Youth Teams Off to U-14 Challenge Series
23 August 2021
Expectations are high as St Lucia’s national youth teams heads for the Dominican Republic, where they will participate in the regional U-14 Challenge Series. The National U-14 Boys and Girls Team, are participating in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Boys’ and Girls’ U-14 Challenge Series, which started yesterday and ends on August 29.
And the St Lucia Football Association’s [SLFA] technical unit is optimistic that the national youth teams will fare well in the tournament.
The CFU introduced the Challenge Series in 2018, starting with the boys’ contest. It is held every other year. However, last year’s edition was postponed due to the pandemic, hence the staging of both competitions this year.
“I think the players are ready, they are excited, they are determined to win and they are very confident,” said Manager of the St Lucia National Under-14 Girls team, Examin Philbert.
Commenting on the players’ composure and deportment for the challenge, Philbert added: “The coaches have done a great job with trying to equip them with the necessary skills…and generally, on the whole the girls are prepared and they are very confident.”
The Girls U-14 contingent consists of 16 players, four technical persons including Head Coach Francis “Baba” Lastic, Wade Clovis, assistant coach/trainer and Dr. T Chicot as the team’s doctor.
The team manager noted that the team will play a total of six matches in their group (Tier 2), before returning home on August, 30.
Tier 2 consists of St Lucia, Aruba, Curacao, St. Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos Islands and US Virgin Islands.
Added Philbert: “We are very confident and optimistic that we will top the group, so we will be playing the sixth game on August 29, and we return home on the 30th.”
Girls Under-14 Team captain Makhaya Smith, 14, is on her second tour of national duty. She made her national debut to compete at a tournament in the Cayman Islands, at age, 11 and has now set out some goals for herself and the team.
“For myself, I’ll look to score goals, put a fight and try my hardest and show that I’m capable that I can hold the captaincy spot, and I can be a leader for my team,” declared Makhaya.
She added: “For my team, my goals are that we top the group and we bring the # 1 spot back home.”
Technical Director of the SLFA, Ces Podd is also confident that both the girls and boys teams will be able to put on a good showing.
For both competitions, the teams are divided into two tiers. Tier 1 –group B includes St Lucia, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and St. Kitts & Nevis; while Curacao, Dominican Republic, Grenada and Haiti are drawn into the Boys’ Tier 1 group A.