Author Topic: Women kicking for goal  (Read 1164 times)

Online David

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Women kicking for goal
« on: February 07, 2007, 11:58:54 AM »
AFTER AN HISTORIC 2006, many are anticipating what 2007 holds for women's football in Barbados. Last year, for the first time, Barbados were able
to field national teams, and the women's league had its inaugural season.

Now, Barbados will be involved in FIFA Under-20 World Cup Qualifiers between May and August this year.

Richard Forde, the national team assistant coach, has seen or coached virtually every present female player on the island and believes that, unlike previous efforts, this movement will continue to grow.

"This is not going to die easily this time.The ladies are constantly playing and improving and every day you are seeing improvements in skill, physically and in attitude," Forde told SUNSPORT.

"Although we started late we are not far behind the major Caribbean countries."

Many who witnessed the females in action were amazed at the skill level of the players. Forde is not surprised however, noting their improvement
can be attributed to the fact that they were now playing football more regularly.

Raised standard

Prior to 2006, the only competitive women's football matches were played at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus. An advantage of this
is that the regional students with football backgrounds, as well as the exchange students from the United States, helped to raise the standard of play.

Some competitions were expanded to include teams from the Lodge School, coached by national team trainer Desmond Grant, and the National Sports
Council's programme, which is headed by Forde and national team head coach Edward Smith.

Now, with the Barbados Cup adding a women's competition, the female players have avenues to improve their game.

Forde said the aim now is to work with all the age levels to feed into the national and club system. Both he and Smith train a group of youngsters on the Blenheim playing field on Saturday mornings.

"We are starting with primary schools, then we will be moving up to the Under-13, Under-14 and Under-18, and 18 and over, trying to fill those gaps. We hope
to have about 40 or 50 kids," he said.

He added that one of the major challenges facing the development of women's football is the lack of coaches.

"What we need is more coaches. Having a national team and so many players, this is what is needed. We don't have that many."