Reggae Girlz end year at number 65
Two years after emerging from a six-year hiatus, Jamaica's female football team has climbed to number 65 in the world.
The Reggae Girlz will end 2016 as the sixth best team in CONCACAF and the number two ranked team in the Caribbean based on the final FIFA/Coca-Cola women's football rankings for the year.
Veteran national women's coach Xavier Gilbert believes they have done well since returning from their long lay-off but says there is a lot of hard work to be done if they are to overcome the CONCACAF hurdle, where they continue to fall short in their World Cup aspirations.
"The programme has been back about two years, and after being out for so long, being at 65, I don't think is bad. We still need to move up the ladder, but seeing where we are coming from, not being in competition and being at 65 now is a great achievement," he told The Gleaner.
"We are probably the only Caribbean women's team that has consistently been to all CONCACAF women's tournaments, especially the junior ones. So it shows that we have talent, so with more exposure and international games, we can achieve our optimal best, as we are consistently making it to the CONCACAF round, so I think it is just a matter of time," he reasoned.
"We have limited resources, and resource is the key. If we can get corporate sponsors to assist, we can break into the World Cup," he said.