Former midfielder and inspirational captain of the T&T women`s football team, Maylee Attin-Johnson has rejoined the national training squad under head coach James Thomas.
Senior players Attin- Johnson and Lauryn Hutchinson were spotted in a training session at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, on Wednesday. The team will come up against their Caribbean counterparts Guyana, Dominica, Turks and Caicos as well as Nicaragua in Group F of the CONCACAF Championship Qualifiers during the months of November and April.
Commenting on the process of the selecting the training squad, James said, “As a coach, you always have a long list of players that you are selecting from, so there are players on your talent identification list and we want to look at players who haven’t been tested yet in international football so it gives us the opportunity of seeing those (players).”
The Welshman is impressed with the facilities and the set-up behind the scenes. He added, “The facilities have been great and as far as the players are concerned there are a few players that we selected for this camp that are unavailable whether it is injury or travel restrictions around the globe. So, we have a few players less than we anticipated, but football throws these things at you and it is how we adapt as a staff to make things happen.”
Speaking on the benefit of the training, he said, “It allows us to experiment with players, it allows us to experiment with the formation and the tactical side of the game a little bit to ensure our game plan. This camp has been very beneficial and is good to see some of the player who probably didn’t have that many opportunities over the last couple of years to show what they can do.”
The thirty participating countries in the tournament were drawn into six groups of 5 teams, and each team will play two home and two away matches in a single round-robin format. The six group winners will advance to the final CONCACAF tournament; joining USA and Canada who have qualified already based on their World Rankings.
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