The Trinidad Guardian / T&T’s senior women’s footballers are completing their final few days of preparations before departing for Colombia to contest the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Barranquilla.

The team, being coached by Jamaal Shabazz will open its Group B account against Mexico at the Estadio Moderno Julio Torres on July 20, and will face Nicaragua two days later (July 22). The T&T women will then close off its campaign against Haiti on July 24.

The team has been back to full-strength following the return of goalkeeper Kimika Forbes who has fully recovered from injury and defender Arin King.

The top two teams from the group will advance to take on the top two team in group A, which comprises hosts Colombia, Venezuela, Jamaica and Costa Rica on July 30.

Shabazz said the mood in the T&T camp is an upbeat one as his team looks ahead to the final CONCACAF Caribbean round of World Cup qualifying in Kingston, Jamaica in August.

After a training session on Wednesady at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella, defensive midfielder Karyn Forbes said: “We need to be a bit more focused going into these games simply to play Mexico, Haiti and Nicaragua which are all organised teams.

“We have some new players in the squad including the return of my sister Kimika and King, as well as other players like Liana Hinds. We know these opponents and their capabilities, so we will be taking each game at step at a time and trying to ensure we are as solid as possible.

“Having them back in the team gives us more stability from the back come up. King brings her experience from Canada and Kimika from Colombia. It’s about having everyone helping the team in the best way possible. The mood now is really good. We are trying to push the younger players seeing they are part of the next generation coming forward.”

Under-20 player Natisha John is also anticipating a place on the senior team.

“It has been a great experience so far. I think we have it in us to bring it home when we get to Jamaica and secure a spot in the CONCACAF Finals. We know the Caribbean teams tend to come strongly at us so we know we have to bring our A-game.

This CAC Games will also present a good opportunity to get some match time before we travel to Jamaica for the qualifiers.”

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