Girlz look to end failed campaign on a high against St Kitts & Nevis
MCALLEN, Texas — With nothing left to play for but pride, Jamaica’s senior Reggae Girlz will be seeking to impose their class on Caribbean neighbours St Kitts and Nevis to close their Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifiers Group B campaign on a high.
The contest of academic interest only is scheduled for 8:00 pm (Jamaica time), after Mexico and Canada lock horns for group honours at H-E-B Park in Edinburg today.
Both Jamaica and St Kitts and Nevis are aiming to end their failed campaign with points on the board after suffering 0-1 and 0-9, and 0-11 and 0-6 defeats, respectively, to top teams Mexico and Canada.
While the 51st-ranked Jamaicans are overwhelming favourites to win, Head Coach Hubert Busby pointed out that the focus will also be on improving their overall team performance, following a substandard display against Canada on Saturday.
“We need to go out there and obviously get a positive result, but we will also use the opportunity to address some things on both sides of the ball that we need to improve on,” Busby noted.
“St Kitts is here for a reason and you have to respect your opposition. But regardless, it is the same approach which is about us imposing our will.
“So we looked at the film, spent the last couple days working on what our shape should look like when we have the ball and also to play a little bit more on the front foot and obviously be able to take the game to them and that is going to be the key for us tomorrow,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
With this being the final tournament in the senior women’s cycle, Busby is also intent on giving the younger players an opportunity to showcase their potential and garner experience going forward.
“I think it’s very important to use this cycle to not only help players to gain confidence, but also as an evaluation process in terms of our players being able to consistently play at this level.
Obviously when they leave here, the job as a staff is to continue to monitor their progress away from the national team and provide feedback for them.
“But essentially, most of the development and most of the aspects of growth takes place when you’re away from your national team, so we have to make sure that they’re in the right environment, support them to ensure that they are good professionals away from the national team,” Busby reasoned.
Though again reluctant to name the starting team, Busby said that there will be changes made to the line-up from the Canada encounter.
Based on observation at yesterday’s training session, Sydney Schneider seems set to again start in goal, with Tiernny Wiltshire set to replace Sashana Campbell at right back, with Chantelle Swaby expected to play a central defensive role alongside sister Allyson, while Deneisha Blackwood holds down the left back position.
Captain Khadija “Bunny” Shaw might assume a midfield role alongside Havana Solaun and Olufolasade Adamolekun, who seems set to replace Dominique Bond-Flasza. The attacking line could be led by Trudi Carter, Tiffany Cameron, and Kayla McCoy.
Cheyna Matthews, Chinyelu Asher, and injured defender Konya Plummer seem set to miss out.
“With the short turnaround, we always wait until the morning to see how our players are, but expect at least two or three changes in the line-up.
“The players have taken some responsibility for what happened in the previous game, recognising that they need to be better and that was not a proper showing of what Jamaica women’s team looks like.
And then obviously, the only way that you put that right is to go out there and have not only a good performance, but also making sure we get the result,” the tactician reasoned.