Three under-21 women’s teams have been selected to participate in the Guyana Sports Development Foundation/Guyana Football Federation’s under-21 women’s developmental football tournament on Sunday.
The tournament has been set for 12pm at the Ministry of Education’s ground on Carifesta Avenue. The teams hail from West Demerara, Berbice and Georgetown.
Organiser Lawrence Griffith said the tournament is for younger players and the groups hope to host the training annually. “Over the years we see a lot of older players partake in the football matches so we decided to start with an under-21 tournament so the younger females could get involved,” he said. Further, he noted that the younger players are most likely to develop football skills that can be improved upon as they grow older. “When you want to be a professional player you have to start from a young or tender age which will help to develop one’s skills and talents in the sport as they grow so that’s why we want to start off with younger children since they will have a future in the sport,” he added.
It was noted that the West Demerara Football Association has 16 female players with an average age of 17 years, who are participating in this year’s tourney. In addition, the organisation is planning to stage a primary and secondary school tournament next year.
Some of the players set to take part in the training are Angie Damon, 17 (Goalkeeper) Den Amstel club; Leasel McKend, 16, (Defender) Uitvlugt; Adona Blake, 14 (Defender/Goalkeeper) Uitvlugt; Keishell Moore, 15 (Defender) Den Amstel; Mariam Pillay, 14 (Defender) Uitvlugt; Margaret Pillay, 13 (Midfielder)Uitvlugt; Abioce Heywood, 16 (Midfielder) Den Amstel; Stacey Forde, 14 (Forward) Den Amstel; Mandy Dainty, 14 (Midfielder)Den Amstel; LaShawn LaRose, 14 (Midfielder) Uitvlugt; Mariah Clarke, 16 (Defender/Midfielder) Uitvlugt; Tiandi Smith, 10 (Midfielder/Defender) Uitvlugt; Shauntay Carroll, 9 (Midfielder/ Forward) Uitvlugt, Jimacie Petty,13 (Forward) Uitvlugt; Aliyah LaRose, 10 (Midfielder) Uitvlugt; Moniffa Pillay, 11 (Midfielder) Uitvlugt and Shamika Wallerson, 14(Defender)Uitvlugt.
In 2001, 10 of the named players had sought a place in the national under-17 women’s team but only Keshanna Hunte, Keishell Moore and Jimacie Petty were chosen. At that time, Petty was the youngest of the lot at 11-years-old.
Griffith further noted that “Three of the younger players Aliyah LaRose (10), Tiandi Smith (10) and Shauntay Carroll (9) are the Lady Jags [of] the future. You could tell that at this stage while Mariah Clarke, Shamika Wallerson and Shauntay Carroll joined the team this year and have been developing steadily.”
Preparation for the training has been hampered by the inclement weather, nevertheless, the athletes have been utilising a school compound. Four of the players are also preparing for the CSEC 2013 exams.