U-14 girls savour CFU Challenge Series experience

This country’s Under 14 girls will resume training following a two-week break after completing their first international tourney on Tuesday night in the Caribbean Football Union U-14 Girls Challenge Series in Couva.

The T&T girls won two matches convincingly against Grenada and Suriname before losing to Cuba 2-1 on the final matchday to finish runners up in Group 5 behind the Cubans.

Head Coach Marlon Charles said the preparations will continue later this month for the CONCACAF U-15 Girls Championship next year.

“Overall It was a good exercise for us and I was particularly pleased with the way the girls took on the challenge of playing their first set of games in front of the public. When you see a set of young players giving everything for their country on the field of play it leaves you with a sense of satisfaction and encouragement of what there is to look forward to,” Charles told TTFA Media after Tuesday’s match,

“These girls have showed me the hunger and desire to do well for country, to get back up no matter what the score in the game is as they showed in the second half against Cuba. I cannot fault them for the effort they gave after going behind 2-1. There is a lot of work to be done still but it’s a process and the good thing for us is that we are seeing good signs and a willingness to work and improve. This augers well for us. The development part is the main thing at this stage and we are seeing some form of progress,” Charles added.

Breana Smith on the move against Grenada. Photo: Daniel Prentice/CA-images

Prolific scorer Breana Smith who scored six goals in the first two matches said she was delighted to have the opportunity to represent her country.

“It was an unbelievable experience. It was a dream come true for me to come on the field and score five goals in my first game. I would like to thank my coach Marlon Charles and Keron Hinds because I was always one of those players in the back of the squad and they started to push me and things stated to get easier for me. They helped give me that belief that I could go out and do something.

“We have a style of play that involved a lot of ball possession and I think that was important for us to understand,” Smith added.

Nikita Jackson against Grenada.

US-based forward Nikita Jackson returned to her home base in Texas on Wednesday but not before declaring her love for T&T.

“It was an amazing experience being able to wear the colours of Trinidad and Tobago and even greater to score for the team. I had been to Trinidad before but I really didn’t know what to expect this time because it was my first time playing with the team in a tournament. But I came in and it was just a great period.

“I just love playing for Trinidad and Tobago. I definitely want to continue playing and being part of this amazing experience with everyone. I know there’s more work for us to do as a team but I’m looking forward to every bit of it,” Jackson said.