The 'Price' of women's football


The 'Price' of women's football

Coach believes sky is the limit for female game in Jamaica

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

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Andrew Price, the assistant senior women's coach overseeing a locally based training programme, believes success will come for Jamaica through an agenda driven by consistency.

Price, the Boys' Town head coach, noted that with FIFA mandating all member associations to place special focus on the women's game, Jamaica will have no choice but to stay on the ball if it hopes to make forward strides.

“What we need to do is to have a consistent programme, because I don't think we have had a consistent programme over the past five years. But we have now started a programme and we are in the first phase.

“Let us not forget that FIFA has a mandate that all member associations must take women's football very seriously, and through Concacaf and the CFU there is going to be a lot of participation among member countries when it comes to women's football. And Jamaica has to be at the forefront, being one of the leading football countries of the Caribbean,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Price, who also coaches the women's beach soccer team, offered that regular competitive matches will be a crucial element as the governing Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) takes aim at building out the female game.

“We also need to get regular games with overseas opponents… we have to consistently play games which must include playing some of them overseas, especially against opponents in the Concacaf region… we have to consistently play the top teams like the USA, Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica.

“Also, the more time we can spend together as a team and keep the programme running, the more we can improve. In the past we would just get together when we have a tournament,” Price said.

The tactician, a former general manager of the Premier League Clubs Association, said more local competition with robust support by corporate Jamaica can be an effective driver in the push to get the women's game on an upward trajectory.

“We have to increase the overall infrastructure we have. We have to get a senior league running again, we have to get our age group leagues running. And this is something that the women's committee will be working on with the technical committee, to make sure we put some emphasis on the development of women's football,” Price stated.

The former Boys' Town player thinks Jamaica's potential at women's football is very good, arguing that the country has in abundance the most important resource, which is talent.

“One thing I can tell you is that there is talent in this country and that is why I believe the JFF is focusing on getting back a serious women's programme across all age groups.

“We now have to revamp our programme and put it on a strong footing and must now try to be one of the top teams in Concacaf, and must endeavour to try and qualify for all age group tournaments,” reasoned Price.

The coach, who is one of the assistants to Head Coach Hue Menzies, said the upcoming CFU Women's Challenge will provide his players with valuable exposure and should serve as a launching pad for the renewed efforts in the female version of game.

“In the end, I think this exposure is very good for these young ladies as they have not played any international football in a long time. So getting this kind of international exposure will do them good and we just want to go out there and be positive and get some experience and victories along the way,” Price stated.

Over the past five weeks, Price has been guiding a weekend training regime which aims to identify new talent and sharpen those who are familiar with the national set-up. Those weekend camps will continue, leading into daily workouts nearing the start of the tournament.

“All 28 players currently in camp are all local-based players and we will now choose the best 20 to represent us in the upcoming tournament.

“What we are doing is fine-tuning, looking at the players that we believe will be best suited for the tournament,”he added.

Jamaica will host Group 'B' against closest neighbours Cuba and Barbados from April 18-22, as they fine-tune ahead of the confederation's World Cup-qualifying play-offs set to start in May.

The Jamaican leg of the CFU series kicks off next Wednesday, with Cuba and Barbados facing each other. That game is to be followed by Jamaica against Barbados on Friday. Both games will be played at the JFF/Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence.

In the final match of the three-team group, hosts Jamaica tackle Cuba on Sunday, April 22 at the Waterhouse Mini-Stadium.

All matches start at 3:30 pm.

The Turks and Caicos Islands, who were due to compete in the group, withdrew.

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