Trinidad & Tobago prepare for World Championship debut

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, September 21, 2018 - Trinidad and Tobago will be one of seven NORCECA Confederation teams which will have the chance to play and train in Japan against local teams ahead of the start of the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship.

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, September 21, 2018 - Trinidad and Tobago will be one of seven NORCECA Confederation teams which will have the chance to play and train in Japan against local teams ahead of the start of the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship.

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The 24-team FIVB World Championship runs from September 29 to October 20. 

As part of their final preparations for the big competition, the T&T women who made their FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix debut last year, a tournament now replaced by the FIVB Volleyball Nations League, will be received by the city of Hemiji and its volleyball team Hemiji Victorina which is coached by the legendary former setter Yoshi Takeshita from September 21 to 26.

The athletic Caribbean squad will be making its first appearance at the World Championship after several years reigning in zonal tournaments.

Renele Forde, the captain of the 'Calypso Spikers', who plays professionally in Sweden, commented:

“The mood of the players is very upbeat and training has been going very well for us, and we are now just looking ahead to our stay in Japan where we will have a series of matches prior to the tournament.”

Forde will lead the T&T squad in Japan and she will have as her team-mates, the core of players who qualified the team on home soil last year.

Besides Forde, the team includes Jalicia Ross-Kydd, Channon Thompson, Kelly-Anne Billingy, Sinead Jack, Darlene Ramdin, Afesha Olton, Latisha Morain, Krystle Esdelle and Kiune Fletcher.

The pair of Mikela Mc Gilvery and Afiya Alexander who were part of the team last October that finished second from the NORCECA Group C series were replaced for the final squad for Japan with USA-based Delicia Pierre and Taija Thomas coming into the squad.

Trinidad & Tobago are ranked 34th in the world and will play in Pool C at the Kobe Green Arena alongside defending champions and world second-ranked United States, fifth-ranked Russia, South Korea (No 10), Thailand (No 16) and Azerbaijan (No 24). 

The coach of the team is the Cuban-born Francisco Cruz, assisted by Nicholson Drakes and Jarad Cuffie. Keva Stephens is the trainer, with journalist Sean Morrison and Vaughn Martin as manager and head of delegation.