Reggae Girlz land in Dom Rep, ready for battle
Sanjay Myers with REGGAE GIRLZ @ the cfu world cup qualifiers in the dominican republic
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — The Jamaica senior women's team arrived here in two batches yesterday ahead of the start of matches in Group Five of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) qualifiers.
The 24-member squad had a two-week preparation camp in Florida before departing for Santo Domingo and team physician Dr Ephraim Ingram believes players are in tip-top shape.
"The players are, generally speaking, in very good condition," he told the Jamaica Observer moments after the bulk of the squad arrived at the team hotel.
"There is nothing of major concern at the moment. The only thing of concern is fatigue due to the travel, but they should be resting tonight and by tomorrow all will be well."
The team doctor stressed the importance of proper fluid intake.
"From a few weeks ago we have been educating the players about pre-tournament hydration and all of that," he said.
The Reggae Girlz face St Lucia on June 20 before clashing with the hosts Dominican Republic two days later. Anguilla are no longer in the group after pulling out of the competition a few days ago.
Only the top team in the group is assured of a place in the CFU Women's Cup Finals to be held in Trinidad & Tobago in August.
Elaine Walker-Brown, the Jamaica team manager, said the reduction of Group Five to a three-team affair leaves less room for error.
"We have to be focused. We cannot lose any game because six points is the maximum and only one team comes out of the group. We can't lapse and we have to just go out and win these two games," she explained.
The Jamaicans had positive results in their two practice games in the United States, recording 4-0 and 8-1 victories.
Walker-Brown spoke glowingly of the training camp and added that it has laid the foundation for success at this tournament.
"The girls are very confident and I must say the camp was very successful. There was camaraderie, there was the family-like setting and the preparation. They have never gained this attention before and I think they see a bright future ahead and I think they are going to make their mark at this tournament."
Haiti, Antigua & Barbuda, Bermuda and Martinique have already progressed from their respective groups.
Jamaica squad — Shaquille Laing (UWI), Sherona Forrester (UWI), Yolanda Hamilton (Barbican FC), Trudiann Mills (Barbican FC), Jodi-Ann McGregor (Barbican FC), Omolyn Davis (Kairat FC), Christina Murray (Waterhouse FC), Kenesha Reid (Waterhouse FC), Shakira Duncan (Harbour View FC), Venicia Reid (Frazsiers Whip), Khedine Salmon (GC Foster College), Mitsy Facey (GC Foster College), Monique Pryce (GC Foster College), Olivia Reid (GC Foster College), Sasalee Cooper (Los Perfectos), Sashana Campbell (University of West Florida), Alicia Wilson (University of West Florida), Oni Bernard (University of North Carolina), Myjnairii Perkins (Dixie 95 Athletics), Amy Loughran (The Citadel College), Nicole Campbell (Centennial College), Donna-Kay Henry (Tennessee), Alexa Allen (University of North Carolina), Nicole McLure (based in Sweden).