Busby pleased with Reggae Girlz's progress
...Jamaicans clip Costa Rica 1-0 in closed-door scrimmageFriday, October 22, 2021
BY SHERDON COWAN
With a few new introductions to the Senior Reggae Girlz programme and some still trying to find their footing in the set-up, Head Coach Hubert Busby believes the two-match series against Costa Rica is significant in strengthening squad cohesiveness.
Busby made the point shortly after conducting his first training session on Tuesday, as his Reggae Girlz settled into camp ahead of their international friendly against the Central Americans on Sunday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Jamaica beat the Costa Ricans 1-0 in a closed-door scrimmage yesterday, a useful session for both teams as they look to shift into higher gear for Sunday's match. Chelsea midfielder Drew Spence scored a second-half penalty.
The weekend game is aimed at raising funds to assist both teams ahead of the World Cup Qualifiers next year, and as such, will be opened to the public at the DRV PNK Stadium.
“The players are in the right frame of mind, particularly the new players, who have come in and obviously they are quality additions, so we look forward to their contribution to the programme,” Busby told the Jamaica Observer.
“So like I said, it [Tuesday's training] was a good start; it gave us an indication of what the players chemistry is like and so we want to do a bit more technical and functional work in terms of the principles that we are trying to implement,” the coach said.
He continued: “Obviously heading into these games we want to win, but it's more for us to focus on the performance and focus on the things that we want to do short term and long term to be successful.
“Short-term is obviously with the World Cup qualifiers coming up and long-term really is trying to implement a playing philosophy that allows for succession within the programme. So it is very good to have the players come in and work on things that we are trying to implement and so far the application of the players have been very good.”
England-based forward Paige Bailey-Gayle of Leicester City, Atlanta Primus formerly of Chelsea and Kalyssa van Zanten of the University of Notre Dame are first-time call-ups in the current 22-member squad.
Logan McFadden, as well as Spence and Liverpool's Jade Bailey were all previously called up but are now in camp for the first time.
For Busby, this speaks volumes of the depth of the Reggae Girlz pool, as the squad is without a number of its regulars, namely Denisha Blackwood, Havana Solaun, Tiffany Cameron, Marlo Sweatman and Dominique Bond-Flasza, all due to injury, while Florida State University's Jody Brown is unavailable due to college commitment.
“We have always spoken about increasing the depth of our player pool and we are now seeing that come to fruition. So though we have players out, we have these [new] players coming in, who are capable of filling those gaps,” the former national representative stated.
“In fact, we can say with confidence that we have a pool of players who are committed and who will step up and represent the country to the best of their ability when called upon and this augurs well for Jamaica's women's football programme,” Busby noted.
That said, the tactician welcomed the return of the wily Trudi Carter, who when fit and healthy is a lethal prospect for the Reggae Girls. The former AS Roma striker, who has struggled with injuries, has signalled a return to form with Lithuanian Club FK Gintra.
“It's good to have Trudi back in, we didn't see a whole lot of her during the session today (Tuesday) but she is healthy and playing and obviously had a good season in Lithuania. So hopefully that form can be carried over into the national team as we prepare for the qualifiers,” Busby said.
Squad: Sydney Schneider, Yazmeen Jamieson, Rebecca Spencer, Chantelle Swaby, Trudi Carter, Konya Plummer, Jade Bailey, Allyson Swaby, Chinyelu Asher, Satara Murray, Kayla McCoy, Drew Spence, Vyan Sampson, Atlanta Primus, Khadija Shaw, Logan McFadden, Tiernny Wiltshire, Cheyna Matthews, Sashana Campbell, Paige Bailey-Cole, Kalyssa Van Zanten, Olufolasade Adamolekun.