Sugar Girlz Play Canada Tonight in Olympic Football Qualifier
The Sugar Girlz will bow into action this evening at the HEB Park in Texas, USA in the Concacaf Olympic Women’s Football qualifiers. The match against Canada begins at 6:30pm. At a press conference on Tuesday, Coach Jene Baclawski, said the match this evening is the biggest in the history of the St. Kitts and Nevis women’s team and they are ready to face their opponents match. “I am really excited personally, to be in a match against Canada. It’s a big game. It would be remiss of me if I didn’t say it’s probably the biggest game for the St. Kitts and Nevis women’s team,” she said. “We have a plan. I have confidence in the work that we have put in prior to coming into camp and I have confidence in them. We are here and we earned the right to be here. We don’t have anything to lose,” she added.
Coach Baclawski spoke about the makeup of the team. “If you look at the makeup of our roster, we are really young. Fifty percent of the players that were chosen for this roster are under 20 and fifty percent are senior players. There is also a mix of players who are from the island and who are outside the island,” she disclosed. “The thing that has been the most surprising to me is how receptive they have been to the ideas that we brought in,” she said.
Meanwhile team captain Phoenetia Browne spoke of the team’s strengths and what she believes are their chances of doing well in this competition. “Having Jene coming is as a coach has definitely helped in building a more professional environment for us and that has helped developed players. Just having that knowledge come in has helped us to become more organized and to focus on our weaknesses, things we can work on and it’s been good to have that pointed out to us and have us grow as players,” Browne said. “One of our strengths is that we are good at learning how to play with each other in a very short period of time.”
Meanwhile Coach Baclawski spoke highly of Canadian striker Christine Sinclair who is on the cusp of history. Sinclair, the Canadian women’s team captain is just two goals shy of the all-time international scoring record, and with 183 goals, one back of the mark set by American Abby Wambach. “It’s an honor to be on the field with her…we certainly hope that she breaks the record but maybe not against St. Kitts and Nevis,” she said smiling.
After the match against Canada, the Sugar Girlz will play Mexico on Saturday and Jamaica next week Tuesday in Group B of the group stage. The top two teams of Group B and A will move on to the semi-final round and the last two teams in the finals will automatically qualify for the Olympics.