Reggae Girlz to bank on depth at CAC Games

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

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BARANQUILLA, Colombia - Depth in strength. In a nutshell, the words outlay part of Jamaica's goal to fortify quality in numbers during the women's football competition at the 23rd edition of the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games.

However, while that quality is being harnessed for a different battle, it has not waned the Jamaicans' desire to win the regional Games' women's championship in this South American country.

“I think we have a very good chance and we like our squad. We have some depth and we're looking at the depth,” said Lorne Donaldson, assistant coach of the women's football team which arrived in this Colombian city way past midnight Monday –—Tuesday morning actually — owing to a flight delay in Miami.

“This trip is one of those where we want to look at some new players and some of the players who we have,” he added.

A number of key players are not here with the team for different reasons and that also opened the door for others with talent.

“We had a big setback the day before we left; Sidney Snyder went down, a top-notch goalkeeper, so we had to fly another goalkeeper in, and I think that kind of put less confidence in the players because the way she plays she complements all the players very well. But I have good faith in all the 'keepers; Chris Ann played when we were in Haiti and she was very good, so we've a lot of confidence in Chris-Ann,” he added of her replacement.

Then there's Trudy Carter, who was released to sign a contract in Rome, and the two central defenders. Jamaica will be playing the final round of World Cup qualifiers in August and Donaldson listed opportunities for improvement.

He said: “It's also a good chance to look at our depth of players going into the qualifiers. Matchup-wise we're good. Venezuela is our first game… we know we're more athletic than them so we've to come out and make sure that our passing game and our attack, and our transition game, is intact — and we like our chances with them.”

This tournament also serves as a qualifier for the Pan American Games, which opens the doorway to the Olympics. Asked about those permutations, Donaldson gave a frank assessment.

“To be truthful, we haven't looked that far. We want to go as deep as we can in the tournament because we're here to play to win,” he said of one main goal.

Regarding the other, Donaldson reiterated: “I think the first thing we're looking at is how we come out of this tournament in terms of the World Cup Qualifiers, which are going to be in Jamaica in August. We think that we can assemble a squad that can represent us well in World Cup Qualifiers.”

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