Head coach of the national women’s team, Rolston “Debu” Williams, said Antigua & Barbuda were simply not good enough, and could not compete against what were obviously better prepared and technically sound teams in Group D of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Qualifiers in Guyana.

Antigua & Barbuda were defeated 7-0 by Guyana in their first outing before going down 9-1 to the Dominican Republic. Antigua & Barbuda lost their final group stage fixture 1-0 to Anguilla.

“I must say that Santo Domingo and Guyana are way above our class. They are good quality teams that were able to hold good ball possession, didn’t give the ball away and good technique,” he said.

“The Guyanese team especially had no local players and all their players came out of England, Canada and the US and I thought the Santo Domingo team was just as equal. The Anguillans, I thought weren’t as good. I thought we were better than them.”

Apart from being at a disadvantage where the readiness of the players was concerned, Williams said a number of factors also played against the young and inexperienced squad.

“I thought that things just didn’t go the way we expected. At the last moment the goalkeeper pulled out. We were supposed to have had Anik Jarvis from college in the States (USA); but at the last minute, she could not make it and I thought that really hampered the team tremendously as it pertains to having a competent goalkeeper,” Williams said.

“The conditions also in Guyana I think played a big part. It was raining three days straight before we got in, and after we got in, it was still raining and the place was really damp, really wet, and I thought that the girls could not cope with the conditions.”

Asked what he thinks the next step ought to be where women’s football is concerned, a passionate Williams said there has to be programmes geared towards development.

“The fact of the matter is that it must be development. How long did we stop playing women football in Antigua? What do we expect, that people who are developing their programmes, sending for players from overseas coming to play in these tournaments that we are just going to go and beat them? We are not even close to them. We can’t take people 17 and 18 years old we know were never taught ball control from a certain age and then people who were, from seven and 10 years old coming up in a programme and who have ball control and can keep possession for a long time; and then we in Antigua sit down and expect a miracle to happen. It’s impossible,” he said.

When the question of adequate preparation time was raised, however, Williams said there could never be ample preparation time when you are dealing with a team in which individual players at age 17 and 18 still have to be taught the basics of the game.

The Antigua & Barbuda team returned home on Monday night after losing all three of their matches.

(Source http://www.antiguaobserver.com/?p=67090)