Sport

Girlz head to Europe as World Cup nears

BY SHERDON COWAN
Observer staff reporter
cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, May 25, 2019

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NEW YORK, USA — Another positive result left the Reggae Girlz team on a high as they maintained their unbeaten run heading into their international friendly against Scotland next Tuesday.

But Head Coach Hue Menzies is hoping he can keep the players focused on the task at hand, as he believes the travel arrangements to get to Glasgow will have a negative effect in more ways than one.

Following their come-from-behind 2-1 win over FC Surge in a warm-up game on Thursday, the delegation was expected to catch a flight to the United Kingdom yesterday, but things were not as straightforward as they had hoped.

Instead, the team was slated to depart Miami International Airport on a 10:00 pm flight yesterday to the north African country Morocco from where they would connect to London before hopping on another flight over to Glasgow. They were scheduled to arrive in the United Kingdom at approximately 11:35 pm today.

Despite that, Menzies stuck to the positives, highlighting the significance of next Tuesday's contest as the final piece of their preparation phase for the Fifa Women's World Cup in France.

“They couldn't find a flight to carry all of us so we have to go through Morocco and then come back up. So it's a little tough on the players, but it's just to get over the travelling and we just need to get somewhere where everybody can be acclimated and settled in and focused, so hopefully when we get to Scotland we can start the European acclimation,” Menzies told the Jamaica Observer yesterday morning prior to their departure.

“I feel like this (Scotland friendly) is where we have to start the World Cup on European soil; we have to get acclimated, and we have to figure out ways to beat a team that is going to the World Cup.

“So it's a great opportunity for us to put on a good performance and see where we fall in the pecking order before we get into the World Cup,” he added.

Menzies in his reflection of the performance against FC Surge, the former club of Reggae Girl Christina Chang, was again pleased with the team's resilience in the 60-minute contest.

The Reggae Girlz have now extended their unbeaten run to six games since securing the historic qualification last October.

“Obviously it wasn't a full-length game because we have been trying to avoid injury and the field was very narrow so it kind of limit us in terms of spreading them out.

“But we gave up an early goal and we had to figure out how to chase the game, and in the end we got the result. So I think the ladies did a great job, they showed some resilience and came back and won the game.

“So it was objective met because we ended up playing a lot of the players and the major positive is that we were down and we showed some character to take care of the ball and do what we had to do in the game,” he added.

And with the confirmation of midfielder Havana Solaun, now completing his 23-player roster for the June 7-July 7 World Cup, Menzies pointed out that the work is now on tightening up on various combinations.

Solaun, the former USA Under-23 player, who plies her trade in Norway, is expected to meet the team in Scotland.

“The cohesiveness has been great. Obviously we got good news yesterday that Havana was joining us in Scotland, so we are very happy about that. The camaraderie of the players has been unbelievable and they have been supportive of each other and keeping that family environment going, which is good.

“Obviously, we believe we have the top 23 players, we evaluated 40 plus players throughout the camps and we believe we chose the best of the lot.

“The squad has depth; we have a lot of versatile players and so we are looking forward to some good performances from this team which is one of the best if not the best, senior team Jamaica has seen in a while,” Menzies ended.


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