Blessed To Be Back

Attacking player Lauryn Hutchinson sees her return from ‘retirement’ to the national team as a blessing and is “blessed”. Speaking at a recent training camp at the Ato Boldon Stadium, the 30 year old said it’s “been a long time and this will be my 11th year with the national team so it’s great to be home”. Lauryn Hutchinson, who is based in the United States recalled how she came out of what she thought was ‘retirement’. “The past is the past. It’s funny, in February I had a new trainer, I told him that I had retired and he said ‘you’re not retired’. I laughed at the time of course, because I hadn’t trained in three years. Now being in September-October, it’s a blessing to be back”.

Lauryn’s knees had been severely injured five years ago, prompting her retirement in 2016. She assured that is all in the past and she is better. “The knees have been healthy for 5 years which is great. The last time I was injured, it was in 2016 and I came back in 2018. I did my semi-retirement and I’m back again, healthy in 5 years”.

The experienced player met for the first time, coach James Thomas, who she praised, along with the technical staff. “Everything is different, it’s the details”. She praised the player-management relationship they have developed with all the players. “They have taken time to sit with every single player and show us what’s going to be happening in training, how we recover, how we feel and what’s happening in the future”. She said the level and credibility they possess it’s the best coaches she has worked with.

Hutchinson added that everyone starts at ‘zero’. “It’s huge. It means that everybody has a fresh slate, everybody has to earn her spot and everybody has a chance to have the best opportunity to represent the country which is a great feeling”. 

Hutchinson compared this team to the team that narrowly missed out on World Cup qualification in 2014. “I think every team is different, but I think a lot of us have gone through a lot in the past and what we’ve done is only given us experience to know what matters and what does not matter. What we need to do to be successful for the country and for our team”.

The World Cup qualifiers will take place in July 2022 and allow 4 teams from CONCACAF to the World Cup in 2023, plus 2 teams that will take part in the intercontinental playoffs. Hutchinson is happy about that development. “100% yes (happy). I love the new system, I love the expansion and the way they’ve done it. I think the qualifiers are a lot attainable for more countries in general”.