Lady Jags coach optimistic of good performance in Curacao

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The Guyana-based members of the Lady Jags team for the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship first-round Qualifiers in Curacao from August 17 – 25.

WITH Guyana set to participate in the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship first-round Qualifiers in Curacao from August 17 – 25, Head Coach Akilah Castello said her side’s eight-week preparation saw improvement from the Lady Jags, and that all systems are in place for the side’s showing in the Dutch territory.

Castello said the 20-man squad will comprise eight international-based players and 12 from the Guyana-based squad in training four days a week at the GFF’s National Training Centre.

With an optimistic mind, Castello said she’s “expecting positive results from this group along with our international-based players who’ve been preparing as well for this U-17 girls’ competition.”

“We have some good talent in the likes of Jalade Trim, Shamya Daniels and Samantha Benfield, who played in the last U-15 championship, and Jenea Knight who also played both in the U-15 and U-20 levels who, we believe, will seek to make valuable contributions at this level,” the Lady Jags coach stated.

Guyana has been placed in Group D along with the Bahamas, Curacao and St. Vincent and The Grenadines.

Guyana will open against Curacao on August 21, followed by a clash against St Vincent and the Grenadines on August 23, and will face the Bahamas in their final Group D match on August 25.

According to CONCACAF, there will be 32 participating teams. The qualifiers comprise the lowest ranked 16 teams, based on the Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Ranking as of July 2018, where the top finisher of each group will advance to the knock-out stage of the championship. Those teams are Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Guyana, Honduras, Martinique, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines and US Virgin Islands).

The remaining 16 teams, consisting of top ranked teams, based on the Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Ranking as of July 2018, will participate in the Finals Championship. Each has been placed in four groups – E, F, G and H – and will play round-robin following which “the top three finishers in each of the groups will join the winners of Groups A, B, C and D (from the qualifiers) in the round of 16,” according to Concacaf.

The 16 teams participating in the group stage of the Final Championship are Bermuda, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago and the United States.

The knockout stage of the competition; round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and final – will be played in its entirety in a single match elimination format, with the finalists and third -lace finisher automatically qualifying for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2020.