Coach of the senior women’s football team, Vincent “Nabu” Samuel, said the absence of five regular starters for the ongoing CONCACAF Women’s Qualifiers in Jamaica has significantly hampered their chances of success.
The team is without starting defenders Marley Jarvis, Jahira James and Britney Edwards alongside midfielders Tritichann Grant and Shakea O’Garro.
O’Garro and Edwards were however expected to join the team this week.
“We are tagged against opposition that are definitely at a level above us at this point in time because how could we expect to have six or seven players from an original team not here with us at this point in time and then we expect wonders from this team,” he said.
Antigua and Barbuda were hammered 9-0 in their opening contest against Jamaica before falling 7-0 to Cuba.
Samuel said the situation caught him unawares and created a scenario where he was forced to make last minute changes to the squad.
“Well, the reality is that I knew this when we selected the team, individuals pulled out when we selected the team, just four days before we travelled individuals pulled out. Individuals that were actually playing the last practice game we played against the under-15s and when we had selected the team, the individuals pulled out at that point in time so that left me with a situation where I had to call back players for us to travel,” the coach said.
“Individuals are now trying to pursue an education, it’s their first year of college and we have to respect that and as an executive body they [ABFA] respected that so I had to move with the forces I had at that point in time,” he added.
Antigua and Barbuda currently sit at the bottom of the group without a point. They are slated to return home on Friday.