International women’s football comes to St. Kitts and Nevis when the Sugar Girlz host Haiti in the first of two matches in Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup qualifiers this Thursday, October 26th at 7 pm. Both matches will be played at the SKNFA Technical Center in St. Peters. We caught up with the coach of the Senior Women’s National team Samuel Phipps during training on Tuesday at the technical center. “I think that the girls are eager to play at home. A little bit nervous too because for a long time, we haven’t played a big competitive match here at home. The last game we played was last year against USVI,” Phipps said. “I know Haiti is just coming from the World Cup, which is a top-notch team. We relish the moment to put on a good show,” he said.
Coach Phipps said the girls are motivated by their heavy defeat to Costa Rica in their previous fixture, to excel in these two upcoming matches, especially, considering their importance to women’s football in St. Kitts and Nevis. “Of course, it was a younger team (in Costa Rica) and we didn’t get the result that we expected. Nonetheless, there were a lot of lessons learned. For this leg, we have beefed up the team with more technical players. So, we are sure that we’re going to put together a good outing so that the fans can see what we can do as a team,” Phipps said.
The coach noted that being in League A of these qualifiers makes it more challenging for the team. But he is confident the women’s team will make St. Kitts and Nevis proud, as the players are taking their role seriously. “I always feel like our female team would get us over the hump and put us more on the map. I think that is a good opportunity. Being in League A which, you know, has the big guns; Mexico, the USA Haiti, Costa Rica and we are the only small country in that bunch; I think we will make our nation proud,” he said. The second match against Haiti will be played on Monday, October 30th at 6 pm.