T&T’s prolific striker Kennya ‘Ya Ya’ Cordner was not selected among Kenwyne Jones’ 25-woman pre-tournament squad that left in the wee hours of this morning for a Mexican camp ahead of the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifiers which kicks-off from July 4-18 in Monterrey, Mexico.
The lethal Fenerbahce goalscorer, who decided to pull herself out of the squad, following a fall-out between Jones and her close friend and then-teammate Maylee Attin-Johnson in January, was included in a 40-woman squad that was submitted to the CONCACAF ahead of the tournament last week.
However, during a Press briefing on Tuesday Jones said that Cordner was not included as one of the 25 players that will participate in the camp before the team is trimmed to 23 for the qualifiers.
The team will leave in batches and will use the camp to acclimatise to the rugged Mexican conditions. “The local contingent and staff will be leaving here and the foreign-based will be leaving and we will all meet up in Mexico on Wednesday God’s willing. We’re having a pre-tournament camp from the 22nd to the 30th of June. We’re going out there to acclimatise and work on everything else tactically and get accustomed to the surroundings as we prepare for the tournament,” Jones said at a press conference on Tuesday, mere hours before the team left.”
Jones, a former national junior and senior team captain said, “The first game is the 5th of July, so we’re going out there and have a good eight days of camp and then we continue training after that with the 23 that are meant to be in the team for the tournament. We have a couple of games out there against a Mexican club. We will play them twice and then we will have an in-house game ourselves to kind of mirror the week of the tournament with the specific time in between matches and how the tournament would go for us.”
He pointed out some objectives of the camp, “So it would give us a chance to mimic what will go on for that week in terms of having to train in between, recover and play. It would give us a chance to see different combinations, different ideas and work tactically on things that we would like to put forward for the team during the tournament.”
Mexico City, for example, is not only 7,200 feet above sea level (that’s about a mile and-a-half up in the sky), it’s situated in a valley. Monterrey where the tournament will be hosted is in Mexico’s northern desert region with an altitude of some 3,000 feet, it experiences very hot weather in the summer.
The T&T team has been drawn in Group B alongside Canada, the 2020 Olympic champs, Panama and Costa Rica. The other group comprises the USA, Mexico, Jamaica and Haiti. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the FIFA World Cup in Australia and New Zealand from July 20- Aug 20, 2023.
T&T will open its campaign against Canada at the Estadio BBVA on July 5 and will next face Costa Rica at the Estadio Universitario on July 8, before completing the group stage with a clash with Panama at the Estadio BBVA on July 11.
Jones told the media he did not get all the players he would have wanted but he is satisfied that the players he has and the final squad to be chosen for the qualifiers will take the country to the World Cup.
“Up to this point, I am very satisfied. It had one particular player that we had to make a decision on that couldn’t join us for the sake of themselves and ourselves as a team and as an association. It is not an issue I would like to raise because there are still some precautions to be met by the player. We had to omit her from the squad but everyone else I am very satisfied with. We did a lot of work to get some new players in, which can add some new dimensions to the squad right now. It is the best that we have right now, hopefully, that takes us to the goal at hand,” Jones explained.
Kimika Forbes (Unattached), Chelsi Jadoo (Valadares Gaia FC (Portugal), Rhea Belgrave (Police FC (TnT), Shaunalee Govia (Unattached), Shadi Cecily Stoute (University of Georgia (USA), Liana Hinds (Hibernian FC (Scotland), Victoria Swift (Unattach), Amaya Ellis (John Hopkins University (USA), Raenah Campbell (Unattach), Asha James (West Texas A&M University (USA), Chelcy Ralph (Ball State University (USA), Karyn Forbes (Police FC (TnT).
Kedie Johnson (University of Louisiana Monroe. (U.S.A), Cayla Mc Farlane (Harvard Unviersity (USA), Maya Matouk (Police FC (TnT), Maria-Frances Serrant (West Texas A&M University (USA), Sarah De Gannes (Western Illinois University (USA), Lauryn Hutchinson (Unattach).
Edna Konte (University of Connecticut (U.S.A), Tenesha Palmer (Police FC (TnT), Klil Keshwar (St. Francis College (U.S.A), Tori Paul (George Mason University), Makida Herbert (Corban University (USA), Jolie St. Louis (Seattle University (USA), Brianna Austin (Florida Atlantic University (USA)
Kenwyne Jones (Head Coach), Carlos Edwards (Assistant Coach), James Baird (Goalkeeper Coach), Joanne Daniel (Team Manager), Anyl Gopeesingh (Team Doctor), Rejan Chin (Rehab Specialist), Terry Johnson-Jeremiah (Equipment Manager).
Atiba Downes (Strength and Conditioning Coach), Andre Sooklal (Media Officer and Video Analyst), Alexandria Olton (Sport Psychologist), Dean Tuitt (Trainer), Kylla Charles (Massage Therapist).