(SKNFA) The current executive of the St. Kitts Nevis Football has vowed to develop women’s football and create opportunities for more women players in the Federation to thrive in the sport. Already, that is beginning to bear fruit. The reformed approach to training and prepaying the senior and junior players is already taking shape and the players are seeing the results of it. Women’s Football on the international level is growing in leaps and bounds, and opportunities exists for players to get scholarships to play for colleges and universities around the world, while pursuing studies. Players like Christie Ann Mills and Zona Marshall have earned such scholarships and have benefited from these opportunities.
Others can earn professional contracts or at least an opportunity to try out to play professional football in places like Europe and the USA. Tarvia Phillip is one such player. She went on a brief stint in Iceland to play for a professional women’s team there in 2021, along with Canadian-based St. Kitts and Nevis women’s player Brittney Lawrence. She considers the experience a good one for her, despite not getting the chance to display her talent.
“It was my first time so it was like a learning experience. I didn’t get a chance to play but the training and how…to actually be a professional player was good,” Phillips said. Hopefully, I would get a next (opportunity).”
For Christie Ann Mills, who is studying on a football scholarship at the Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, USA, it has been a whirlwind experience for her. “The style of play has been a lot different from back home. It’s a lot more team oriented than individualized so just getting to know the culture up there has been a big change. But I am adjusting now so thank God for that,” Mills said.
Still, both players acknowledge the roots of the St. Kitts and Nevis program as key to their development and the opportunities they have received. “I feel like it’s helping (women and girls) because it has more opportunity, so everybody wants to come on board and take advantage of the opportunity, which is good,” Phillip said. “It’s helping us a lot with our togetherness as a team,” Mills concurred.
Their coach Earl Jones is confident that the foundations set by the SKNFA and currently being improved, is raising the standard of Women’s football in St. Kitts and Nevis. “This is a lot different because we have a lot of local players getting the opportunity to be a part of the squad and they have been coming out (to training), he said. “Yes we have some players based overseas, and yes we will see how best we could fit them in because the group here is good. Once we have a good group, a good group on the island, training together, playing regularly, this can only the improvement of the players here on the island,” he added.