with the level of progress he has seen from the locals, noting the team has a number of objectives in mind.
“Our target is to finish in the top four and we are also using this tournament as a measuring and evaluation tool for planning the next phase of our preparation for the 2016 Under-17 World Cup qualifiers," Latchoo said in an interview with Concacaf.com.
"We are working on bringing the local-based players to a level close to or above the foreign based. This has been achieved because most of the local clubs did good technical work with the players. "
Equally important in aiding player development have been the efforts of local women's football competition. Although bottom of the competition, the young T&T women have been competitive while playing against women sometimes 10 years older. They also improved as the season went along.
“In the last 10 years there has been an increase in the number of football academies, which has provided an avenue for more girls to start playing at a younger age,” noted Latchoo. “Before the WOLF League and female clubs, women's football development depended heavily on the national team programme.”