Thu, 24 Jun 2021 02:01:28 -0400
Positive U-17 Reggae Girlz depart for HaitiBY RUDDY ALLEN
The bulk of Jamaica's Under-17 Women's delegation were scheduled to depart the island this morning en route to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, for the final round of the CONCACAF Caribbean Football Union Qualifiers.
The 15-member group, which travelled via Florida, United States, is set to arrive in the Haitian capital later today.
Two groups left Jamaica yesterday.
The Jamaicans, the Caribbean champions, will start their defence against Bermuda on Wednesday at 3:30 pm Jamaica time. The Young Reggae Girlz will then close out their Group F campaign against arch-rivals Trinidad and Tobago.
Group G consists of Haiti, Puerto Rico and Cuba.
The tournament opener is set to get underway today, with the final slated for October 22.
All the games will played at the Stade Sylvio Cator venue, named after the Haitian Olympic medallist and former footballer Sylvio Cator.
The winners, runners-up and third-place finishers will qualify for the 2018 CONCACAF Championship to be held in Nicaragua early next year.
Head Coach Xavier Gilbert says the girls are ready for the challenge, especially with the inclusion of the skilful Olufolasade Adamolekun, whose mother is Jamaican and father African.
“She is a very good player. I mean, she can play anywhere up top and she has good pace, good skills on the ball, and a good kick. Her brother [Nathaniel] was the leading goal-scorer a few years ago at the [National] Under-17 level, so she is a good addition to the squad and we anticipate good things from her,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
“It is a good feeling right now in the camp. I mean, going into the tournament with a win in our practice match against St George's College Under-14 boys team is always good, and we are happy and grateful for that. The plan is to do some recovery with the girls and work on a few things before the first game, and basically that is it,” he said.
Captain Monique Perrier is upbeat going into the tournament.
“Well, the chemistry is definitely building and we are connecting more on and off the field, so it's definitely feeling good at the moment. Our speed of play has improved big time. The way how we blend and communicate with each is getting better. We are going to take it one game at a time, hope for victories, and move into the next round,” Perrier said.
Jamaica squad — Monique Perrier, Giselle Washington, Chantae Blackwood, Jaden Roberts, Gabrielle Scarlett, Sydoney Clarke, Olufolasade Adamolekun, Shereece Young, Tacia Austin, Shaquilla Forbes, Rochell Gray, Shania Harris, Nevillegail Able, Kersha Thomas, Christina Salmon, Stacyann Clair, Moesha McLaughlin, Miliah Atkins, Chelisa Schloss and Davia Richards.
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