U-21 Women’s Football

Finals Tomorrow

THE final and third place matches in the Saint Lucia Football Association Women’s Under-21 tournament is scheduled for tomorrow at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.

From 2:00 p.m. Soufriere will play Vieux Fort South while Vieux Fort North will take on the combined Mabouya Valley/Dennery team for the championship trophy at 4:00 p.m.

The two teams made it to the final with victories over their opponents this past weekend at the La Ressource Playing Field in front of an appreciative crowd of fans.

The first semifinal was a hard-fought game between Vieux Forth North and Soufriere. The scores were locked at nil-all at the half time whistle. On the resumption, both teams’ defences never let up their guard by giving each other any scoring opportunities up.

At the final whistle of regulation time, the scores remained the same, forcing the game into a penalty shootout with Vieux Fort North winning 4-3.

IMG: Some of the action between Vieux Fort North and Soufriere. (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)
Some of the action between Vieux Fort North and Soufriere. (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)

In the other semifinal match-up also played at the La Ressource playing field, the combined Mabouya Valley/Dennery team defeated a spirited Vieux Fort South team 2-0. Ketina Joseph opened the scoring for the combined Mabouya Valley/Dennery team in the 32nd minute to give the home team the halftime advantage.

On the resumption, both teams upped the tempo a few notches, but the combined Mabouya Valley/Dennery team nosed ahead through Ketina Joseph in the 69th minute for the second time in the encounter.

Despite VFS’ determination and effort to at least cut the deficit, the home team’s defence was equal to the task, ensuring that the score-line remained the same at the final whistle.

Saint Lucia Football Association’s Technical Director, Cess Podd, who was at the semifinals, spoke to The VOICE about the level of play that was exhibited in the two encounters and the progress that has been made in women’s football in St. Lucia.

“I very impressed not only by the performances, but also the turnout by the Mabouya Valley community. What we’re looking for in a tournament like this is to encourage the women to make football their number one choice,” Podd said.

He added: “The level of performance is improving. We just came back from Orlando, Florida, with the Under-15 national team which reached the quarterfinal stage of the CONCACAF tournament. The only teams ranking higher than us are Costa Rica, USA, Mexico and Canada. It’s encouraging and I am really impressed with the way women football is going in St. Lucia.”
The VOICE also spoke to Podd on others matters.

The VOICE: What time line would you give for the national womens footballers making a great international mark?
Podd: We’re looking forward to having the next Olympic team to do well. I am not saying we are going to get to the Olympics, but we have to have an aim. Maybe in the next three years, as long as we can continue these programmes, the girls can progress towards that goal.

The VOICE: Do you believe there is enough money being invested in women’s football locally?
Podd: No. I am not saying we haven’t invested in it. What I am saying, however, is if we need to go further we need to look outside the SLFA and even the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports. We have to look at the public sector now to assist; it’s not like we are the big countries like Mexico and the USA, so we have to work together. “What is encouraging for me is the way the ministry is being involved in some of the things the SLFA is doing now. We now have a bus because it was always a problem whenever you get to national level having to pick up the players all over the country; transportation was always a problem. The collaboration between the SLFA and the ministry is being really good.”

The VOICE: Why a sudden shift to women’s football in St. Lucia?
Podd: As Technical Director, I know the gap between St. Lucia and the bigger countries in football. The women’s gap isn’t that big. I think if we are going to go as far as possible, the best way to go is with women’s football. I think everyone is beginning to realize that. But I think what surprises us is the interest the girls themselves have shown for the game.

1 Comment

  1. Does anyone know how women’s football got started in St.Lucia? By whom? When?
    I really would like to know.Can someone please enlighten me.

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