Dana Cup officials laud Concacaf U-20 Championship

Holds discussion with TTFA TD

Former Australian international player Alison Leigh Forman has lauded the organisation of the CONCACAF Under 20 Women’s Championship and the standard of football throughout the tournament which concludes today at the Ato Boldon Stadium with the Final between United States and Mexico and the third place playoff involving Haiti and Canada.

Forman is the marketing manager of the internationally renowned youth football tournament in Denmark, the Dana Cup and she and a contingent of officials from the Dana Cup visited T&T last week to witness some of the group phase games and hold discussions with local officials. Forman and Dana Cup director Jette Anderson, a former Denmark national women’s player, met with TTFA Technical Director Anton Corneal to discuss the possibilities of having teams from T&T at the Dana Cup as well as potential opportunities for women players at their club ad academy  in Denmark.

“I think it’s fantastic,” Forman said about the current tournament. “I think the qualify of the women’s game is just getting higher even from the 17s, 19s, 20s and up to the senior level. I think this tournament has been fantastic with good organisation and quality of football and we are looking forward to seeing a couple more games,” Forman said.

She was also complimentary of the facilities at Couva and amazed at the fact that T&T had five football stadiums, also pointing out to the nearby Aquatic Centre and Cycling Velodrome in close proximity to the Home of Football.

“I think it’s fantastic that you have all these facilities and we are seeing things taking place such as this tournament. It brings a sense of comfort and excitement to see things happening. You have some fantastic facilities here for such a small country,” she said.

“We thought it was a fantastic opportunity to come here to discuss a potential relationship with our organisation and yours and to also discuss with some of the other teams here,” she added.

The Dana Cup, established in 1982,  is the third largest youth tournament in the world where 1100 teams from 45 countries come together to play in Denmark in July every year. Teams come from Brazil, USA, Mexico, Germany, Sweden, England, Norway, Portugal, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Ivory Coast, England, France, Turkey, Venezuela, Wales, South Africa, Holland, Iceland, Haiti and Argentina to name a few.

T&T’s Aaliyah Prince challenges for a ball in the first half between the hosts and Costa Rica.Photo/Concacaf.

Forman is also looking to create opportunities for local women players.

“We have an academy and a club that caters for women players so we have held discussions about possibly taking over a couple of your national players to provide them with a platform for a career in the game over there and obviously to help develop and promote these players which in turn will help both of our programmes,” Forman stated,

Forman played for Australia at the 1995 and 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup as well as the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.

The current championship has attracted scouts from several US Colleges. And inspite of the host team’s failure to advance beyond the group stage, there has been a level of accomplishment felt by the players, among them T&T forward Dennicia Prince who scored two goals against Haiti and Costa Rica.  “It was disappointing from the point of view where we lost all three games but I felt really good to be part of such a prestigious competition and being able to score two goals. The games were seen in a lot of countries and hopefully this will create more opportunities for us as players in women’s football to better our lives and our careers going forward. I am really grateful for the chance to play for Trinidad and Tobago and I will cherish this experience,” Prince said.

Photo caption: TTFA Technical Director Anton Corneal with Dana Cup marketing manager and former Australian player Alison Leigh Forman (right) and Dana Cup director Jette Anderson (left).