‘Lady Jags’ to face Grenada in CFU Women’s Challenge Series today
Head Coach of the National Senior Women’s Team, commonly known as the ‘Lady Jags’, Dr. Ivan Joseph, said the team is ready for the first match of the CFU Women’s Challenge Series against Grenada, scheduled for the Ato Boldon Stadium at 16:00h today (Wednesday).
Dr. Joseph pointed out that even though the team is ready, the focus will be on identifying the tactical and technical aspects of the players. He revealed this in an interview following the team’s almost hour-long first technical session held on the lawns of the team’s hotel on Tuesday in Trinidad and Tobago as they prepare for the first of three matches in the series.
According to Dr. Joseph, as the ‘Lady Jags’ rebuild, the focus of the tournament is on development.
“I’m really concerned with whether our players can execute the established systems. The outcome and the results of that game are irrelevant. Does our Right Back stay wide? Does our Centre Back hold the centre of the park? Does our Goalkeeper collect the balls in the air? Does our team have speed that I don’t know of? Are the players fitter than I thought? Those are the things that I’m looking to really find out and no matter the opponent, I’ll be able to draw those conclusions at the end of the game or, at least, be a long way towards finding those answers.”
Dr. Joseph said he is “pleasantly surprised about the technical ability of the team” thus far and is very impressed about the team cohesion established.
“I am impressed with how well and how open the players are to really mingling and getting to know each other. I can see them making a considered effort to get out of their traditional groups and we see a nice inter-mingling and mixture of players trying to build a cohesive and tight team.”
Meanwhile, GFF’s Technical Director, Ian Greenwood, said he was pleased that the priority areas of the women’s national programme are being achieved.
“The GFF has established key performance indicators for the women’s national team, including integration of the new staff structure (international and Guyana).
“I think this is the first time we’ve had such a comprehensive, qualified and experienced staff so we are looking forward to how these elements will blend together and really drive the programme going forward. There is a mix of players who have experienced international football before, some have played U-17 international football and, for others, it’s a brand new experience for them so we will be looking at how they blend and adapt to the rigors and requirements to play senior international football.
Standards are being set by the National Team very early so all the players understand what’s expected of them; the key message to all of the players is to earn the right to wear the badge.”
While no physical training session was conducted on the first day of the team’s arrival, there were player and technical staff familiarisation group sessions and an excellent large group team bonding session, the first step to build a strong and competitive team.
The sessions were facilitated by Dr. Joseph. Team cohesion is among the priorities of the Head Coach.
“A strong indicator of how important this is we’re about to have our first practice and our first practice isn’t with the ball, it’s just about getting to know our team mates and building relationships. You don’t put it at the front if it isn’t the most important thing and, to me, if your team isn’t willing to play for each other, if they are not willing to follow your coach and support each other, especially when you’re bringing such a diverse background of ladies together, then we’re down before we even get started.”
The ‘Lady Jags’ arrived in Trinidad and Tobago on Monday and will play two other matches of the tournament against Suriname on April 27 at 16:00h and host Trinidad and Tobago on April 29 at 17:30h. All matches will be held at the Ato Boldon Stadium.