Bring it on, says Lopez
The Barbados senior women’s football team have been hard at training and are ready to take on Dominica this weekend.
The Bajan women will play the nature isle girls in two games at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus starting Saturday and finishing on Sunday.
National captain Gabriella Lopez told Barbados TODAY they were very confident with the young team they have in place and were looking forward to playing against the Dominicans.
“I feel very good with the team and very confident with the team that we have in place. We have a very young team but with that they are not at all inexperienced. We have played the women’s league this past couple months and also we have gotten a chance to play against another Caribbean team in Grenada and the ladies have performed very well against Grenada,” Lopez said.
“Preparation is going very well. We have been training very hard since the Grenadians. We saw what we needed to work on in that game and that is what we have been doing,” she said.
FIFA has recommended that women’s football be aligned with men’s football more closely and the Barbados Football Association (BFA) is stepping up its game to get local women’s football off the ground with its women’s league football competition which was won by the National Sports Council this year.
The first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup will be played from June 5 to July 6 in Canada and the local girls have their eyes set on playing in the world cup four years from now. Lopez believes the young team ranging from age 16 to 17 have what it takes to get there and praised the BFA for the great work they were doing in trying to take women’s football to the next level.
“The association is trying to push towards that [improving women’s football] and that is why you see such a big difference in two international matches in just one week and they are definitely looking good already. The New Year and we already have another game in and that is what they are pushing for this year for women’s football to move forward.”
The team which is under the guidance of head coach Thomas Jordan showed great potential in their encounter against Grenada whom they held to a one-all draw last month at the UWI venue.
An experienced Lopez who captained the under-20 squad which visited Suriname a couple years ago, said she was definitely enjoying her role as captain and even though they had not studied the Dominican team in depth they were certainly looking forward to the challenge.
“I like this role. I was the captain of the under-twenty team that went to Suriname a couple years ago, so I am familiar with the role.
“We haven’t gotten to see them play and they haven’t played enough tournaments that we would have been able to see them play online. They were supposed to go to Puerto Rico where we were and we were supposed to play them but they did not show up. But they are definitely fit because they have been in training for quite some time whereas we haven’t been training as long as they have but we will be fine,” the 23-year-old said.
Squad: Gabriella Lopez (captain), Kamillah Burke, Cadijah Mars, Tamisha Marshall, Chazelle Cumberbatch, Kimberly Ellis, Giselle Fields, Tianna Hackett, Tiffany White, Latifah Forde, Sharifa Corbin, Rihanna Cyrus, Felicia Jarvis, Makala Alleyne, Jeneva Miller, Tatyanna Sealy, Annalee McClean, Tori-ann Cadogan, Shonelle Als, Shonna Evelyn and Kerry Bascombe. Management includes manager Jacqueline Agard, assistant coach Richard Forde and medic Shonelle Trotman.