Reggae Girlz Coach Busby looks to gather momentum with Costa Rica friendly


Reggae Girlz Coach Busby looks to gather momentum with Costa Rica friendly

Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

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As senior Reggae Girlz Head Coach Hubert Busby and his team try to play catch up in their preparations ahead of the Concacaf Women's Olympic Qualifiers, they will be hoping to gather some momentum from a friendly contest against Costa Rica tomorrow.

Busby and his assistants Andrew Price and David Gough will be utilising the friendly against the top-ranked Central Americans as an opportunity to improve on various aspects of the team's game, as well as to explore new combinations.

The Jamaicans are currently conducting a training camp in Houston, Texas, for the January 28 to February 9 qualifiers, during which they will seek to once again etch their names in the annals of the country's sporting history.

Drawn in Group B alongside number eighth-ranked Canada, number 26th-ranked Mexico and St Kitts and Nevis, ranked at 127th, the 51st-ranked Reggae Girlz will be hunting one of two spots to the Olympic Games in Tokyo later this year.

While the game scheduled for Rice University is expected to give a much-needed boost to the Reggae Girlz' tardy preparation phase, Costa Rica will also be using the game to sharpen up for Group A action.

Costa Rica, ranked at 37th in the world, will go up against World champions and hosts United States, Panama and Haiti.

“We took the first few days to clearly outline and push forward our plans in terms of what we are looking to do, and the game against Costa Rica will help us to clearly define roles and responsibilities and how we look to play,” Busby told the Jamaica Observer from the team's base yesterday.

He continued: “So performance will be key; it is also another opportunity for us to implement something new and, obviously for us, to improve on both sides of the ball. We need to be better, more organised, compact and resourceful on the ball, and we also need to be more organised and compact off the ball.

“And then we want to challenge them to be better on set pieces. So we are going to address all of these things tomorrow [today] and heading into the game against Costa Rica and [we will] obviously look to see where that goes — as a good result would springboard us into a positive mindset heading into the tournament.”

That said, Busby expressed delight at finally having all the players in one environment to reinforce the need to build on the positives of the World Cup, as well as to cast aside off-field distractions.

“Credit to the players who are doing a very good job of buying into what we need to do, and that has reflected well in the training sessions so far. They have been very receptive and the work rate has been exceptional, and I think we kind of need to keep building that foundation.

“Something that the players have really responded to is the fact that we need to move on from negative experiences that we have had and move forward in a positive manner. We are a different team and it is important that they go out there and truly express themselves on the pitch,” Busby reasoned.

The tactician also welcomed having the knowledgeable Gough as part of the programme on his request, as he believes he can contribute a lot to the team.

“It's a privilege working with David again. I worked with him last year in Florida when we were both directors at a youth club and he brings tremendous amount of respect, knowledge and expertise — which obviously will make him an invaluable asset to our programme — and the players have responded well to him, which is great to see,” the former Reggae Boyz goalkeeper ended.

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