Busby rules himself out of Girlz job
FORMER Reggae Girlz Head Coach Hubert Busby Jr says he’s not interested in returning as the national senior women’s coach, after Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and Lorne Donaldson parted ways last month.
Busby was a goalkeeper coach under Hue Menzies during Jamaica’s debut campaign at the Fifa Women’s World Cup in 2019, but took charge of the team temporarily in January 2020 after Menzies’ resignation in December 2019.
However, Busby was suspended and subsequently removed as head coach of the women’s team because of allegations of sexual misconduct during his time as Vancouver Whitecaps Coach between 2010 and 2012.
Busby, though, was seen at the Reggae Girlz’ Olympic qualifier against Canada at National Stadium in September, sparking rumours of a potential return.
But, speaking with the Jamaica Observer, Busby said it wasn’t in an official role.
“I was assisting in an advisory capacity but nothing formal,” he said.
The 54-year-old also denied that he is in the running for the vacant post.
“I have not applied nor am I interested in the role,” Busby said.
A source within the JFF also confirmed that no application was received from Busby, nor was he being looked at as a potential candidate.
Busby said he will not be involved in any capacity for the Concacaf W Gold Cup qualifiers later this month.
“I’ve not had any conversations at this particular point in time,” he said. “Like everyone else, whatever you can do to support your team and your country, you’re willing to do so — but not at this particular point in time.”
However, he remains open to a position within the national set-up in the distant future.
“I think it would have to be a conversation with the federation at some point but, as of right now, I think it’s really about some other initiatives that I’m working on that I’m excited about,” he said. “Whatever I can do to support the staff and players in an advisory position, I’d be willing to do so but the most important thing is for the team to have stability at the moment — and I think that’s what everyone is looking for, and I hope they find that.”
The JFF is expected to name the new head coach in the coming days, after interviewing several candidates who applied for the job. President Michael Ricketts told the Observer that the JFF’s Technical Committee is to make its recommendation to the board of directors and that a decision is to be made by the weekend.
Assistant coaches Xavier Gilbert, Ak Lakhani, and Laura Thomas are expected to keep their positions despite the JFF not renewing Donaldson’s contract.
The 37th-ranked Reggae Girlz will play away to Panama on October 25 before hosting Guatemala on October 29, in the first two games of the W Gold Cup Qualifiers.
The team, who made the round of 16 at the Fifa Women’s World Cup last summer, will be looking to bounce back from consecutive losses against Canada last month that ended their hopes of qualifying for the 2024 Olympics in Paris and denied them an automatic spot in the W Gold Cup.