By the time the National Teams of Spain, Canada, Mexico and Republic of Ireland and Ghana touch down at the Piarco International Airport on 10:35 pm on Thursday, the full slate of countries appearing at the 2010 FIFA Under 17 Women’s World Cup would have been on local soil to head into their final bit of preparations ahead of their opening matches.
Earlier on Thursday, Brazil, Venezuela and New Zealand checked into their hotels at the Hilton, Trinidad and Crowne Plaza and are expected to have their first training sessions on Friday while hosts T&T and Chile are already gearing up for Sunday’s second match of the opening double header at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. Korea DPR will face Nigeria at 3pm while at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Germany will face Mexico from 4pm and Korea Republic will tackle South Africa from 7pm.
The FIFA and Local Organizing Committee staff are working round the clock to ensure that all is in place for the start of the tournament on Sunday with extensive operations being done at all stadia.
“We are honoured to now be hosts of all the competing teams for the tournament. From all accounts, they have all arrived safely and settling down so far and arrangements are in place for the arrivals of those who will be here on Thursday night. And we are working tirelessly to ensure that their stay is a most satisfying and comfortable one. The event is all about the competing countries and the players. They will be the main attraction of the tournament and it is important that we as a host nation recognize and acknowledge this,” LOC Deputy CEO Nataki Kerr said.
Head coach of one of the teams, Ghana’s Abraham Allotey has hinted that the team's two-weeks training tour in the United States has really been successful ahead of World Cup.
The “Black Maidens” are grouped alongside Canada, Brazil and the Republic of Ireland in Group D.
The team played five trial matches with colleges and universities, all of whom who had players ranging from age nineteen to twenty-two.
"Judging from the colleges and universities that we played against and the kind of opposition we had, I can confidently say that my girls have been exposed to the kind game they will be facing from teams in our group at the tournament" Allotey said.
"Officials must be commended for arranging these kind of matches for us, almost all the teams that we played exhibited similar qualities, thus, fast play, skills and the strength, something that our group opponents are noted for especially Canada" he added.
In all five matches played, the team scored a total of 13 goals and conceded six, something that somehow impresses coach Allotey considering the age difference of their opponents and their status as solid female college and university teams.
Touching on player confidence and morale booster, the coach was quick enough to shower praise on Patricia Ofori, Belinda Kanda, Basilia Amoa-Tetteh, Priscilla Mensah, Alberta Annan among other former Black Queens players paid frequently visit to their hotel and match venues to encourage the girls and have one-on-one discussions with them on what to expect at the tourney.
They urged the girls to remain discipline, stay focus and adhere to instruction given them by the technical, since with that they reach their target.
"More than ten of the players told me how confident they had become after their interaction with the former players and how they wished the tourney was to start the next day" Allotey said.
On his opponents, Allotey claimed he had watched few clips of the teams and will be ready to take on whatever comes at the his team. (Sept 2,2010)