Sports

Jazmin Grant eyes win to end campaign

SHERDON COWAN
AT THE CONCACAF U-20
WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP
In Trinidad

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago — Despite the disappointment of their failed World Cup bid, striker Jazmin Grant is still reslishing the opportunity to represent Jamaica's Under-20 Reggae Girlz.

The 18-year-old freshman, who registered five goals and five assists in her debut season at the University of Houston last season, cites the international opportunity at this level as a learning curve to aid in the further development of her career.

“I am happy and excited about this opportunity. My dad's [Maurice] side of the family is from Jamaica and he always thought it would be so cool for me to represent Jamaica, and so I felt like it would be fun.

“At first I had doubts about it because I didn't know if I was good enough to play at the international level right now, but then I thought even if I am not good enough, it would help my skills and help me to grow,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

Grant, a two-time American Rookie of the Week winner, possesses a level of flair, speed and agility, but is quick to admit that there is more to learn to fine-tune her abilities as a quality striker.

“The experience is great; every time I play I learn new stuff about how to play a different style of football. I am still young and I am still learning because you can never learn too much and I want to take in as much as I possibly can.

“I have high hopes for myself, but then again I still have to work hard… I still have a lot of things to improve on to get my game level up to make sure I go further in my career. So I am willing to do whatever it takes and this will help my confidence in playing going forward,” the smooth striker added.

Though yet to log her first goal donning the black, green and gold in the CONCACAF Women's Championship here, Grant is gradually establishing herself as one for the future.

“Looking at the players that we have in the squad I thought we definitely had a big chance of qualifying, but I think it's a cliché because everybody always looks at their squad and say they have a strong squad.

“I think the key thing is the camaraderie among us in this Jamaican team to build that relationship between captain, coach and player, and even though we didn't achieve our goal this time around, once we keep working towards it then it will eventually come,” Grant noted.

“So it was a good experience playing in this tournament, it taught me that once you work hard you will achieve a lot more than expected, and I am looking to playing with these girls again or in the senior team if the opportunity comes,” she explained.

The fleet-footed striker standing at 5ft 6in came on in Jamaica's crushing 1-2 defeat to the United States of America (USA) and with her very first touch could have put the team on the scorecard, but hit her shot wide.

“When I came on I just felt like that the girls on the field worked hard all game and I just wanted to score and tie the game and I got a chance first touch, but it just wasn't a good shot. After missing it, I felt that I needed to come back and score and I didn't score but we came back and still got a goal.

“It was really devastating that we lost because we worked so hard against the US (United States) and we played our best game, but even though we were devastated we couldn't be too mad because we played our hearts out and everyone did their part,” the outspoken Grant reasoned.

“But we are for sure looking to end the tournament with a win because we have worked really hard to get here and I feel like we need to end with a win,” she said in relation to their final Group B game against Nicaragua today.


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