Former National Women’s Football captain Maylee Attin-Johnson is back in the national team and sees the national set up as a fresh start. Although the Cocorite native has not played competitive football in close to five years, before running out with the Atlanta Panthers this year, she is confident the team will do well under a coach who has no pre conceived ideas of the players. While Attin-Johnson admits she is no longer a spring chicken, she “still looks and runs like a thirty-year old” indicating she can still run around with the younger women in the team.
Attin-Johnson quit the team in 2016 along with Kennya Cordner and Ahkeela Mollon, under the tenure of Italian coach Carolina Morace and has not suit up for the Soca Warriors since, while Kennya Cordner had returned to the team previously. Attin-Johnson had been vocal against the TTFA mis-steps, most notably under the tenure of former TTFA President David John-Williams, who she once accused of derailing the progress of the Women’s Football programme.
Attin-Johnson said the coach, James Thomas, is ‘player oriented’ and “he is going to fight for us, we have a GPS vest for the programme now and so many things that he is fighting for behind the scenes for us as players may not see but I know for a fact with the conversations with him. I told him once he fights for us, we are going to fight for him on the field.” She added that Mr. Thomas “did not pre-judge anyone. He allowed everyone to get an opportunity to prove themselves and that’s amazing. He came with an opened mind, objectively and he’s going to choose the best players to represent our country”.
The National Women’s team, back in 2014, were 5 minutes from their first World Cup appearance when they conceded a late goal against Ecuador in the playoff with CONMEBOL after finishing 4th in CONCACAF. That team finished 4th in the CONCACAF Gold Cup behind, USA, Costa Rica and Mexico. They had creditable matches in the tournament, losing ‘only 1-0’ to the mighty USA and losing 4-2 to Mexico after a 2-2 draw. Attin-Johnson said while that team had the best chance to qualify for the World Cup, she did not write off this team’s chances. “Looking forward now, this is our best chance to qualify with those automatic and playoff spots. I think for us, it’s just to prepare. The coaches, the technical staff that were put together, they are meticulous and precise with the information they have. The coaches knowledge and appreciation of it is awesome”. She adds apart from herself, many of the players in that team are now in their prime.