Timely test - Price welcomes CFU Challenge series ahead of World Cup qualifiers
Jamaica's senior women's team assistant coach, Andrew Price, said that the upcoming Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Challenge Series serves as a test for the local-based players in preparation for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers next month.
The Jamaicans will host Group B, which also includes Cuba and Barbados. Both visitors will kick off the group tomorrow at the JFF/UWI/Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence, starting at 3:30 p.m.
Jamaica's squad of 20 local-based players will be released today, and they will open action on Friday against Barbados
"For the Challenge Series, the squad consists of only local-based players. The preparation has being going on for the last seven weeks. We had the girls in weekend camps," Price told The Gleaner yesterday.
"When you look at this set, they have not played any senior football for over a year in competition. We have used the camp to get them sharp. Some of the young ladies play in the ISSA/Locker Room schoolgirls' league. The squad is made up of about six schoolgirls and also members of the Under-17 and Under-20 teams. We also have three newcomers to international football in the squad of 20 players," he pointed out.
"This is really about the development of these local players, and it is good that they have come up with this CFU Challenge tournament. It gives these young ladies the opportunity to put themselves in the international space so that they can improve their knowledge and technical base," Price said.
Price also explained that the inaugural Challenge Series, which is organised by the CFU, will give the Caribbean nations valuable practice games ahead of the World Cup qualifiers.
In the final match of the three-team group, the hosts tackle Cuba on Sunday, April 22, at the Waterhouse Mini-Stadium. All matches start at 3:30 p.m. .
Group A: St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, and St Lucia
Group C: Haiti, Martinique, USVI, and Dominican Republic
Group D: Antigua and Barbuda, Guadeloupe, CuraÁao, and Martinique
Group E: Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, and Grenada