Busby admits missing on-field aspect of U-17 Girlz preparation

Busby admits missing on-field aspect of U-17 Girlz preparation

...But finds joy in senior Girlz' successful moves to foreign clubs

BY SHERDON COWAN
Observer staff reporter
cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, September 17, 2020

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Head Coach Hubert Busby would love nothing more than to be conducting an on-field training session shouting instructions to his Under-17 Reggae Girlz.

But having been disconnected from that upbeat routine due to the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Busby has been left to take heart from the progress of his senior Reggae Girlz, while expressing cautious optimism about the future of the Under-17 tournament.

Busby, who used the time away from the field to connect with his Under-17 Reggae Girlz via Zoom, was recently forced to hit the pause button on those online sessions, as most of the players are back in school in the United States, and a confirmed schedule for their qualifiers is still yet to be unveiled.

“We definitely miss having the opportunity to get together as a staff to train with the players and represent our country. But obviously there are bigger things at stake right now and we just have to remain positive, keep a positive outlook and control the controllable things that we can focus on, which is the really important right now.

“This is where our Zoom sessions come in handy and we used that platform to place emphasis on our playing model, philosophy and identity that should run through all our qualifying units. So we are hoping to resume that soon so that once we get word on the next dates for the U-17 tournament, we will be ready to go,” Busby told the Jamaica Observer.

One would think that if there are no practice sessions to oversee, no games to plan for, or online sessions to conduct, a coach should have little to do.

But not so, says Busby, as he pointed out that the coaching staff continues its work behind the scenes to carefully engineer plans for possible practice games and camps in the near future.

The former national goalkeeper revealed that his team also does its video analysis and provide feedbacks to ensure that players in the country's women's football programme become better at their craft, and by extension, students of the game.

“To be honest, I am grateful that there is a dedicated staff that is really committed to push the women's game during this time. For the last six to nine months, we have just continued to work and to collaborate behind the scenes with a clear focus on what it is we need to do and what it is we need to accomplish,” Busby reasoned.

“We have to continue to approach this stressful and uncertain time as the glass being half-full mentality, because obviously we want to ensure that the programme continues to grow so that we can leave a pathway for other players to follow and inspire another generation of players, fans and coaches.

“So even though it has been a challenging time, we just looked at it as an opportunity to get better at some of the things that we are doing so that we can move the programme forward,” he added.

That said, Busby shared his delight about the continued progress of senior team Captain Khadija Shaw and defender Allyson Swaby in the top French and Italian Leagues with FC Bordeaux and AS Roma, respectively. He is also overjoyed with moves by Tiffany Cameron, Dominique Bond-Flasza and Havana Solaun, who all inked new deals in Europe recently.

Meanwhile, defenders Deneisha Blackwood and Lauren Silver also landed short-term contracts with National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) outfits Orlando Pride and Houston Dash, the teams of compatriots Konya Plummer and Kayla McCoy.

Additionally, young striker Jody Brown will be making her collegiate debut today, with a few other senior team members also set for action.

“We are excited about some of the latest moves with some of our senior women... I have been working with some of them and their respective agents to, hopefully, get some contracts signed overseas, and we recently have had some players signed to the NWSL, so I am really excited to see what those players do,” he said.


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