U15 girls seek glory at CONCACAF tourney
National Under-15 girls football coach, Toni Cowan, is oozing confidence that the team will make the country proud at the upcoming CONCACAF Championship in the United States of America.
The team departed the island on Sunday morning and settled in Orlando for the championship. Jamaica will engage Costa Rica in their opening encounter in Orlando today, starting at 11 a.m.
"I am basically confident because of the talent in the squad selected for the CONCACAF Championship in the USA," Cowan, who is a former national Under-17 and Under-20 representative, told The Gleaner yesterday.
"The confidence started from before the players got into the programme. We have been together for about six weeks and the girls are ready to showcase their talent on a bigger stage," the head coach noted.
She said team captain Monique Perrier is expected to shoulder much of the responsibilities.
"Monique has been on the team for two years and was a member of the previous Under-15 team. She has shown good leadership on and off the field," Cowan said.
Cowan admitted that they knew little about the opponent entering the first game.
"We played them (Costa Rica) two years ago in the same championship and the game ended in a 1-1 draw. I believe we have a team that can do Jamaica proud," Cowan said confidently.
Jamaica will play in Group B alongside Costa Rica, Canada, Venezuela and El Salvador. The top teams from each of the five groups, plus the three best second place teams, will advance to the knockout stage.
The full squad reads: Monique Perrier (captain), Giselle Washington, Jada Renee Shockley, Sydoney Clarke, Jody Brown, Chris-Ann Roberts, Shania Harris, Kayla Bailey, Shaquilla Forbes, Janeil Simpson, Kelly Nunes, Nevillegail Able, Keveena Howell, Tacia Austin, Suen Gregory, Moesha McLaughlin, Shereece and Kersha Thomas.
The official party includes: Elaine Walker-Brown (head of delegation), Vinimore Blaine (director of football), Cowan (head coach), Davian Ferguson (assistant coach), Lamar Morgan (physical trainer), Gillian Lawrence (physiotherapist), Jean Nelson (team manager) and Omar Folkes (equipment manager).