Grace John/File

Grace John/File

by Michael Bascombe

ST GEORGE’S, August 15, 2015 – Coach Frankyln “Nat” Simpson is spearing no effort to bolster his team ahead of the Caribbean Zone Women’s Olympic Football Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico next week.

The Senior Women’s National Team coach has requested four overseas-based players but only two are available, with one already on the island.

Both Elizabeth Berkeley of University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Tianna Carrington of Lake Tahoe Community College, USA had to decline call up due to school commitments.

Striker Shirvae Edwards joined the training squad earlier this week and Grace John, a central defender, is expected on Monday.

John, whose father Lyson John is from St Andrew, plays for Derby County Ladies in the English Premier League.

She will join Edwards, a West Ham United Ladies’ striker, as the two overseas professionals on the team.

It is an amazing opportunity and an honour to play for my dad’s country, as the women’s football has increased massively over the passed year, so it’s a chance to get into an international team,” Edwards told GrenadaSports in an interview on Friday.

“I am hoping to motivate, encourage and to bring my experience to the table. My personality will hopefully rub off on other players within the team.”

The addition of the two players comes as the Grenada Football Association (GFA) was informed about the unavailability of Chelsea LaTouche. The former Under-20 captain takes up a new job on Monday and therefore unable to travel with the team.

However, Coach Simpson is satisfied with what he has seen of his team and new player.

“She looks sharp I can tell you and this seems to be money well spent,” he said.

Edwards’ teammates are also impressed with her first day of training.

“She’s doing great and fits in nicely with the team,” said team captain Shakira Collymore.

“I love how she handles the ball. She’s very skillful and seems to be a team player. Wish I could play with her everytime,” said midfielder Merissa Charles.

The Olympic squad for Puerto Rico is: Shikkira Charles, Roneisha Frank, Alisha John, Merrisa Charles, Kelly-ann Telesford (GK), Samantha Mc Sween, Cherise Hood, Nicolyn Ettienne, Kristal Julien, Shana Abraham, Connie John (GK), Shakira Collymore, Grace John, Shirvae Edwards, Ariba Collins, Sakinah Ambrose and Heather Andrews.

Grenada plays Puerto Rico on August 21, followed with games against Haiti on August 23 and Aruba on August 25.

The Women’s Qualifiers, scheduled for between August and October 2015, will result in three teams qualifying from the Caribbean for the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Tournament to be played in January 2016.

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