Sports

Coaching staff tinkers with formation change

SHERDON COWAN
AT THE 2019 FIFA
WOMEN'S WORLD CUP FINALS
In France

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

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REIMS, France — With the opening loss to Brazil now a thing of the past, Jamaica's Reggae Girlz and coaching staff hit the reset button to pull themselves together for another crucial Fifa Women's World Cup encounter.

The team yesterday conducted its first full session since arriving here in this north-eastern city, which is the unofficial capital of the Champagne wine-growing region, following Sunday's 0-3 defeat to the South Americans in Grenoble.

During the hour and half session led by assistant Lorne Donaldson under the watchful eyes of Head Coach Hue Menzies, the Girlz were taken through various tactical drills in a different formation from the customary 4-3-3.

Donaldson pointed out that making the adjustment early is critical to ensuring that all falls in place ahead of Friday's contest against Italy, which could make or break their debut campaign here at the global showpiece.

The Jamaicans are at the foot of Group C currently being led by Brazil with a better goal difference over Italy, who are also on three points each, following their 2-1 win over top-ranked Australia.

“Tactically we made some adjustments, formation wise. It looks good for the first day so I like what I am seeing so far and I like the spirit of the players. Our movements were much better defensively and we seem more co-ordinated now, so there is no need to second guess ourselves,” Donaldson told the Jamaica Observer.

“We did some work and we are going to do more work on it and see if our cohesiveness can be a lot better in the game and we can connect a little bit more and get more compact defensively. We also want to spread ourselves out some more which would result in us being more dangerous in attack,” he added.

According to Donaldson, the need for a change in formation is of vital importance as the team has become ineffective in the customary formation.

He is optimistic that the change which could likely be 4-4-2, can bring a positive result for the 53rd-ranked team, which is the first from the Caribbean to debut at the World Cup.

“I won't say what it (the formation) is right now but we are working on something different; we gave them an example that the last World Cup when US was playing poorly and they got to the semis and switched formation and beat Germany, who was the big favourite.

“So they are buying into this one and hopefully, we can do the same thing. But switching is not bad sometimes because we got a little bit stale in what we were doing and people are figuring us out, so this is a different look and hopefully the players can settle into it and we go from there,” Donaldson reasoned.

Looking ahead to Friday's game at Stade Auguste-Delaune, if Donaldson's assessment of the opponents and their Juventus winger Barbara Bonansea, is anything to go by, then it could be another long day on the pitch for the Reggae Girlz.

“The Italian team plays typical Italian football; they are hard to break down, they are very organised, very disciplined and they have Bonansea on the left side. She is the most dangerous player. They have a little speed up top and in the back they are not going to give us anything,” Donaldson explained.

“Another thing about them is that they can switch on the fly, meaning if they need to adjust their formation to match up with you they can do that, so we have to be at our best.

“We have to work on something that will throw them off a little bit... maybe with some new players in there, that they are not accustomed to seeing, and that might just be the difference for us,” he ended.


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