U-20 coach wants better execution of development plans
The young Reggae Girlz exit the NMIA on Wednesday, May 31, 2023. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

Despite Jamaica's failure to qualify for the 2024 FIFA Women's Under-20 World Cup, Hugh Bradford, coach of the young Reggae Girlz, believes the female programme has room for growth. He said a lot more can be accomplished with better preparation and system architecture.

The American-based coach is optimistic that things will be done differently to better develop and thus prepare the country's young prospects to succeed in a competitive environment.

"The female programme has a lot of room for growth, and by putting the right structure in place at the youngest ages, that will help to get them [players] ready for this stage, both in Jamaica and abroad," Bradford told the Jamaica Observer.

"The players were fine. I mean, preparation needs to start a year in advance to get the players fit enough and develop chemistry with each other. The players made the adjustments that the staff asked of them in each game.

"There is no doubt that we have a lot of talent. However, as a country, for us to play against the best, we have to constantly make changes to how we treat our football development to keep up with the world, but more so in Concacaf," Bradford continued.

After losing 0-4 in their first two games to powerhouses Canada and the United States, the young Reggae Girlz finished their campaign with a 4-1 victory over Panama in the Concacaf Women's Under-20 Championship on Tuesday, May 30 at the Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez Stadium in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Natoya Atkinson (16th minute), Davia Richards (32nd minute), Maya Raghunandanan (37th minute), and Amelia Van Zanten (74th minute) all scored to send the Jamaicans home satisfied. In the 79th minute, Meredith Rosas scored Panama's consolation goal.

With the victory, the Girlz finished third in Group A with three points, while Panama finished last with nil. The United States finished first in the group with nine points, followed by Canada with six.

Despite their failure to move to the following round of the event, Bradford was satisfied with his team's effort because the players demonstrated skill.

"The team wanted to finish the championship with a win, and they went out there and accomplished just that by beating Panama 4-1, and I am proud of them," he said.

"I thought the players gave all they had. It wasn't always pretty, but with tired legs, that has to be expected," Bradford stated.

On Wednesday, the majority of the young Reggae Girlz returned to the island.

BY RUDDY ALLEN Staff reporter ruddya@jamaicaobserver.com

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Which long-term investment option is more attractive to you at the moment?