Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 20 Women’s team continues its build up to the CONCACAF Under 20 Women’s championship with double sessions at the Hasely Crawford Stadium over the next couple days with head coach Jamaal Shabazz expected to announce the final squad to contest the qualifiers on Monday.
T&T will face off with Haiti from 7:30pm on Thursday January 18th at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, a match which will precede the opening clash between Canada and Costa Rica from 5pm.
One of the players in Shabazz’s squad is Canadian-born Alexis Fortune who has played for T&T since the Under 15 programme, being part of the Rajesh Latchoo coached-team that finished third in the CONCACAF U-15 Championship in 2014.
Fortune is relishing the chance to come up against Canada in Group A action on January 20th.
“I am really excited to play against Canada. I do not really know much about the other teams. I haven’t really heard anything about the Canada team but just working with this group alone I know that we have a lot of potential to do great things and I am really excited to see what will happen,” Fortune told TTFA Media prior to a session at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Fortune who is a graduate of Berkshire School in Sheffield, is grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Trinidad and Tobago’s Women programme.
“I am originally from Toronto and I started playing soccer since I was four and eventually I found success with it and it’s brought me here today. It means a lot to me to be able to play for Trinidad and Tobago especially in this Concacaf championship.
“I’m proving myself not only to my family but also to Canada because the system is so difficult there and I feel that more people should have the opportunity there and having this opportunity has given me the chance to prove myself to Canada and their programme and showing them my ability and my talent,” Fortune said,
She intends to stay with the T&T programme with an obvious sight on playing for the Senior Women’s Team.
“This will be my fourth competition with Trinidad and Tobago, I have been playing since the U-15s. I have played against some of the top teams in the world and I know what it takes to win,” said Fortune whose father is Trinidad and Tobago-born.
Commenting on the current squad, Fortune said, “I will describe this group as very lively. I love the team and I have played with a lot of them since I was younger. I think that we have a lot of talent in the team and hopefully that will help us pull through and show in the tournament and help us to do great things.”
Costa Rica meantime, T&T’s third match opponents on January 22nd , defeated Jamaica’s U-20s 1-0 on Wednesday in the first of two friendlies in San Jose. Group B in the upcoming competition comprises Jamaica, United States, Mexico and Nicaragua.
Jamaica, Mexico and the United States are the only teams to earn places in every CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship.
Here’s a look at each of the participating sides:
NORTH AMERICA (3)
Previous Appearances: 6 (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015) Record: 24W 1D 5L 84GF 16GA Rank: 2/16 Best Finish: Champion-2 (2004, 2008)
Previous Appearances: 8 (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015) Record: 22W 4D 12L 111GF 50GA Rank: 3/16 Best Finish: Runner-Up-2 (2010, 2014)
Previous Appearances: 8 (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015) Record: 34W 2D 2L 195GF 14GA Rank: 1/16 Best Finish: Champion-5 (2006, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015)
CENTRAL AMERICA (2)
Previous Appearances: 5 (2002, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2014) Record: 12W 3D 8L 58GF 54GF Rank: 4/16 Best Finish: Third Place-3 (2004, 2010, 2014)
Previous Appearances: 1 (2008) Record: 0W 0D 3L 2GF 11GA Rank: 12/16 Best Finish: Group Stage-1 (2008)
Previous Appearances: 3 (2002, 2012, 2015) Record: 2W 1D 6L 5GF 38GA Rank: 10/16 Best Finish: Group Stage-3 (2002, 2012, 2015)
Previous Appearances: 8 (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015) Record: 4W 6D 16L 38GF 61GA Rank: 6/16 Best Finish: Fourth Place-1 (2006)
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO (Host)
Previous Appearances: 7 (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2015) Record: 7W 1D 15L 32GF 75GA Rank: 5/16 Best Finish: Fourth Place-1 (2014)