By Neto Baptiste
Coach of the women’s national under-20 football team, Karen Warner, has spoken of a need for continuous training and development programmes if the country is to become competitive on the regional front.
Her statement comes on the heels of her team’s early exit from the CONCACAF Under-20 World Cup Qualifiers, after losing all of their Group A fixtures in Guyana last week.
“We’re really behind because most of the other countries are way ahead of us when it comes to preparations because most of the teams are way better than us so we have to go back to the drawing board and do what we have to do. We must have a team training continuously because that’s what’s taking place with the other teams,” she said.
Antigua and Barbuda lost their opener to group hosts Guyana by a 2-0 margin before going under 3-1 to St. Lucia. The Benna Girls were hammered 5-0 by Suriname before losing 5-1 to Bermuda.
Warner commended the players for their courage throughout the group encounters.
“Well, they were losing and they were not giving up, they were still fighting to the end and after every game we would have meetings asking them what they think about the game and what they think we should have done to make the game [performance] better. Everybody had an input and had something to say, so at least, they knew what their mistakes were and they know that in order to better themselves what they would have to do,” she said.
Warner, who is also a senior national footballer, said he has made recommendations to the football association on the way forward.
“One would be continuous training because most of the teams that beat us, beat us because they are together for years because I was talking to the coach of Barbados and she told me she had most of those girls from under-14 and they were in continuous training and if we were to do that with the talent that we have then it would be even better for us,” the coach said.
Guyana topped the group with 12 points following a perfect record of four wins from their quota of matches. St. Lucia finished as the other qualified team with nine points while Bermuda and Suriname had six and three points respectively. Antigua and Barbuda finished at the bottom of the standings without a point.