Defending champions, University of the West Indies Women's Football Cub have their work cut out for them if they intend to do the double this year in the Women's Premier League. With the current top teams setting their sights on even more points this coming weekend when games continue at the Wildey Turf, UWI may very well have an uphill battle to fight next week.
Novum Energy Mavericks Women lead the table with eight points after an even split of two wins and two draws so far this season. Guardian Group Kick Start Genesis are next in line on seven points but have a game in hand as they two wins and a draw. UWI come in at third with four points after one, win, one draw and a loss.
Empire have no points to show as they have been held to losses in all three of their games. The National Sports Council Women's Football Team have a win under their belt in their three games but are on -3 as they are paying back a debt after a point deduction.
UWI Coach Mario Harte believes that the door has not yet been shut on his team's hopes of retaining the title this year. Noting that although his team has been plagued with some injuries causing them to dig deep into the bench, he still expected them to do well. “I think we will do well. I think it is a good challenge for the girls seeing that we started slow and we are currently behind Genesis, who are playing some good football, and Mavericks, who are playing well also. So I think it is a challenge for the girls to really push themselves and retain the title. Obviously they have to put in the work to beat Genesis especially with the quality that they have throughout the team.” he said.
With several clubs making the most of the transfer window and snapping up the some of the best players, Harte said that he noticed that the strength of teams was fluctuating and hoped that something could be done to balance out teams in the Women's League to ensure its longevity. “I know I have a good team but at the end of the day, we don't want that in the next two or three years that we only have two or three women's teams. That wouldn't make sense. That will not help football to improve. It is something that we have to look at.” he said.
Going on to say that training was going well in his camp, Harte said that there was much more than UWI in his heart. “I try to push them beyond what is needed for the league because I have a lot of players in the national team. I try to push them so that when they go to represent the national team, they are up to par with what is required there and not what is required for the Women's League here in Barbados.” he said.
The league kicks back up this weekend with two games at the Wildey Turf. On Saturday night, Empire Women are set to take on Kick Start in the 6:00 PM game, while the National Sports Council take on Mavericks in the nightcap at 8:00 PM.