Longstanding T&T women’s football team captain, Maylee Attin- Johnson has rejoined the national training squad for her “last hurrah” under head coach James Thomas.
The evergreen Attin-Johnson said, “It is an exciting feeling, I understand that representing my country is not a birthright. It is an honour and a privilege and I am just here to treat it as such. It is exciting to don the colours again and I am just looking forward to the games.”
Attin-Johnson was full of praises for Coach Thomas and credits him for her return to the national team. “I think coach James came in with no preconceived notion of me and he did not put me on a black list, so I am here.” She added, “Without a doubt, we have a coach that is player-oriented and he is going to fight for us. So many things that he is fighting behind the scenes for us that we as players may not see. I told him once he fights for us when we go out on the field, we are going to fight for him.” Commenting further on Thomas and his staff, she said, “They are doing a good job in scouting new talent and there are couple players if it does come to fruition we are going to be an exciting team and maybe even more exciting than 2014.”
The 35-year-old expounded on her experience thus far in the training camp under the new coaching staff. “This is a good start; obviously we would have liked some games in this window. However, some of the players are in season… so it will be difficult to have your core players together. Hopefully, come October when we do have a couple games before the tournament we will have everyone together.”
The outspoken Attin-Johnson hinted that other senior players and new players may join the squad by next month. She said, “We spoke with each other. We understand that this is it for us. It is our last hurrah and if we come together with our experience, with our knowledge and even with the talent that we can bring to the squad. We knew we had to come back and set a foundation, set a standard for the younger ones and just to help with the programme being successful again.”
The CONCACAF tournament is the qualifier to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia/New Zealand also the 2024 France Summer Olympics. The top two teams of each group will qualify for the World Cup, while the third-placed teams from each group will advance to the inter-confederation play-offs. In addition, the winners will qualify for the Olympics, while the second and third-placed teams will advance to the CONCACAF Olympic play-off.
The CONCACAF Groups are as follows:
Group A: Mexico, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda and Anguilla
Group B: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Saint Kitts and Nevis, US Virgin Islands, and Curacao
Group C: Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Bermuda, Grenada and Cayman Islands
Group D: Panama, El Salvador, Barbados, Belize and Aruba
Group E: Haiti, Cuba, Honduras, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and British Virgin Islands
Group F: Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Nicaragua, Dominica and Turks and Caicos