Despite the team being behind in their preparation for next month's Concacaf Women's Under-20 Championships, technical director of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Wendell Downswell says he is confident that the team will advance to next year's FIFA Women's Under-20 World Cup in Uzbekistan.
Slated to be played in Nicaragua, the junior Reggae Girlz are drawn in Group E of the championships where they will face Bermuda, Honduras, Anguilla and French Guiana — they will tackle the latter in the opening match on April 14.
Only the winners of the group will advance to the final round of the qualifiers which will be held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, May 24 to June 3.
"We are behind to some extent, but we are trying to make it up and that is why we are having the camps now," said Downswell. "We have started these training camps three weeks ago and we are having one this weekend and we are looking to continue on this trend," he added.
Downswell said a positive in the delay start to preparation is the welcome fact that many of the players are involved in local competition.
"The good thing also about it is that the most of the girls are active, some are engaged in the high schools competition and some of them are playing in the women's Premier League, [plus] we have some girls that have transitioned from the Under-17 into this team, so we have a fairly good cadre of players to choose from," Downswell said.
The veteran coach pointed out that all the teams in the championships are very good sides, therefore, no opponent will be taken lightly.
"I think we should be able to get out of this round and then take it from there. But we are not going to take anything for granted because we know that we have to come out and perform in every game in order to win these matches," Downswell said.
"We are looking forward to a historical feat in this competition because we haven't had that as yet," he said. "Our senior women have qualified for back-to-back FIFA World Cup tournaments and so we would love to achieve that this year," he ended.
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