Sports

'We want to leave Jamaica with a good face,' says Menzies

BY SHERDON COWAN
Observer staff reporter
cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, May 16, 2019

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While being eager to announce a squad for the Fifa Women's World Cup on home soil, Head Coach Hue Menzies says he is still awaiting clearance from Fifa on a few players.

That declaration serves as a clear indicator that Menzies and his assistants Andrew Price and Lorne Donaldson have already locked in most of the 23 players to make up the final roster for this summer's global showpiece scheduled for June 7-July 7 in France.

“We are ready to make it now but because of the Fifa situation we can't announce it until we get the final word. We were going to announce it, it would be easier to make an announcement here in Jamaica, but again we have to wait for the players,” Menzies told the Jamaica Observer.

Until then, Menzies and his team are making the most of the opportunity to assess a few others for possible inclusion, and as such the send-off game against Panama will serve as an important platform for those players to make an impact on the coaching staff before the final squad is confirmed.

However, Price will be absent from the Girlz bench for Sunday's clash against Panama inside National Stadium at 6:00 pm. The Boys' Town coach was suspended by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) for 10 days for insubordination.

The match also provides fans with an opportunity to see local-bred Trudi Carter back in action on home soil on her return from injury.

Carter, who has always been a key member in the Reggae Girlz attacking trio, watched most of the Concacaf Women's Championships from the sideline as her teammates secured the historic qualification berth, defeating the Panamanians 4-2 on penalty.

“It is good to have Trudi back; she is rested and she is healing but you know like every other athlete she's got to work through some of those mental aspects when someone comes from an injury.

“But she did very well on the fitness at her first training session yesterday (Monday), so physically she is fit, we just want to see her now in situations that are going to really test her. So she got the foundation and we will take that as a positive going forward,” Menzies noted.

Fans will also see the wily Under-20 representative Mireya “Sugar Rey” Grey in action for the first time as she received her first senior team call-up and is expected to parade her skills.

Grey is the daughter of Heron “Sheriff” Grey, who played for Montego Bay Cricket Club then switched to Wadadah.

Though missing the likes of Shayla McKoy, Havana Solaun, Jody Brown, Lauren Silver, and Giselle Washington for this contest, Menzies believes his current pool has enough depth to get the job done.

“Yesterday was focusing on creating a rhythm for our players as not everybody is here, but we wanted to test them with their fitness, so that was the main aspect of this session, trying to see where they are physically.

“The response has been great; obviously, the mood had been established early on in an environment where players know exactly what they need to accomplish and obviously some of the leaders have reminded them of that environment. So everybody is on the same page, the spirit of the girls is unbelievable right now and they know that they are challenging for spots to the World Cup,” the tactician shared.

And like it was in the Concacaf Women's Championship third-place play-off last October, Menzies is again anticipating an exciting match-up, especially with the Central Americans seeking redemption.

“Obviously it is the last showcase for some of these (Panama) players, but it is a similar game for us being a send-off fixture and so we want to really leave Jamaica with a good face to see where we are at.

“We know we don't have all the players, it not being a Fifa week some of the clubs are not going to release those players, so we know that we have to stick with a good pool of players and we are pretty confident that we are going to do well against them,” Menzies reasoned.

“We look forward to a good game, we feel like this is a good test for us, especially it being a send-off game and Panama will be coming to give a good account of themselves, so they have a little redemption. We won't be anything different (from last year), offensively we want to try to do certain stuff, but no major difference,” he added.


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