Arima-Born sixteen-year old Kelsey Henry is one of the youngest players on the current National Under 20 Women’s team roster. And already she has the experience of being based in the United States having been enrolled at Western Texas College after graduating from St Joseph’s Convent and St Augustine Secondary. She hopes to make the best of everything the game has taught her so far as she attempts to help this country secure its first ever qualification for the FIFA Under 20 Women’s World Cup.
Henry plays attacking midfield and is pressing for a spot in the final selection which head coach Jamaal Shabazz will announce this coming week as T&T prepares for its opening match of the CONCACAF Under 20 Women Championship against Haiti on January 18th at 7:30pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium, the Home of Football.
“I feel honoured to be a part of this team and it’s a great experience. Personally I just want to qualify for the World Cup and do my best in this tournament for my team. I’m just trying to work as hard as possible in every session and help the team in any way that I can as well as keeping a positive mindset throughout,” Henry told TTFA Media on Thursday.
Henry is pursuing a major in Biology, pre-med as she hopes to become a doctor with her sights also on staying active in the game either as a player or a team doctor.
“I got a football scholarship to go and study so I’ve been making the best of the opportunities
I started playing football at age 8 since the first day my dad asked me on a Saturday if I wanted to go play football and that’s what I was doing during my days growing up in Waterloo before we moved to Arima.
“It’s been tough being a footballer so far because I have no life really outside of football because I dedicate a lot of my time to it but I am enjoying every moment of it and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, And my mom is my everything and she has been there with me throughout. Everything I do is for her,” she said.
Reflecting on the preparations that the T&T team is undergoing, Henry said it’s been tough but enjoyable.
“The double sessions are hard because I am tired some days. I came from school in the US last month and I got to spend like two days with my family before I had to come into the training camp. So it’s hard being away from home but I know my family supports me so it’s fun being part of this.
I also missed home a lot in my first year in College in the US but it’s been a great experience and now being part of the National team is something I would not exchange for anything else right now,” Henry said.
T&T faces Haiti, Canada and Costa Rica inside a week from January 18th, hoping to secure one of three available spots from CONCACAF for the 2018 FIFA Under 20 Women’s World Cup in France.
“I have faith in this team and I believe we can do it. It’s going to be tough but I believe we have what it takes to get through the group stage and go onto qualify for the World Cup in France,” Henry concluded.