Cole Confident, Satisfied With Progress As U20s Finalise Preparations For Concacaf Qualifiers

Technical director, Lisa Cole (far left) gives instructions during training session on Wednesday. (Observer media photos)
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By Neto Baptiste

American football coach and technical director for women’s football here in Antigua, Lisa Cole, has expressed satisfaction over the progress of players currently preparing for the country’s participation in the Group C of the 2021 Concacaf Under-20 Championships in Curacao starting 15 September.

Speaking with Observer media at the ABFA’s training facility on Wednesday, Cole said the players have bonded well in recent weeks.

“We had some individual good players when we started but now we have a collective good team effort where you see players not trying to do things on their own but trying to combine and work for each other. We have a good idea about how we want to play in attack, how we want to transition to defense success that we are all on the same page,” she said. 

Antigua and Barbuda will face St Lucia and hosts Curacao in a three-team Group C where, following the round-robin play, the top three teams in each group will advance to the Round of 16, joining the four Qualifiers winners.

Cole said her only concern going into the group campaign is the lack of preparation matches which she said, was hampered by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“I think that, for us, would be the things that we’re missing. The ABFA has been doing a great job in terms of providing us the opportunities to train. We’ve been testing, we’ve been keeping everybody in a safe environment so that we can prepare but you don’t really know how good you are until you put yourself up against other opponents so that’s probably the one thing we’ve missed,” the TD said.

The championships will see participation from Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Suriname, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Curaçao, Dominica, Belize, Martinique, and US Virgin Islands.

Team Antigua and Barbuda is slated to leave for Curacao on Sunday. The ABFA is yet to name a squad for the championships.

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