Price welcomes opportunity to continue work with Girlz as they chase Olympic dream

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Price welcomes opportunity to continue work with Girlz as they chase Olympic dream

Sunday, January 19, 2020

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After doing some introspection relating to his part in the senior Reggae Girlz programme, Andrew Price came to realise that so far he has merely scratched the surface on his ambitions.

As such, when asked to rejoin the fold as assistant coach to Hubert Busby for the upcoming Concacaf Women's Olympic Qualifiers in the United States, Price readily answered the call which he believes was an act of fate.

Price, like departed Head Coach Hue Menzies and Assistant Coach Lorne Donaldson, says he joined the female programme to not only help in shaping the structure of women's football, but also to assist the players involved to achieve their goals.

Despite being previously left out in the cold facing an uncertain future with the programme following the team's historic appearance at the Fifa Women's World Cup in France last year, Price pointed out that there is no bad blood with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).

The veteran tactician revealed that the passing of Tarania “Plum Plum” Clarke, coupled with the achievement of Captain Konya Plummer and utility player Chantelle Swaby, who were both drafted into the United States' National Women's Soccer League (NSWL), reminded him of why he should serve.

Plummer was 10th pick in the draft for Orlando Pride, while Swaby was 29th pick to New Jersey Sky Blue.

“There was no better sign that our participation and our work with the women's programme is paying off, when two of the young ladies who were a part of the World Cup team got selected in the NSWL. It again reinforces that the work we are doing is not in vein, and so, I am always willing able and ready to serve my country. I have been doing it for years and I will continue to do it whenever I am called upon,” Price told the Jamaica Observer prior to the team's departure for a Houston camp on Friday.

He continued: “I am a patriotic Jamaican who loves my country and whenever I am called to serve, I am willing to serve. I am in football to help individuals, I have received a lot out of football and this is an opportunity for me to give back to a sport that has given me so much.

“So, I look at it as service and I am giving back to the sport and country that has given so much to me. So I am happy I am back and I can help the girls, I have an affinity with them and so it was only right for me to come back.”

Price, while noting that he has learnt a lot from Menzies and Donaldson, believes the circumstances under which both departed the programme were unfortunate. He remains optimistic that good sense might prevail down the road as both have a lot to offer women's football in Jamaica.

“It's disappointing that two of my colleagues have stepped away, but at the end of the day, the work has to continue.

“I have a great deal of respect for Hue Menzies and Lorne Donaldson; they are good football coaches that I have learnt a lot from and I will always take what I have learnt from them and continue to develop young people in this country,” Price stated.

“I hope that in the future, things can be worked out between them and the JFF; I know you should never say never. I have been through it and back, so I hope that in the future they will be able to work it out because I believe they have a lot more to contribute,” he added.

Though their preparations for the qualifiers, scheduled for January 28 to February 9, are not up to scratch, Price has every confidence that the Reggae Girlz team, which includes 15 World Cup representatives, will give off their best.

Goalkeeper Alyssa Whitehead and Gabrielle Farrell are the new members in the team in the absence of World Cup goaltenders Sydney Schneider and Nicole McClure, as well as young striker Jody Brown.

David Gough, who was a part of the England coaching staff at the 2015 World Cup, was appointed assistant coach alongside Price.

The Jamaicans will contest Group B alongside Canada, Mexico, and St Kitts and Nevis in Edinburgh, while World champions and host United States, Panama, Costa Rica and Haiti will do battle in Group A in Houston.

Squad: Chrisann Chambers, Sashana Campbell, Trudi Carter, Alyssa Whitehead, Madiya Harriott, Tiernny Wiltshire, Chantelle Swaby, Chyanne Dennis, Gabrielle Farrell, Kayla McCoy, Olufolasade Adamolekun, Konya Plummer, Khadija Shaw, Havana Solaun, Allyson Swaby, Dominique Bond-Flasza, Deneisha Blackwood, Cheyna Matthews, Chinyelu Asher, Tiffany Cameron.

— Sherdon Cowan


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