Last update: 09-Dec-2013 11:04 am
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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T&T hockey women off to Pan Am Cup
Despite uncertainty surrounding their financial situation, T&T women’s hockey team will leave today for Mendoza, Argentina, to compete in the eight-team Fourth Women’s Pan American Cup from Saturday to September 28. Up to late yesterday, TTHB president Douglas Camacho was still in search of funds to make up the close to $500,00 which the trip is expected to cost.
Paragon’s Alanna Lewis leads the team, to be coach by former national goalkeeper Glen “Fido” Francis. Ten other players who were part of the T&T squad which ended fifth out of six teams in the FIH World League Round Two qualifiers held in Rio de Janeiro, in March are in the squad. They included Blaire Wynne, Avion Ashton, Teresa Lezama, Zene Henry, Brianna Govia, Elise Olton, Kayla Brathwaite, goalkeeper Jeneille Carrington, Kwylan Jaggassar and Brittney Hingh.
Back then, the world 26th ranked T&T came up against Brazil, Chile, Scotland, Uruguay and USA and ended in fifth spot, however in Argentina, T&T will first do battle with the host country, the three-time reigning champions who are ranked second in the world, Guyana (56th) and Canada (23rd) in Pool A round-robin play. Pool B consist of USA (10th), Chile (18th), Mexico (31st) and Uruguay (36th). The winner of this tournament will qualify for next year’s FIH Hockey World Cup to be held in The Hague, Netherlands while the top six teams will qualify for the 2017 Women’s Pan American Cup. Teams placing seventh to eighth will be demoted to the 2015 Women’s Pan American Challenge. This will mark the third appearance for T&T at the competition after missing out on the 2001 edition held in Kingston, Jamaica where Argentina defeated USA for the gold, the first of three such meetings between both countries in the competition’s history. The “Calypso Stickwomen” have a best ever finish of fourth, in 2009 in Hamilton, Bermuda after a 2-1 loss to Chile in the bronze medal contest.
The local squad which has three surviving players from 2009 in Lezama, Wynne and goalkeeper Anastasia Netto suffered a 7-0 loss to the Argentines back then, while they were eighth in 2004 in Bridgetown, Barbados with Lewis, Thompson and Wynne part of that team. Having coached the senior men’s team to a historic Pan American Cup bronze medal in Brampton, Canada, last month with a 3-1 defeat of USA all eyes will be Francis and his team as they look to create some history of their own. However, speaking earlier last week Francis was cautious about the team’s chances as she said it was a very youthful one with nine players being current members of the national Under-21 squad. He said, “We are going to the tournament to compete as best as we can without setting any high expectations for ourselves. This is a very young teams and for us this tournament is about development.
The T&T coach while admitting his team is in a tough group, said it was still possible to get to the semifinals, providing things go in their favour. “Our group having Argentina and Canada is going to be tough. “We play the Argentines first up and they will be at home so we expect to be put under a lot of pressure. But we then play Guyana who we should beat and then meet Canada in what we expect to be the second placed decider in our group.” Francis added, “It’s a young crop and with the experience players like Lewis, Blair Wynne and Kristin Thompson we should do a decent job and give a good account of ourselves, but at the same time I don’t intend on putting too much pressure on them with regards to expectations.”
Team: Anastasia Netto (GK), Jenielle Carrington (GK), Alanna Lewis (captain), Blair Wynne (Vice Captain), Avion Ashton, Kwylan Jaggassar, Kristin Thompson, Teresa Lezama, Elise Olton, Amie Olton, Zene Henry, Brianna Govia, Tamia Roach, Kayla Brathwaite, Dana-Lee De Gannes, Amanda George, Brittney Hingh, Tamara De Nobriga.
Technical staff: Glenn Francis (coach), Nicholas Wren (assistant coach), Sharon De Freitas (manager), Nicholas Baldeosingh (IT Specialist), Karielle De Bique (physiotherapist), Kevin Macintyre (massage therapist), Dr. Zynul Khan (doctor), Amanda Johnson (sport psychologist)
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