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Under17s Can Be Formidable

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Head coach of the National Under-17 Women’s team, Richard “Juggy” Forde still thinks the unit has the potential to be formidable, despite their defeat at the Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship.

The junior Lady Tridents lost both qualifiers at the IMG Academy, after falling 2-1 to Belize, despite a first-half lead, and subsequently losing the battle 2-0 to Curacao.

However, despite the two defeats, Forde says there is promise in the team setup and noted ways to improve for the future.

“I am a very optimistic person, and I am satisfied with what I have seen. We didn’t get the results we wanted but I was happy. I have seen some of these girls grow into the way we want them to play, which was pleasing to me. My only disappointment in the tournament is that we could not keep possession of the ball as well as I would have liked. This is a young team with a lot of 15-year-olds, and I think sometimes old habits come into play,” he said.

While Forde said they kept the ball well at times, created chances, and got in behind their opponents' defense, he said there were other things that could be built on.

“I am looking to the future with this team because if kept together they can do wonderful things for this country,” he said optimistically.

Forde admitted there were some areas where they needed help, and said even though he was the head coach, he did not see it as a one-man show.

“We need a strength and conditioning coach because I think fitness was one of the areas we lacked in the tournament. For me as a coach, it is not just a job for one person. You need other coaches who can bring a lot of experience to help the girls,” he explained.

He also noted that more international friendly competition for the team would assist with building sharpness and fitness heading into tournaments.

“My recommendation is to have the girls play a number of friendly games to keep them sharp going forward. Tactically, I think we kept our organization well, but these are things we still have to work on and improve in time with games. I believe a lot of friendly matches will bring them more up to speed,” he said.

Before the tournament, the young Lady Tridents were unable to play any friendlies due heavily in part to the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions, which also affected team training.  

“Having those games can give you as a coach a better insight of what you need to work on. Unfortunately, we did not have that, but that is no excuse. We can still move forward with this team once we keep them in training and continue our work with these young ladies,” he said. 

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