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Tuesday, September 4, 2018
T&T senior women team which qualified for the next phase—the Concacaf Women’s Championship which is schedule to be played from October 4-17 in Texas, USA. The team from front row—Kayla Taylor, from left, Kennya Cordner, Lauryn Hutchinson, Jonelle Cato, Natisha John, Natasha St Louis, Aaliyah Prince, Ayana Russell, Patrice Superville At back from left are Kimika Forbes, Karyn Forbes, Melissa Baynes, Rhea Belgrave, Naomie Guerra, Shawn Cooper (Assistant coach), Arin King, Jenelle Cunningham, Liana Hinds, Janine Francois, Saundra Baron, Ross Russell (goalkeeping coach), Anton Corneal (caretaker coach)

It is uncertain if caretaker coach of the T&T women’s team Anton Corneal will be retained going into the final round of the Concacaf World Cup Qualifiers in five weeks time, but Richard Quan Chan, chairman of T&T Football Association’s technical committee said he will definitely try to convince him to stay on.

The committee is expected to decide on the new coach this week. Corneal was scheduled to return from the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Round Qualifiers in Jamaica last night after a display that earned the Soca Princesses a place in the final with three wins in four matches.

Quan Chan said yesterday that he would try to meet with Corneal, another key member of the technical committee, by tomorrow to have discussions on the way forward, which could include him being retained as the coach.

“I intend to ask him if he will consider being the coach of the team, because, from the games I saw, the girls responded very well to his coaching, but he will have to decide if he wants to stay or if he has someone in mind to take over the coaching job,” Quan Chan said.

As it is, there are people interested in the job but Quan Chan said after a discussion with Corneal soon after the exit of Jamal Shabazz a month ago, a decision was taken to be very cautious about who to put in charge of the team.

“And Corneal has been the main man looking after this, so we will wait until he returns home to make that decision,” Quan Chan noted.

The T&T women, in spite of the challenges faced in getting all the players to train together before the CFU qualifiers, produced an excellent display in Kingston, defeating Cuba 3-2, Antigua/Barbuda 5-0 and Bermuda 3-0. Its only blemish came from a 1-4 loss to the host nation which also dethroned T&T as Caribbean queens.

Corneal said yesterday that his role as caretaker coach came to an end at the end of the tournament and it was now up to the TTFA and the executives to decide on what was the best situation moving forward into the next tournament.

“We are five weeks away from our next game, and there are lots of little hurdles to cross that need to be rectified. It was a tough tournament in the sense of putting the pieces of the puzzle together for a tournament where so many of the players are not training at home,” Corneal said.

“I am just happy for the girls that they got through and have given themselves a chance to play in the CONCACAF final leg.”

Apart from the Soca Princesses, group champions Jamaica and Cuba have also advanced to the final round where they will meet giants United States, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama in Texas, USA from October 4-17.



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