September 28, 2007

Mission not impossible for Under-23 female footballers

This country’s Under -23 female footballers have the hard task of overcoming host Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada, as they seek to advance to the next round of the Olympic Qualifiers.{{more}}

The Vincentians open their campaign on Tuesday evening against Suriname, followed by their match up against the fancied Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday, and complete their outing against Grenada on Sunday, October 7.

Admitting that the qualifiers will be no walk over, Coach of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines team Seamus Mc Carthy said he was “cautiously optimistic” of the team’s chances.

In charge of the female programme since October 1, 2005, Mc Carthy foresees the Tournament as “tough and demanding ‘, but believed it could be the spring board for the future development for women’s football here.

The loss of some key players because of migration and disinterest have left Mc Carthy and with a smaller core of players to chose from.

This, Mc Carthy said, caused some players to become complacent.

“This group of players has only switched on in the past two weeks as the Tournament drew nearer” he observed.

“We are not as ready as we were in May of last year when we went to Trinidad, but we can still hold our own”, Mc Carthy said.

The Irish born Mc Carthy expects, though, for them to be ready by 2009, when the senior world cup qualifiers begin.

“What we have here are those who started in the programme two years ago, but their skills have improved”, Mc Carthy observed.

He disclosed that the Suriname trip will be one of adjustment for his charges, as they will have to contend with an artificial surface, something they have never been exposed to.

Mc Carthy was happy, though, that he got the use of the Sion Playing Field for two weeks, which he said helped tremendously in the girls’ passing ability.

The team, which leaves here this Sunday includes goal keepers Shannique De Shong and Asha Richardson, defenders Alicia Pilgrim, Kemisha Stevens, Aikira Samuel, Ladonna Woodley, Roxanne Hannaway and Mishka Quashie.

The midfielders making the trip are Amelia Timm, Matika Ferdinand, Samantha Carrington, Ria Trimmingham, Keisha Morgan, Janeille Browne and Natalie Cato.

Strikers Shadel Cyrus, Arima Franklyn and Jessica Miller complete the list of players selected.(RT)