Girlz press on despite flight delay snag

In Trinidad

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago — A series of delayed flights plagued Jamaica's Under-20 Reggae Girlz team ahead of the CONCACAF Women's Championships kick-off, as Head Coach Lorne Donaldson had is first training session with a number of players still yet to arrive here in the twin-island republic.

Some members of the delegation arrived here on Monday night in three separate groups, with the Miami-based players and New Jersey-based Sydney Schneider, along with the three local-based players, being the only ones present.

All other players, including Emily Caza and Madiya Harriott, were scheduled to arrive last evening along with the other members of staff who also saw their flight from Kingston to Miami delayed on Monday.

But despite the slight setback, Donaldson is pleased with what he saw from the 12 players of the 20-member squad during the 90-minute session at Hasely Crawford Stadium.

“We would have loved to have everybody here by now, but again flying seems to be our biggest nuisance and the players are stuck all over the place; but in terms of the players, we had what I thought was a high-intensity and good-quality training session,” Donaldson told the Jamaica Observer.

“The girls showed that they were ready to go (as) our fitness looked a little bit better and I am happy with that... there was a bit of sharpness to their game and mentally, I think they are ready,” he added.

With the Jamaicans scheduled to open their campaign against Mexico on Friday, before tackling United States on Sunday and Nicaragua next Tuesday, Donaldson pointed out that maintaining possession will be a key factor in each contest.

All games will be played at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

“We just need to work on our transition and closing and how we win back the ball and get from point defence to attack when we are in possession. We tend to back off when we lose possession and sometimes when we win the ball we give it back — so our focus is on winning the ball and keeping it and how we transition and counter-press,” he explained.

The young Reggae Girlz are hunting one of three spots in the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup to be staged in France in August.

Host Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, Costa Rica and Haiti will do battle in Group A.

See related story on Page 42

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