Trudi Carter unfazed by World Cup draw, sees Girlz advancing from group stage

Deputy Sport Editor

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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Even though Jamaica's Reggae Girlz have been drawn against “tough” opponents for the Fifa Women's World Cup France 2019, team ace Trudi Carter remains unfazed by the enormity of the challenge.

While respecting the opposition, the AS Roma player, in her immediate reaction to last Saturday's draw in Paris, is bubbly with confidence that her team could ruffle more than just a few feathers in France.

Carter, who is regularly deployed as a striker or attacking midfielder for club and country, has set herself personal goals for the World Cup, which are aimed in the log run at boosting that of the team.

“My personal goal going to France is to help my team to move out of the group stage and to the round of 16, and from the round of 16 to the quarter-finals, and even further,” said the native of the Arnett Gardens community.

Jamaica, who will be appearing in their first-ever women's World Cup, will contest Group C against Australia (ranked sixth), Brazil (10th) and Italy (16th). The Girlz, who jumped 11 places in the latest rankings by Fifa, are some way off in 53rd.

“It is a tough draw, but such is life… you know Brazil and Australia are really good teams and they rank very high in the world, and of course Brazil have the best female player in the world as well.

“I honestly feel that if we go out there and play the way we know how to play, I feel like we could give them a challenge because we have to believe in ourselves; don't matter who we play because we are not going to sit back and let them come at us, and I am confident in my team that we can go out there and put on a good performance,” Carter told the Jamaica Observer from the Italian capital Rome on Sunday.

In the case of Italy, Carter has a particular interest in this match-up because she could be going up against club teammates.

“I haven't got a chance to talk to my teammates as yet as three or four of them play for Italy… I know that Italy will be a good team because I know the quality of players as a lot of them play also for Juventus and AC Milan, and it should be a good game when we face them,” she noted.

Carter, a diminutive player recognised for her wide-ranging ball handling skills, said she is yet to have discussion with her Jamaican teammates with regards to the draw, but says she knows they all will be on the same wavelength when it comes to what must be done for the path ahead.

“I have not got a chance to talk to my teammates about the draw as yet because some are trying to finish up school and others are in their jobs and are busy, but I know if I get a chance, I know the conversation is going to be like 'now we know the draw, it's time to get busy and get focused and get ready for the World Cup',” she reasoned.

Jamaica's campaign will begin on June 9 when they face Brazil at Stade des Alpes in Grenoble, France, followed by a June 14 meeting with Italy at Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims before closing the group phase on June 18 against top-ranked Australia in Grenoble.

The 24-year-old argues that preparation will be key to the final delivery of the Girlz in France, and Carter has a few ideas of her own.

“We have to start to get ourselves ready as the World Cup is six months away, and by the time you squint, that six months run off.

“We have to start getting camps, play some international games… I would like for us to play at least three games against people who will actually be playing in the World Cup because I think that will help to build our confidence and make us ready,” she noted.

With regards to her professional stint in Italy, Carter said: “My career is going good and I actually love it here (Italy) and I am just enjoying the game again.”

Jamaica's qualification to the Senior Women's World Cup was not only a first for Jamaica, but the wider Caribbean, making the feat a signature sporting moment and an inspiration for young women across Concacaf.

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