Women's football gets technical adviser
Jamaica women's football is primed for an overhaul following the appointment of United States-based coach Hue Menzies as technical adviser for the national programme.
Menzies, born in England, raised in Jamaica and currently the executive director of Florida Kraze Krush football club in the United States, assisted with the preparation of the senior women's team during the CONCACAF round of qualifiers late last year.
The Reggae Girlz failed to advance to the 2015 World Cup finals, but Menzies was, last month, asked to help develop the national programme on the recommendation of Cedella Marley, ambassador for Jamaica women's football.
"I'm working as an adviser right now," Menzies confirmed yesterday.
"... I work for Cedella Marley and for the women's programme. She hired me as technical adviser for the women's programme with approval of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF)."
Menzies, who is scheduled to be in Jamaica to direct a Girlz training camp from tomorrow to Sunday in preparation for upcoming Olympic qualifiers, said he made a presentation to JFF officials last month, outlining plans to develop Jamaica's female football for the long term - from youth through seniors.
"We laid out a structure of what we believe the programme should progress with," said Menzies.
"... We talked about how we can connect the dots from grassroots all the way ... the whole dynamics.
"We feel this is the direction we should go. It's a continuous thing - long term. We hope this can impact the programme."
The senior national women's team does not currently have a permanent head coach following the departure of Merron Gordon after the CONCACAF qualifiers. Menzies insisted his responsibilities extend beyond that specific portfolio.
"I'm more involved with the whole structure," he explained.
"My job is to inject myself in the whole entire programme; oversee the whole programme.
"The head coach needs to be someone who can focus specifically on the team," he added.
"But still have ties with the other programmes."
Xavier Gilbert is currently interim head coach. Menzies said he made recommendations to the JFF for a senior women's head coach, but doesn't know who will get the job.
"The JFF has final word," he said.
Menzies, 50, was born in London, but came to Jamaica as a toddler. He attended Alpha Primary and Priory High, before leaving for the US in 1980 where he played football at Hardin-Simmons College and professionally in the American Soccer League.
He began coaching full time in 1993 and holds a US Soccer National 'A' licence and national youth coaching licence. He has also assisted the US women's programme.
Menzies, according to the JFF, will direct other advisers supporting the women's programme, including former national player Lorne Donaldson and US-based conditioning coach, William Hitzelberger, who both assisted during the CONCACAF qualifiers.